Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Finally... some real food (sort of)

Last night after dinner, Thomas was treated to a yummy ice cream dessert... I decided Abby needed to try some dessert too. I introduced her to those "infant cookies." The pictures really say it all...

She ate almost the entire cookie... thank goodness it was a tubby night!

will travel, will ride...

So not only is she army-crawling all around the room, Abby has also started to figure out that she can move (forward, but mostly backwards) in her walker. Talk about feeling proud of herself - she giggles, squeels, laughs and smiles the entire time as she is cruising (in slow moe).

A very relaxed & kicked-back Thomas enjoying the ride as he watches a DVD
Thomas thought it would be fun to ride in the wagon today with Abby. At first, I really wasn't sure how she would like it but as soon as Thomas was in she was game for it. I put her seatbelt on and we were off around the neighborhood. She was so intent on listening to the birds, looking at everything Thomas pointed out to her, and thinking she was big stuff! I have a feeling this might become a regular ride each afternoon...


Video Clip - Abby has discovered the wonderful sound of shaking rattles AND that she can do it with both hands ... I think she is enjoying the switch-A-roonie just as much as the noise!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

feeding snacks

Video Clip - Thomas wanting in on the snack action. He really is my little helper...

Toddler patience

Video Clip - So is there such a thing? Toddler patience that is? Thomas doesn't do too bad today as he tries to show Abby how the choo-choo train goes. She could care less because she really does have her own agenda. But they both get a good laugh (me included) when Thomas basically says screw it!

Two Silly Gooses

From the weekend... two silly gooses... playing together!

This is Thomas' idea... wanted to see Abby in his Handy Manny construction hat.His serious face...
Showing her how the choo-choo train works - video is uploading and I will post soon. He really had to dig deep for some patience while he explained to her "how it goes." All she wanted to do was knock it over. He really did show great patience for a 2.5 year old.
A boy & his train
Just exploring

In honor of...

... Thomas! Back in early December, Brian had this put together for Thomas (as a present from Iraq) so that he knew Daddy was thinking of him. I keep telling him that Daddy had this flag flown on a big helicopter (which Thomas loves) just for him. Thomas also loves that he sees his name on it and knows that it is his. We had quite a delay in seeing it in one piece though... in early January when it arrived, all the glass was broken and I just now got around to having the glass replaced - God knows I had to have it done before Daddy came home. Anyway... not sure if it will go in his bedroom or in the office, but one thing is for sure - Thomas LOVES his Daddy presents.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Many a people would call us crazy for heading out to Nawlins (aka: New Orleans for those who are not from the south) for an overnighter with 44 teenagers...Sin City can be a dangerous place with that kind of combination. Meet the teachers who dare to do it! Ha-Ha-Ha! Actually, it was a breeze and such a wonderful trip. Our annual IB Junior fieldtrip is to Vicksburg, MS to soak in the Civil War importance of the small town on the Mississippi River - however, this was the year for change. New Orleans is the new annual trip for sure.

L to R: Dana, Karen, me, and Marilyn

Choctaw IB Class of 2011
(I had them as freshman and will all of them again next year as Seniors)
1st stop - National WWII Museum. Incredible. Best part though is the 4-D movie about D-day invasion. We met many WWII veterans who volunteer there and heard their stories. Just as interesting, we heard why NOLA was the site for this national treasure... the Higgins boats that were used in the D-Day invasion were built and tested right there in New Orleans. Very cool story centered around Higgins Boats.

Favorite thing that touched me the most.
Of course I already knew about the blue star flags, but I think I would really like to get one. If you aren't familar with the history of these flags, read here.
After dinner, we were treated to a walking ghost tour through the French Quarter. Now those of you who know me, know that I'm a HUGE scaredy-cat... but it was really cool (and convincing with many stories and pictures that were taken).
After a good night sleep & a hearty breakfast, our first stop on day#2 was to the Rodrigue Art Studio New Orleans (aka: Blue Dog Galleries) where we had a fabulous opportunity to meet the artist, George Rodrigue who happened to be in town. As an IB candidate, our students study many artists in their 10th and 11th grade year (as well as put together a large portfolio of their own) and George Rodrigue was one of those artists they were very familiar with. Me, on the other hand, knew nothing of him. When I left there, I was "wowed" and learned so much about him, art, and art history (and that is definately NOT my thing). It was really cool.

On the streets of New Orleans, ALL kinds of people can be seen (dare I say "original"?)
After lunch and shopping on the RiverWalk, our last stop was Mardi Gras World. Yeap, we went to the place where they create, design and build all of the Mardi Gras floats for the New Orleans parades. I didn't even know a place like this existed. It was insanely big. Once again... learned the history and really got to see the behind the scenes action. I even got my picture with a few familiar faces that Thomas will be sure to recognize...
This is only a glimpse of this year's floats... we got to see them all.
Scrat (the squirrel) from Ice Age
Stuck between Mrs. & Mr. Potatoe Head
Thomas favorite for sure...
Now that the annual IB Fieldtrip is complete, Spring Break has started and I'm very much looking forward to time with Thomas & Abby as we prepare for Daddy's return in less than 3 weeks. Wow... 3 weeks. That doesn't even seem real. Been a long 7 months. The light is shining really bright at the end of our tunnel.

Magic Touch?

What seems like an eternity ago (but in reality was a little over 2 years ago), we bought an antique dining room table and chairs from a local consignment store. We really liked the circa 1920s set and couldn't wait until we could refinish both the wood and the completely worn out upholstery. Unfortunately, the only thing that we managed to get done with the set was pay for it to be stripped of old stain (which was the best $300 we ever spent)... but time got away from us. Between having 2 kids, multiple TDYs and deployments and I guess, life - the table and chairs have sat unused and unfinished since we bought them in late 2006.
After we had the stain stripped, Brian did remove all the old, worn fabric and tacks. That is as far as we got...
... until recently. Not only do I have a very talented and skilled carpenter for a husband who can build and pretty much do anything I can dream up - I also have gifted FIL and MIL who never cease to amaze me with what they can do as well. All credit has to be given to the two of them for taking this project and running with it. Had it not been for them, my dining room would still be the "storage" and "packing" area in the house. Between the two of them, they sanded, stained, bought the necessary tools and items needed to reupholster the chairs (BTW, the chairs required a 7-layer method because of the style and age). As a final touch, Mary helped me pick out fabric for the chairs and some curtains she would end up making for both the dining room and adjacent living room windows. The final products are amazing. I can't believe how good everything turned out. Now I just need some last little accessories for the rooms. They certainly have the magic touch! Take a peek...