Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Still waiting…

This suspense of finding out where we’re going next is seriously enough to drive me nuts.  I hate it.  And of course, now half his class wants to go to Germany or Italy so our odds of getting our first or second choices is going down considerably.  Grrr…  I just hope it works out for all of them and none of them end up with less than their 3rd choice.  We’ll see what happens.  I have no clue when they’re going to get together and decide because they’re flying nights this week (and next).  So half of them come in at 8am and fly around noon and half of them come in around 1pm and fly around 6pm or later.  Makes it very hard for all of them to get together.  *sighs*

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I took Abbie in for her last two 4 month shots today.  She got the Hib and the PCV shots done.  She let out one super big scream and the nurses commented on what a good set of lungs she has on her, and then she was done… until the same nurses did her weight and height check.  As soon as they got close to her again she was screaming again.  She catches on pretty quickly…  But with her onsie, socks and diaper on, she weighed 15lbs 11oz and she was just under 27inches.  In other words, she’s still super long and skinny (and SUPER cute, in my opinion).

IMG_4856 And while she is super cute, she’s still a terrible sleeper.  I have no clue what her deal is.  Some nights she’ll sleep for 10.5 hours and other nights she’s up every 2 hours.  There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to any of it.  I’ve tried letting her cry to see if she’ll go back to sleep and I can only handle about 5 mins of it because she usually doesn’t just cry, she’s all out screaming.  And as soon as you go in there, she stops.  Half the time you don’t even have to pick her up, as long as she sees you, she’s fine.  It’s incredibly frustrating to say the least.

Anyway, on to continue my waiting…  Wish me luck.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

The drop.

"The drop" is what us Air Force folks call the assignments that are given to the class to choose from. Assignments basically equal where we'll be going next. So here's the drop for Mark class.
2 to Spangdahlem, Germany
1 to Aviano, Italy
1 to Hill, UT
1 to Osan, South Korea
1 to Shaw, SC
1 to Kunsan, South Korea
(I have listed them in our order of preference.)

So now that the guys have their drop, they have to decide amongst themselves who's going where. They're going to try to "bro it out" as they call it, meaning just try to make everyone happy so they all get they're first or second choice without bringing an element of chance into it. If a few people all have one base as they're first choice and none of them are willing to bend then they have this formula to figure it out, where they all rank they're choices from 6 (being their first choice )and 0 (being their last), and then they roll dice and multiply what they rolled by the rank of their choices. Supposedly according to that they wouldn't get any lower than their 4th ranked choice. Since we have Germany as our first choice, Germany for us would be ranked 6 AND 5, since there are 2 spots to Germany. I hope they get it all figured out soon because this suspense is killing me.

It was a lot easier for me to deal with the "what if's" when we didn't know the drop. It was fun to dream about living in Europe, but I wasn't holding my breath for there to be any Spang or Aviano's in the drop. Now that we know there are THREE of them, it's tough for me to not get my hopes up really high. And it's very hard for me to not think about all the "what if's" 24/7. Mark and I have been discussing where we could possibly be going next a lot this weekend. I have a billion questions and have been doing some research, but I don't want to get too deep into it all, incase we don't end up getting Europe.

This would be a lot easier if we had a better idea of where everyone in his class wanted to go. There are 7 guys in his class. We know for sure that 1 of them really wants Kunsan, so we know we won't be going there. We know for sure 2 people REALLY want Hill, so we know we won't be going there. One guy in is class is a true blessing. He's saying that he just wants everyone to be happy and he'll take whatever's left over. That's almost unheard of and we're not sure what we did to deserve someone like him in Mark's class. So because Shaw is our 2nd to last choice, and we know for sure someone else is going to our last choice, Kunsan, we know we're not going to be going to Shaw either. One guy in his class has a wife who's also in the military, and they're trying to figure out where they can be stationed together, and I think they're looking closely at Osan. He had said before that they've already ruled out Germany, because her job can't transfer there. So unless she decides to get out of the military, I don't think they'll want Germany. So we're thinking that we have about a 90% chance of going to either Germany or Italy next, which is so excited and terrifying at the same time.

I don't know if it's related, but they got their drop before they left work out Friday. Ever since Saturday I've had a rash all over my face, ears, neck, and chest.... I can't figure out what's causing it. Hopefully not stress. =) But it burns and itches and is annoying and I hope it goes away soon.

My parents are super excited about the possibility of us going to Europe for the next 3 years. Mark's mom doesn't seem very excited about the prospect of her only grandchild leaving the country.

I'll keep you up to date. I'm praying to God that we'll know more by the end of this week. I'm not sure I can take this suspense much longer than that.

Until later, Wiedersehen!! (Goodbye in German)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Abbie Rose is FIVE months old!

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Our little pippers was 5 months old yesterday.  I just don’t know where the time has gone.  She’s growing up way too fast.  By next week she’ll be in size 2 diapers!

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Abbie is very close to sitting up by herself.  I think in the next few weeks she’ll have sitting up down.  She easily rolls over both ways now and when she’s on her tummy she gets her knees under her and acts like she’s trying to go somewhere but she can’t get her arms to cooperate quite yet.IMG_4520

So far she’s tried sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, green beans, peas, prunes (pictured left), and pears and she’s eaten them all without much fuss.  It took her a while to warm up to the carrots, but she eats them fine now.  I feed her oatmeal with prunes it in every morning and a veggie or fruit once later in the day also.

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She chews on her fingers all the time now…..

 

 

 

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And she plays with her ears constantly.

 

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She LOVES bouncing in her bouncer…..

Sadie is her best friend….

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and she’s the apple of her daddy’s eye.

 

 

We are completely in love with our little girl.

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Cheese is funny!

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I had just taken a bag of shredded mozzerella out of the freezer and I was throwing in on the floor to break it up since it was one solid lump. Apparently Abbie found this highly amusing. =)

Please forgive the shaky-ness of the video. I was trying to record her with one hand, and pick up and drop the cheese with the other hand and I was laughing the whole time so it was hard to keep in steady. Hope you enjoy it!

(Don't think this will show up in email. Go to our blog directly to see it. www.adventuresofm-squared.blogspot.com)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mortality

So the F-16 mishap that I posted about earlier this week didn’t have a happy ending.  They never found the other jet or pilot.  They said because the location signal in the jet never went off, that means the pilot probably never ejected from the cockpit and since it happened over the ocean, everyone is assuming he didn’t make it.  He left behind a wife, 15 month old daughter and a baby due in February.  I just cannot fathom what that poor woman is going through right now and my heart absolutely breaks for her.  This just hits so close to home because that could have been Mark and I could be in her shoes right now.  I ask Mark everyday if he’s SURE he doesn’t want to become an accountant.  But in all seriousness, hearing about accidents like that, especially in the F-16 community, scares me to death.  None of us are immortal.  Nothing in life is an absolute.  Here today, gone tomorrow could easily happen to any of us.  It’s so scary, but it’s a reality. 

There have been two other deaths in the AF family recently too, both of them wives of pilots.  One was a few weeks ago, a woman died less than 2 weeks after giving birth, possibly because of eclampsia, but I’m not sure.  The other was this past weekend, also after the woman gave birth, of bleeding complications.  I don’t know either of these women, and I didn’t know the pilot that died or his family, but I see people around me grieving because many of the people in our squadron did know them personally.

Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in all the negatives, no matter how trivial they are.  I guess these are all just reminders to never take anything for granted and to live in the moment.  And to thank God every day for all the blessings in my life.

Mark's crazy

of course Mark doesn't smile.. turd

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Worries of a new mom

IMG_9616I am scared to death that Abbie is going to get the flu (particularly H1N1) this year. Babies can’t get the flu vaccine until they’re at least 6 months old anyway, and we still have a month until then, but I’m not sure I want her getting the flu shot then anyway. I definitely don’t want her to get the swine flu shot because it’s just too new in my opinion and no one knows the long term affects of it yet. I don’t want to subject her to something that isn't tested and proven long term. I think I am going to get the flu shot once it’s available and hopefully I’ll pass some of the antibodies to her through breast milk. What are you other mom’s doing or what are your thoughts on the flu vaccines?

I am worried that we’re going to be exposed to lots of germs on our plane ride to Denver for my cousin’s wedding in two weeks. I’m sure there will be lots of family holding her then, which means she has a much higher chance of getting sick than when it’s just Mark and me holding her all the time. I’m worried when his family comes here in December that it’s going to be right in the heart of flu season and again, she’ll be in frequent contact with five more people than she normally is. A warning to our families – if I’m totally anal about you all using hand sanitizer before you touch her and as soon as you come into the house and every 10 mins when we’re out and about, please don’t take it personally. It’s nothing against you, I’m just trying to protect my baby. Mark and I use hand sanitizer like it’s going out of style right now. We’ve gone through half of a large bottle of it already this month. I read somewhere (in a magazine I think) that washing your hands 10+ times a day is more effective in fighting off the flu than getting the flu shot. I think we probably use hand sanitizer and wash our hands over 30 times a day at least… Better safe than sorry.

I just printed off more pictures of Abbie over the weekend and put them in her album. (We’re on our 4th album of pictures of her…) I was looking back at her first album and I just sat there and cried. My baby is getting so big! She’s not anything like she was 5 months ago! See for yourself…

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In all honesty, this is the picture that made me cry. This is when we were taking her home from the hospital.IMG_5351

Now her feet hang off the end of her car seat when she straightens them and I’ve moved that piece behind her head up to the highest spot. Now she’s big enough to ride in her stroller.IMG_9722

It truly seems like this moment was just yesterday.IMG_5102 She’s going to be all grown up before we know it!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Casualty Brief

Today I attended a casualty brief with Mark at his squadron.  It was all about how they handle it if something ever happened to him.  What happens in the squadron, what the commander does, how they tell you, what you'd receive from the Air Force as far as support and money, etc.  It was pretty sobering, to say the least.  My #1 fear in life is something happening to Mark.  I'm a worrier by nature (thanks mom) and if Mark is home later than I think he should be,particularly if I know he's flying that day, I start to worry.  I go as far as thinking about what I'll tell Abbie about him when she gets older, how I'll tell his family, if I'll move home, etc.  It's bad.  I've gotten a lot better about it in recent years, but I still worry more than your average Joe, I think.  Having him fly jets doesn't help at all.  I think I'd worry a lot less if he had a "normal" job, but a bad day for him at work could be a REALLY bad day.  Mark's commander said in the brief that in his 19 years in the AF, he's had more friends die than he can count, and quite honestly, that scares the crap out of me.

Even more, there was a Viper (F-16) mishap yesterday at Shaw AFB in SC.  Two jets collided mid-air while doing practice exercises at night, so they were wearing NVG's (night vision goggles).  (Did I mention that for the next 4 weeks this is exactly what Mark's going to be doing - flying at night with NVG's?  .....)  One of the jets landed safely, they still aren't sure what happened to the other jet or pilot.  (They were flying 40 miles off the coast of SC.)  The missing pilot is a captain (same rank as Mark) and he is married with a young child and a baby on the way.  It seems like most of the F-16 mishaps in the past few years have had a pilot involved who has either young children or a baby on the way.

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I'm still not sure how I'm going to make it through a deployment with the way I worry.  Although talking with the commanders wife today, she said most accidents happen during training exercises, not during war.  She also said that any day your husband comes home at night is a good day.  I guess that's true for anyone, but I guess it's particularly true for those of us whose husband's jobs put them in danger every day.  I try to keep my worrying in check, but it is a constant effort for me and on more than one occasion I've called my mom so she can tell me to quit worrying.  (But more often than not, I get her all worried and then neither one of us sleeps until we know Mark is safe.  I was worried about Mark a few weeks ago since he was like 2 hours late and I had called my mom to 'vent' to her.  She told me to call her as soon as I'd heard from Mark, so I called her when he got home, even though it was after 11pm in my parents time zone.  While I was on the phone with my mom, I heard my dad say in the background "Tell Mark his mother-in-law can sleep now that he's home safe."  See?  I come by it naturally.)

I guess I just have to trust that God will protect my husband from danger while he's up there flying those crazy jets.  I'm so proud of him and it is such a cool job for him to have, I just wish that I didn't worry about him so much.  But I love him more than anything else, so naturally I worry about him more than anything else.

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Please pray for the missing pilot and his family.  I truly hope that that turns into a happy ending for those involved, but the outlook sure doesn't look good right now.  But God is great and miracles do happen.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sedona

I had about 10 more pictures I wanted to put on here, but blogger, once again, isn't letting me and I've gotten an error 3 times so I'm giving up. Grrr...

Anyway, Mark and I went to Sedona this past weekend for 3 days. Sedona is GORGEOUS and we had a really good time. We left Saturday afternoon and stopped by Montezuma's Castle, which is a national monument with buildings built by indians into the side of a cliff. (Couldn't get the pics to upload, sorry.) It was neat to see.

When we got to Sedona, we checked in to our hotel (La Quinta) and then decided to go check out Bell Rock (again, pics wouldn't upload). Sedona is supposedly surrounded by 4 vortex's (energy fields) and one of them is on Bell Rock, so Mark was interested in seeing if he could feel anything at the vortex. (We didn't.)

Here's a picture of us by Bell Rock. The ledge that is just above Mark's head is the one that we hiked up to, which probably wasn't one of the smartest things we've ever done with the weina dogs in tow and the baby strapped on. Parts of it were STEEP, and you literally had to climb, but the weinas made it up with just a little help and Mark did fine with Abbie strapped on, although I had nightmares about him falling and them both getting hurt that night. The rest of the trip, if it started getting steep on trails, we turned around.


We tried to go on 2 hikes on Sunday, but we didn't make it to the end of the trail on either of them. The weinas just aren't built for hiking and I think they were having flashbacks of when we took them on what we refer to now as the "Oklahoma death march" (when we took them on a hike in OK that was really steep and a lot of work for their little legs). Someday we'll go back with my parents (who have a timeshare there) and leave the kids and dogs with them and go for a hike.

Here's a picture of Abbie and me by the Chapel in the Rock. It was a really pretty view from up there.

This is Abbie and me ready to go on our 3rd attempt at a hike to Devil's Bridge. However, the trail started to get really steep so we only made it about halfway before we turned around.

In order to get to the Devil's Bridge trailhead, we had to drive on this road, which was by FAR the bumpiest road I've ever been on. It was crazy bumpy, and it didn't help that we need new front struts on our Explorer, along with brake pads and rotors all around. They do lots of Jeep tours in Sedona and the Jeeps where all over this road. That looked like fun, but I was fairly certain one of our axels was going to be left on that road. We were only on it for a mile, but it felt like we'd been on it for at least 5 miles. Abbie fell asleep on the way in and on the way out.

Here's another picture of Mark and Abbie by Bell Rock.

This is us at the top of Bell Rock. (Well not at the top of it, but as far up as we went.) The views from up there were AMAZING!

More views from the top of Bell Rock.

Mark ended up carrying Ollie for part of our last night. That poor guy just isn't built for rough terrain like that, but he did really well keeping up with us for most of the way. Oh, and that cliff behind Mark - there were 5 people climbing UP it.... Completely insane if you ask me...

The weinas infront of Bell Rock.

So we took like 600 pictures, but they apparently don't want to be put on the blog. I'll try to post them on facebook soon.
The town of Sedona was kinda neat too and the people all seemed really friendly. Everyone thought Abbie was a boy though. They'd go on and on about how "cute he is", etc and then they'd ask "his" name. When we'd tell them her name it was funny to watch them back pedal. That happened at least 3 times, even though she was dressed in pink and purple. And people also feel the need to tell us which weina dog they like the best. Invariably people will say they really like one or the other of them when they meet them, which is kinda funny.
Overall it was a great weekend, even though Abbie didn't sleep well at all while we were up there, but I guess she hasn't been sleeping here either. That's a whole other blog though. Check my facebook for the rest of the pictures, or if you're not on facebook and want me to email you the link to them, just ask!









Monday, October 5, 2009

Abbie's Cute Laugh

So we have tried for weeks now to find the sound that Abbie thinks is funny, and tonight we finally found it. I'm going out on a limb here and saying this is the cutest laugh I've ever heard.

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graduation attire

I finally picked out a dress to wear to Mark's graduation and my cousins wedding next month. The link below is the dress. It should be in in about 2 weeks. I'm excited! (I can't get the picture to copy in this, which is why I'm just putting the link.)


I splurged and got some fancy shoes. I think this is the most I've ever spent on dressy shoes, but I thought they were cute and they fit well and were as comfortable as shoes with this high of heel could be. Here are the shoes. I wanted to get a little shawl/cardigan type thing to wear with the dress. My friend Gail found the perfect one for me while we were at Dillard's and ask I was going to check out, the cashier said she thought they were in the process of marking them down. So instead of it being $29, it ended up being $8.70! I wish that happened every time I went shopping.
So I had the dress, cardigan and shoes and we headed over to Target where I found some nice earrings and a bracelet to go with it. So I think my outfit is complete! I'm excited.
Abbie was a really good girl while we were shopping. She LOVES being carried around where she can see everything and she's getting to the point where she reaches out to grab EVERYTHING. So we'd be walking through the dresses and she'd randomly grab on to them as we walked by. Kinda funny. I got her some cute things at Target too. I can't resist buying her clothes when I'm in those places, especially if they're on sale. I'm trying to get her warmer clothes now too since it's FINALLY cooling off here. (I love it! It's been in the low 80's lately which is so perfect.) Anyway, I got her a little onsie that says "daddy loves me", which is completely beyond true. She has that man wrapped around her pinky and he absolutely adores our baby. It's too cute and it makes me fall in love with him even more every time I see him with her.
Anyway, just wanted to share my finds with you! I'm so excited about them. Off to try carrots with Abbie again. Maybe she'll like them this time. =)



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Abbie update


Not a whole lot is going on here. I feel like I don't really have a whole lot to report. Abbie is on to sweet potatoes now as far as foods go. Every time we give them to her she gets a really funny look on her face at first, and then she decides she likes them again and then she can't get enough of them. You can't shovel them in to her mouth fast enough! And she makes "mmmm" noises the entire time she's eating with a few grins in between bites. So it's pretty obvious that she likes them. We got it on video so I'll have Mark put the video up soon. I think we're going to try squash or carrots next. She's also discovered her tongue and her feet. She sticks her tongue out all the time now and she's grabbing at her feet quite a bit. She's pretty good at sitting up can sit up just holding on to your fingers for a pretty decent amount of time. Her sleeping habits are still completely hit or miss, which drives me batty. One night she'll sleep 8+ hours straight and the next night she's up 3 times. I really don't know what causes the variation at all. For a while there she was taking like 3-4 20 min naps per day and that was it. That was exhausting but she seems to be taking longer naps now.
Mark is only flying twice this week, which has only happened a handful of times since he's been in this training. They had no fly days Tuesday and Wednesday and he was supposed to have Wednesday off completely except one of the other squadrons decided to pull a prank on them and put a ton of sand in Mark's squadron. So he and his classmates spent like 3 hours cleaning up almost 9000lbs of sand on his day off. I can't wait until he's not "low man on the totum pole" so he doesn't have to deal with stupid stuff like that anymore.
I've been thinking about what I want to wear to Mark's graduation lately. He's going to wear his mess dress (formal uniform) so I need to wear something formal too. I don't think I want to go with a long gown again though. I think I want a shorter dress that I can wear to his graduation and to my cousin's wedding next month. Hopefully I'll even be able to go to his graduation. If we can't find a sitter for Abbie I won't be able to go. We only have like 2 couple's we know here that aren't in Mark's squadron (everyone in his squadron will be at the graduation) and if neither of them can watch her, I'm not leaving her with a stranger so I'll probably end up staying home with her. Hopefully we can find someone to watch her for that night though.
Well Abbie's "calling". Better go get her. =)