Thursday, November 14, 2013


I took a little break from blogging. Mason keep me EXTREMELY busy these days, so it's getting harder and harder to post.
But I do want to take a minute (maybe even two or three... Woah) to update on Stewart Happenings.
Riley is currently working on his coxswain (cock-sin) qualification. The coxswain is the guy in charge of the boat when they are underway. He drives the boat, runs the cases, and is over all the crew members. It's a big job, and there is a lot to know and a lot goes into getting the qualification. So Riley is hard at work with that. He was also given the new responsibility of LEPO, or Law Enforcement Petty Officer. Did I already post about this? Probably. Anyway, He is in charge of issuing, ordering, and maintaining all the weaponry on base. And other Law Enforcement stuff that I don't know anything about. It's a lot of added work, but he loves it.
I keep busy at home chasing a toddler (he is a TODDLER!) and taking care of my good friend's little boy three days a week. He is 8 months, so it's fun to be back in the baby mode, and its great watching and teaching Mason to be soft and share. I am also kept busy with my calling in the Primary Presidency. 
Mason is so fun! He just turned 14 months and is very active. He runs around constantly, and rarely sits still for long. He loves playing with his trucks, reading, doing puzzles, being outside, and chasing Bronx. He especially loves singing! He knows the actions to most of the songs we sing, but it seems like he is constantly singing his own little jibberish songs. And he jams in the car! Its the best. He started sleeping through the night a couple of months ago... Hallelujah! His favorite foods right now are Mac-n-Cheese, yogurt, applesauce, hot dogs (don't judge...), and raisins. We had a hard time getting him to eat a full meal in his high chair, so Riley had the genius idea of giving him something to dip with. And Mason looooves it! The kid will eat anything as long as he can dip. It's pretty funny, and I'm thankful he's eating so well now. Even if it means he is covered in ketchup when the meal is over!
He is also getting much more vocal. Over the past couple of months he has starting using more and more words. So far he has said Mama, Dad, ball, boo, please ("peeeese" so cute), baby, and hi.
I will try to be better about keeping the blog updated, but I'm not making any promises! Life is just so busy, in the best way. We are in such a great phase of life right now! Mason is learning new things and making us laugh every day. He is such a happy, sweet boy and has such a fun personality. I love that I get to spend every moment playing with him and watching him grow.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What I REALLY think of the United States Coast Guard

Sigh. The Coast Guard has taken my Riley away again. This time for longer than usual. We are going on week five of being apart, and its no secret, I hate being without my better half.
So it is with that in mind that I will share my true feelings about this crew we are a part of, no pun intended.
Riley has now been a member or the US Coast Guard for almost three years. And while I realize that in the grand scheme of things, that's a very short amount of time, but right now it feels like an eternity. And I certainly feel it is long enough to have a solid opinion.
I have a good friend who refers to the Coast Guard as her sister wife. And while it is comical, it is also frighteningly accurate. "She" and I share our man 50/50. I have his full time and undivided attention for two days, then "she" gets him the next two. 
Right now, BM3 Stewart is in South Carolina for a training course to become a Boarding Officer. This means that when Riley's crew boards vessels to inspect for proper safety and fishing regulations, or immigration and drug trafficking, Riley will be the guy in charge. He was recently made the Law Enforcement Petty Officer for the station, so this training is an important one to move foreword with his new responsibilities. 
Riley has excelled in the course, and has genuinely enjoyed his time "down south". And while I love knowing he is doing well, it doesn't make the sting of his absence any easier. 
I struggle when Riley is gone. We jokingly refer to it as "survival mode" since I always feel like I won't make it a single day longer without him. And this time around has been no different. Sweet Mason has been SO sick and I myself had a nasty tango with the stomach flu, and I have truly felt like I can't go a minute longer without Ri. I do want to say though, that my family has made this all doable. They have helped me with Mason, and kept me company, all with a smile on their faces and for that I am indescribably thankful.
Still, there is no substitute for my Coastie. I feel a physical ache when he is gone, and I know Mase misses his dad. I look at pictures of him, I sleep on his side of the bed, I listen to his saved voicemails, I use his shampoo. I'm pathetic. Survival. Mode.
So, how do I really feel about this roller coaster Coastie Life we live?
I love it. I am so thankful for it. Yes, there have been days when I wanted out. There have been days when I wanted to call up my "sister wife" and tell her she will just have to make due without our guy today. There have been days when I am confused and frustrated with the system. There have been days when homesickness and fatigue got the better of me. There have been days that I felt there was too much being asked of us. There have been hard days. And there will be more, I have no doubt.
But there have also been so many good days. And so many people have it so much worse than we do. There have been victories and celebrations. There have been lives saved because of the work my husband does, and the sacrifices we make. There have been adventures, and risks, and memories made. We have made lifelong friends, and learned to rely on each other. I have never felt such a sense of patriotism and pride as when I watch Riley and the crew come off of the boats tired, and wet, and sore. But they're so happy. And so am I. I love being a part of this Coastie family. Even if it takes my husband away more often than I would like. It makes our family who we are. 
And that's what I really think of the Coast Guard.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

10 month Mase!

Our little man turned ten months earlier this week! Is it just me, or does it seem like the months are just flying by? Every day Mason grows and learns and it seems like the older he gets, the bigger the daily changes.
Mason has been pulling up on things (the couch, ottoman, his crib, laundry baskets, everything...) for a couple of months now, but for the past few weeks he has been getting more and more brave. He now lets go and can stand really well! He's still too nervous to take a step without holding on to mine or Riley's hand, but I'm sure we will have a walker in the next month or so! 
He is also in this new phase where he loves to feel new textures with his cheek. I call it "cheeking". He puts his face on the carpet, the hardwood, the side of the tub. The dog. It's pretty adorable, I must say.
Mason hit a bit of a growth spurt this month as well! He is now wearing 18 month clothes. He has gotten quite a bit taller, but he still has all of his delicious rolls! They are my absolute fave, I hope he has them forever! Not really. But kind of.
I feel so blessed to have such a happy, fun baby. I am never bored with this kid around! He is so quick to smile and laugh. I'm so thankful our first kid is such a joy to have around.
We love our Mason Man!

At ten months Mase does not like:
-Eggs. It's a big dramatic ordeal. Dry heaving, sour face, the works.
-Stuffed animals. He stares for a second and then starts crying. Little creeped out I think.
-Strangers. He still smiles and is super friendly, he just doesn't like to be held by strangers.
- Ed, the sea lion that lives on our pier. Mason just screamed when we walked by. But I don't blame him. Ed is super loud and stinky. I don't like him either.
-wearing socks. As soon as he is dressed and ready for the day, those suckers are gone.
- Broccoli. I can barely get it into his mouth before he spits it right out!

But he loves:
- Being outside! Especially when we walk over by the water. He loves watching the waves and birds.
- Singing. Whenever we sing in the car or at church, or just at home, Mason loves to "sing" along. It's mostly just really loud yelling. But Im pretty sure he has a bright future in the music industry.
- Being naked. As soon as I get his diaper off for his bath or a diaper change, he tries to speed crawl away and make his escape!
- Cheese. String, cheddar, he's not picky.
- Fruit. Strawberries and peaches are the fave but he also loves grapes.
-Being in the backpack
- Garth Brooks and The Beibs. Like father, like son.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Anniversary Weekend

Last weekend marked our three year anniversary. It's crazy to think Riley and I have been together for four years, and its been three since that beautiful day in early June. I remember the sky being a perfect blue, and a cool breeze every now and then to break the heat just as it hit your skin. It had poured for four days prior, and the sunshine was a perfect celebration of a perfect day.
The weather was almost exactly the same here in Washington. We were told that summer would bring more sunny days, but we had not seen one for nearly a week and I wanted nothing more than to wear short sleeves, and sunglasses, and put sunscreen on my baby! 
Mason and I had gotten Riley a tent as an early Fathers Day gift, so we decided to take it for its inaugural trip to celebrate our anniversary. 
Friday morning it was chilly and rainy on and off. We decided to pack up anyway and make the two hour trip to the grocery store for camping snacks. And milk. Apparently Riley loves a good glass of milk while camping....? Mason also had a doctors appointment, so by the time we had finished with all of that, the sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and our blue sky was back!
Mason loooooved camping. He played in the Pack-n-Play, hung out in the backpack, and shared his snacks with Bronx. It was the perfect day and our campsite by Lake Cresent was a beaut. 
The night was a bit of an.... Adventure. Our air mattress kept deflating. So every two hours or so, we would have to refill it. Gotta love the whirrrr of an air pump in the wee hours of the morning. It was also pretty stinking cold. Mason was in his warm flannel jammies, and having him sandwiched between Ri and I in our little tent did act as a bit of a space heater. Until he peed all over us around 4:30 in the morning. Good times.
We had a great time and it was fun to take advantage of the beautiful area we love in, and to celebrate our anniversary with our sweet baby.
I am so thankful for the three years Riley and I have been married. He has changed me for the better, and taught me what unconditional love really is. Marrying him was the best thing I have ever done, and I look forward to many more anniversary celebrations! Love you Riley Stew.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Nine months in, nine months out!

 Is that insane to anyone else? Time is going by too fast.
It's been another big month for Mason Man. He started crawling a few weeks ago and has been on the move since then. He will not sit still! And he's into everything... Laundry, bookshelves, etc. Last week he started pulling himself up to stand against the couch and his crib and the entertainment center. It makes me SUPER nervous, but I know he needs to learn, so I look away and Riley makes sure he doesn't fall.
Mase is big in to clapping and waving these days. He waves every time we leave or enter a room! It's the best. He is also very proud of himself. Every time he gets a Cheerio or puff into his mouth, he smiles and claps. He's pretty much a genius.
We had a well-child visit with our new pediatrician this month as well. I was pretty impressed with the clinic. Everyone was super nice and they give the kids a new book at every visit! How cool is that? Mase loves reading so we were stoked! He did great with his shots too. Shot day is the worst. I hate it! This was the first appointment Riley was able to come to since Masons two month visit, so it was really nice to have some backup with our squirmy boy! The first thing the doctor said when she walked in and saw our nakey boy is "Well, he's certainly not malnourished!" Are you sure, Lady? His measurements came in as follows:
Head: 91 percentile (Thank you, Riley!)
Weight: 90 percentile, 23 pounds 8 oz
Height: 54 percentile (My bad!)
We just started laughing. He's such a chubby little guy, our little butterball!

At nine months Mason doesn't like:
Baby food. He's over it.
Loud noises
Footie jammies
Sitting still

But he loves:
-Singing "Do Your Ears Hang Low" and "Home on the Range" with Daddy, he goes right to sleep
- Playing with Tupperware. And wooden spoons. And keys.
- Tub time
- Bronx
- Climbing on everything
- Opening and closing the blinds