Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mack Truck

... is what I feel like hit me right now. I'm exhausted. Actually, exhausted is putting it lightly. The day began at 4am (but I had already had a middle of the night feeding with Abby) so I could get ready, feed Abby and get my crew out the door by 5:45 am. Thank goodness for the coffee gods and yummy hazelnut creamer - if only I had a gallon of it. Anyway - great day overall! It was so awesome to reconnect with my seniors (all of who I taught their freshmen year) and also get to know my new little newbie freshmen. But, just like any "first day" of school - I talked from 7am until 2pm. I'm so horse that I sound like I have a man voice... I know... scary, huh? On top of that, I haven't worn heels since February or March (because of being pregnant) and my feet are killing me! Poor things were probably sufficating in those tight shoes. Although so beat, it was truely wonderful to go and pick up my two little munchkins from school and give them both kisses and hugs! That is always the highlight of my day. OK... so how many days of school are left until summer vacation? It doesn't hurt to look ahead that far, does it?

Monday, September 28, 2009

First day

Wish me luck - tomorrow is my first day back to work. I am excited (as I am every year on the first day of school), anxious to get the school year going reconnect with my seniors and meet my freshmen for the first time. Today, however, was Abby's first day at daycare and it turns out she was fantastic all day. Not that there was any doubt, but I did worry a little about the new environment for her. Of course, when you have an over protective brother (well... actually just really lovey) like Thomas who got upset when it was time for Abby to go back to the infant room with Ms. Betty, I really did know she would be fine. He just likes to be around her all the time. The nice thing about the teachers at the daycare is that anytime that Thomas wanted to see her, they would let him peek in on her. After about an hour, he was fine and knew that she was in good hands.

I know that I will be exhausted by tomorrow afternoon (and really the rest of the week) - its tough work building your "teaching" endurance back up again after being off for the summer since early June. My poor feet have only been in flip-flops (with the occasional running shoe lately) since spring - they are going to be in for a shocker tomorrow when I put my heels on in the morning. Coffee is prepped, lunch is made, bottles are packed for Abby and a breakfast snack is ready and waiting for Thomas at the door. I'm going to hit the hay early tonight because the day begins WAY before the rooster gets up - we are out the door at 5:45 am which means that the alarm is due to go off somewhere around 4am so that I can shower, get ready and also give Abby an early morning feeding. Auughhhh - not looking forward to that. Wish us luck!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Support Systems

Any military family knows that in order to survive (and keep your sanity) through the deployments and TDYs, you must have some sort of support system in place. For me, I am blessed and lucky enough to have 3 (yes, three) different ones that help me through this crazy lifestyle. They all help me in some many different ways - but they all mean the world to me:
  1. My family - Of course I mean all of my family (and Brian's) who support us and send us their love, but I especially mean my mother (who lives less than an hour away) and my in-laws who live just a few miles away. Without the ongoing help with the kids, company they provide to me on the lonely stretches and even the simpliest things like having dinner or coffee together - I could not endure the separation from Brian in nearly the same way. Thank you so much for the help, the support and most importantly the love.
  2. My RED HORSE gals - I have to admit that I am not very involved with the spouses group for my hubby's squadron. The is probably because of my 2 other support systems I already have. Not to mention that I am BUSY, BUSY, BUSY and when they do have meetings or get togethers, they just seem so formal or they take place when I can not attend. Instead of an organized group lending support to me, I rely on a few of my girlfriends whose hubby's are in the same squadron - Marsha, Kim, Laura and Patty. They are the ones who are going through exactly what I am going through. They are living it and can absolutely empathize with the situation. They live the same stress, sadness, worry, and exhaustion that I do daily. But on the flip side - they share in the excitement and anticipation when the guys are coming home. They get it. They are living the same thing I am. I love them for that and thank them for all their support.
  3. My Choctaw family - These are the people who are with me day-in & day-out. They are the ones who I work with and know me so well. I have so many friends at work that help me out in so many ways, whether Brian is home or not. Several of my girlfriends (Ashleigh, Sara, Beth, Jeannie & Jordan) planned a home-cooked meal for me on Friday night and brought it out to the house already prepared. They did this 1) to help me out because hubby is gone, 2) to meet Abby and 3) to get me "mentally" ready to come back to work this week. It was so awesome to just be with them outside of the 4 walls of school. It's little things like that which help pass the time while Brian is gone and also let me know that my friends keep my family in their thoughts and prayers and want to take care of me.
OK... enough... moving on...
Here are some pics of little Abby this weekend. Good news to report - her eyes are still gorgeous blue which means that it is looking better and better that she actually may have one of my characteristics! Yeahhhhh!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Last chance

Our Saturday morning began with a walk around the neighborhood - Abby in the stroller, Ziggy on the leash and Thomas on his bike. We did our normal big lap but decided to detour down to the water. What a beautiful view of East Bay - smooth waters with plenty of boats and even some small fish were jumping for us to see.
See what I mean?

A certain little boy started to run out of steam by the end of the walk and resorted to pulling his bike - I tried to tell him it was easier to push (and certainly ride) than do what he was doing but he didn't want to listen. "Mr. 2-year old Independent" wanted to do it his way.

Abby enjoyed every part of the walk because she had the best seat in town.

Afterwards, we headed over to Grannie & Poppie's house to take advantage of our last chance in the swimming pool this summer. It was a bit chilly today (80 degrees), but this week it will be dipping down into the mid-60s at night which will surely lower the pool temperature considerably. Ultimately this means NO MORE swimming this season - so long pool - see you next summer! Here is Thomas "swimming" with some of his trucks from one side of the pool to the other.

He always lines them up just right...

Meanwhile, Abby enjoyed the slight breeze while sitting in the shade. No pool for her today but we will certainly be suiting her up next summer and introducing her to the Florida lifestyle then.

Sit & Go

By that I mean, "Sit down on the potty and go pee-pee!!" Look closely at one of Thomas daily reports from school this week - do you see it? Yeap - he went potty 3x this week at school! Holy Crap am I excited. Holy Crap that also means I need to start initiating things at home too so that I can be consistent with Ms. Amy at school. One of my goals is to have Thomas potty trained by the time Brian returns home. I guess the "potty light" just turned green.... GO, GO, GO!
Here are the different potties - a big one like the one we have in our bathrooms, which are also the same size as the ones they have at school (only those are a tad bit shorter)...
... or the training potty we have had since January. Difference is Thomas can sit comfortably and look at books on this potty, whereas with the big potty he is holding himself up so as to not fall into the potty. Not sure which one I should have him use???? Oh well, maybe he will tell me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Working on Me

I have finally decided to start "Working on Me" in terms of my (baby) weightloss and becoming more fit (starting to run again). Last week I started a blog called FitMommyHeck to act like a journal/diary for me and help me stay motivated & be accountable to myself for making this goal happen. Cheers to working up a sweat and eating right!!!! I've linked it to our family blog (located on the right hand column), but click here to check it out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

'Holes with Grannie

Grannie popped in for a visit this morning and wouldn't you know it - she brought donut holes to share with Thomas (I opted not to endulge because of my diet... go me!) These two just enjoyed their milk & coffee respectively, some yummy 'holes and good conversation together!

Brother & Sister Love

Words are really not needed here - Enjoy!

Gulfarium visit

Although rainy & stormy most of Saturday (and for that fact, all week), we headed over to Okaloosa Island to visit the Gulfarium. In all the years that I have lived in this area (since 1996), I have never been there and am a little embarassed to admit it. Auntie Jen, Uncle Ash and Nana met us there and we (but mainly Thomas) had a great time despite the wet weather.

Front row seats for Thomas. He really was in awe of the dolphins. I think what was most exciting about watching him was the fact that he finally put it together what the dolphins in all of his books are. He really did love it.
Thomas & Auntie Jen checking it out from all angles
See what I mean - he was glued to the dolphin show.
He would barely even stop to smile for the camera - again, the dolphin show was the big hit! Little Miss Abby just slept through it all in the very-convenient Baby Bijourn.
The dolphin show is about to begin and Thomas is looking up at me, Uncle Ash and Nana to show us how excited he is - Auntie Jen is off to the side (under cover so she isn't getting wet) taking this snapshot.

Nana watching the show!A little concerning - especially with so many little kids near this sign at the Sea Lion show.
Thomas liked the Sea Lions but they apparently weren't as fun & exciting (meaning they didn't jump high out of the water or make huge splashes) as the dolphins.
There were several animal exhibits that we visited between shows - here is an enormous Sea Turtle. Not sure if you can see who he is in the same tank with? Yes, that is a shark. Huh? I guess they are friendly out in the real ocean or else why would they be in the same tank, right?
Ohhhh, yes... they had sharks and he was very interested!
Yikes... it makes me nervous just looking at them.
Sting Rays - Thomas liked how they would come to the surface and flap their "wings" out of the water.
A few breaks in the rain storm; but really any day you are on the beach it is beautiful on the Gulf Coast.

Nana & Thomas - notice all the chocolate around Thomas' mouth - he needed a quick snack between shows.
Uncle Ash showing Thomas some of the sea life in the "touching pond".
Down under the dolphin tank trying to catch a peek at his new favorite animal.
After our visit, we headed next door to Angler's Seafood Restaurant for some lunch. Here is Uncle Ash and Thomas being silly with the props out front.
Ocean front dining (next to the fishing pier) with Auntie Jen & Thomas
Finally - our little snoozer woke up and joined us for some lunch.