29 April 2008

What Do I Do?

I want Deacon to start sleeping in Zeke's room. The crib is already set up in there, his wardrobe is in there, it's what I want. Currently, we put Deacon to bed in the pack and play in our room, then, whenever we go to bed, we do what Josh calls the "prisoner transfer", and we move Deacon from the pack and play in our room to the pack and play set up in the living room. This has been working fine, however, the "prisoner" is getting bigger and heavier, and this is making it harder to transfer him without waking him up a little bit. Granted, he usually falls right back asleep, but he's just so stinkin heavy. Plus, the sun is coming out earlier and earlier, which means Deacon is waking up earlier and earlier as there is no way to keep the sun out of the living room. Zeke's room, and Zeke's room only, has outdoor light control.

Here's the problem...the two or three times I've tried putting Deacon down in Zeke's room he has screamed like he has never screamed before. Normally I would just let him cry it out until he falls asleep and then I know he'd be fine. However, his screaming keeps Zeke awake (and I think it freaks Zeke out a little bit) so I don't like to let him scream for longer than a half hour (since Zeke almost never falls asleep a half hour after being in bed anyways). The last time I put him in there he screamed for twenty minutes, then was quiet for twenty minutes, then REALLY started screaming, like his arm was stuck in the crib slats or something. He was fine, just lying there, but I took him out then, so Zeke could sleep.

What do I do? I don't want to keep Zeke awake for who-knows-how-long for who-knows-how-many-nights, but I'm afraid that if I keep putting Deacon in, let him cry for a half hour, then take him out, that will become the routine. I've thought about just putting Deacon in the room until he stops crying, but what would I do with Zeke? He is definitely too big for "prison transfers" and it's not fair to him to have to sleep in a little pack and play instead of his bed.

Josh says I should just move Deacon into one of the bedrooms upstairs. And maybe he's right. I just don't feel comfortable with that, and I really can't explain why. I don't know if it's because of the type of stairs we have, twisty and slippery, that if I need to rush up (or down) them for some kind of emergency (not that I can think of one that would occur), it would make it all more dangerous? I don't know if it's because I enjoy having a "guest floor" with two guest rooms and putting Deacon up there would make one less guest room (even though it would open up the comfy couch bed)? I don't know if it's just beacause I don't like the idea of him being up there by himself all night long. I know he'd be sleeping and wouldn't notice, but I don't know.

28 April 2008

The Things That Man Says

This conversation occured as I was cutting Josh's hair yesterday:

Josh: So I've made up a new word in honor of our favorite movie star.

Beth: Bruce Campbell?

Josh (with a slight tone of disbelief): No. Brad Pitt.

Beth: Ahhh. Yes, Brad Pitt. So, what's the word?

Josh: Well, if something is really cool, or something really cool happens, it is now "bradical".

Beth: Nice. So, is Angelina pregnant again?

Josh (in as serious a voice as one can come by): I just don't know how Brad keeps up with her. She is all over the place. I buy things I don't need at the Shopette every day just to read the magazine headlines in a small attempt to know what she's up to.

He seriously cracks me up.


Here is a video of Deacon making "kissy noises". He actually does a much better job now and it's very sweet. But this is the video I have, so this is the video you get. Oh, and that tooth I said came in on Wednesday or whenever, yeah. It actually didn't come in until Saturday. I counted that chicken WAY before it hatched. But we are still at four teeth. Very exciting.


This is a video of what Zeke does most of the day. Just in case anyone was wondering. Just back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and...well, you get the picture. Ahh, to have that much energy.

25 April 2008

On the Bubble (sorry, no pictures this time)

Since you all are praying for us anyway, I thought I would fill everyone in on where we sit (and I do mean sit...oh, and twiddle our thumbs) with our return to the states. As those of you who got our Christmas letter know, we said in our letter how we will be back in the states for good in September. And oh, how we all did laugh. Josh would change command then and Oklahoma here we'd come. However, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum.
After this past deployment, Schweinfurt got an entire new command team. New battery commanders, new batallion commander, new brigade commander. Not a bad thing, just new. So a few months ago, the guys were doing something, and Josh got an opportunity to talk with our new batallion commander, Col. Hite. He is a good guy, and a much better commander than our previous one (but I won't get into that here). So Josh says to Col. Hite how we've been here for 5 years, and how Josh is currently in his second command, how he's never been to the career course, and how he's supposed to leave in September. So the coloniel says to Josh something along the lines of, "Well, we can work with you on that. We can figure out a way to keep you in command longer and let you deploy with your soldiers. Then we'd just to a change of command in Iraq and go from there." Oh, he's a funny, funny man. Josh goes something like, "Um, no Sir. I want to LEAVE in September. I want to do my change of command then, and I want to say goodbye to Germany for good then." To which the coloniel simply said, "Well, you're on the bubble." And the conversation was interrupted and thus ended. Never to have been continued.
It's really kind of funny when you think about it. I like to tease Josh that he'll get stuck and sent back to Iraq, he'll get his early look for Major sometime while he's gone, and make the list. Then he'll have come to German as a 2nd Lieutenant, and left as a Major, without ever having gone to the career course. I'm such a brat sometimes...hehehe. Anyhoo...
On the bubble. This means another stop-loss is going to hit our community sometime around September/October...maybe. This means we stand a good chance of getting stuck in Germany for another year and a half or so. This means Josh would deploy to Iraq for another year. On the bubble. This also means that everything could still go according to our plan. This means Josh could change command in September. This means we could be leaving Germany for good in September. Right now, we just don't know. Sigh.
I want to know. I want to know if I will be spending my summer trying to get our household goods shipped, and working out plane tickets and all that stuff, or if I'm going to spend my summer FINALLY learning German and working on getting Zeke into a German kinder class. I want to know if I can volunteer for the PWOC board for next year. I don't even really care which way it goes at this point. Obviously I don't want Josh to deploy again, ever, but I love it here and it wouldn't be a terrible thing to stay a little longer. I do want to be closer to you all and be able to see you all without having to spend hundreds (or thousands, currently) of dollars to get to wherever.
So, pray for us. Pray mostly that God's will would be done and that we would have the peace and grace to accept it. If you want to be more specific, you could pray that everything works out and we get to leave. Unless you're like my dear friend Sandra, and you don't want us to leave, then you can pray that we have to stay. But I guess, mostly pray that a decision would be made soon just so that we can know.

24 April 2008

Aww, Gee, You Guys

Thank you all for the prayers, comments and words of encouragement after my last post. You guys (ladies, sorry) really know how to make a girl feel loved. And I assure you, I am doing fine. I do not think Zeke is autistic. We're just going to do the screening to definitely rule it out. I really do think he is perfectly fine and will start talking on his own time line. Zeke is a boy who DEFINITELY dances to the beat of his very own drummer. I did put you guys out there as a praise during "prayer request time" at PWOC, and I almost cried when I was telling my class how awesome you all are. I miss you all terribly, and I love you all more than I could ever say.

And moving on...Deacon's fourth tooth broke through today. It still has a way to go, but it's there, it's through, it's making him cranky. Which is so hard to believe of my sweet boy, but man, can he be a crankpot. It's actually kind of funny since he'll look at me and smile real big, then just start whining...with the smile still on his face! He slays me. He really, really does.

In other news, Josh has been kidnapped by the brigade commander. The coloniel (did I spell that right?) has taken all of the commanders and first seargents (did I spell that one right? stinkin weirdly spelled military words) to an unknown destination for an unknown amount of time. He gave them all a specific packing list and told them to be on post by one a.m. today and that they won't be back until Friday, once their mission, whatever it may be is complete. Josh is irritated because he doesn't like not knowing how long he's going to have to endure something for (like our time in Germany), and I'm left wondering, "If all the officers and 1SG's are gone, who's running the base?" Josh assured me all of the platoon seargents can handle it. I said, "I hope." It'll be interesting to hear all about it whenever he returns tomorrow. Until then, I'm here, with my boys, and the rain. Stinkin rain.

22 April 2008

It's Not All Fun and Laughter

So, Zeke still hasn't really getting the hang of the whole talking thing. I take that back. He's talking. A lot. He just isn't really using "real" words. He is quite fluent in "Zeke Speak" and he's perfectly happy using that. He can say lots of things, but it usually comes when he's repeating what he's heard. He never really uses his words on his own. We've been working with EDIS (Early Development Intervention Services) on it for a little less than a year, I think.

Karen, the lady from EDIS who comes most often, and I agree that Zeke is doing fine, but he is way behind on his communication skills - he has a pretty big speech delay. She came on Friday to just sit and see how he's doing, and she "retested" him (filled out the questionaire for his age) and he failed. Again. He did better than last time, but he stilled failed. So we made a new plan.

The first part of the plan is to take him in for a hearing test. The test would basically show whether or not his eardrums work properly or if there was a huge wax build-up or something else that could be causing Zeke's speech delay. I took him today. His right ear passed, but his left ear didn't. The other Karen from EDIS who tested him said that he moved a bit when his left ear was tested and that could be why he didn't pass with that ear. So now we have to go back in two weeks to test again.

The next part of the plan is for the Karens to come visit and do a full-on evaluation when Zeke turns 30 months (July). Also, at his 30 month well baby appointment, we're going to have Dr. Garde do an autism screening. You know, just to see.

So that's where we are. For the most part I'm not concerned. I mean, he's two. How much does he really NEED to be able to say? He gets his point across, and that's good enough for now. I say, let him be and let him play and let him enjoy his age. There will be plenty of time for stressing over all that nonsense once he starts school in three or so years (which I'm sure he'll be talking just fine by then). Zeke was late on everything, so why not talking too? I am convinced that he is just waiting until he has an extremely firm grasp on the English language before he starts using it. And when he does start using it, he'll be speaking in full sandwiches.

But there are days, and I'll admit this freely, when I do worry, when I do get sad that Zeke has this delay. Usually these are days when I read other people's blogs about the cute and funny things their kids are saying. And I know, I KNOW, I'm not supposed to compare kids, and for the most part I don't. I just want him to talk. I'm sure once he does start talking I'll regret it, but still. So there you have it. That's the latest and greatest from Walterland. And since it wouldn't be a post without some pictures, I close with a recent shot of Zeke and Deacon. This is why we don't have any nice pictures of the two of them. It just doesn't seem to ever work out.

16 April 2008

I Thought Things Were A Little TOO Quiet

All I was trying to do was make some dinner.


I guess I better put Q-Tips on the shopping list.

15 April 2008

I Dare You Not to Laugh

Deacon hit his head a little harder than usual last night and I think he might have become a little bit delerious afterwards. He laughed like this for a good twenty minutes. What do you think?

This next video is from a few weeks ago. Zeke and I set up this game and had a seriously fun time. I like games like this...pretty much no work for me (I did have to refluff the pillow after every plop) and lots of running for Zeke so he gets tired out.

Deacon also sprouted his third tooth today. Such a big boy. I haven't gotten a clear picture of it yet, but I'm working on it. I did get these two fabulous pictures today though...

Here is what the boys shirts looked like after lunch today.

Deacon figured out how to get at the Cheerios in the backpack...

...Remind you of anyone? (Zeke when he was 11 months old.)

11 April 2008

Oh, Brothers

I took Deacon to the doctor's today for his 9 month well baby. I know, I'm about half a month behind on that, but that's just how we like to do things here with this clinic. However, he had a great check-up. The doctor just laughed the whole time as Deacon cooed, and grinned, and drooled the whole time (which was really nice since the whole thing took place during his naptime). Weighing in at 21 1/2 pounds, and measuring 27 3/4 inches long, Deacon is pretty much exactly at the 50th percentile for height, weight, and head circumfrence. "A perfectly preportionate baby" the doctor said. She's very sweet. We like her a lot. Zeke did well too sitting in the waiting room with Daddy. Apparently another little boy around Zeke's age came in and sat with Zeke. They were showing "Chicken Little" on the TV and Josh says every now and then Zeke would say, "Wow!" and point to the screen so the other little boy would look. He also said Zeke fed this other boy some of Zeke's raisins. He's such a good sharer (not a really word, I know, but I figured it would have been better than saying he's a good sharing-head).

In other "news" I was sick the past few days. This was really nice since Josh was in the field over night and that meant I spent Wednesday night throwing up by myself. Sad. I must say, though, that the boys were excellent while I was lying on the couch all day feeling like I was going to die. They played really well together, and on their own. Now that Deacon is getting bigger and more vocal and is just funny, Zeke is really starting to enjoy him. Zeke will bring Deacon toys, not as often as he takes toys from Deacon, but to be fair, Deacon's pretty good at swiping toys from Zeke too. Zeke also tries to feed Deacon occasionally, and they just have good times sitting there laughing and screaming at each other. Here is a little video demonstrating a bit of their amusing each other. And I promise you that when the video cuts out Zeke is not about to slap Deacon in the head, he actually reached up and patted Deacon on the head, another thing Zeke does on a daily basis. They really are sweet boys!

07 April 2008

April Fool's!

What can I say? It's April in Germany...

...I hope it's sunny wherever you are.

05 April 2008

The Wait Poem

This poem, by Russell Kelfer, was read to our women's Bible study group (PWOC) as the devotion this past week. I really liked it and decided to share it here. I pray you all get something out of it too.
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate...
and the Master so gently said, "Wait."
"Wait? You say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is Your hand shortened? Or have You not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming Your Word.
"My future and all to which I relate
hangs in the balance and you tell me to 'Wait'?"
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign.
Or even a 'no', to which I'll resign.
You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe
we need but to ask, and we shall recieve.
Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm wearing of asking! I need a reply."
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
as my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
and grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting...for what?"
He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine...
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.
"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.
You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
when darkness and silence are all you can see.
"You'd never experience the fullness of love
when the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
The glow of My comfort late into the night,
the faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
from an infinite God who makes what you have last.
"You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
but, oh, the loss if I lost what I'm doing in you.
So, be silent, My child, and in you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to truly know Me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, 'Wait.'"

01 April 2008

That's Gratitude For You

Lately, Zeke has been asking for his juice as soon as I walk into his bedroom to wake him up from whatever. It's really cute because he goes, "Joo, joo" and does the sign for "milk". Once I give him the juice I might get a "Hi Mommy" or a "Hello". Maybe. If I'm lucky. So this weekend, I go to get Zeke up and as usual I walk in and he goes, "Joo. Joo." Before he can even see that I did bring the juice with me (I like to hide it behind my back...I can't really say why) Josh walks in the room. And what does Zeke say? "Hi Daddy!!" with so much enthusiasm and excitement. WHAT?!? Here I am, with the juice, day after day, nap after nap,
and do I ever get a "Hi Mommy" right off the bat? NO! Most days I don't get one at all. Sigh.
Deacon has started pulling up on things. Of course he hasn't fully figured out walking while holding on (I'm totally blanking on what that's called), nor has he figured out how to get down, so he usually gets up, hangs out for a few minutes, then starts screaming until I set him down, only to do it again as soon as I let go. Awesome. Well, speaking of the little devils, naptime is just about over here and so I must go. Some days naptime goes a little too quickly.