Sunday, December 16, 2012

heavy hearted

I lay my babies in their beds, I kiss them on the forehead, I tell them I love them and I say a prayer for them. This is how I end my day, everyday.

The kids are down and I do my usual bedtime sweep of the house. Cabbage patch dolls go in the cradle, matchbox cars go in the toy bin, sippy cups go in the sink and whatever else is strewn around finds it's respectable "home."

And then I sit. I think about my day. I catch my breath.

This evening, all is still but my heart beats heavy, as I think about the victims and their families involved in the Sandy Hook shooting in CT. Every single beat of my heart belongs to them. I cannot comprehend the agony of losing a child, although, I imagine it's a "fall on your knees, crawl out of your skin, fall asleep and give up on life" kind of agony.

How could anyone take the life of a sweet child and steal the innocence of their peers? How could anyone single-handedly ruin the lives of so many families? How could someone wake up in the morning and conjure up such a gruesome, heartless attack? HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN? Unfortunately, these questions may never be answered, and, I don't think there could ever be a logical answer that could justify any of this.

It's times like this that we are reminded how quickly life can change. How one second everything could be so normal and in an instant, your whole world could crumble beneath you. I am holding my babies tight and thanking God for allowing me one more day with them. I pray that he gives me many many more and that no one else will ever endure the tragic loss that those parents and loved ones face in CT.

God be with them.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Chocolate Covered Peaunut Butter Krispie Balls

 Let this be your warning, these are the most scrumptious treat known to mankind. Like, I can now die knowing I lived a fulfilling life of deliciousness. Amazing.


Mix together:
2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cup rice krispies
1lb (3cup) powdered sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Make balls and dip in melted:
2 (maybe 3) package milk chocolate chips

Put on cookie sheets in fridge to harden. Enjoy.

Makes about 70 balls.

Just a tip: Depending on the peanut butter you use, you may have to add more powdered sugar. You will know when you try to make a ball. If it is too sticky, add more. If the balls are too crumbly, add more peanut butter.

And there you have it. Heaven in the form of balls... Umm... Wait. you know what I mean!

Ps. You can thank me later.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Two simple words.

Juice Eaze.

Translation: Juice Please.
Two simple words that came out of the mouth of my sweet boy.
Two simple words, but they are such a huge step.
To me, this is monumental. This is huge. This is awesome. He did it. He said two simple words. Two words closer to free his voice.

To free his voice

 My son is almost 2 1/2 and doesn't speak, at least not in a way that is understandable. Somedays are harder that others. Today is one of those days. Khai was enrolled in preschool and has since been enrolled in speech therapy. We have tossed around the idea that his speech delays stem from either childhood apraxia of speech or possibly even toddler tongue tie. Either way, it is a struggle. This kid amazes me EVERY SINGLE DAY. He is so bright. He is doing a fabulous job with potty training, he can write some letters, he understands everything he is told and follows direction but his lack of speech is holding him back. It's almost harder knowing that everything is perfect mentally but still something is stunting his progress. Not that I would EVER want something more to be wrong but it just makes it THAT much harder that we can't pinpoint WHY he has a delay.

When Khai cries because he is trying, with all his might, to "tell" me something that I can't understand, it breaks my heart. He wants SO badly to speak. Moments like this give me the strength I need to move forward in finding the root to his speech delay. I will fight for him. I will be his voice. I work with him every single day to improve his speech and communication. We're getting there but we are taking baby steps.

I can't complain. Some parents lose their children to disease or live with a child who will never be able to be on their own due to severe mental disorders. If speech is the only concern I have as far as my sons health goes, I consider myself lucky. I know I seem selfish, it's just tough on me some days.

I dream of the day that I can hear him say "I love you, mommy." I know that the time will come and until it does, I will surround that baby with so much love and support. He is my angel and we WILL free his voice.

And so it begins... the story of us.

Would you stay a while? I wanna tell ya'll a story.

It all stems back to an evening in March of 2008. Imagine, if you will, a young, spunky blonde walking hand-in-hand with a tall, handsome soldier in a beautiful star-lit park. Sounds romantic, huh? This is just the very beginning so bare with me... it only better. That soldier is named Xavier and that girl was me... Hi. I'm Alexandra and this is the story of how "we" became "us."

Xavier was home from basic training where he became a soldier in the US Army. His MOS was 31 Bravo, or for those who don't know what the heck that means, he was in the military police, fresh out of bootcamp with orders to move to Germany. I was the girlfriend who was going to stay in the states and wait for her hero to come home... this all quickly changed. Lets get back to the story, shall we?

On that evening in March, Xavier stopped me in my tracks, just as it was starting to rain and got down on one knee... I was his from that moment on. This is where it all began. I turned in to crazy bride-to-be. I bought a beautiful, expensive designer wedding gown, had my maids picked out and spent all of my money on wedding decor. But a few weeks later, on April 1, I called my mom and dad from Xavier's grandparents house and told them that we got a marriage license and I asked for their blessing as we signed our lives away. CRAZY, huh? There went all my plans... the dress was out, the wedding was out... all because of two people were in love and they placed their signatures on a piece of paper. Looking back now, I think I must have been out of my mind. BUT when you are in love, you do crazy things. Gee, I'll say! BUT the story goes a little deeper... Although this happened quickly, it was premeditated. Xavier was going to be leaving for Germany and (being raised an Army brat) I knew the detail and time it took to do anything in the Army. If we would have waited a year to wed, then go ahead and add about 4 months on top that because thats how long it took me to FINALLY join him in Germany. I didn't wat to wait that long to be with him. So we did it. Hi, my name is Mrs. Alexandra Nenneman.

Now, I am grateful that we didn't wait and that we had a shot-gun "wedding" because while he was in Germany and I was in Kentucky (running back and forth daily to Fort Campbell to set up arrangements to get me to Germany) we got the much dreaded news that his company would be deploying to Afghanistan... HOLD THE PRESS, SAY WHAAAAAAT? Wow. If this didn't get me into full Army wife mode immediately, I don't know what would have. So to make a long story short, I finally moved to Germany, knowing that he would eventually be leaving and we started our life together as Mr. & Mrs.

We made so many friends, went to far too many bars, explored our new homelands and loved every second of our life together.

A year later, there I stood, holding the hands of the most amazing women I have ever met... my sisters in arms, my family away from family and we watched our husband ride away in a bus that was Afghanistan bound.

3 months into the deployment, Xavier came home for R&R. I got to live that story book fantasy of running into my soldiers arms at the airport as he came home from war. He was home for two weeks. Now, I'm not going to go into detail about what all occured in those two weeks but I will say that at the end of his R&R, I took a pregnancy test that came back positive! OH MY STARS, WE'RE HAVING A BABY!

Xavier headed back to Afghanistan , leaving me and our "bun in the oven" this time. It was a long stretch of 9 months before I saw him again... A lot changed, I had become slightly more round, to say the least and I was about to pop any day. (refer to picture below)

First time together after deployment
Xavier had no choice but to jump straight into daddy mode. He got home right before my due date of June 27th and on July 2nd (arriving fashionably late) Khai Jayden Nenneman was born in Landstuhl Germany.  He weighed 9 lbs. 14 oz. and after a few scares during childbirth, "we" became three.

SO LETS SKIP A FEW CHAPTERS. But here's a condensed version of what we missed:

We moved from Germany to Fort Campbell, Xavier got out of the Army and we became civilians in the real world... Oh, and in the midst of all the craziness, we had a second baby! A sweet baby girl by the name of Hailey Delilah.

Hailey Delilah. 8 lb 13 oz. Born 26 Nov 2011
in Fort Campbell, KY
Before I catch you up to date, here is a short photo montage of the last year of our lives... Enjoy.

Khai turned 2!
 And Hailey turned 1!
Where are we now? Well, we are living in Indiana. Khai is 2 1/2 and Hailey just celebrated her 1st birthday. Xavier is working at a juvenile corrections facility as a detention officer and I am a stay at home mom to our beautiful babies! Khai has started preschool and loves it to pieces. We are as happy as can be our family is complete!

So there you have it! My story. How "I" became "we" and how "we" became "us." And in case you STILL don't think it's been a crazy ride, ALL of this happened within 5 years. :)