Saturday, August 29, 2009


Folks, I can't tell you how long it has been since I just sat back and enjoyed a drink. Wait... yes I can... it was when Brian and I went to Key West in early November. Of course, shortly after that I found out I was pregnant and that put an end to enjoying a frosty beer, a glass of white zinfindel or even a Parrot Bay & pineapple juice drink (see picture below). In the last 3 weeks since Abbigail has joined us, I have managed to only have one glass of wine which was on my anniversary. Tonight, however, was drink #2 and it was oh-so-yummy! I guess you could say that this is my farewell drink with my Sweetie Pie. Can you see my silly husband in the background of the picture? Yep... he is a dork and I love him for that!

Flying High!

Friday was a fun-filled afternoon for Thomas at the Pensacola NAS Naval Aviation Museum with Grannie & Poppie. Apparently he was "wowed" by all that was there. He got to get inside planes, helicopters and even experience a simulator. Who knows - maybe Thomas will be flying high one day for the military???
Getting up close with the Blue Angels
But his favorite thing seemed to be the model aircraft carriers and all the tiny planes that were on board. Isn't that funny too that everyone around Thomas & Grannie is in the military?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Family picture

With Abby only 3 weeks old, I was a little unsure if we would get a family picture taken before Brian headed out; HOWEVER... we did it! Nothing fancy, just nice & simple, but we got it! Won't this be something to compare us to once Brian returns and the kids are so much bigger (and hopefully me so much thinner... ha-ha, he-he)? Thanks Mom for taking this picture & making a memory for us...
And of course Nana got her picture with Thomas & Abby too!

Random Cuteness

Just some pictures from the week so far...
Mommy's little cutie!
Daddy & his little girl
Daddy & the kids... I think this is my new favorite picture!
This just cracked us up the other night - Abby fell asleep in Brian's lap in this position. She looked like a possum playing "dead" with her legs & arms stiff as boards. Usually she likes to be wrapped up like a burrito and snuggy with one of us - but not here - she was content and quite asleep as is!

Precious... Daddy holding Abby's hand!
Thomas and his dinasour backpack - he usually carries his cars/trucks in it when we go somewhere in the car. But today he just wanted to walk around with it in the house. Who knows?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Auntie Jen & week recap

This past weekend Auntie Jen (and Uncle Ash) came into town to visit. Of course they wanted to meet Abby and give her lots of love; we celebrated both Jen & Ash's birthdays and even had a cake for Mommy's upcoming birthday (because most everyone will not be here for hers) and finally to say goodbye to Daddy. We had a great BBQ with yummy food and enjoyed just sitting around and catching up.

Here is Auntie Jen & Thomas at the "kids" table - poor Jen, she has always had to sit at the kids table and NOW as an adult she volunteered to sit with her nephew... what a trooper she is!
Auntie Jen & Abbigail meet for the first time!

Thomas decided he wanted to put the candles on the cake - here he is concentrating very hard on putting them "just so." But, look closely...
... you will see the ones he put on the cake are turned upside down (wax down) and shoved almost all the way into the cake. He was very proud of himself though. Gotta love my helper!!!
Auntie Jen & me
So my first week home alone with the kids didn't go too bad. I guess I don't give myself enough credit. It really was OK and on top of that, I don't feel like I'm doing too bad on sleep either. Up until last night, Abby has been sleeping in the pack-n-play in our room and just taking her naps in her crib which is in her room. I finally got a 2nd baby monitor and it is now operational - so, Abby slept in her bedroom last night which went pretty well. I know that Brian got more sleep which is good because he has to go to work. In terms of sleep for me, we have been trying to get to bed by 10pm (right after Abby's feeding) and then she usually is good until about 2am for a feeding. I get back to sleep and then she is up again around 5 or 6am. Good thing again is she heads back to sleep and Thomas will sleep until 6:30 or 7am. So, all in all I'm getting around 7 hours of sleep. Not too bad for having a newborn.
During the day, a routine is starting to establish itself. We play in the morning; we all take Ziggy on a walk (Thomas rides his bike) which has been long ones and down to the water to see the boats; lunch & then naps. Get this... I don't know how this is working out, but I'm not complaining... Abby & Thomas have been taking their "after lunch" naps at the same time. Yes folks - that means that is my time. I usually blog, check emails, clean up and yes, sometimes take a nap/rest.
Afternoons are proving to be a bit trickier - many times I need to go to the store for bread, milk, etc but haven't worked out the timing quite yet with Abby's feedings to venture out. Poor Brian has been the one to stop at the store on way home. I guess I only have a few more days to figure that one out for myself - I'll get it though. If I look at the big picture, things really are starting to smooth out. Much advice has come from my girlfriends who are juggling 2+ kids and I have to admit that some of their advice has been invaluable. Thanks you guys!!!!
On a different note, I'm hoping that Brian has some 1/2 days (or at least shorter days) this week as finally preparations are made both at work and at home. It sure would be nice to just have him around (for all of us) just as much as we possibly can before he leaves. It is starting to hit me that some of the things that Brian & Thomas do together will be no more for awhile. The sad thing is that Thomas LOVES to do them with Daddy & doing them with Mommy (or Mommy's way) just won't be the same. For example, going fishing on the dock, riding the lawn mower (aka: tractor) with Daddy, riding with Daddy in his truck, etc. I just hope that he continues to love doing those things & when Brian returns they find even more fun things to do together! OK, enough of the sad thoughts. I can only let myself dwell for a short time and then I have to press on. Have a great week everyone...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Well Baby & Mommy Check

Yesterday & today were all about my 2-week post-op check and Abby's 2-week "Well Baby" check. Brian poked fun at me both days about me getting all dressed up and getting out of the house - first of all... I wasn't "all dressed up," but I did have a shower and have normal clothes on. Second, it felt wonderful to drive and go somewhere. See... little things in life make all the difference.

Yesterday, my appointment was quick and painless. The doc just wanted to make sure my incision was healing nicely and there were no problems with infection or pain. I complimented him on some nice handy work, but jokingly inquired why he had not given me a tummy tuck or 6-pack abs when he had me under the knife???? Of course, the appointment also included me standing on the scale... I was happy to see the number that popped up but I know that I have some work to do in order to get to that pre-pregnancy number. Hopefully in the coming weeks I will be able to start going on longer (and faster) walks and eventually work my way up to running again soon. I have to admit though... breastfeeding sure does help with the weightloss. You can't beat burning 500-1000 extra calories a day just by feeding your baby. Heck Yeah!

Today was Abbigail's turn... Eglin's pediatric clinic wanted to see her and check her out before they released her to our civilian pediatrician. Our big question was her weight - was she back up to birth weight after these last 2 weeks? I got to tell ya... she is an eating machine. I feel like my udders are constantly on "go mode" and she eats all the time. With that said, you can understand my concern about her weight. Anyway, her stats are in:

Birthday weight - 6 lbs 15 oz
Discharged from hospital - 6 lbs 10 oz
2-week weight check - 7 lbs 3 oz

Birthday height - 18.5 in
2-week height check - 18.75 in

That's right folks... we have exceeded our expectations of getting back to birth weight... our little girl is growing like a weed already!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Daddy & Abby

Video Clip - Late last night, Abby just wasn't ready to fall back to sleep - so Daddy entertained her for a little bit with some of his infamous noises and he got her attention. Doesn't she just look so aware & interested in what he is doing - those big eyes are a dead giveaway!


Never did I think that I would have to explain what a breast pump is to a 2-year old toddler. Well... he wants to know. I first started off explaining (on day one) that Abby drinks "baby milk" from Mommy. I called it that because I didn't want him thinking that she drinks the same milk that he does - GOD, poor kid might think that Mommy makes the milk that everyone drinks - what an awful image to have in one's head. Anyway, back to the story.

When he started to see me use the double, electric pump to get the "baby's milk," he started to get curious and ask "what's that?" I explained very simply & briefly that it gently gets the milk for Abby out so she can drink it. That explanation was met with a brief silence as he studied the motion and noise of the pump. I thought that would suffice his curiousity - that is until he said, "My pump! My milk!" "Oh no, no I assured him, this is only for babies. You are a big boy now Thomas and you get to have big boy milk, juice and all kinds of yummy foods that you like to eat. Abby doesn't have any teeth so she drinks this special baby milk, OK?"

I have no idea if I handled that situation the right way but what I do know is that is sure to be only the beginning of many uncomfortable, sticky, possibly embarrassing questions that both him and Abbigail ask me (and they better be asking their Daddy some of these also) in the coming years.

With friends...

During a quick diaper change for Thomas today, Abby got a chance to be with some new friends - Elmo, Cookie Monster, Ernie, a soccer bear and Thomas' blue baby bear. She was so funny to watch as she gazed around at this fuzzy, colorful "friends" and really seemed to enjoy the new sites in Thomas' room.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Miss Abby

Many of you have asked for more Abbigail pictures, so without further adue...

Most of these seem so staged & plain, but little Miss Abby is sleeping all of the time. It is really hard to catch her with her eyes open. So this is what she is giving me today.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Worries & Wonders

Well, my "honeymoon" week is over. By that I mean, Brian heads back to work tomorrow and it is just me and my munchkins. I have to admit, part of me is wondering if I will stay sane this week. My worries are keeping Thomas engaged & stimulated (like I have managed to do most of the summer while I have been a stay-at-home mom) and care for our new baby girl at the same time. I have forgotten how time consuming breastfeeding & rocking & just loving on a new born is. Don't get me wrong - never would I trade it for the world, but it just takes time (and patience) and that is coupled with a 2 year old toddler who wants my attention. Anyway... I know this is a normal feeling, but it is still a worry.

On top of that - tomorrow is the first day back for teachers at school and obviously I'm not going back to school yet. Feels wierd. Actually feels really wierd. This is the time of year where I am anxious to meet my new students, dive into history, shake off my summer routine and "get down to business." Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be looking forward to getting up at 4:45 to start the day and working my tail off all day just to collapse after I put my kids to bed. OH WAIT... I already do this at home. Huh? My new routine HAS already begun - it just involves me being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) with 2 young children. I really have to give a HUGE shout out to all of the SAHMs out there who do it, love it and wouldn't trade it for the world. It is tough work. Personally, I think it is harder than teaching teenagers. Yes, I'm serious. Harder than that. What I do love about being able to stay home with them is watching them grow & learn. That sounds cheesy but it really is true. In addition to that, I really do feel very close to my son (and hopefully my daughter). I feel like I know him/her very well and that is something you just can't trade.

Brian is starting to pack up his deployment bags and that, of course, has a whole other set of worries & wonders to go with it. His safety, missing him, him missing us, how often will we communicate, loneliness, Thomas asking "where is Daddy?", being a single mom again, handling the household "everythings" and much, much more. I guess there is no sense in worring yet... that will all begin in the oh-so-near-future and last the entire time he is gone.

Surprise Frog Encounter

Brian caught a frog this week while he was landscaping & remulching our front yard; he tucked him in a box and called Thomas outside to check out the surprise... enjoy!

Video Clip - What a hoot watching Thomas & this frog!

Five Wonderful Years!

Brian & I just celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Friday and we are absolutely in awe of our lives together in this short time. Most importantly - our two beautiful children that we have. Anyway, we decided to spend the evening in cooking and enjoying all that was important to us (each other, the kids & Zig). We did splurge though - we got 2 huge live lobsters from Joe Patti's Seafood in Pensacola. They were so big that one was 3 lbs and the other was 2.5 lbs - needless to say, we gorged ourselves! It was so yummy! OK... here is a glimpse into preparations in the kitchen for the evening.

Thomas was also "wowed" by their size!
"Don't get to close to me with those Daddy!!!!!"
He goes by "Jumbo Claw"! Gheez... his one claw alone must have weighed in at a 1lb!
Almost ready for dinner! Not only did I get to enjoy a glass of wine with my husband for the first time in months, we also had the lobsters, fresh asparagus, salad and cream o'crab soup! Yummy!
Our romantic dinner!
But then... the mess! Brian is an amazing cook (he does most of the coooking in our house), but oh lordy can he make a mess of the kitchen (I'm always on clean up duty).
I'm actually 1/2 way done cleaning the kitchen at this point - and it is still MESSY! Man... it was so worth it.

Playing & Relaxing

The week has started to flow a little bit better & easier for all of us. Thomas continues to give lots of kisses to Abby & wants to share his cars & trucks with her, but has also started to feel more comfortable with sharing his time with Mommy & Daddy. He loves to look at her when her eyes are open and "talk" with her - oh, is she in for a busy few years with him! At night, we are also figuring out how much feeding Abby needs to squeeze several hours of sleep - actually, she has been pulling some pretty good long stretches of 5 & 6 hours at a piece at night before she wakes up and needs to eat. You know what that means... MORE sleep for Mommy & Daddy! Of course, just as things seem to be easier, Brian has to return to work tomorrow and its just me & the kids. I guess I should get used to that because Brian will be gone before I can blink twice. Oh well... nothing like learning by fire!

Me & my little love bug
Daddy & Abbigail relaxing on the back porch in the late afternoon. No, don't worry - its not super hot, just warm. That is why she is airing out as she lays with Daddy!
The original love bug