Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Was Looking Forward To This????

The quickest way to make your house feel small is to live in it without anything for 6 weeks and then have your entire life removed from a truck and dumped in the various rooms of your house.
I'm tired just looking at the boxes. The girl's enthusiasm is motivating though...every box is like Christmas! Despite all the unpacking we could preoccupy ourselves with tonight, I think we're going to wait and tile our backsplash. The glass tile we ordered arrived today (24 hours after I ordered it with free shipping...that is actually how I decided on the tile, my 1st choice was going to take a month!) and we would like to get the kitchen completely finished so I think we'll be mixing mortar tonight instead of unpacking. What's another day after 6 weeks!

They're Here!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Finally

Our movers are coming tomorrow. I can't believe I'm even about to say this but I wish we had a few more days. I know, I know...it's been 6 weeks without furniture, but we're so close on a few projects that it stinks to stop and clean everything up in preparation of all our things arriving. It's amazing how you realize how few things you really need once you've lived without them for awhile...don't get me wrong, I can't wait to unpack and start decorating...I just think I'll appreciate some of my "luxuries" a little more.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Birthday Gifts


The girls got daddy a smoker for his birthday. It's a gas smoker so I'm not sure how expensive it will become to slow cook meat using the propane tank...but I got a good deal since it was one of the last summer items on the floor at Lowes...right next to the inflatable pumpkins and talking mummies and across the isle from the mechanical Santa Clause and 8 foot tall plastic snow globes! Geesh...it's still September! So hopefully he likes it, because I'm not sure about the return policy on assembled floor items.

We had a smoker in the early days of our marriage but it fell victim to a poor paper recycling idea (a story for another post). Brad has used our Weber in place of a traditional smoker with a lot of success...but he is always limited in space. I thought this would give him enough space to cook our Thanksgiving turkey without any problems!

Last Night

Brad had been out of town a few days and had a late flight that wasn't going to get him in town until around midnight. While I waited on him I decided to pain the built in bookshelf in the office. I like the original wall color so I'm keeping the red but the back of the bookshelves were tan and I thought they would look better if they were solid white. This was a little bit of a low priority project but one of those things that I thought I may not get around too once all our things arrive and we start unpacking and filling the shelves with books.

Brad got home and felt refreshed after his nap on the plane so he decided to hang our pendant lights at 1:00am.
This weekend is the big push...hopefully a lot of finishing touches in the kitchen and the installation of all the appliances.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

An Exciting Day!

Today has been an exciting and busy day! I had my first OB appointment. I saw a nurse practitioner/midwife...I will be assigned to her throughout my pregnancy, so thankfully I liked her! I've always rotated through the various doctors at a practice whenever I went in for an appointment, so seeing one person every visit will be a nice change.

Brooke did pretty well. She was very entertaining and filled with several questions during the exam, the best being "Why she touch your booby , Mommy?" Thankfully she didn't embarrass me at all!! Ahem.

The best surprise is that I got to see the baby and hear the heartbeat. I hadn't anticipated an ultrasound since my insurance is ridiculously stingy when it comes to ultrasounds. I didn't sense that I was getting an ultrasound because there were any problems so I didn't ask too many questions or point out that I usually only get one so I went with the flow. She found the baby quickly, despite all its insulation, and it had a strong heartbeat and everything looked as it should at this point. I've had a few "twin" dreams so the fact that there was only one baby was a relief...although twin boys would have been nice!

These pictures aren't great since I don't have a scanner hooked up right now, so I took pictures of the ultrasound pictures. Here is the standard profile picture of the baby on its side. The white line above the baby is its right arm.
This is a view of the baby on his/her (probably her) back facing upwards with the head up top and the right arm and hand up and near its head.Although the highlight of the day was hearing that the baby is doing well and everything looks good, a close second was getting our granite counter tops installed.
I'm not going to show the entire kitchen yet, I'm keeping it for the big reveal...but here are a few photos from the day.
When we went to the stone yard to pick out our granite we were told the kids couldn't go back in the warehouse with us...this meant we had to take turns walking around the giant warehouse and writing down the numbers and then switching so the other one could go look. It was a huge pain and some stones weren't well marked so I was nervous that we may have not agreed on the same stone.
The stone we went with was one Brad had selected as a favorite early on and I couldn't ever find it out in the stone yard and basically forgot about it and continued to look at other things...on my last walk through I happened to find it and it was my favorite, too. Hopefully this is the same stone he had in mind...we never saw it together!
We're making progress but now we have a ton of details. There is paint touch up, lots of trim work, 41 cabinet handles to mount, appliances to install, pendent lights to hang and a glass tile back splash that we still have to select and then install behind the pipe stove hood over the stove. Those are just the kitchen projects...I could name about 20 other unfinished projects throughout the house...I'm not holding my breath that we'll get them all done by Tuesday when the movers show up with our stuff...but at least I can unpack my kitchen boxes when they arrive.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is Brad's birthday! He doesn't really get a chance to celebrate and he had a rough morning at work. All his text message said was that he was told that the confirmation of the Secretary of the Air Force was delayed until he could produce some classified documents...asap! He didn't really even have to be at work this morning since he was flying out of town this afternoon but he decided to go into his office for a few hours to work on a few things. Next thing he knew he was busy putting out this fire that almost made him late for his flight.

He barely made it to the airport in time and my guess is that right now he is probably somewhere over West Virgina asleep on the plane. He has to go to Scott AFB in St. Louis until late Friday night so any type of birthday celebration will have to wait until Saturday. I guess his gift for the next few days is getting a good nights sleep and not having to stay up until 2am working on a house project.

Tomorrow will be busy...our granite counter tops are being installed in the morning. While they are here I'm going to have to slip out for an hour and go to my first OB appointment. I went last week but it was essentially an intake appointment where I filled out a hundred forms denying that I have any type of communicable diseases and agreeing to have my blood tested for all the tests that I just denied having! Tomorrow I'll have an exam (fun, fun) and meet with a midwife. Brooke has to go with me so I'm dreading the exam part with her present saying "What Dat, Mommy! Why de do dat?"

Despite the fact that this is my fourth pregnancy a lot of things are new to me because I'm going to a military clinic where I'll primarily see midwives and then I'm probably going to deliver at either Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland or DeWitt Military Hospital on Fort Belvoir in VA. I've had 3 great deliveries in nice civilian hospitals so I'm a little hesitant about this but at the same time I know that my surroundings really aren't too important and that I'll probably only be at the hospital 24-48 hours. Knock on wood.

If I'm trying to find a silver lining in Brad being gone for a few days when we have a ton to accomplish before next Tuesday it would probably be the fact that the next few nights are some much anticipated season premiers! Brad isn't too interested in most of the premiers so it will give me the freedom to watch TV without any guilt. I'm planning on doing every kitchen/family room project I can tackle on my own from 8:00-11:00pm every night so that I can watch TV while I get some things accomplished. So I guess that means I'll be painting the trim around the windows tonight. Will it ever end?

I'll post a few pictures this weekend. I want to wait until the counters are installed and we put the appliances in place. Our big focal point...the glass tiled backsplash, won't be done for a few weeks, but I'll post a picture before then.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Stinky Dog

Our Golden Retriever, Jonah, is truly one of the sweetest dogs ever. He was an abused dog we rescued and he has the most gentle demenor...unless you are a squirrel or a deer. Jonah's major downfall would be his odor. I don't know what that dog does when he goes outside but for the past few years he stinks!!!! We think he developed the habit of rolling in deer poop in our former house...we have less deer around here but he has found something that makes him stink. In addition his breath reaks!!!! My very sensitive preganancy nose can't handle his smell anymore. Last night I woke up and within seconds could tell that Jonah had wandered into our room and snuggled up on the floor beside the bed. I literally had to get up and send him out of our room at 3am.

So that means this afternoon it was bath time! Now the house smells like wet dog but it is still an improvement from his previous odor. He also got his teeth brushed and special doggy breath mints. I'm not sure how long the effects will last but I'll enjoy it in the meantime. And the girls were a huge help with his brushing and bath so I think he'll be getting frequent baths as long as I'm pregnant and he is stinky!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our Adventure

When I picked Baileigh up from school on Friday we headed over to the lake in our neighborhood to enjoy a snack and check out the trails and the playground.
The majority of the girl's snacks went to the ducks and the huge turtle with her babies.
My attempt to get a picture of the three girls...I give up.
This area of our neighborhood was a huge selling point to me...they did such a nice job creating a scenic area around the pool and clubhouse with tennis courts, playgrounds and jogging trails.
Baileigh insisted I take a picture of this butterfly. She wants me to "make it big" and put it on her wall.
The playground wasn't very big but the girls were in one of those really imaginative moods and playing well together. This hippo was the croc from Peter Pan and they were all trying to escape.


It was a beautiful afternoon and considering I had a bunch of freshly painted baseboards at home it was a great way to stay out of the house and give them time to dry while we enjoyed the weather.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Props to my Hubby

I just need to take a minute to sing the praises of my husband. This home renovation thing has worn us both out. I know have the kids and pregnancy as my excuses for exhaustion...but I really almost think Brad has it rougher with a new job, new commute, neglected bills, 12 hour days in the Pentagon, getting chewed up all day and then returning home to a frazzled wife and a "to do" list a mile long and deadlines looming.

I think we've done pretty well holding it together. For the most part it hasn't caused too much tension between us...we've had a few heated discussions but the majority of any emotional explosions have usually been the result of frustration with a specific project that isn't cooperating.

Our household goods arrive in 11 days which thrills me in some ways and freaks me out at the same time. I don't see us having everything pulled together in that time frame which wouldn't be the end of the world but it would be nice to be closing this chapter and just start unpacking our things and getting settled.

My washer and dryer are up and running again...10 days without being able to do laundry was a headache. I was one day away from finding a laundry mat. The new laundry room is 80% done and just needs the trim put back down on the floor and the doors hung. Last night we laid out the kitchen and had to brainstorm how to overcome a few problems with the size of our cabinets. Our hands are still tied as we're waiting for a few trim pieces. We were hoping they would arrive yesterday but now we're told Tuesday...which totally stinks because Brad is going out of town Tues through Thursday. We're going to see what we can do this weekend and get as far as we can without the trim pieces.

The front hall is almost done as well, no more wallpaper and the paint and trim is done and I think it looks good. A great improvement from the wallpaper. I'll post some pictures this week. So back to my initial thought, I want to sing the praises of my hubby for his late nights and hard work. I know that his enjoyment of home improvement projects is probably dwindling at the current moment, but he is doing a great job and I'm proud and appreciative of all his hard work!

MOPS

This morning I started a new MOPS program at the church where I think we're going to attend. As I was pulling into the parking lot I got all emotional and was fighting back tears. Five minutes earlier I was fighting back tears as I explained the lyrics to a David Crowder song on the radio to Mckenna...pregnancy always turns me into a blubbering fool. I think I got overwhelmed as I thought about starting another chapter...a new MOPS program always indicates a move and a starting over of friendships.

This church has two group that meet on alternate weeks...each group is about 40 women. At my table of 8 there were 6 of us that weren't only military, but Air Force! We live about 35 minutes from DC in a VA but you would be amazed how every other person you talk to seems to be military. I felt bad for the non-military at our table. It's nice though to feel amongst so many other women you can relate to your lifestyle.

At the beginning of the meeting introductions of the steering team were made and I learned I was sitting next to the table coordinator. She then proceeds to announce that they are looking for one more leader, ideally at her table, so that she could be freed from the responsibilities of the meetings and able to oversee the other leaders. I tried my best to ignore the announcement despite my past experience as not only a table leader but the table leader coordinator...I was very anxious to just sit back and enjoy the program and get to know people. Perhaps selfish, but what I wanted. However, after the meeting and getting to know some of the girls, the coordinator indicates that she is aware that I've done MOPS a few times prior and that I've been a table leader and that she would like me to think about replacing her at our table as the leader. I said what I was supposed to say...I would think about it and pray about it.

Honestly, I'm flattered and frustrated. I know that being a table leader doesn't have to be much responsibility, but my type A-ness makes me want to do a good job and make it a great experience for the girls at my table. So I'm thinking about it, and will pray about it...and odds are I will probably say yes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tonight's Accomplishment

Over the past few days we've been focusing on the new upstairs laundry room while we wait on some trim pieces needed to finish the kitchen cabinets. Brad has been busy laying tile for under the washer dryer, finishing the sheet rock and priming the walls. Last night we primed and today I painted. Tonight we installed the new light, hung some cabinets and Brad's friend, Brandon, came over and lent us a hand again! We're so thankful for his help...he may regret living close to us!


I'll post some pictures in the next few days when we make a little more progress. This weekend we'll hopefully have everything we need for the kitchen and we'll finish the cabinets and paint and call our counter guy on Monday to come out and take measurements. Fourteen days and counting until our household goods arrive. I'm glad we have a deadline...we need some motivation at this point.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Day

I've been feeling frustrated with the fact that we have so much to accomplish around here but that I'm not capable of doing a lot of it at this point...that means Brad works 12 hour days and then late nights trying to keep us on schedule.

Today I really felt like the need for some exercise as well as the desire to accomplish something the help Brad. After looking out at our junk pile on the deck I decided I would get a pretty good workout if I started moving some of that junk to the driveway. We've had about 5 quotes to have the junk hauled and they have ranged from $300-$700. The $300 quote was based upon us having the junk in the driveway...if not, his quote was $600. Our deck is on the second story and its not possible to back a dumpster up next to it so everything would have to be carried off the deck and around front. We've yet to decide what we're going to do but I figured that if we haul it ourselves it would have to eventually come to the front and if we hired the $300 guy it was based upon the junk being in the driveway.
The majority of the cabinets are still on the deck since they were too large or heavy for me to carry alone, but I got 80% of the boards, drywall and old flooring. The drywall was heavy and falling apart after sitting outside for two weeks in some heavy rain. A lot of it was covered in mildew. My goal for the day was to not cut myself on any of the nails. I spent a little over three hours and kept telling myself that I was saving us $300 and that the money would buy the bar stools I want from Target for our new island. I probably should have just been thinking that I'm saving $300 off our total debt but that wasn't nearly as motivating! I was also thinking that I was making about $100 an hour if we were paying someone else and that that was more then I usually get paid hourly as a stay at home mom!
I'll admit that I'm pretty sore and tired tonight. I felt great at first, but I'm thinking it may be like the first day back at the gym when you push yourself too hard because you feel fine at the time. I think I'm going to be feeling it tomorrow!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Closing Down The Pool

Today was the final day for our neighborhood pool. All the other pools in the area closed Labor Day weekend but ours stayed open for two weekends after the holiday. Today the temperatures here were in the low 90's so it was a great day to enjoy the pool one last time. I took the girls over late this afternoon for a quick hour in the pool while daddy kept working on the kitchen.



I just kept thinking that the next time we're at the pool I'll have an infant carrier with a baby in tow! Yikes!

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

I'm so glad Tina Fey made a return to SNL last night to play Sarah Palin in the season premiere. Not only does she look just like Sarah Palin (or vice versa), she did an amazing job with her voice.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Keeping Quiet

Yesterday Brad left at 5pm to work a 6pm-6am shift as part of the Crisis Action Team (something like that) that is activated when something like Ike is occurring. At 6am he had to do a briefing so he didn't get home until 8am.

My goal is to keep the kids quiet until at least noon. I know that is only four hours of sleep...he can sleep beyond that point if he wants but that is as long as I'll make them tip toe around.

So last night I went with the girls to the mall where we discovered a Lego store. After playing for awhile in the store I succumbed to the pressure and bought a big starter set for the girls. I think I was suckered into the 50 year anniversary classic edition with an old school picture on the front.

The girls have already asked to go back to get certain types of pieces whenever they save their money. They've been playing quietly for three hours this morning and all working pretty well together. So far its money well spent...until Brooke eats one and I have to start watching for the passed Lego in her poop.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 Pentagon Memorial

The 7th anniversary of 9/11 will mark the dedication of the Pentagon Memorial. Being currently assigned to the Pentagon we're very aware of the ceremony and the various activities taking place today. Brad was actually told to work from home today because there are so many road closures around the Pentagon in preparation for the dedication ceremony and the probable appearance of the President.

Like so many other people, 9/11 changed our lives as an active duty military family. Specifically as a pilot, Brad has spent over a year in combined deployments and another year in shorter trips whose efforts primarily focused on supporting military activities that evolved out of our response to 9/11. Knowing Brad is now working in a building that was the target of terrorists attacks and where over 120 people were killed is really surreal if I truly try to wrap my mind around that fact.

Eventually I hope to be able to go to the Memorial site with our family. Below is a little clip showing some of the park still under construction at the time.

I was pregnant with Baileigh when the attacks happened. Now I'm pregnant again. I remember how overwhelmed I felt to think about bringing a baby into this crazy world back in 2001. In some ways I always have that same ominous feeling in the back of my mind. But God is good and thankfully doesn't ask us to understand his ways or how he works but rather to trust in him and have faith that he is in control. I think my heartfelt belief in that enables me to have more peace then fear at the thought of bringing a baby into our messed up world.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First Day of School

Yesterday was Mckenna and Brooke's first day at their preschool. Mckenna is in a young 5's class/jr. K three times a week and Brooke is in a 2 1/2 year old's class twice a week. They go from 9:30-1:30...sweet! And I only work in a classroom once a month...its a co-op but there are over 10 classes of various ages so there are a lot of parents to rotate.
The girls were all fine with using last years backpacks since they were in a new school! A benefit to moving!
"I go to school and see my fwends!" Brooke was pretty excited about her first day...she is so anxious to be a big girl like her sisters.
The gang on their way to school...not sure why they are all bending like this...I think they were trying to lower themselves to Brooke's height and I think she bent over, too.
Mckenna enjoys her role of big sister when Baileigh isn't around. "Hold my hand Brooke, I'll help you find your class!"
My girls are all so big...I can't believe we're starting all over again with a baby in the spring. Three years between kids feels like a huge age gap considering that Baileigh and Mckenna are 21 months apart and Mckenna and Brooke are 29 months apart. I guess 36 months isn't too much more...but right now the idea of a baby kind of overwhelms me. I guess I should enjoy my two free days a week a lot right now!
Making herself at home in her new classroom.
Both the girls had a good day. Brooke came home and fell asleep immediately. We get home around 1:50 and we have to pick up Baileigh from school at 3:40 so it gives her a few hours for an afternoon nap. Yesterday I enjoyed my free time with some shopping. Today I ran a few errands and came home and cut the grass. There were a few times while I was working in the yard where I panicked and looked around for a kid, forgetting they were at school.

Welcome Home!

Daddy: "Hi Brooke! Daddy missed you today. Did you have a good day?"

Brooke: "What dat, Daddy?"

Daddy: "That's my name tag."

Brooke: "OH!"

Daddy: "Did you have a good day at school?"
Brooke: "Daddy, I have a booga in my nose. SEE."

Monday, September 08, 2008

Dare Devil

Mckenna is usually seconds away from a trip to the ER. The fact that she has only been once is truly amazing. Our new driveway makes me very nervous...it has just enough of a slope that she can gain a lot of speed on her scooter. We had to establish some rules such as no pushing once she got to a certain point in the driveway...she almost lost control a few times trying to push when she was at her maximum speed.

video video
She also loves to spin on the swing and then try to see how far she can walk without crashing into something. Some days I really just feel I should make her wear a helmet all day.

A Sneak Peak

This was our progress as of Friday night. Now we're waiting on a few trim pieces that are preventing us from finishing the cabinets. In the meantime we're mudding the ceiling and preparing to paint this weekend.


Our household good are now scheduled to arrive September 30th! That means we have 3 full weeks to pull everything together...the kitchen, the laundry room, refinishing the floors and wallpaper/painting. Once our things arrive and we get settled we'll start on the bathroom remodels.

New Carpet

Here are a few photos from the carpet installation the other day...I think the odor left behind by the 2 gentlemen that spent seven hours laying the carpet has finally dissipated. Gross!
Mckenna was shocked at the blue carpet we selected!
The finished product. Have I mentioned that I love my bedroom color? Maybe I'm just really excited to not have a tan bedroom.
Brooke approves of the new carpet and spent all afternoon rubbing her face on the floor.