Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012


007 ran off to complete a mission in Tanzania for the next two weeks and left me to look after a boba fett (?) and a lobster!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

a content big brother

Graham's first and foremost concern when we told him we'd be having a baby in the family was how in the world we were going to feed the thing.

"Um," he said, "We're going to need some baby spoons so we can feed it."

"You're right, Graham, but first the baby will just need milk. Hopefully, if all goes well, milk from Mom."

"Yes, but what about milk in a bottle so I can feed it?"

"Well, we can put Mom's milk in a bottle and you can help feed. No worries."

That suited him just fine.

Then, Shablaina came along and was such a good breastfeeder that I never got around to teaching her how to use a bottle because it was never a necessity. So, well, she never learned. Then she simply  wouldn't take a bottle, so Graham never got to feed the baby like he'd hoped.

Until this week when Shablaina decided to go on a full blown "nursing strike," and only wanted milk from bottles.

A streak of anxiety for me.

A dream come true for Big Brother Grahambo.

Monday, October 22, 2012

stepping out of the ordinary

We did so many things over the weekend that we haven't done in a long time, and some things we've never done at all... Left the kids with an overnight sitter, rented a room in a fancy schmancy hotel chalk full of Italian elegance, wore fake eyelashes (go big or go home, right?) and too much makeup, sat at an adults only table and used real silver, held hands, laughed like teenagers, watched fireworks, and attended a Navy Ball.

It was our first and probably last Navy Ball as we begin whispering goodbye and saying thank you to the Navy... Only 8 or 9 more months, people.  We'll talk about that, later. I'm still reminiscing my extraordinary weekend.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

and happy anniversary

One of my favorite stories about my grandpa is that his mom told him he could not get married until he was at least 21 years old.

So, he turned 21, waited a day, and then married his sweetheart.

Happy 52nd anniversary Grandma and Grandpa (my most loyal and loving blog readers).

I'm really glad you are still putting up with each other and being a good example to me and my sweetheart.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy birthday Graaaannndpaaa

Thanks for continuing to prove to me that absolutely nothing is impossible.

Wish we could celebrate together.

Miss you more than you know.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

this time of year

I love the sunsets at our house this time of year.

We all like to gather around at dinner time and watch the sun melt into the water.

I'm never going to want to leave this place...

Monday, October 15, 2012

things I learned over the weekend

First thing, I'm never going to take NyQuil again. I couldn't wake up on Sunday, and I dreamed that a grim reaper looking shadow thing came over my bed twirling an ax and I didn't know whether to scream or run or just hold still and pray he/she was only in the house looking for stuff, and not for me. It was terrifying.


I also learned that furniture from Ikea is both life-changing and a pain in the rear. We finally got around to getting ourselves a nice desk and a couple of dressers, and they have taken all our time to put together. Seriously, I don't even know how I have time to write this. I should stop.

But I can't.

Because there's one more thing about the weekend that needs mentioning.

Alaina turned 7 months old.

 Seven months. Boom.

Friday, October 12, 2012

a little more on Munich

Well, I said we survived Oktoberfest, but I didn't say we survived without a little hurting. I've been laying low, feeling a bit sick this week. The festivities in Munich may have had something to do with it...

You might be wondering why we've been to Germany so much, lately. When we decided to go to Oktoberfest for my birthday because you just have to go to Oktoberfest if you live in Europe, it was long before 007 suddenly had two work trips to do over there. His schedule can be a bit shifty, you know.  If 007 gets to work anywhere in Europe, rather than Africa, I like to go with him because it's affordable and fun. So, that is why we've spent a good deal of time in Bavaria these past few months.

Surfing in Munich? Yep. They have this cool wave on the river in the middle of the giant city park.

We rented bikes one afternoon, which caused me to reflect on the huge age difference between our kids. One is so small, we had to strap her down tight to keep her from falling out. The other is bursting out the top with his legs crunched up...

Big ole coo coo clock.

"Shablaina," Graham's nickname for his sister.

I completely appreciate the walk/bike lanes over there. Especially after living in Naples where sidewalks are as rare as white rhinos.

We ate at the Augustiner beer hall/restaurant that wasn't destroyed in World War II.

Of course, we visited some churches.
Not pictured: all the amazing, famous art we viewed. We love art museums.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012



We survived it.

Even with the kids. 


We got in a tent, ate some pretzels, drank some beer, and went on some rides.


Graham even braved the big roller coaster. He said he didn't like it, though, because it hurt his stomach.

And, yes, I survived turning thirty. I felt especially old watching all the college kids drink themselves silly. But, I felt comfortable with my oldness.

On the night of my birthday, we got a babysitter and hit up the fest sans kids. It was liberating and thrilling and, thanks to the man who spontaneously gave us some tickets, we got free beers. We had to wait and get jostled by the tent bouncers, but we eventually were allowed in and served by Thomas. We "prosted" and laughed and talked and even rode the ferris wheel. We felt like kids again.

It was romantic and lovely.

It was a perfect ending to my twenties.

Friday, October 5, 2012


I've been celebrating all week, because as far as I'm concerned, it's all over on Saturday. I deemed it indulgence week, so I've been eating chocolate whenever I feel like it, taking naps when I can, sitting in the sunshine, a night out with the girls, and making (then consuming by the spoonful) homemade salted caramel sauce to put inside of gooey brownies. Did you know that stuff is just sugar, butter, and cream? Well, it is.

Finally, to finish off the week, we're flying to Munich to help close down one of the biggest parties, ever. 

Oktoberfest, here we come!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

a lesson in letting go


If the desire to horde is genetic, then our kids are destined to have houses full of treasures that simply cannot be thrown away. Some people in my or Tony's families like to, how shall I say this? Keep stuff. Collect things. Tony and I fight our desire to hold on to things on a regular basis. I'm just lazy, so I don't know how to organize and sort and throw things away. Tony's more of the sentimental type and actually likes to look at and sort and keep the "important" things. I must say, though, considering where we came from, we are doing pretty okay. Moving with the Navy has certainly helped us. Although, we do still have a car back in Spokane and God knows what else in a storage area somewhere in Oklahoma. Other than that and our disorganized pile of junk in our storage nook downstairs, I think we're doing pretty okay.

We hope Graham will learn to be more okay than us, so we had him burn his sticker board that he's been working on since Alaina was born. He earned his 100 stickers, got his toy (light saber), and so it was time to throw away the board that was originally made from a box he insisted we keep. Hmm. I was ready to throw it out with Tuesday's recycling, Graham said, "No. Absolutely not." Tony suggested we burn it to the ground. Graham and I applauded this suggestion.

Graham had no problems letting go once the lighter was in his hand. 


Time to move on. Time to let go. 


Time, for a new sticker board.

I share this with you as I struggle to let go of something a bit less tangible. Something I couldn't horde even if I tried, and something I definitely cannot burn to ashes. I'm talking about my age. My twenties. I'll be done with them in a few short days and this has got me all twisted up inside. I don't want to be done with my twenties. Not yet.

But, I have no choice, right? I mean, it's time. It's happening. Now is the time. The time is now.

Time to let go.

 Time, for a new decade.

Giddy up. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

the hokey pokey

I never imagined it would be this hard to figure out what to do for my son's Kindergarten education. I've been reading and researching curriculum and home school ideas and dancing the hokey pokey with my 5 year old like nobody's business. But, have you ever done the hokey pokey with just one other person? It's, well, it's sad. After a valiant effort, I have to admit that home school simply doesn't jive with me.

I tried home school, not because I felt it was a calling and something I was destined to do, but because I felt trapped. I really don't like the other options for school for him around here, so I thought I could do it myself. And I can do it, I think. I just don't really want to, and I think Graham would benefit more by having others to help stimulate his mind throughout the day.

So, last week, I talked to some people and heard that the school where Graham went last year has made some good changes. Everything I didn't like about it last year seems to have changed. And so, we're giving it another try.

Today was Graham's first day there.

He was excited and he said he liked it, but it only took a few minutes of him being home for me to remember some of the reasons I didn't like the school. First and foremost, his farts smell really bad when he gets home from school you guys. Seriously. I don't know what they put in their pasta. Second, he's exhausted and sort of mean and a little more difficult for me to handle. I imagine that has to do with the fact that he's been in another culture and language all day and it is probably hard to switch back. We can work on this. Third, he told me they still put the "babies" in his classroom at times, which is a big problem for me. Terrible two-year-olds do not mix well with Graham. They take his things and hit him and make him paranoid. Ugh. This is something they told me they'd changed, but, clearly, they didn't. Should I say something? Probably.

So, here I am again. Wavering. Uncertain what to do. Worried that Graham will fall behind and never make it to American first grade.

A lot of times when I can't make a decision, I leave it to Graham to do it for me. So, I asked him if he'd rather do home school or Italian school.

His answer?

"Mom. We can do both. You can teach me at home and my teacher can teach me at school. I can go to school some days and stay home some days."

Not a bad idea, Graham. Except for the whole skipping school on some days part, I think that just might work.

Somewhere, Graham saw a "cool older kid" swoop his hair to the side and so that is how he insists on having his hair.