Tuesday, September 27, 2005

First Impressions

Tim has just quietly watched Mia toddle around this week. But I have caught a few of his impressions - 'wow she's loud' and 'she's a tiny little thing' - she is rather petite, barely 20 lbs at 13 months old. But they are getting along _great_. She won't go to him when she's upset yet, but he's not losing sleep over it. We are working with her vigorously on those baby signs to hopefully lower her volume. She picked up the 'help' sign yesterday! That's a big one. Then this morning she got a hold of the remote for the ceiling fan in our room, figured out how to turn it on HIGH, along with the light on BRIGHT, and when her dad came in the room, she showed him the fan using the sign for 'fan'. She also is picking up new words to speak, such as diaper, cat, cheeseburger, shoes, bye-bye, bath, ball and eyes. I thought it was a quite a varied set of words for her age. She also can name almost everryone in our family. Mama, Dada, and Chas and Simon she'll try, but it isn't quite intelligible, and then Nana, PopPop, and Josee (also marginally intelligible, but a noble effort.)

It has been a very long week. Tim arrived home Tuesday morning, and has been recovering from jet lag, with the rest of us trying to live as normal (which actually doesn't exist, I am convinced). Then Tim had to go back to work this week, can you believe it? He calls it mandatory 'don't shoot your wife and kids' class, but I think the true name is Warrior Transitioning. After five men shot their wives and some even shot themselves at FortBragg a few years ago, Oprah did an expose', as did the local stations, that called for the military to claim responsiblity and do more for their members returning from war zones. So it's just half days this week and he is traveling back and forth every day. We looked into renting a beach cabin so we could be with him this week, but none were available. It's tough but nothing we can't handle. He's being a trooper. After this week, he'll go on leave for 30 days. We have plans to go here there and everywhere, of course. But first on the list is to Charleston, SC to look at Mini Coopers. A long time dream of Tim's is coming true.

We had a strange birthday party here on Sunday afternoon. Chas said that he wanted to wait to have his birthday party when his dad came home, and we thought it would be alright to wait on Mia's party too. So they shared! This was Chas' idea, and Daddy made the cake. It was half treasure chest and half lady bug. The favor bags were a mix of pirate treats and ladybug candy. It was great time, Nana Maggie and Papa Jody came with our niece Traci, Josee and Jim, Tim and LeAnn, and Nana Judy (the food was awesome, thanks Nana!) and PopPop Paul. We had a a pinata, a treasure hunt, and of course opened presents. Look for pictures soon!

What else? Oooh! a new computer monitor. We trucked the whole fam up to North Raleigh last night to purchase a 19" flat screen monitor. I am not sure what exactly was wrong with the old one, it was getting dim. But this new one is bigger than our first TV when we got married 8 years ago.

So I'll get some party pictures posted. Check back soon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Home sweet home

he's home. we are busy. more later.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Here is Mia posing for a preview of the sign we made for Daddy. Preparations are almost complete. We have stocked the fridge and cabinets. Chas helped out at the grocery store, just he and I went. Lowe's Foods has child size carts and he maneuvered his quite well through the store and even unloaded it at the check out stand. He held the doors for me at ChikFilA, on the way in and the way out, even offered me some of his chicken. We split a piece of cheesecake, too. A few nights ago Simon and I had our time together, we went to ChikFilA and then to Target. When we got back that night Simon ran over to his brother and said 'I am so happy about you'. I think he meant to say he was happy to see him. And tonight when Chas and I returned with the groceries, he said ' I was so worried about you', to both of us. He was so excited about the surprise he and Nana made for me. They weeded the walk way leading to the side porch. I asked Simon did he like helping, and he said 'I watched, that's why (how) I helped'. Ah. I see.
So I have no idea, but I am hoping that by now Tim has left Iraq, or at least gotten his first flight in that direction. Please keep us in your prayers! Oh and thanks for checking in!

...and onto the trash can

This one was a copy cat move... she saw Simon climbing onto the trash can by way of a canister full of birdseed.

headed for new heights

Here she is trying to climb onto the chest freezer to get to our keys hanging on hooks.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

More NY Pix


Look what I found! NY Pix

First sight of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry on the ride to Lower Manhattan.

A - Ha

I knew she was capable of being still.

Question of the Day

Just how does one keep the baby from climbing on the table during school lessons??

The walls were crashing down around us this morning as I struggled to get through just a few minutes of lessons. Mia climbed on the table and before I could get to her, she had knocked her high chair tray on the floor and cheerios and raisins and gnawed pieces of plum went _everywhere_. Meanwhile, Chas was fixing juice for both he and his brother, but spilled one on his math work. While he was getting a towel, I went off to get the broom and dustpan. When I got back, Chas was cleaning the spill and Mia was back on the table dipping the markers in my coffee. Mia now knows how to climb up on the furniture. Last night, after helping her self to some stale poptart from the kitchen table - she was apparently on some sugar high, she then climbed up on the couch and was running back and forth from one side to the other. She crashed hard very soon after, not on the floor, but in my arms - we had barely rocked through one lullaby and she was out like a light. She has also figured out how to use the child's potty as a stool and climb into the bath tub, she usually follows me in there while I am cleaning or 'reading'. We play peek a boo with the shower curtain.
I don't remember the boys being this busy. I fear for her safety and, apparently, cannot leave her for a minute.
The kids and I went out early this morning to beat the hurricane and secure all the toys and lawn furniture. Then Chas rolled the trash cart in from the street, all by himself. It was empty but still awkward. And he help it open while Simon and I tossed in some yard waste. We also cleaned up the deck, they decided what might blow away in a strong wind and put it all in the deck box. So we are prepared for heavy wind and rain for an extended stay of Hurricane Ophelia. Ironically our unit study this week is weather. How convenient. No shortage of History Channel programs and news reports on this topic.

So really, though, if anyone has any ideas of how to keep the baby off the table during school lessons, PLEASE leave a comment.


I sat down to write the other day but Blogger was down and now this is the first chance I have had to update Tim's homecoming information. They now expect to return by Monday or Tuesday. Even though not much surprises me these days, and this in itself is not really surprising, I am surprised by not being more upset at the delay in his return than I actually am. The only thing I can figure is that it would take too much energy to get upset, and there is _nothing_ I can do to bring him home any sooner.
But I can use the time wisely. I can clean the whole house at least two more times over in the extra four days we now have to live through. I KNOW he doesn't care if the house is clean and dclutter free, but I am not doing it for him, I am doing it for myself. I do not expect him to notice, compliment or even help keep it this way. And that is fine with me. I simply want to give the general impression that we have not actually lived in squalor in his absence. And... I want to keep myself busy these last few days lest they begin to d_r_a_g_____ on and on, such as the last 7 months have.
So after the last cabinet is organized, the last carpet vacuumed, the last toilet bowl scrubbed, and every stitch of laundry is clean, dry folded, put away, then we are off to Heidi's to hang out and W A I T . I will W A I T there until I have my husband back.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Mia in the Middle

Forgot to post this with the last entry.

Labor Day Weekend Guests

Tim's dad and step-mom and his sister Haylee came up from Alabama for Labor Day weekend. They stayed at a local hotel that has a pool. So we spent the weekend visiting, swimming and, of course, eating. Grandpa treated us to dinner at O'Charley's in Garner for Grandma Ginnie's birthday. And then they took the boys and Mia on a shopping spree in the Dollar Tree. Chas and Simon had great fun at the pool, they were able to float around in their swim rings all the way into the 5 foot section of the pool. Chas is even getting the hang of using his arms and kicking his feet to propel himself forward. He likes to call it swimming, and he's pretty good at it. Mia and her grandpa found a special bond right away. Like magnets. Tim is very much like his dad. This should serve them both well for bonding when he returns.

Which is the next big news to share. Current information points toward him leaving Iraq on Monday. It should be a speedy trip with no overnight stays anywhere, but I doubt it will be a same day return, if that makes any sense. The kids and I will travel to Jacksonville on Tuesday, squeeze in a few doctor's appointments and hang out at our friend's house until someone calls us with a time to pick him up. I believe they are flying in to Cherry Point Air Station, but we'll get him at Camp Lejeune. Even allowing for delays, I fully expect all of us to be home in Clayton by the end of the week.

In the meantime, we are filling each day with plenty of things to keep us busy. My dad came and got Tim's truck up and running and then took it home with him to wash and vacuum it. We purchased materials today to decorate a welcome home poster for the front door. And we are planning lots of home cooked meals; soon we'll fill the pantry and fridge. We'll pick out special clothes to wear and pack our suitcase to go to Heidi's to _wait_.

Thanks for checking in with us, and please keep our family on your prayers as we face unique challenges of reunion. Of course, we'll post a message when he returns, or if there is any change in plans.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Washington Times Article Link

Here's a link to an article my sister sent me. It seems to make sense of my thoughts regarding the disaster on the gulf coast.