Tuesday, July 08, 2008


He left on Saturday. I was fine until the gate attendant told us we only had 2 minutes. Then the tears came. The kids were pretty unfazed - they are just too used to TDY and too young to understand what a whole year means. We went and drowned our sorrows in syrup at IHOP afterward and then met up with family. We've had great support since then, but somehow I don't feel like I'm handling this as well as I thought I would. It's probably because we've been traveling non-stop and the last month has been pretty stressful. Hopefully, once I get a little rest and we get into a routine, I'll start coping a little better.
We ordered "Daddy Dolls" for the kids, and Daddy gave them to the rugrats before leaving. They are loving them up - giving them hugs and kisses before going to bed at night and first thing in the morning. It's pretty cute. Gabi wanted to know why I didn't have one too. I asked if I could just borrow hers when I needed a hug instead, and she said she would share. Such a good girl!

Friday, June 27, 2008


As usual, its been a long time between posts. However, I have a feeling that is about to change. Unfortunately, in the near future, I'll be using this page to update my husband on the daily activities of our children.

I've been putting this post off for a long time, because the situation has changed so many times in the last 6 months, I wanted to make sure we actually knew for certain what was happening before I blasted an announcement out to everyone. Now we are a week away from departure, so I'm assuming its not going to change again. (Of course, you never know....)

Long story short... in March hubby got accepted to a very exciting position with a top-notch unit. Unfortunately, the job doesn't open until Summer '09. He was supposed to remain in place until then, but his job was promised as a retention bonus to another soldier, forcing him out of the position. The Army's solution was to create a job in Afghanistan and send him there on an augmentee tasking. He is still technically assigned to the Recruiting Battalion, so technically, that is where the kids and I are supposed to be staying while he is gone. However, with no military infrastructure, no family readiness group, and no family nearby, we decided that we would prefer to move the kids back to Wisconsin for the duration of the deployment.

So, at the beginning of June, we put most of our stuff in storage, loaded up the car and a U-Haul trailer and drove 2,000 miles back to "home". We'll be living with my parents, which I haven't decided how I feel about yet. I love my parents and get along with them quite well. However, I haven't lived at home for over 10 years... its going to be a big adjustment for us all. But in the long run, I think its the best thing for the kids, and its going to be great to have the extra help and live-in babysitters. Maybe now I'll have some time to take some classes and work on some professional development, so I'll be ready to get back to work one of these years!!

Anyway, for now, we are savoring our last few days together before Dad takes off. He will be leaving Wisconsin to go to Fort Benning on July 5th and then departing for Afghanistan from there after completing CRC. We are not looking forward to it, but we're ready for it. Gabi says she's going to "miss my daddy when he goes to "up-scan-iz-scan"".

Me too.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

Ha! Apparently, I only find time to post pictures of the kids when they are in costume! Ah well, at least I got one more use out of the outfits!! My ducky and bunny wish you a very joyous spring and a happy Easter!!

As for an update on our PCS situation... we are still waiting for resolution. Our PCS date and destination have changed about 3 times in 3 weeks... so we are waiting for something in writing before we make an announcement about where (and when) we're headed next.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A year later

I can't believe its been a year since I've posted pictures! I also can't believe how my little duck has grown into such a cute little pumpkin! Plus, this year I get to publish pictures of TWO pumpkins!! Below, Gabi at a Halloween party, and Harrison in a pumpkin we carved just for him! Then a shot right before we headed out to Trick-or-Treat.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Has it been that long?

Hmmm... I could have sworn I updated this thing since Halloween. Yikes! That was a LONG time ago!

Quick recap of the last few months...

We spent Christmas in Wisconsin with family, took a vacation to Hawaii in January and I have been growing bigger and bigger throughout all of it! The hubby is nesting, or something, and has been painting the interior of the house and starting projects left and right.

The baby is due on Easter, so we have less than 4 weeks to go! Hopefully we can finish our projects before he gets here. Oh yeah, for those of you who don't know... Its a boy!!

Sorry no pictures today... but I promise to do my best to get some up as soon as the baby gets here!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Gabi LOVES her Halloween costume. Everytime I pull it out she starts "quacking" excitedly. Unfortunately, as soon as I put it on her, the "quacking" stops... but she still looks adorable! She was a big hit at our Mom's Club Halloween party, visiting Dad at work, and trick-or-treating around our block!

At first, she didn't understand what we were trying to do with this trick-or-treating deal... she tried walking into the first couple houses we visited. But, she caught on pretty quick and by the end of our short night she was grabbing the candy and high tailing it back to the sidewalk like a pro. Of course, she always said "Thank you" first! She had a lot of fun, but we had to hide her halloween bucket because after we got home, every time we turned our backs she was sneaking another piece! Luckily, she couldn't open the wrappers, so it didn't do her much good - but she sure does have a sweet tooth!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


We have been busy - as usual. Here are some quick updates as to what we've been up to...

First, Happy Birthday to Gabi's Grandma and Auntie Jackie! And Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!! Sorry this is a bit late, but we were definitely thinking about you and wishing you all very happy days!!

A couple weeks ago, we visited the "Plumper Pumpkin Patch" in Portland (say that 3 times fast!) to get our pumpkins and enjoy the fall weather. We launched pumpkins in a slingshot, visited some farm animals, got lost in the corn maze and bought some awesome (but expensive) pumpkins!

This past weekend was our Wedding Anniversary. We had a nice dinner out - but the majority of the weekend was dedicated to military obligations. Nonetheless, we had fun getting all dressed up for the formal banquet and ball on Saturday. Don't look too close - but you can see the beginnings of my "bump" in this dress!

Last, but not least, we had visitors this weekend. Chris's Dad and Linda joined us for 4 days. They had fun taking Gabi to the zoo, the local pool, and Multnomah Falls. They also got to accompany us to the fancy ball. Here's a picture at the falls.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


For those of you who don't already know...

In case you don't know what this is, its a pregnancy test, and yes, its showing a positive result. We are ecstatic to annouce the newest addition to our family is due to arrive in early April!!!

On Tuesday, I got to hear the heartbeat of the baby for the first time. It brought a gigantic smile to my face. Amazing how just hearing those fast little thuds can make your own heart skip a beat and brighten your entire week!

We've already started talking to Gabi about the new baby coming, and we bought a book to help explain it to her. But, obviously, she's still too young to really grasp the concept. Nevertheless, we're sure she's very excited about becoming a big sister. She is always very excited to look at and play with any babies we meet at storytime or the playground - she's very loving and always tries to give them hugs. So, hopefully the "good will" will continue after she has to share "Mommy" with one of those fascinating little babies!

Chris and I are very excited. This pregnancy is especially nice because the job Chris has now is non-deployable and he will be able to be here through the entire pregnancy and delivery (knock-on-wood). So, this time around is definitely going to be a lot different for him. Last time he came home to a big, fat, 6-month pregnant lady - this time he has to watch it all take place gradually, like the rest of us.

I'll post pictures of my pregnant belly eventually. Right now I just look like I've been eating too much - but maybe in another month or two!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm Back!


Gabi and I took off to Wisconsin for almost entire month of August, and I've been having a hard time catching up since we got back. So, now I'm sitting down and forcing myself to get caught up on this... among other things.

A quick recap of our trip.

We arrived at the end of July, just in time to surprise my Mom for her birthday. My siblings and I planned a surprise party for her and the best part was she didn't know that Gabi and I were going to be there! The look on her face when she came in the door (and finally realized what was going on) was priceless!!

Here's a picture of Grandma and her girls!

Later that week, we headed to "In-Law Town" to meet Chris (he was TDY in Kentucky the first part of the week), visit with his family, and see his Dad get re-married. It was a really nice ceremony (especially the singing) and a wonderful reception. Gabi had so much fun - she danced all night until she finally crashed in her Daddy's arms. Chris and I had a lot of fun too, and we are so happy to welcome Linda to the family!

Here's a pic of Grandpa and his bride!

And Gabi crashed in Daddy's arms.

Chris had to go back to work a few days after the wedding, but Gabs and I stayed a couple more weeks. We got to spend time with Grandma at the beach and the park. Here's a pic of Grandma and Gabi enjoying one of the slides at the park. We also went boating and spent time on the lake with Grandpa. Then, we headed back to my parents' home to spend more time with my family.

This is a picture of Gabi helping my dad feed his fish. This is when Gabi learned the sign-language for "fish" and whenever we talk about Grandpa, she either signs "dog" (both her Grandpas have dogs) or "fish". Go figure.

Lots of pictures were taken and lots of good memories were created. It was a really nice trip. Right before we came home, I attended the wedding of a close friend of mine and got to visit with many of my friends from college. What a vacation! It was wonderful to get to see and spend time with so many people!

P.S. Sorry this took so long to post. I actually wrote this WEEKS ago, but I couldn't get the stupid pictures to load, and I didn't have time to sit down and figure out what the problem was. Tonight, I finally gave up trying to fix it and gave IE the heave-ho. . . Problem fixed. Gotta love Microsoft!!

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Places We've Been...

Sorry its been awhile. We've been building up our social calendar and exploring our surroundings, which has left me too busy or too tired to blog.

Over the 4th and the last couple weekends, we've been exploring Oregon. We've driven the Mount Hood Scenic Byway and visited Mount Hood. Then we went the other direction and drove the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway from Cannon Beach to Florence. Chris' co-workers told him that we HAD to stop in Tillamook to see the Dairy Farm and cheese plant - "it's so neat!". Hmmm.... do these people know where we're from? Half the people in my home town work in a cheese plant, my grandparents owned a dairy farm, and Chris grew up with Sargento in his backyard. But, we stopped anyway. And yep, it was definitely a Dairy Farm. The cheese plant wasn't operating because of the holiday weekend - but we still got to sample cheese curds and buy ice cream cones! That was probably Gabi's favorite part of the trip - since the rest of the day, she was stuck in her carseat.

We watched the fireworks at Fort Vancouver. They had live music, which Gabi had a blast dancing to, and the fireworks display was set to music and a really great show. Unfortunately, they only held Gabi's attention for a couple minutes and she was ready to run off and explore the crowd. I didn't feel like trying to keep track of a little person, in the dark, in a crowd of thousands of people, so instead, I wrestled with her on our blanket, trying to keep her from wandering off, while Daddy sat and took pictures of the fireworks. ARGH! So, I didn't get to enjoy much of the show, but at least Chris had a good time! He hasn't been to a real fireworks display in 3 years, so this was a good year for him!

Another weekend took us to the Portland Saturday Market. The website calls it "A lively place where unique artists await discovery". Chris described it as "a bunch of nutjobs". Either way - it was another recommendation of his co-workers as "something you have to see". So, we saw it. There was some interesting artwork, but not really our scene. I might go back if I need a unique gift, or maybe to get one of these slings when we have our next baby. But, all the vendors are on-line - so maybe I can just get the goods and spare myself the atmosphere. I doubt if I'll convince Chris to take me back down there, anyway.

We've also been spending a lot of time at the pool at our gym. Gabi loves the water and the hot weather has been perfect for swimming. We are there every weekend - usually both days.

During the week, Gabi and I have been taking swim lessons and going to story hour at the library. I have also continued to take her to the daycare at the gym while I go to workout. She has done great at her swim lessons, LOVES story hour, and is getting better at daycare all the time. We're starting to get into a pattern and it feels good to finally have somewhere to go and a reason to get out of the house.

We've also continued the bike rides. She LOVES going on the bike. If we're sitting at home, and she's bored, she will bring my shoes to me and use sign language to tell me she wants to go for a bike ride. It's so cute - how can I resist. So, we put on our shoes and helmets, and off we go! Its funny, because if I'm feeling lazy, she usually comes over and makes me get off my butt to take her for a ride! I've got a 14-month-old trainer making sure I get in shape!

That's the update for now. Chris is gone for the weekend. He's here for a bachelor party. So its just us girls for the weekend. I think this calls for some shopping!!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

New Set of Wheels

Check out what Chris bought for Gabi and me to drive around town during the day...

Generous guy, huh? Actually, Gabi LOVES riding the bike. She points at her helmet excitedly every time we go in the garage, and she is so content while we ride, she never makes a peep (but sometimes she hums). A couple of times she has fallen asleep, while I've been exploring the neighborhood. When we stop at the park, she wakes up, and when she sees where we are she gets the biggest smile on her face - its so cute!

Seriously, though, my husband really is a doll. Here is a pic of our REAL new set of wheels:

The first time I rode in one of these was the last night I had dinner with the girls before Gabi was born. In fact, my water broke that very night, on the way home. Happily, for Kelly, it waited until I was back in my own car, and out of Kelly's brand new Freestyle! But anyway, I LOVED the car so much, when we started looking for cars here, I made Chris take me to check some out. He did a LOT of research and agreed with me that it was a good purchase - so we finally bought a second vehicle, and I couldn't be happier!!

Exercise and Drama

This week, we finally got around to getting a gym membership for all three of us. We are now members of a local club with three swimming pools, awesome workout facilities and best of all, child care! Gabi and I tried it out for the first time on Thursday, and we both LOVED it! I brought her into the kiddie area and she was off and running - playing with the other kids and exploring all the toys. I kind of felt bad, because she didn't even notice when I left. Of course, when I came back she was happy to see me - but it seemed like no big deal. Awesome!! I get to have a distractionless workout and Gabi can have fun playing with the other kids and learning some social skills...

Yeah, right...

Friday we went back again. Same place, same time, same babysitters... NOT the same baby. She was excited about the toys and kids again, but as soon as I sat her down and kissed her goodbye she started bawling. I just kept going - getting sympathetic, but approving nods from the employees and other moms on my way out. I knew she would be okay and stop crying after a couple minutes. But it was still so hard to walk away.

I spent a half hour swimming laps in the outside pool and was headed back to the locker room when a lady from the daycare staff met me. She told me they had been paging me, but she had forgotten that I had told her I was going to be in the pool, and the pages don't go outside. Apparently, Miss Gabi had not stopped crying since I left. Poor thing. The daycare lady said they usually try to give it a chance with new kids, to try and get them used to it, but she wouldn't stop. I wrapped a towel around my waist and marched right into the kiddie area and rescued my baby. Tears and snot were just streaming down her face and she was so upset. She calmed down pretty quickly after I held her for a bit and gave her lots of hugs and kisses, but I sure felt rotten.

They told me to keep bringing her, don't give up, and I know that's what I have to do. I'm just not looking forward to taking her back. However, I NEED to get back into shape and I'm not going to waste this opportunity at this awesome facility - so we'll try again next week. Sigh...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Summer Days

Yay! I love hot weather, and we've had plenty of that lately! On Sunday, I ran to the grocery store, leaving a sleeping baby home with her Daddy. When I got home, I found THIS picture stored on my digital camera.

Chris said he had to throw her in the tub to clean her up, she had popsicle EVERYWHERE! Oh well! Looks like she enjoyed it - plus this picture gives us a great view of her beautiful teeth! Only two so far... they sure are taking their time showing up!

Another sunny day last week, we took a walk to the park, and tested out the wagon that we (meaning Chris) FINALLY took out of the box and assembled. I was strolling behind these two and had to run home for the camera because I thought they were too cute!

Finally, this is a rose that was actually growing on a bush in our backyard. I'm glad I took the picture when I did, because now there isn't a bloom left on that plant! Hope we didn't kill it already! Yikes!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there!

Especially, Happy Father's Day to MY Daddy. I miss you Dad! I hope you had a fabulous day! I admire you so much and I am so lucky and proud to be your daughter. I love you!

And as for my husband... You are a wonderful Daddy! Its so obvious how much our baby loves you - she lights up when you come home from work, and you can make her laugh better than anyone. She is so lucky to have you! (And so am I!)

Here are a couple clips of our little one showing off her fabulous language skills to wish her Daddy a special day! She has a great vocabulary (almost 30 words!) in sign language, but the verbalizing is coming along a bit slower. Happily, "Dada" is one of her favorite words. Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

More pictures...

Gabi celebrated her first birthday in our hotel room, while we were waiting for our house to close. Here she is sitting on her stack of presents.
She loves her ice cream cake!
Our new house!!
At the playground.

Finally, Pictures!

Okay, I FINALLY sat down and got organized this weekend! Here are some of my favorite pictures from the last couple months of travel and craziness!

The whole family at Chris' graduation.
Enjoying the warm Wisconsin weather
Gabi giving her cousin a big, sloppy kiss!
Hitting the road... what's that in my rearview mirror?!

Pitstop at Mount Rushmore