Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dear Abbie


Dear Abbie,

This year has been quite a wild ride with you, that’s for sure.  There was more than one time that I wanted to jump off because I thought I couldn’t handle it you anymore, but we got through it.  Barely.  =)

I think I’ve learned more about myself during this past year with you than the prior 31 years combined.  You are a pretty much perfect reflection of my mood, and I’m learning more and more how what I do affects how you act.  However, you were in the PRIME of your “testing three’s” most of this year, and it didn’t matter how anyone treated you or what kind of mood we were in, you were bound and determined to be a handful, and that you were.  I have never encountered anything more infuriating, yet rewarding, in my entire life, and quite honestly, I doubt I ever will.  Your brother is getting some what of a little temper on him now, but he just doesn’t have the spunk that makes you you.  And while it was beyond exasperating at times, I wouldn’t trade you, or your spunk, for the world.  I wouldn’t want my daughter to be a little wall flower anyway.  I would want her to be kind, yet assertive, and I think that’s exactly what you’ll be.  It’s just a tad but aggravating when your three year old has more assertiveness than most 30 year olds.

These last few months though, you’ve really given us a glimpse of what we think the next year will hold for you.  I’ve read that four year olds have quite a bit more maturity than three year olds, and I can see that happening to you right before my eyes.  We can reason with you now and you are more inclined to try to make us happy instead of digging in your heels and demanding exactly what you want (which, by the way, never got you anything).  This past year of the testing and tantrums seems to be behind us and I am so excited about this coming year.

You are such a sweet little girl.  You know what you want and when you want it and exactly how you want it, but you also know what it means to be kind and to be a good person, and we can watch you have that good vs evil internal struggle with yourself when things aren’t going your way.  More often than not you’ll give way to your wants and do the right thing, and it’s a beautiful thing to see.  I am ever aware that I have you as my little shadow, watching and mimicking everything I say and do and that is a blessing and a curse, but more so a blessing.  I strive daily to be who I’d like you to become and to try to be a good role model for you and it’s good for me to have that kind of pressure.  Frankly, I think it’s good for anyone.  I hear you saying to your babies many things that I have said to you throughout the day which makes me realize that you really are listening to every word.

You are getting SO BIG and that makes me so sad.  I tell you multiple times a day that you need to stay little and you say “But I can’t Mommy.  I have to get big.”  I know you do, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  It literally seems like just yesterday they laid you on me for the first time and I got my first look at you with your pointy head and squinty eyes and now I look at you and it’s like it’s a different person.  I know I’m biased but I think you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen and the person you are becoming makes me think that even more.

Most days I’m just in awe that God chose me to be your mom, and I truly feel like you are one of the biggest blessings in my life.  I think the mother-daughter relationship can be a beautiful, unrivaled thing, and I hope and pray that ours continues to grow.  I am so lucky to get a front row seat to watching you and helping you become the amazing person I know you will be someday.  The sky really is the limit with you and I can’t wait to see the next year of your journey.

I love you, Abbie Rose!  Don’t ever forget that!


Your mommy



Thursday, May 23, 2013

Abbie’s 4th birthday party


We had Abbie’s party at our house and invited a bunch of her (our) friends over to celebrate while we grilled burgers.  I think we all had fun, although it’s a tad stressful having that many people over to your house and having food for all of them.


Abbie loves the pool and would spend every day all day in there if given half the chance.  So she LOVED having friends over to play in the water with her!


The dads hung around by the fence watching the kids most of the time and the moms hung out on the porch trying to stay somewhat cool in the 100 degree weather.


I still can’t believe she’s four.  And sometimes she looks even older than four to me.  Kids just grow up way too fast.


Benj happens to love cupcakes too!!  He was pointing and grunting at them as soon as he saw them!!


Abbie with her friends Maddy and Allison.


We opened presents after everyone left since the kids were having too much fun in the pool to be interrupted and then we opened more from family and friends on her actual birthday on Monday.




When you ask Ben to smile now, this is kind of what he does.  Pretty funny!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Abbie Rose is 4 years old!


Our little pippers isn’t so little anymore!  I don’t know where the past four years have gone.  Abbie is turning in to quite the little girl.  She, like most 4 year olds, is full of energy and spunk, but I think four is going to be a fun age with Abbie.


Abbie is43” tall and weighs between 38-39lbs, which still puts her above the 95% for height and around the 75% for weigh.  She’s in all size 5 clothes and wears size 11 shoes.  Sometimes she’ll nap for 2 hours a day, sometimes she’ll not nap for a few days in a row.  Naps are still up in the air.  She generally goes to bed around 8:30pm and is up around 8-9am, depending on if she has school that day or not.


Abbie LOVES school and is very social.  She loves to talk to just about anyone and is very much a leader among kids her own age.  It will be interesting to see how she does in the Montessori school this coming year where she will be in a room with kids ages 3-6.  She hasn’t had a whole lot of interest learning her letters, but I think she knows more letters and numbers than she lets on.  She can write her first name, and has been for quite a while, and lately she’s been talking about wanting to read.  I’m hoping she’ll pick that up at school this coming year, and we’ll be working with her on it at home too.


Abbie loves to eat mac and cheese, and would eat it every single meal if I let her.  She loves “chla-cat” which she now actually calls chocolate.  Makes me sad.  She uses pretty big words for a 4 year old and people are amazed that they can carry on the conversations they have with her.  She’s always been ahead of the curve verbally.  Hopefully that’ll continue throughout her life.  She loves to sing and I love teaching her new songs because she looks at you so intently and watches every move you make, and then she wants to sing it 30 times in a row and then she wants to do it by herself.  She loves playing in the pool and I would like to get her into swimming lessons, but the ones they have around here don’t really fit our schedule very well.  They’re all offered while we are gone, or while she’s in her preschool.  I might just try to teach her myself.  She’s also been asking about dance lessons, so I’m going to look into getting her into those again also.


Abbie is very much a “little mama”, whether she is with friends or with Ben.  She is always informing me or other parents of things – someone’s hungry, someone got hurt, etc.  She tries her best to keep everyone under her wing and we’re working on getting her to just be a friend instead of a 3rd parent.  But she loves her friends and she’s getting much better at sharing, unless it’s her little brother.  She loves looking at books and having us read to her, she’s getting more interested in dolls, she loves to paint or draw or color and she loves it when I paint her fingernails.  She is obsessed with gum and wants to have some so badly.  I told her when she’s completely potty trained (she has issues during naps and at night still), she can chew gum.


I think Abbie is FINALLY getting out of her terrible 2’s/3’s.  She’s maturing emotionally and not testing quite so many boundaries recently, which is making her a lot more fun.  She’s asks some pretty interesting questions and is getting to be much more agreeable with everything.  Her daddy is still her favorite person in the whole world and she loves Ollie to death and he doesn’t like her at all.  I am so torn between wanting her to stay little forever and being excited about what this next stage will bring!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Not much going on

We’ve been doing well lately, I just haven’t had anything super exciting to post about, which is why I haven’t lately.

Mark’s doing the I-course and he’s pretty busy with that, although this schedule is still better than Italy’s.  Apparently there are a lot of people deploying from Luke, so there’s a very real possibility that he could deploy again while we’re here, but we’ll cross that bridge if/when we get to it.  He’s currently sick and in bed, though.  No fun.

The kids are doing well.  Abbie just loves her school and has lots of fun there.  We enrolled her in the Montessori school for fall though, so she’ll be heading there in August.  We’re planning a trip to Disneyland for September and I’m hoping my parents will join us for that.  She wants to go swimming every single day and we’re going to put her in swimming lessons this year, which reminds me that I need to get her signed up for those.  And her 4th birthday party is this weekend and quite honestly, I completely forgot about it until Monday.  For some reason I was thinking I had another week before her party.  Time gets away from me here.

I’m still trying to get this house together.  I can’t decorate to save my life or find the motivation to actually do what I think of if I manage to think of something.  I know I’d love to print off a bunch of canvas photos that I’ve taken, but going through literally thousands of pictures isn’t fun and I just don’t have time to sit at the computer for hours going through them and then trying to narrow it down to like 5-10??  Right.  It’s going to take a while.

I want to get a Ninja Blender since my current blender doesn’t even blend ice cream for milk shakes without “help”, and I’ve heard great things about the Ninja.  I want to start making fruit smoothies for the kids and myself.  AZ has the perfect weather for smoothies.  We just upgraded our phones to the iPhone 5’s and we like them so far.  And I found a brand new lens on Craigslist that I REALLY want (the 24-105mm f/4L) for $400 off of what it would cost other places, but I’m just not sure if I want to take that money out of savings to get it.  It’s a great deal and I’m not sure I can pass it up, but I don’t know.  I need to start selling my saddle and horse stuff so I can get money for my hobbies that I’m currently doing.  I have an ad on Craigslist now, so hopefully I’ll get a bite or two on it soon.

That’s about it for now.  Life is good.  We’re enjoying AZ (although it’s 103 right now and that’s hot…) and we’re thankful for the opportunity to live here.



Saturday, May 11, 2013

Daddy/daughter date!


Abbie just loves watching me put on make-up and she is always asking me to put some on her.  I will pretend to put make-up on her with my brushes and then she’ll run and ask her daddy how she looks.  She loves it and it’s pretty cute.

I found this little compact of old make-up and I was going to throw it out, until Abbie saw it and decided that she wanted to play with it.  So I got her a few Q-tips and let her go to town and she had a ball.  The last picture doesn’t show it well but it pretty much looked like she got beat up since she had pink, purple and blue eye shadow all over her face.  And there’s a nice shot on the bottom of the 2 places she decided to cut her own bangs…  Ugh.  I don’t understand what kids fascination with scissors and their own hair is.  Hopefully she won’t do it again!



Abbie’s school and a daddy spaghetti dinner night so Abbie got all dressed up to go on her date with her daddy.  (No, she didn’t wear any make-up, except for a tiny bit of shiny lip gloss.)  She was really excited about it and so was Mark, although from the sounds of it, over half of the students there have pilot dads, so all the dads hung out and talked while all the kids ran around.  Typical…  I just asked Abbie what her favorite part of daddy date night was and she said playing with all of her friends and daddy letting her eat 2 brownies.  I think we need to re-think the concept of this daddy date night thing.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ben at 17 months


Our little Ben is rapidly turning in to a little boy.  He definitely still has his baby qualities about it, but it seems as though every day he’s breaking out of the “baby” mold.


Ben is getting a lot better at communicating lately.  He now points all the time for what he wants and he’s added shaking and nodding his head, along with his pointing which is quite helpful.  He sometimes gets his “uh-huh’s” and “uh-uh’s” mixed up so you think he’s telling you no when he’s actually telling you yes.  He now barks every time he sees a dog and he LOVES dogs.  He wants to touch any and all that he sees.  He says “cookie” now, which is more like coo-kay.  It’s adorable.  I could listen to him say that all the time.  He says “Ah-boo” for Abbie also.


Speaking of Abbie, they have a love-hate relationship.  He LOVES to chase her around and try to copy everything she does.  Sometimes she loves it, sometimes she hates it.  She tends to view him as her little play puppet and he’s getting to the stage where he doesn’t always comply with what she wants him to do, so then she gets mad and so does he because she tries to make him do whatever she wants to do.  He loves to climb things and he’s much more brave about doing physical things that Abbie was at this age.  He’s pretty much running and loves to run away from you now and he climbs on everything.  He’s managed to get on the couch by himself a few times and then he likes to jump on the couch which drives me nuts.  He’s fallen off once, but apparently that wasn’t enough to stop him from doing it again.


He can point at his nose, eyes, ears, hair, belly, mouth, tongue, foot, fingers and we’re working on knees, elbows, armpits, cheeks, etc.  You can tell him to go get his shoes and he’ll go find them and plop down on the carpet so you can put them on him.  And he will also go lay down for diaper changes sometimes too.  He loves to dance and his version of dancing is usually doing some crazy low squats.  Pretty impressive for a little guy.

It seems like just yesterday Abbie was Ben’s age and now she’s a few weeks away from turning 4 years old!  Makes me nervous about how fast the next 15 years are going to go!!

Ben at 17 months (top).  Abbie at 17 months (bottom).


Monday, May 6, 2013

The intimidating curtains

curtain stuff

A few weeks ago, I bought these things to make curtains for Abbie’s room.  Yes, I said weeks…  Her room is on the west side of the house, so in the afternoons (during nap time) her room gets pretty darn bright and hot, even with her blinds closed.  So I knew I needed to make curtains for her.

The white-ish fabric that you can barely see on the left is black out fabric.  The lady at the store told me to just buy tension rods and sew a loop at the top of the black out fabric and cut it to fit the window and you’re done.  So I bought the fabric, plus some extra to do that.  And then I decided that I wanted to be able to use her windows so I didn’t want to put black out fabric on tension rods behind her blinds because then we’d never use the windows.

So now I have the fabric to do it all, and I just don’t know where to start or exactly how to do it, which is why it’s been sitting here for weeks. I don’t have enough black out fabric to completely line the curtains, so I’m going to have to figure out how to strategically place the black out fabric on the back of the curtains so it covers the opening of the window.  Sounds easy enough, but it’s really hard to concentrate on how many inches need to go where when you have kids running around and have to stop and go find them every 2 minutes.  Maybe some people can plan and do math in their heads with distractions, but I’m not one of them.

I have started a little anyway.  I evened up the black out fabric and I cut 3 pieces of the curtain fabric to equal lengths.  And then I realized I didn’t have an iron so I stopped and ordered one, and it got here a few days ago.  I just haven’t gotten the courage to attempt to make them again.  I will soon though.

And the 2 fat quarters on the top are for pillows I’m going to make for her room also.  Never made a pillow but it can’t be that hard right?  I’d say I’ll have the curtains and the pillows done by December.  Maybe.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I hate going to the dentist

I am one of those people that DREADS going to the dentist.  I hate it.  I never have liked it.  I have friends that say they actually enjoy it, which just boggles my mind.  I get stomach aches every time I think about going to the dentist.  But I have good reasons, I think.

Even when I was younger, I disliked the dentist.  We went to a good dentist growing up.  He was gentle and kind, but I was still afraid.  They would give me the happy gas, and I would hold my breath when they put the mask on me, as long as I could because I was afraid of the gas too.  Haha!

When I was pretty young, I had a baby tooth break and I had to go to an oral surgeon on the weekend.  It was the old guy who did NOTHING to be gentle or ease my fear.  It was the first time I saw that MASSIVE needle they stick in your mouth to numb you, and he jabbed that thing in multiple times without putting the topical numbing on at all.  And he squeezed the outside of my jaw so hard I had bruises on my face afterwards.  So that helped my fear a lot….

Before we went to Italy, we had to get dentally cleared.  I went to a dentist up in Surprise, who immediately told me I needed like $1800 worth of work, including a crown and a bunch of other things, and that I needed to pay them upfront and I would get reimbursed by my insurance and then they’d sign my release for the clearance.  Convenient, huh?  Thankfully I went to get a second opinion with Dr. Kim at Litchfield Dental Care, and he said there was nothing wrong with my teeth and signed my release.

So I went to an Italian dentist in Italy who did a few fillings, but managed to mess them all up because I had one redone back in the States and the other one also needs to be redone.  I was having a little bit of pain on one of my teeth in February of this year, so I went to the dental clinic on base at Aviano and they told me there was a cavity underneath the filling the Italian dentist did and that it would need to be fixed but they couldn’t do it so to have it down when I moved back to AZ.

Last week I went to a new dentist here because I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember Dr Kim’s name or where he was located.  So I went to a different dentist by my house.  I’d been worrying about this appointment for 3 weeks so I wasn’t exactly excited.  I have a fear of the dentist, but I also have a fear of being screwed over by a dentist also, and it turns out, for good reason…

The cleaning went okay – the girl was REALLY rough – and then she told me I had 2 teeth that might need looking at, which was a first since normally the hygienists don’t diagnose anything.  But she spent more time looking at my teeth and poking around like the dentists do than the actual dentist did.

Then the dentist comes in and he’s looking at the x-rays, and spends about 2-3 seconds per screen shot and starts rattling off teeth and numbers and by the time he was done, he said I had NINE cavities.  I about died.  Considering not even TWO months ago I was at the dentist and they said I had ONE.  Oh, and the one they said I had, this idiot tells me that that’s not a cavity, it’s just left over filling that the Italian dentist didn’t get out.

I was about beside myself.  I never realized how many crooked dentists there were until I lived in AZ, and then they all seem to be about screwing you over.  So that lit a fire under my butt and I quickly figured out who I went to before while driving around where I thought it was and I made appointment with Dr. Kim for today.

He spent a while looking at my teeth – for no charge – and told me that I have 2 cavities – one the original one, and one on the tooth right above that one – and that I’d probably need crowns on both of them (which the Aviano clinic had told me I’d need a crown on the one they saw too).  But there is a huge difference between 2 and NINE for God’s sake.  Pisses me off.  I’m just glad I found Dr. Kim again.  Hopefully my appointment next Weds won’t be too bad….  But I’m not exactly looking forward to it.

For those of you not living the military lifestyle – be very thankful you don’t have to change doctors, dentists, hair stylists, etc very often.  It’s NOT fun trying to figure out who to trust and who’s trying to screw you over…