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Monday, December 26, 2011

The Families We Choose

It's true that no one can ever take the place of the people who give birth to you, raise you, love you unconditionally. 

That's a fact. 

Unless, of course, you were adopted, then it isn't the people who birth you that matter. 

Or, unless you just plain out don't like your family, and then they don't matter even though they raised you.. but I'm already getting off track.

What I mean is that when you have a family that you really love, and even really like, no one could ever take the place of them in your heart. 

But when you live 4,200 miles away from your closest family member, the holidays can be tough. 

So what do you do? 

You create your own little family, and you get to choose who is in it!

This year we had a bunch of friends over for (what we have now decided was) the First Annual Frederick Christmas Eve Wine Party. We had a bunch of food, too many bottles of wine to count, and so, so much fun. It was so nice to be surrounded with most of the people who matter in our lives. 

Sure.. every single one of them was a member of our Ward Room, but hey.. your boat family is supposed to be like your family, right??  I'm so glad that our's really is. 

While Jason and I are both very excited about being in Tennessee next year, we are going to miss this group of people we've come to care so much for. I'm surprisingly glad that we extended (twice now, actually) so that we'll get more time with them.

And, while we're very glad that we'll finally be close to our families and old friends again, it will be nice to know that we have friends all over the country, and eventually, all over the world. 

Yes, Navy.. I am saying that I'm grateful to you for providing us with that opportunity.

And don't tell anyone, but I'm also grateful that I'll get to spend the majority of my life on a beach somewhere. That part doesn't suck, either. 
Friday, December 23, 2011

Baby Garrett in pictures (up to 28 weeks)

One of the very nice perks of having a high risk pregnancy is that Mommy and Baby are both monitored very closely. To that end, I have:

An OB
A Nurse Practitioner for Gestational Diabetes
A Dietitian
A Maternal Fetal Specialist for Gestational Diabetes
&
A Maternal Fetal Specialist monitoring my blood pressure

So yes, Baby G and I have been well taken care of.

The by-product of being so well looked after is lots of ultrasounds. Lots and lots of ultrasounds. As of today, I've had 6, and as of tomorrow, I will be 28 weeks along.

So since I have an entire album of Baby G's ultrasound pictures, I thought I'd share a few.

Our little Bean at 8 weeks
Hiding his face with his hands, 14 weeks

Incontrovertible proof that Baby is a boy! - 14 weeks
Sucking his thumb, 24 weeks
His little feeties! 25 weeks
Arm up by his head, 25 weeks

28 weeks - This one looks a bit creepy, sorry about that. It's because his face was smushed up next to the placenta, apparently. This is actually the least creepy face picture from today. You're welcome.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Craftiness: Christmas Card Display Boards

It's very rare that I have a moment where I feel like being crafty. In fact, it's so rare, that the last crafty thing I did was KB's birthday tutu back in August. So yeah.. It happens a few times a year.  Well, I got the crafty bug earlier this week, partly because I realized I was running out of space to display our Christmas cards. I looked around on Pinterest and Google for some display ideas, and didn't find anything that I loved. So I made something of my own! I'm not at all saying that this has never been done before. In fact, I'm sure that I got this idea from somewhere, just not in my searching the other day. So anyway, here's my board!


Materials: 1 18x24 wrapped canvas, 1 yard of my ridiculously shiny fabric, batting and some craft ribbon.




First, I took 1 18x24 inch wrapped canvas, and covered it with batting to give the board some volume. I didn't want it to be all flat, ya know?  I measured out the batting at 22x28 inches, and hot-glued it on.






Then I measured out my fabric. I realized that the 22x28 I used for the batting was a little bit too much and cut some off, so that's also the measurement I used for the fabric.


So I hot glued them on, too. I cut the corners diagonally into the board so that the fabric would wrap around them better, by the way. I figure that's common sense, but who knows..





Last came the ribbon. I wanted 3 vertical lines to hang my cards on, so I cut 3 strips of ribbon. I don't know how long they were, to be honest. I just wrapped it around to the back of the board and snipped when there was enough to wrap around both sides.  I measured the board, and for 3 strips of ribbon to be on it, they would need to be 5 inches apart, from the closest side of the ribbon, not from the middle. 


Voila!

Now, for my finished products. I made 2, and decided to go with silver for the other one since there is also a lot of silver in my house already. Here we are, cards and all!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On Why There Should Be a Yelp for Rental Homes

This is long, sorry about that.. But I've been wanting to get it off my chest for a while, so here goes!

When we were looking for a rental home in Hawaii, we were thrilled to meet our current landlady and landlord. They seemed like (and truthfully, are) wonderful people, with wonderful Christian attitudes. They made us feel like we would basically be welcomed into their family if we were living in the top part of the house. I was willing to look past a few little things because I wanted to find a home quickly, and these people just seemed so darn nice!

Well, here we are, 9 months later, and I have a different attitude. Yes, my landlady and her husband are very nice people, and obviously they are also very good Christians, but had I known about the little quirks that come with living here, I would have opted out.  There seriously needs to be a Yelp for rental homes! Couldn't someone who lived here before us just have given a little review? Let me know some of the things I'm about to tell you..?  Isn't that possible?

Psst.. If you would like to see some of the things I'm bitching about, please refer to the blog I wrote when I still had happy stars in my eyes over this house:  Our New Home, Sweet Home

First of all, the idea that having a closet for a laundry room was acceptable because the kitchen was so wonderful.. Where the hiz-ell did that come from, Emily?? Know what's NOT fun? Banging your head on the dryer door almost every single time you transfer clothes in and out of it. And it's not like I'm just an idiot.. the friggin door never stops moving! Even if I push it all the way back, and hold it there for a few seconds, the damn thing has swung back into my head space the instant I bend into the washer. I HATE my laundry closet.

Secondly, why did I think it would be ok to have to park on the street when we a) have a baby, and b) live in the rainiest area of the island? Why?? The land-couple have the garage and driveway, you see.. so we are forced onto the street. Which, really, wasn't *that* big of a deal.. until we realized how often they have company, and that their company also parks on the street in front of the house.. in "our" spots! Wouldn't it be considerate to tell your visitors that your tenants park there, and that maybe said visitors can park further up the street, or on the opposite side?

As if that wasn't enough, we have recently realized that the land-couple's adult daughter, her husband, and their infant seem to have moved in. I think that's the only logical explanation for the fact that her Corolla has been either blocking my mail box, or flat out IN MY SPOT for the past 3 weeks. I'm starting to get really angry about it, but of course I can't say anything.

Also, I find it extremely inconsiderate that the land-family's dog poops in my match box sized front yard every morning, and landlady never cleans it up. I mean.. I get that it's her house, too. But they have the entire back yard! While most people on the street walk their dogs and have little baggies for their doggy doody, landlady just opens up the garage door and lets Hoku out to poop in the front yard.. or on the sidewalk I have to traverse to get to my car on the street. Sigh.

And here is my kicker, but I warn you.. it's quite a story.

When we were about to leave for Thanksgiving vacation, we let land-couple know that we would be gone for 3 weeks. They were actually relieved, because they told us they needed to do a little work on the house, and it would be easier if we were gone. They explained that they were having the house appraised, and they would need to prove that it was a single residence, not two separate homes. So, where there was currently a wall at the top of a landing that created the separation between our floors, they would need to put in a door or tear the wall down all together. Since we would be gone anyway, they would just come in, do it, have the appraisal, and then build the wall back afterward. No problem, right?

We got home from vacation, and the first thing I noticed was that my cute little Martha Stewart kitchen rug was outside on the front steps, in the rain.

Um? Pardon?

Then, upon reaching the front door, I saw that my huge foyer rug was now the outdoor welcome mat.

Huh??

We opened up the front door, and saw where the outdoor welcome mat had become the foyer rug.

Well, that makes sense..

Not a single rug was in it's original location, my living room was completely re-arranged, and items were simply MISSING from my kitchen! Seriously, it took me 2 days to find my large chopping block that normally lives on my island, nearly a week to find my stove top covers.

Landlady told us that upon tearing down the wall, there was a ton of dust, so they had to clean up after themselves. Ok.. so why are my rugs still outside??  Then later, when I still hadn't found my broom or Swiffer, she laughed and said that her elderly mother had been helping her clean, and her mother must have thought those items belonged to her. Ok, fine... blame your elderly mother. So my Swiffer showed up on my front step 2 days later, but my broom was still nowhere to be found. Jason stole her's from the garage, and we've been using it ever since.

The 12 Submarine Wife Days of Christmas

Written by the lovely and talented Wife of a Sailor, you can find this on her blog at The 12 Submarine (Wife) Days of Christmas
I'm sharing here for my friends and family who don't follow her, and because I loved it :)  Merry Christmas! (And Mele Kalikimaka!)

The Twelve Subby (Wife) Days of Christmas
On the first day of Christmas, my subby gave to me:
A seabag of clothes smelling of amine!
On the second day of Christmas, my subby gave to me:
Two phone calls from topside,
And a seabag of clothes smelling of amine (gosh you really stink!)!
On the third day of Christmas, my subby gave to me:
Three strains of boat crud,
Two phone calls from topside (shhh, don’t tell),
And a seabag of clothes smelling of amine!
On the fourth day of Christmas, my subby gave to me:
Four missed holidays,
Three strains of boat crud (*cough* thanks, hubby),
Two phone calls from topside,
And a seabag of clothes smelling of amine!
On the fifth day of Christmas, my subby gave to me:
Fiiiiive emails at once!
Four missed holidays (yes my birthday counts),
Three strains of boat crud,
Two phone calls from topside,
And a seabag of clothes smelling of amine!
On the sixth day of Christmas, my subby gave to me:
Six days of duty…
Fiiiiive emails at once! (Boy did I need that!)
Four missed holidays,
Three strains of boat crud,
Two phone calls from topside,
And a seabag of clothes smelling of amine!
On the seventh day of Christmas, my subby gave to me:
Seven days to pay the rec bill
Six days of duty (New Year’s Eve, again?)…
Fiiiiive emails at once! (finally!)
Four missed holidays,
Three strains of boat crud,
Two phone calls from topside,
And a seabag of clothes smelling of amine!
On the eighth day of Christmas, my subby gave to me:
Eight Single Sailors at dinner,
Seven days to pay the rec bill (WHAT did he spend it on?),
Six days of duty…
Fiiiiive emails at once! (finally!)
Four missed holidays,
Three strains of boat crud,
Two phone calls from topside,
And a seabag of clothes smelling of amine!
On the ninth day of Christmas, my subby gave to me:
Nine different duty stations! …
Eight Single Sailors at dinner (how much do they eat?),
Seven days to pay the rec bill,
Six days of duty…
Fiiiiive emails at once! (finally!)
Four missed holidays,
Three strains of boat crud,
Two phone calls from topside,
And a seabag of clothes smelling of amine!
On the 10th day of Christmas, my subby gave to me:
10 weeks ‘til the next deployment…
Nine different duty stations (I don’t even know where I am!),
Eight Single Sailors at dinner,
Seven days to pay the rec bill,
Six days of duty…
Fiiiiive emails at once! (finally!)
Four missed holidays,
Three strains of boat crud,
Two phone calls from topside,
And a seabag of clothes smelling of amine!
On the 11th day of Christmas, my subby gave to me:
11 still-unpacked boxes!…
10 weeks ‘til the next deployment (yikes, already?),
Nine different duty stations,
Eight Single Sailors at dinner,
Seven days to pay the rec bill,
Six days of duty…
Fiiiiive emails at once! (finally!)
Four missed holidays,
Three strains of boat crud,
Two phone calls from topside,
And a seabag of clothes smelling of amine!
On the 12th day of Christmas, my subby gave to me:
A 12-hour plane ride to see family!…
11 still-unpacked boxes (from three moves ago!),
10 weeks ‘til the next deployment,
Nine different duty stations,
Eight Single Sailors at dinner,
Seven days to pay the rec bill,
Six days of duty…
Fiiiiive emails at once! (finally!)
Four missed holidays,
Three strains of boat crud,
Two phone calls from topside,
And a seabag of clothes smelling of amine!
Sunday, December 18, 2011

My toddler

Katie Beth is a walking, talking little Lady About Town. She never stops, and quite honestly, I think it's the cutest thing ever. I've never seen such energy before! I see pictures of my friends' babies cuddling with them for story time, or even sitting down to watch a movie.. Nope. Not KB. The only time she stops is when she's tired, and then it's nap time, not cuddle with Mommy time.

I do get cuddles in the morning, and it's probably my favorite time of day. She wakes up, I change her diaper, and then we head into Mommy and Daddy's room. We climb back in the bed and cover up, and she cuddles with me for about five minutes before play time begins. It's so cute, though. She'll point to my eyes, ears, nose and mouth, and call them by name. She babbles on and on, telling me, I assume, about her dreams from the night before, and if George (her giraffe) was a good sleeping buddy. Then, about 10 minutes into our cuddle time, she announces "Berries!" which means it's time for breakfast.

Ah, berries. I have purchased more plastic containers of blueberries in the three weeks that we've been home than I have ever seen in my entire life. I'm positive she's been through a gallon of them in the past three weeks. She wants them at every single meal, and as snacks. In fact, there was a period of about two days where blueberries were all she would eat, but I blame that on teething. She even has to have them when we are in the grocery store, which I feel awful about. If we pass through the produce section, she somehow spots them immediately and starts yelling "Berries! Berries!" So inevitably, I break down and pick up a container to let her munch on them while I shop. I know that's bad.. I know they need to be washed. But it's either that or have a screaming child in the commissary. I can deal with a screaming child on my own, but I don't want to subject every other shopper to her lungs. Maybe I should pack some berries before we shop.. Why didn't I think about that before?

So, about those lungs of her's... Holy moly. I didn't realize that the "terrible two's" started so early. We're only at 15 months, people! She just turned 1! But folks, this little girl knows what she wants, when she wants it, and she thinks she knows how to get it.

Yes, I have a screaming toddler. In fact, I have a toddler who, about 2 weeks ago, screamed so hard and with such force, that she gave herself a nose bleed. Yep. I have a toddler who screams until she doesn't have air left in her lungs, then forgets to inhale, and passes out. She's done that a grand total of 5 times now. Last week she did it twice in one day. Thank Heavens, every time she has done that, she's either been in mine or Jason's arms, or lying on the floor. I would hate for her to give herself a concussion on top of it.

I brought this up with the pediatrician, and he says it's totally normal, and just a part of her temperament. He also said that she would probably outgrow it, especially if I don't give in to her demands when she's throwing such a tantrum. I *never* give in, by the way. I will NOT have a child who demands things, and then gets them. The battle of wills is starting early in my house, and so far it's Mommy 5, KB 0. I just hope I can hold out after Baby G arrives.
Saturday, December 10, 2011

Vacation Part III: Family Time! -- Or -- Why Katie Needs a Dog

Now that I'm a good 2 weeks removed from being home in November, I can't think of anything to write. We had a truly wonderful time! By far my favorite part was getting to see Katie Beth bond with her extended family members. For instance, at first she was a little wary of her Papa, Jason's dad.  But by the time we left two weeks later, she was all about giving him hugs and kisses.

She learned how to ride a horsey while we were in Tennessee!

Our niece Shelby was definitely Katie's favorite family member. Shelby is 3, and is a wonderful older cousin! She played with Katie, shared with her, talked to her.. it was so sweet! Katie wanted to be where Shelby was at all times. She smothered Shelby with kisses, gave her big hugs.. and the sweetest thing ever.. Shelby got scolded for something and she cried. KB climbed close to her and wiped her tears away! I'm telling you, Katie Beth LOVED Shelby! That makes me so happy because I know that a girl's cousins are her very first best friends. I am so looking forward to the day that KB and Shelby are telling secrets in their bedrooms, or giggling about boys.

Shelby and Katie Beth - Cousin love!


KB's second favorite person wasn't a person at all. In fact, it wasn't even *one* of anything. If there was a dog around, KB was a happy girl. In fact, there were times where she wouldn't even say the name of the person we were with, but she would learn the dog's name in a matter of minutes. She never said Papa, Pop, Mimi, Mammaw or Pappaw.. but she did say versions of the names Hannah, Ally, Luther, and Lacey. We seriously have to get this kid a dog soon.


Getting reacquainted with Lu-Lu (Luther)


Roxie coming in for kisses

Getting love from A-La-La (Ally)

Getting totally ignored by An-Na (Hannah)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Vacation Part II: Getting to the South East

First, I must tell of our debacle trying to get to Tennessee, and why I will *never* fly through San Francisco again, if I have the choice.

We were scheduled to leave San Diego on Friday afternoon. We were flying into St. Louis, but had a small layover, just 40 minutes, in San Francisco. We got all loaded up on the plane, and started taxiing out for take off. That is, until the Captain came over the intercom and told us that there was a weather delay in San Francisco, and we weren't being allowed to leave. In fact, this weather delay was a TWO HOUR delay, so they were sending us back to the terminal.

We were so freaked out because we only had a 40 minute layover to begin with, and now it looked like we were going to miss our flight to St. Louis all together. We lined up with all 798 other passengers (or so it seemed) to try and figure out what we were going to do about our flight. About 45 minutes into waiting, we heard one of the attendants announce that the St. Louis flight was greatly delayed also, and that we would definitely make it. Well, we did, because he was right. Our flight to St. Louis was delayed an additional 2 hours out of San Francisco because of the weather. Apparently, SF has a very small flight line, but they schedule 2 flights to land and take off at a time on Fridays. This is fine except for Fridays where the weather is even the slightest bit windy, or rainy, or whatever, and then only one can go of the scheduled two. Soooooo, pretty much every flight on the West Coast is delayed if San Francisco has crappy weather. Awesome.

Flying with a toddler is not a good time, in case you were curious. Flying with one who has been awake since 7 am, with few chances at a nap, is even worse. There's just not enough Yo Gabba Gabba in the world to occupy her. She did have a really good time in the SF airport, though.  You see, Katie Beth has a new obsession with dogs, which I briefly mentioned in my last blog. I don't really know why, considering we haven't had a dog since before she was born. But seriously, she adores them. Anyway, we were hanging out in the terminal, when she started pointing behind me and declaring "Daw! Daw!" I turned around numerous times expecting to see a service dog or something, and there just wasn't one there. Katie Beth, however, INSISTED that there was a dog. After about 5 minutes of this, I realized what she was pointing at.... A lady behind us was wearing a fur-lined jacket. I love my kid :)

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The Sub Wife Life