Monday, May 30, 2011

Fish hatchery fun

For our first stop in Branson, we decided to check out the fish hatchery near the dam.  Abbie absolutely loved it and didn’t want to leave when it was time to go.
(Checking out the big trout with Grandpa.)
(I just love it when she actually leaves a hat on.  This one stayed on for a few minutes before I was carrying it.)IMG_3297
The highlight of this stop for Abbie was feeding the geese.  (I LOVE her face in the first picture!)  She wasn’t too sure and didn’t want to get too close, but she actually let them eat out of her hand once or twice and then talked about “Goose bite you” for the rest of the day.  If you’ve never fed a goose, it does feel kinda funny.
She didn’t want to leave the geese so she had to go back one more time to say goodbye to them.IMG_3314IMG_3325
(We went down by the river and she liked waving at the boat that went by.)IMG_3333
(Hitching a ride from Grandma.)IMG_3339
We decided to go back and get more food for the geese.  Abbie and I coaxed this one over and she liked throwing little tiny pieces of food at it.  She has surprisingly good aim for a 2 year old.
When we were done feeding the geese for the second time, we got back up by the fish pools just in time to watch them feed the trout!  It was pretty neat to see.  Abbie liked picking up all the tiny pieces of food that didn’t make it in to the pool and throwing it in for the fish.
I was bummed that I didn’t bring my big camera, but I’m happy with the way these pictures turned out on my little point and shoot.  Next time I’ll bring my big camera though.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Abbie’s 3rd swimming experience

Mark loves water.  Sometimes I think he’s part fish.  So obviously, when it comes to getting Abbie in water, that’s Mark’s job.  I prefer to sit on the sidelines and watch.  However, when he’s on the other side of the world, and we’re at a hotel with a room that overlooks the pool, it becomes my job to take Abbie swimming.


She definitely takes after her daddy.  She hasn’t been swimming very often.  Her first swimming experience, which took place in Phoenix, AZ can be viewed HERE.  (She was 2.5 months old.)  Her second swimming experience was in Zurich, Switzerland and she was 13.5 months old.  And her third swimming experience was here in Hannibal, MO. 

I thought she’d be a little hesitant, but she really wasn’t at all.  At first she was like a little leech with her legs wrapped around me and her fists tightly grasping my swimming suit or hands.  But before long she was sitting on the wall and flopping herself into my arms in the water and asking to do it again.  She liked kicking her legs and splashing around. And she loved launching herself off the side of the pool.  She even did it standing up a few times.


I even got her to float on her back by herself for a few seconds.  She LOVED swimming in the “bathtub”, as she was calling it.  I had a hard time getting her to go to bed because she just wanted to swim some more.


Hurry home, daddy.  This is definitely your job and your kiddo obviously loves the water as much as you do.

Friday, May 27, 2011

12 weeks and 2 years

Abbie and I had doctors appointments this week.  I had my 12 week OB appointment, which included my first ultrasound with this baby, and she had her 2 year well baby check up.
(10 weeks)10wkspg
I was a nervous wreck for a week or two leading up to my appointment.  I’d had at least 2 ultrasounds by 12 weeks with Abbie’s pregnancy since that’s the way my OB in Oklahoma did things.  I didn’t really like waiting until 12 weeks to see if everything was okay with the PP (nickname for baby #2).  I felt really pregnant until about 10 weeks.  I was already showing a bunch, I had a bunch of “stretching” feelings, and my stomach was rock hard.  Around 11 weeks, I’d stopped feeling those little pregnancy twinges, I could completely suck my stomach in and I just didn’t feel pregnant.  So I was beyond nervous that this u/s was going to bring bad news.  Thank God, it didn’t.
As soon as she turned the camera on, the PP started bucking around in there, kicking its legs and flailing it’s arms, so I was immediately relieved.  She printed out bunches of pictures for us, and even printed out duplicates so I could send Mark copies of them.  She gave me 3 of one of them, so I gave Abbie a copy of one, and she’s been hauling it around pointing to the baby saying “baby in mommy’s belly”.  Today she lifted up my shirt because she wanted to see the baby in my belly.  Haha!  She’s pretty cute.  She’s also saying “baby in Abbie’s belly”.  Let’s hope not!
Anyway, everything looked fine.  It’s heart rate was 171bpm, which she said was good.  My next appointment is in 4 weeks, and my next ultrasound is at 20 weeks.
Today Abbie had her 2 year appointment.  She’s 29.6lbs (80%), just over 36” long (over 90%) and her head circumference was 45cm (75%).  So she’s rather large for her age, but she always has been.  They asked if she was still using a bottle and I told them she was and they didn’t even say anything about it, which surprised me.  I’m not concerned about her using a bottle, because I know it’s her comfort item, but I thought they might be.  She uses a normal cup just fine, but she still likes her bottles of milk at times.  One of the questions I had to answer was if she was saying at least 50 words.  I had to laugh a little because my little motor mouth says at least 500 words.  Her favorite sentence right now is “I want just a little bit more.”
Now that our appointments are over, I know I’m a little more relaxed.  I definitely slept better last night than I have in a long time, but that might have been attributed to the fact that it was actually cool, so I wasn’t roasting to death.  =)

Friday Fill-in

  1. Do you think civilians, in general, understand the meaning of Memorial Day?   Yeah, I do.  I think maybe once you’re involved with the military, you think about the sacrifices others have made a little more deeply, but I think there are many civilians that don’t take other’s sacrifices for granted also.
  2. What are your plans for the Memorial Day Weekend?  We are headed to Branson, MO for a week.  My parents are thinking of buying land near there and want to show it to me.
  3. What skill/talent do you wish you had? submitted by The 3 Turners  I wish I could sing really well, and I wish I wasn’t terrified of doing anything in front of a group of people.
  4. Which came first: the chicken or the egg? submitted by I Married Into The Army  Who cares?  I like to spend my time thinking about things that are a little more meaningful.
  5. What is the best thing about your post (base)? The worst? submitted by Randomly, Robyn  The people are the best thing for sure.  And the great travel opportunities.  The worst is the crazy ops tempo of the base, offset by the incredibly slow pace of everything Italian.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Abbie’s 2nd birthday party

Abbie had a blast at her 2nd birthday party.  We had about 15 people here, mostly my friends, some of which brought their kids, and family.  Abbie hasn’t been around kids much since we’ve been in the States and she LOVED having people around that were closer to her age to play with.
My friend, Michele, from college, brought her 4 month old with her from Madison.  Abbie was enamored with Otto, which gives me hope for the future.  She even wanted to hold him (with Rachel’s help)!
Abbie is very meticulous when she opens presents.  She doesn’t throw any paper on the floor and hands each individual little scrap to someone to hold on to for her.  She’s at the age where she’s excited to open presents now and it was fun to watch.
Next, it was time for cake!  Mark and I picked out a Tinkerbell cake for her since she likes Tinkerbell.  She loved when people sang Happy Birthday to her, and clapped at the end for everyone, and then she even blew out her candles all by herself.!
She thought about trying to use a fork for her cake for about .3 seconds.  Then she decided that was going to take way too long so she picked the whole thing up and went to town!  She was a big fan of the frosting (which was pretty good) and ate all of that first.
Lastly it was time for some sidewalk chalk fun on the driveway with her new friends.
(The little boy in this picture is 3 and the other girl is 5.  My little girl definitely takes after her daddy with her height!)
And one final group hug before her new friends left.
Thanks SO much to all my friends and family who came out and celebrated Abbie’s 2nd birthday with us!  We really appreciate it!  The only thing that would have made the day better is if Mark had been there.  Luckily he was able to “attend” via Skype for part of it.  Next year we’ll have a party when he is around!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


On May 6th, I had my first appointment with this pregnancy.  It was more of just an interview than a doctors appointment.  We sat in the midwife’s office and just talked about our family histories and Abbie’s birth.  I got to brag about Mark quite a bit and I showed her his picture on my iPhone and she said “Oh!  And he’s really good looking too.”  Haha!  Yeah, he’s hot.  I’m lucky.  That was the best part of the appointment.

My first “real” appointment is May 25th, when I get to have an ultrasound.  I’m excited, but very nervous about that.  If something isn’t right, that’s when I’ll find out and I’ve had too many friends have miscarriages to be completely confident that everything will be fine.  My mom wants to go with me for the ultrasound, but honestly, I don’t want her, or anyone else, there.  I feel like this is Mark’s and my baby, and if he can’t be there with me, then I don’t want to share it with anyone else.  Maybe that’s selfish of me, but that’s just how I feel right now.

I’m 9 weeks pregnant now, and for the last 3 weeks I’ve felt pretty nauseous at times.  Usually from about 4pm-7pm I just feel kinda icky.  I’ve never come close to throwing up or anything, I just feel gross.  Usually I could eat something and I’d feel better, and I’ve noticed in the last week I’ve not been having any nausea.  I’ve been REALLY tired for the past month and I often take a nap when Abbie takes her naps.  I’ve gotten a few minor headaches, but NOTHING like the terrible migraines I got for weeks when I was pregnant with Abbie.  I’m already starting to show and the top of my stomach gets really hard at times.  I’ve been kinda crampy and achy, but nothing too terrible.

At times it doesn’t seem like I’m pregnant.  Most of the time it doesn’t seem like I’m pregnant.  Mainly because my husband isn’t around to share the excitement with.  I’m sure as I get bigger, and we get closer to him getting home, things will start to feel different but for now, it’s all pretty surreal.

Written 5/12/11

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Getting to know you


1. what's your favorite rainy day activity?  Snuggling up on the couch and reading a good book or watching a movie, preferably with Mark.

2. what time do you go to bed?  I’m usually in bed by 11pm, but sometimes I don’t fall asleep until much later.

3. how many magazines do you subscribe to?  Probably 4-5.

4. did you sell all your belongings because you thought the world was ending yesterday?  Honestly the only reason I knew that was predicted to happen is because a bunch of my friends posted stuff about it on FB.

5. what's your beauty obssesion?  I don’t really have any beauty obsessions.  I’m perfectly fine leaving the house without make-up on.

6. if you could only wear one designer/brand for the rest of your life...what would it be?  Probably The Limited or Express.

7. what's your summer must have?  Sweet tea or pink lemonade, but I could drink those any time of year really.  They’re just extra good in the summer.

8. do you make weekly dinner menus?  I’m not currently, but I have in the past.  I would make them a month at a time.  I loved doing it and if I don’t do it, we tend to eat the same thing multiple times a month.

Friday, May 20, 2011

To Abbie, from daddy

(This was written by my husband.)
Happy Birthday Abbigale,
I can’t believe you are already 2 years old. I remember taking you home from the hospital four days after you were born. I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous driving. You looked so tiny all curled up in that car seat. You had no control over your little arms and legs, or anything for that matter, but you did manage to look at me with those big blue eyes…and I was smitten.
As soon as you were born your big personality came blaring out in the form of many incredibly loud screams that even the delivery nurses were impressed with. I remember briefly thinking, “hmmm, she’s kind of spunky”…I had no idea.
I started work the next day and it was tough keeping my mind on my job. I was always wondering what you were doing at home. It didn’t matter how bad work was at the time, as soon as I got in the car to come home and see you, I was instantly happy. I forgot my frustrations and worries and couldn’t wait to get home to hold you. You’re growing up so fast. What amazes me so much about you is you’re determination. When you first started crawling no terrain was too much for you. You’re biggest obstacle was stairs and of course that’s the first place you wanted to go. I have spent many hours standing over you as you tried to tackle those stairs. That didn’t change when you started walking, it just became a whole new challenge that you didn’t shy from.
Now a days you’re learning to talk. I love watching your facial expressions when Mom and I are talking to you. I can see those wheels turning and I know you’re filing away every word we say and connecting it with the situation. Even when we’re just talking amongst ourselves while you’re playing, you’re still monitoring those air waves, listening in. It amazes me how smart you are. I love that you can talk to me and tell me “I uuvv eww Daaadddeeeee” or “Good morning Daaaddeee”.
I also love when I’m carrying you and you put your little hand on the back of my neck; there are really no words to describe how I feel at that time. When you were one year old, while I was holding you, you would grab both my ears with your hands and then pull my face toward you and try to suck on my schnauz. When you started getting teeth that got more painful, but I still thought it was adorable and there was no way I was going to stop you from doing it no matter how much my eyes began to water.
You’re just an amazing little girl and if I could spend all my time with you I would. I know you probably get tired of me smothering you but I’ve never known anything to be so sweet. You’re just naturally a friendly gentle (except when you’re tackling the dogs) little girl and I just love to be around you. I hope you have a great 2nd Birthday with your Mom and Grandparents, and I hope you can understand that wish I could be there with all my heart. I love you so much and I miss you more than anything.
Your Daddy
20 May 2011 (from Afghanistan)

Friday Fill-in

  1. What is one of the things you always do special when your husband returns from a deployment?  submitted by Keep Calm and Soldier On  I guess we don’t really have one of those traditions yet.  I love to meet him at the jet when he gets home and get Abbie and I dressed up.  When he gets home from this deployment, we’ll have to start some sort of tradition.  Maybe we’ll make me being normal sized (aka - very newly pregnant) when he leaves and HUGE (aka – close to 8 months pregnant) when he gets back a tradition!  =)  (I almost put aka – not pregnant for that first one, but then I realized that doesn’t exactly sound good.  I was most definitely pregnant BEFORE he left!!)
  2. What do you do to help your spouse and/or yourself re-adjust after a deployment or long separation?  submitted by Diapers, Dogs and Deployments  The longest separation we’ve been through so far has been 7 weeks, so him getting home from being gone for 6-7 months is a new thing for us.  I’m not sure what either of us will have to do to re-adjust to life together, but I’m anxious to find out!
  3. Are you a crazy coupon clipper (I’m becoming one, so share your secrets with me)?  submitted by Married My Airman  Can’t help you there.  I don’t have any secrets because I’m not a crazy coupon clipper.
  4. What’s your most treasured memory of you and your spouse (not counting your wedding – that’s a given)? submitted by Scrubs, ACUs and One Crazy Ride  Hmm…  I have a lot.  I seem to remember the days before we were even dating (but I was calling him my pretend boyfriend) very vividly.  Sitting in class next to him.  Working out with him.  Studying with him.  Going to bars with him.  I also loved our 3 week trip around Europe in 2008 and have lots of memories from that.  And I will NEVER forget the first time he held our daughter.  The look in his eyes and the smile on his face, it was pure joy and fascination.
  5. If you could live anywhere overseas, what would you pick and why? submitted by Little Moments Like This  London!!  I would love to live in England!