Monday, February 28, 2011

what happened?

Not sure what is up with our littliest one... sleep routine has DRASTICALLY changed.  Will not (I repeat), will not just go to bed after reading her books with Daddy.  Case in point, tonight she was up for 2 hours and 15 minutes screaming & crying in her room after the initial goodnight kisses.  NO... we didn't let her cry for that long.  We went in to her room probably 8 different times - sometimes to just pick up her NUK that she has thrown on the floor; other times to tell her to lay down and go to sleep; and still other times to pick her up and rock her to sleep (which she did almost instantly... until you laid her down).  Just wondering if she needs to count some sheep or something in order to fall asleep?  Afraid of something?
Poor Thomas is all we kept thinking - I hope he was able to fall asleep in the first hour despite all the noise.

Final straw - I was one last decision from getting a pillow and blanket and laying down on her floor and pretending to go to sleep (although I'm sure I would have easily passed out).  Thinking she would see me there and sleeping, she might lay down and pass out herself.  HOWEVER, I decided instead to pull out her nightlight so that it was pitch black in her room.  I scooped her up, rocked her laying down in my arms for about 10 minutes until I heard some good snoring (remember, I could no longer see her because of the complete darkness), then laid her down.  She didn't move.  Finally.  Asleep.

Now I'm exhausted and am going to go crawl into bed.  Finally.  Going to sleep.
Why can't she just see the value in going to bed.  It feels so good.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My reality check

This week it occurred to me that when we leave Alaska after this assignment:
  • I will be the mother of a 7, 5, & 3 year old
  • That means two in elementary school and one in Preschool
  • I will have long completed my 2nd Masters Degree... this one in Educational Leadership
  • We will certainly be considering retirement from the Air Force... although nothing is certain
  • I will be making my next career move
  • Brian and I will have been married for 10 years... I'm already planning our special trip somewhere fabulous and warm!

March Madness

... and I'm not talking about the NCAA basketball tournament.  I'm talking about the insanity that is about to take over the Heck household this next month (oh crap... it starts Tuesday)!  Looking back, February seemed so calm, laid back (other than several OB appts and my M.Ed class deadlines).
 March, on the other hand, looks like we will be barely coming up for air each week.  On the horizon:
  • weekly soccer practices continue... but games begin also!
  • current M.Ed class ends and next class begins (no break in between)
  • Brian has 2 different TDY trips
  • I will making a trip up to see him for the 9th AF Award celebration
  • Spring Break means a trip down to Orlando/Disney World for the week
  • 2 more OB appts
  • My girlfriends are throwing me a "Sprinkle" for Baby Girl Heck (not to be confused with a "shower")

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Alaska Martime Highway reservations

As Brian and I piece together our late summer cross-country road trip itinerary - which will bring us from Florida to Alaska with a midpoint stop in San Francisco, CA to see family - we have already firmed up the tail end of the trip's reservations.  The end of our trip (meaning the last 5 days of travel) will have us traveling along the Alaska Maritime Highway.  Below is the M/V Kennicott, our vessel for which we will be traveling along the Alaskan coastline.  It will be a great opportunity at the end of LONG road trip to not only NOT be driving, but also see some incredible sights and here is the key... the kids will not be cooped up in the car.  Unfortunately for Zig, he will need to be in his kennel for several hour increments, but he will get to enjoy some walks and fresh air while we are in port.
Our Ferry trip will begin in Bellingham, WA (located approximately 80 miles north of Seattle) and it serves as the gateway to the numerous islands of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska’s Inside Passage.  Our two major port-of-calls will be Ketchikan and Juneau.  As Alaska's southern most port or “First City”, Ketchikan is the first major community reached by travelers heading north. Founded as a fishing camp, and built on the steep hillsides overlooking the Tongass Narrows, it is also where Brian lived for a short time and ended up graduating from high school there.  I'm very excited to be stopping there (even if it is a short time) and seeing a little of where Brian has lived. 

The second major stop is Juneau, one of America’s most beautiful state capital.  Both of these stops are considered to be on the "Inside Passage" of the trip and I'm quite sure it will prove to be absolutely stunning and beautiful all while giving Mommy & Daddy a much needed driving break while we get closer to our new home in Anchorage, Alaska.
After leaving Juneau, the trip takes a cross Gulf (of Alaska) Route which connects the SE and SW part of Alaska together.  This will bring us to a our final destination of Whittier (just 65 south of Anchorage).  I certainly hope this part of the trip proves to be an amazing adventure and something the kids + us will remember for the rest of our lives.

Long distance digits?

Not really sure what numbers she dialed.
Not really sure if a phone call actually went through,
but I guess we will see if she called China when next month's phone bill arrives. 

On a fashionable note, Abbigail received this red dress from Grannie this past week and insisted on putting it on when we got home.  Yeap... she is a fashionista for sure.  I'm just glad we didn't need to run any errands out to the store.  I can already hear the neighbors talking. :)

Team Effort

Another Tuesday night soccer practice was successful this past week;  However, this week involved learning to stretch a little before practice...
 ... playing "against" someone else (in this case it was Coach Katie)
 ... and some scoring drills near the goal!
 I'm anxious to see if these 3 (Thomas, Jackson & Ben) end up being the 3 Musketeers on the team?
 And lets not forget the little sideline spectator who insisted on "stealing" the cones marking the out-of-bounds throughout practice.
 She was also a huge fan of the soccer water bottle we brought;
the sand pit behind one of the goals;
running across the middle of the practice where the bigger kids were (can we say dangerous);
trying to run into the nearby parking lot.
Abbigail keeps me busy for sure at practice in between glances over at my soccer player.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Abs is half way there...

... to 2 years old!  I can't believe how big she is getting; how smart she is; how funny she is; and how stubborn & strong-willed she is. 
Her 18-month old stats are:
weight - 23.5 lbs (25-50%)
height - 30.5 inches (10-25%)
 I thought these pictures were fitting to show you her stubbornness... she absolutely insisted on wearing these new black "Mary Jane" like shoes with her outfit.  I would definately say she is NOT a fashion icon; rather, I think she is just asserting her independence!
 Not sure what is happening with the tongue ???
 Again... not sure if she is panting ?or just enjoying the fresh air on her tongue??
 Abby is 1.5 years old going on 15. 
She wants to do everything Thomas does.
She wants everything that Thomas has.
Same cup.  Same plate.  Same snack.
You get the idea.
My baby girl is growing up way too fast.
I'm sure I'm going to say that many times in the coming years when she gets to elementary school.  When she is in middle school.  And I'm quite certain I will be thinking it a gazillion times when she is in high school.
Oh god... I'm gonna blink and Abby will be in high school with her brother.
Life is going too fast.

Baby Heck is 27 weeks

I had my monthly OB checkup this week and Baby Heck continues to grow bigger as we get ready to enter our final trimester next week.  Baby Heck is approximately 2 lbs and is starting to put on the weight at this point.  She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers.  I feel her movements constantly (both during the day and in the wee hours of the night).
Last week was a bit out of the ordinary for me because I felt completely unlike myself... absolutely exhausted, my blood pressure was low, I was out of breath with everything I did and I had no appetite (which is unheard of for me).  After taking a day off as well as visiting the OB doc and getting some blood work done, it was determined that my iron levels had dropped a bit (although nothing extreme).  I was able to get some great nights rest as well as start taking some iron supplements and I'm back to my old self.  All is good on the baby front here and about 12 weeks to go!

On a funny and unexpected note - Thomas asked me how the baby would be coming out of my tummy.  Before answering, my head raced with "appropriate" answers.  How honest should I be with a 3.5 year old?  Does it count to tell him about getting the baby from a C-section?  Should I relate it to Elle in Ice Age 3 when she had Baby Peaches?  All of these things raced in my head; in the end, I decided to tell Thomas that the doctors were going to help take the baby out of Mommy's tummy by using their "doctor tools".  I showed him my C-section scar and told him that the baby will come out from there.  He seemed very accepting of this and in the very next breath asked what was for dinner.  OK... I guess the 3.5 year old found that to be a good answer.  Whoa (thank goodness).

Monday, February 21, 2011


For those people who think they know my other half well, and for those who don't know him at all:

He is a lover of - me, his 2 beautiful children, his dog, the ocean, fishing boats, pick up trucks to his specification, seafood, a simple life free of drama, beer, a good rum mixed w/coke, eBay, building & fixing things, being a smartass, and wearing his flip-flops.
He absolutely hates - his belly button touched, lazy people who have no work ethic, dishonesty, excuses people give, cold weather, quiche/casseroles, when he feels like he is not performing at his best, and when his wife is stressed out.
Brian is the person in my life who never ceases to amaze me with what he knows, what he will try, and what he accomplishes.  He is the hardest working person I have ever known, whether he is doing it for the Air Force, to catch fish, save us money by him doing the labor, or to make something absolutely memorable for the kids and me. 

Brian is the kind of man who will come home from the grocery store with flowers in one hand for me and a gift certificate for a manicure/pedicure in the other... for no reason at all except he knew I would love the beautiful flowers and I'm well over due for a relaxing hour or so of pampering.  He just surprises me with what he does. 
On a totally different note, Brian is also the man who will take the bull by his horns and make things happen when I didn't think there was anything that could be done.  Case in point, this morning... our grinder pump (which is part of our sewer system) broke suddenly.  That means no using anything water related.  Period.  He called in the water company and was told the grime diagnosis... we needed a new one... ASAP.  The price tag was hefty... to the tune of $1600.  Not the way we both wanted to spend our Presidents Day holiday.  After a morning of research & phone calls, Brian did what he always does, he went outside and figured out what was wrong.  He came back an hour later (smelling like crap, grease and everything else in a grinder pump) and proudly told me, "Its fixed."  And just like that... Brian had once again surprised me and did what needed to be done.  I love him.

The other night, Brian found out that he has won Senior NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) of the Year at the 9th Air Force level.  Wow!  For a man who doesn't like drama (and attention) brought his way, he has now found himself in a very high visibility position which will surely catch the eye of those leaders at the Command level.  For the annual winners, they will be enjoying a week of work/celebration at Moody AFB in early March culminating with a formal banquet (think black tie affair but with their fancy uniforms).  I just bought my first ever formal maternity dress (very excited) and I'm ready for the big celebration when I will meet Brian up there to enjoy his honor with him.  Pictures will certainly be forthcoming then.

I felt like bragging on him tonight... hense the long blog.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Beautiful day on the Coast (with Jake)

For a cousin who is plenty used to cold and snow in NJ, Jake has been treated to some pretty gorgeous weather all week.  Today we met up at the soundside on the beach and had a blast playing in the sand and the water!  The pictures speak for themselves (mostly)!

 Was only interested in sand & the snacks.
She actually looks like she is a bathing beauty here.

 It wasn't more than 2 minutes before Thomas was IN the water.
FYI... water temps were no more than 65 degrees.

 Perfectly content onshore.
 Busy boy #1
 Busy boy #2
 Checking out the shells & also the small jellyfish

 Still content with her shovels and sand - onshore.

 ... but eventually, Abby wanted in on all the water action just like the boys.  After the initial fun, Abby realized that she was cold and wanted OUT!
Don't worry baby girl... in the summer months the water will be 90 degrees and you won't want to come out.
A family beach photo thanks to Grannie!

Cousin Day

Thomas & Abbigail's cousin, Jake, is in town this week from NJ visiting Grannie & Grandpop .  On Wednesday night we all got to have dinner and then Thomas headed back to their house to have a sleep over followed by spending Thursday together.  It was definitely an all boy day (Jake is only 9 months older) and they had a great time together Grannie tells us!  As you can tell... they seemed to be two peas in a pod with whatever they were doing...
Watching movies
 Truck time in the garage
 Enjoying a big breakfast
 On Thursday, they all headed over to the Naval Aviation Museum and the boys had a blast!
 My favorite picture of the boys!
Here they are checking out the Blue Angels...
... a WWII plane 
 a naval fighter jet (although Thomas seems to be getting a really close look at the bombs?)
What a special treat for them to spend an entire day together.  It will probably be several years before they can hang out again given our move up to Alaska this summer, but given that they are both AF "brats" (Uncle Keith is also in the AF)... who knows where our families moves will each take us.
After nap time today, we are all heading over to the beach so hopefully the boys + Abbigail can have some quality time together today as well as Aunt Michelle & Uncle Brian.