Monday, December 31, 2007

Traveling with Kiddos

We made the drive from Columbus to Florida, as it has become a tradition with my husband's family to visit Disney after Christmas the last 3 years. Its a bit different this year of course, because he isn't here with us, but everyone thought it would be a good idea to do it anyways since the kids look forward to it so much.

And who is going to complain about spending a week in Florida swimming at the pool and spending a day at the Magic Kingdom and Disney Quest??

Not me.

So, here are the kids in the car. They proved once again that they are actually the best kids in the entire world. Hannah slept at her nap times, just like at home. One of her naps was cut short by Jude yelling. Just like at home. And the boys basically entertained themselves and kept the whining to a minimum. Eden read and Jude played VSMILE and sometimes they even played with their toys......TOGETHER!

Uncle Thomas drove the whole way. Thats right. The whole way. I think maybe part of it was he knew the baby was less likely to cry if I sat with her when she was awake. Which was true. Still, I really appreciated it.

When we stopped at a random gas station for snacks and potty breaks, we got some funny looks. I do tend to get these looks anyways, but Uncle Thomas is a few years younger then me and clearly people thought we were "Mom and Dad". Except for that to be true he would've had Eden at 12....... Anyways, he found the looks mildly amusing. I call it the "Teenage Parent Stare", and I've been getting it for 8 years so I don't tend to pay attention to it anymore.

The middle picture is Hannah chewing on her Daddy's sweatshirt that he left for me. She was using it as a blanket and to attempt to floss apparently.

This last picture is the boys being super good. Super, SUPER good. And I love them.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Round and Round we go

My Dad took this picture. We are sitting in an IHOP, not far from my house. Its the morning that Dean left to go back to Ft. Riley. When he sent me the photo today I was suprised. I don't look nearly as miserable as I was feeling. And look at Hannah.....she has such a great smile! Shes still in her PJs I didn't even have the presence of mind to get her dressed before taking her out. So I guess I wasnt that with it after all. Still, that seems like it was ages ago.....but its been just a little over a week. One week. 10 days if you want to be more exact. If I did math, I would figure out the hours and minutes. I'm just not that in to math. And besides, the point is, it hasn't been long enough.

Today none of us got dressed. We alll stayed in our PJs and played video games and took naps and watched TV and took turns helping Hannah push her highchair around the house. Its what she does. Round and round from kitchen to hallway to bedroom to hallway to kitchen......round and round. Its really very fun. For her mostly. Doing laps at times is the only thing that will make her happy. I think when she pushes the highchair instead of holding my hand she thinks shes really walking. I follow her around, gently trying to guide the chair away from the walls and furniture. Frequently our cat Patches will come along for the ride, holding on to a leg of the chair with her two front paws and allowing herself to be dragged around the house. Hannah thinks this is hysterical and tries to tromp on the cats head. Sometimes she succeeds and the cat lets go of the chair for a few seconds. Then tries a different chair leg. Oddly enough, she gets the same result.

I've got to get a video of it, but that could prove challenging since both my hands are occupied guiding the chair.

And round and round we go.
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Thursday, December 27, 2007


Basically sucked. So if anyone has any good news or happy thoughts to send my way, please do. Cause I need it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Donuts, Please!

My baby girl loves Donuts. She loves them so much in fact that she would not allow me to help her eat this one. She would not allow me to take it and turn it over so she could get the chocolate part easier either. She insisted on twisting her hand all crazy and tilting her head all funny trying to get that darn upside-down-chocolate part!!

The thing that is so awesome about her though is she wants to do everything HER SELF. There is no helping unless it is absolutely required. Otherwise shes all "I've got it covered, Mom, quit bothering me!"

And I thought I would have to wait till she was a teenager to deal with the attitude.....Lucky Me :)

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas in Kabul

In case anyone was wondering, this is what Christmas looks like in Afghanistan! Here is my sweet husband, with his paper Christmas tree. It was his Mom's idea, and the boys decorated it with little sticker ornaments. Then everyone in his family and me and the kids each wrote him a letter to open on Christmas and wrapped them up like little gifts. It really is just so cute!! He said all the guys thought it was neat, and wanted him to open his presents early, but he would not. It brought a little bit fo Christmas cheer to their otherwise kind or dark and crowded tent. And he loved the letters, of course.

It doesn't feel like Christmas to me today. We opened a couple of presents here at my Dad's, and there is a tree and we are having a big Christmas dinner.....but for me Christmas came and went on December 15th, when Dean was here and we celebrated as a family.

Because thats what Christmas is really about. Not to be all mushy or whatever, but it really doesn't matter the exact day of the year, its that feeling we had all being together.

I did talk to the boys this morning. They are having a grand 2nd Christmas at Daniel's, which is wonderful because I really don't have much Christmas cheer today. I love that they are happy, that they have two homes where they can feel so loved and cherished and whole. We have decided to stop "splitting" Christmas day, where the kids spent Christmas Eve and morning one place and then had to go to the other house in theafternoon. It just made it no fun for anyone, all the stress of going back and forth and having no time to really enjoy their new toys or feel like they are rushed into spending time with all the various family members. This year they sound so much more relaxed, fully engrossed in their new gifts and gadgets.

Dean is already sleeping, his Christmas Day has ended, and ours is barely half way over. Time zones are weird.

Merry Christmas Everyone.
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Sunday, December 23, 2007


So, It turns out that the more I try to be "distracted" from my new reality the more in my face it becomes. The more I try not to think about it, the more I think about it. The only exception to this so far has been a 2 hour time period where I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe as I watched "The Birdcage". I completely forgot to be sad or stressed or lonely, and it was awesome.

On the other hand I realized today that not even a week has passed. How is that even possible? Its been like at LEAST 2 months in my mind! Come on time, catch up!!

Today someone made me feel guilty. A complete stranger no less. Its weird how people can say things when they "mean well" that can have to complete opposite effect of what they were intending. For instance, I believe this man was trying to comfort me, to make me feel better, to give me so advice he obviously thought I needed. The thing is, I don't recall asking for his advice. I don't want to feel guilty for wanting to talk to my husband, but here this person is going to tell me that talking to my husband may actually HARM him by causing him to be too "distracted" to do his job. That I should leave him alone and "let him focus so he can come home safe". The more I think about it the more angry it makes me. So maybe I will try and stop thinking about it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

This could Cheer Anyone up!

So, I find myself in need of some cheering up today. Looking at this picture of my kids I dare you to try not to smile.

See? You can't do it either!!

I was up very late last night, then didn't actually sleep much even when I went to bed. Something about knowing it was Dean's last day in the same country as me kept me awake.... I did get to talk to him around 1:30 this morning and then again when he was on the bus to the airport. They were running late so once they got there they had to just get right on the plane. He was hoping to call one more time, but could only send a quick text message before they had them all shut their phones off. Even with all the preparation, and all the anticipation of this moment, it still felt shocking and painful. I've called his phone a few times since, just to hear him on his voicemail message. I can't help it.

I was originally planning on spending the day in my pajamas at home with the baby (boys are at their dads)periodically crying off and on. After a couple of hours I didn't feel any better and had instead acquired an incredibly bad headache. So, change in plans. Hannah and I got dressed and went out. I thought we would just wander around Target and get some lunch, forgetting that the whole rest of the world would be wandering around Target trying to finish their Christmas shopping. We didn't stay long.

Hannah and I went to Panera Bread for lunch. I just have to say, people love Hannah. Everywhere I go they talk to her and tell me shes so "cute" and "tiny" and "precious" and "My goodness she has such dark eyes!", just in case I hadn't noticed these things before I guess. She usually acts shy and hides her head in my shoulder but she smiles because she loves the attention. Today though a couple sat near us and she kept reaching her arms out and shouting at them, and showing them her food. Luckily they were grandparents who thought this behavior was adorable. The grandma was also very impressed to see my baby girl eating a Chicken Pomodoro Panini and Broccoli and Cheese soup. As tiny as she is, that girl can pack food away like nobodies business and she would prefer the real stuff thank you very much. None of this baby-food nonsense for my girl! This very often leaves me with not much to eat since whatever is on my plate is obviously the best food ever and she simply must have it.

I wasn't feeling too hungry anyways.

Now we are home, and she is napping. I would normally call Dean, but that's not an option. So, I guess I will just keep looking at funny pictures of my kids.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

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Day One

The Deployment has officially begun.

Watching him walk on to that plane was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

I still just feel absolutely sick to my stomach.

I love you, Dean.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hannah with a new toy, that sings Jingle Bells over and over....and over.....
The boys new video game chairs. The sound from the tv comes right out of the chairs!
Reading The Night Before Christmas
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Our Christmas

The tree before.....
The carnage after.....And with delicious cinnamon rolls!
The Cat in the Bag
More mess.
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Chirstmas came a bit early this year....

We celebrated Chirstmas with the kids this year on December 15th. Why? Because for some reason the government thinks my husband should be in Afghanistan for Christmas this year. We weren't about to let him miss out on all the holiday fun, so we just moved the holiday forward! Aren't we clever?

The kids had a blast, and I think they might want to celebrate early from now on. What kid wouldn't? Here are some pictures of the tree, the mess, and the kiddos with their stuff. Enjoy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dean's graduation
He really IS in there........somewhere!
Us. Cold.
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Home Again

Dean finished his training at Ft. Riley last week. I flew out Thursday and saw him graduate, or whatever they call it, on Friday. Then we got to drive alllllllll the way home! We drove a few hours on Friday night, and woke up Saturday to an ice storm in Missouri.

And here I thought I missed having "real" winters. It turns out thats not true. As we attempted to get from the front door of the hotel to the car, Dean demonstrated his "break dancing" skills on the ice. Which was hilarious. And neither one of us fell down. Which was miraculous.

So we drove. Ice collecting on the windshield and the wipers and the car antennae. The big roads were clear at least, so I only feared for my life a teeny tiny bit. I called my Dad (not while I was driving!) at one point and he said "Just head south and when you hit the beach hang a left!" Thanks Dad! Instead we stopped somewhere in inner city St. Louis to get gas and snacks. Because we are just that clueless.

We spent the second night in Tennessee, and it was warmer. We had dinner at a place where you throw peanut shells on the floor.....classy, right? Eddyville, Tennesee it turns out is one hip town. Our waitress said to us "Hey y'all, y'all been here before? Well, y'all sit down and y'all look at the menu and I'll talk y'alls' order in just a few minutes, Can I get y'all a drink while y'all are lookin'?" Annnnnnd we were back in the South.

Finally, on Sunday we made it back to Georgia. We picked up the boys and made it home around 8 P.M. It turns out its hot in Georgia, which is difficult for my brain to really understand since it is still trying to thaw out from the weekend.

Here are some pictures of us, and soliders, and stuff.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Now baby girl is ONE year old!!

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Here is Hannah with her very proud big brothers. They love her so much!

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November 30, 2006

Home from the hospital
Meeting the dog
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Time flies when you're having.....babies!

So.....yeah its been over a year since my last post. But thats ok cause not much has happened. Oh. Wait. Thats a lie.

Hannah Rebekah was born on November 30th, 2006 and has been the primary occupier of my time ever since. She is now just over one year old, which is amazing considering the fact that I feel at least 3 years older. But really, shes awesome and I will post some pictures so you can all bask in her wonerfullness. Don't expect any smiles though, because she hates cameras.

Eden is now 8 years old going on 25 and Jude is 5 years old going on 5 and a half. The thing I love the most about my kids is that they could not be more different. This means I have to constantly adapt my parenting style for whomever I am addressing at the time. This becomes complicated when all three of them are talking at once.

Eden is in the 3rd Grade. He is currently reading a book called "Eldest". I think it is about dragons since it is the sequel to "Eragon" which he already finished. These books are huge, and have many big words. He thoroughly enjoys them.

Jude is in Pre-K. He likes to draw turkeys, and he brings home a lollipop almost every day for being good. This makes me very proud, but also very confused. At home hes not all about following directions, but at school he is apparently the pillar of self-control. Go figure.

Hannah is a teeny tiny tater tot, as my friend Stasia would say. But she has a BIG personality inside that tiny body of hers and believe me she knows who is boss. Her. No question. She likes to take a bath, sometimes twice a day, mostly because she knows how to say the word "bath". She can also say Mama, Dada, Bru-buh (for brother) Uh-oh, ball, ba-ba (for bottle) and "Excuse me, please change my diaper because I have taken a poo."

Ok, so maybe not the last one. But she does raise her hands HIGH above her head when she is done eating to indicate she is "All done!" Which I think is pretty darn clever.

Dean is in Kansas, and I am going to Kansas tomorrow to see him! We will be driving his car home. He has been in Ft. Riley for over 2 months now, training for the MiT Team he is going on to Afghanistan. So, the next 12 months will be sadly Dean-less in our house. We are very much looking forward to 2009.

And here are some pictures of the last year of our lives.