Saturday, February 18, 2012

Getting Warmer..

As P had his playtime this morning, I overheard his adventure:
"Take me at a-London! I wanna go to a-London!" "You wanna go wis (with) me?" "Ok we're going to be at a-London!"... I LOVE seeing his imagination at work!  He counted 13 cars in a row yesterday with his Daddy.  We're such proud parents!

The past few weeks have been SO COLD here in Germany.. And now that the temperature has been between 32-40ish Farenheit, many of us are finding ourselves making comments about how warm it is outside.  It's kind of funny, and yesterday I even agreed to go to the indoor pool with Daniel and Parker simply because I knew I wouldn't freeze to death upon leaving. 

more photos once I learn how to keep them from loading sideways..

Speaking of COLD...Back in January, we went to Garmisch... In Bavaria, the Southern Alps of Germany.  That's a place where the freezing weather doesn't feel so freezing because you're in the Alps and you just know its supposed to be cold.  This trip was our 2nd time as a complete family, but #3 for me and P.  Here we are at the top of the Partenkirchen Gorge.  It is such a beautiful place, and the whole walk is about a 4-5 mile hike.

We made it!

Here's a typical sight in my kitchen:  :) This is Parker's Drawer... Don't overthink the sanitation of a plastic dish that I may bring goodies in....

7 Feb 2012

The cake

As you may have heard, Mr. Wise was Airman of the Year for Security Forces on Ramstein, then he moved up to the next level and was awarded Airman of the Year for the 86th Mission Support Group.  This nominated him to be selected from 7 people to represent the entire Wing.  He didn't get selected at THIS level, but the dinner was fun, the cake was much prettier than it was tasty, and the guy who won over Daniel was a super-nice guy that D was glad for.  Especially since he's not staying active duty, D was a bit relieved, and also very honored to have been recognized among one of the largest MSGs in the whole Air Force. 

Airman of the Year for 86th Mission Support Group
on Ramstein Air Base.  I'm a lucky girl!

We had dinner in a hangar.. And we got to walk out of that plane
 as they announced all the nominees!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chili Cookoff

We had a chili cookoff today to celebrate Daniel's finishing his Bachelor degree from LU.  I'm so stinkin' proud of that man!  We decorated a day ahead of time with red and blue balloons and streamers, and balloons kept popping out of nowhere, and we had discussed how streamers tend to loosen up after they hang awhile..and Parker kept saying, "Those will fall down to-mah-row (tomorrow)" then this morning they were still up, he said "Those NOT fall down to-mahh-row!!"  He was very northern about it, and very glad that Daddy's party didn't break.

We had 3 chili contestants and 2 prizes--a cookbook and a $25 gift card, and over all, I think everyone had a good time.  My lips are chapped to pieces--I can't handle spicy well, but each chili was delicious!  I got all the ballots, labels, invitations, everything from here so I didn't have to use my brain at all!  We have wayyy too many carby leftovers--chips, fritos, baked potatoes, calrose rice, brown rice, ahh we are going to bloat and float to Mexico if we eat it all by next week. Oh, and I made the crockpot cake best served with Breyer's triple chocolate ice cream, and ate lots of it...  Good thing we both need lots of calories! Right? ...

Parker's quote of the day:
"Baby Judah 'yaxin (relaxin') in there, him watch a Movie with his Mommy and Daddy, and eat a COOKIE and read a book like at Kiefer's house (where we went in Dec. for a cookie&book swap), and he play CARS but him not talk, he only KIE (cry).. He yaxin' in you tummy, Mommy. Him stay warmmm in dere."  
Sounds like Baby Brother is DREAM LIVIN' and Parker knows all about it!

This evening, we went to a farewell party for a friend we met the FIRST weekend we moved here! His wonderful wife and kids already went stateside a few weeks ago.  We are going to miss them, and we cherish the memories we made over the past 3 years! This military moving stuff is tough sometimes... But I'd rather have a great friend around for a short time, than no friends at all.  Most people end up being worth the time you put into them. Don't you think?

Life Update

Oh wow, its been over a year since I posted, but I think I want to get back into blogging both for others and for myself, so that in the future I'll have a "journal".  I would say I'll go back and fill you in on the past 13 months, but I don't wanna tell a fib. So we'll start with here and now.

Daniel's career has been rewarding and FULL OF AWARDS lately- I am SO SO proud of him.  And he is so humble about it all.  We are unsure of our next step (staying in? starting over? moving back to our hometown? and 349857 other options) but we are praying that God will make it OBVIOUS by shutting the wrong doors and maybe having someone pull him through the right one.  We, the dependents, will follow anywhere :)

Making Christmas pictures for the neighbors! Dec 2011

Baby2 is due in June, and we are blessed already by his part in our lives. I can feel him moving often, he's a busy little buffalo!  Parker kisses and loves on my belly everyday, blows "blueberries, not strawberries" on his brother (I actually call that blowing raspberries but whatever), and sets a car (one wheel in my bellybutton) so that baby Judah can have a turn.  He came and shoved 4 cars and 2 blocks under my shirt today and said "There you go, Baby Juju".  I'm glad he's sharing!  I am absolutely THRILLED that I get to stay home with my babies every single day. Parker has provided many hilarious stories and I'm glad I don't miss too much.

I am also considering which direction I should take with my stay-home "career". I'm still cutting hair and I enjoy every second of that, and I still sell It Works, but I'm not really into SALES, even though my downline is doing incredible.  Since I'm pregnant I'm not doing hair color--the chemicals make me dizzy--so I miss that like crazy: The artistry, chemistry, and the one-on-one time with clients.  I'm blessed to have that skill available anywhere we go, and plan to do it for years and years.

I also LOVE writing and Daniel's been encouraging me like crazy to actually DO IT more often, so I'm getting back into it.  I have a few books in mind for kids, and about 12 unfinished songs sitting in files. So there's a lot of ground I've already covered, just gotta RUN WITH IT.  I'm excited about pursuing an old dream, because when I'm writing/singing/composing, I'm full of excitement and fulfillment.  I don't experience that with some other income-producing things I've tried, and the thing about the songs is.. I don't care about making money.. I hope to share them and help people's hearts become refreshed and reminded about the important things in life.

Our time in Germany is closing, and I have to keep reminding myself to SLOW DOWN and enjoy RIGHT NOW. So I'm working on a song:

Not sure why these photos are sideways... Sorry!

Take a moment, take a breath,
Sit and stare at the sunset
And live life slow
As slowly as possible

Hold your babies, hold your fire
Kiss your lover even if you're tired
And live life slow
As slowly as possible...
I've been saying those lines to myself OVER AND OVER for the past few days... More to come :)

Thanks for reading,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Parental thoughts... Wants vs. Needs and maybe TMI

Well, there are only 19 days until Christmas!  This is always an exciting time of year, even though a biggish part of me selfishly wants Daniel to share it with me... But I think all of us feel that way.

Parker got to open a present from Daddy last night on Skype.  It was a box of wooden blocks.  Boy, did he show off for his Dada!  He got all excited, took the blocks out, and showed Daddy how good at KNOCKOVERS he is.  He kept runinng out of the room (as soon as he passed through the doorway he thought he was hidden, and we'd say Oh Where Is That Parker?!) then he'd turn around laughing and silly-running back to me at the computer.  It's so cute, he kind of dance-walks, throwing his knees out to the sides and flailing his arms about.  He kept giggling and acting goofy. It was lots of fun.  He's so charming :)

He ate a lot today.  I've learned that I have to forcefeed him the first few bites before he realizes that he LIKES it... Then he chows down.  For a boy who eats probably 80% MommyMilk, this is an improvement because he normally only eats goldfish, sweetpotato puffs, or pretzel sticks.  Well, Momma came to the realization that what Baby wants is not necessarily what he needs, even if it would make him happy to eat crunchy junk carbs all the time.

And just in the past 3 or 4 days I've really tried hard to apply that thought to many areas of my parenting.

---> I think it is my job to do what's best for him in the long run, despite temporary unhappiness... I'm learning not to focus on Parker's FEELINGS as much, because it is very important that I teach him what's RIGHT, as uncomfortable as it may be sometimes!  Face it, if we all did anything that felt good at any moment... we'd all be fat, uncommited, and uneducated. (I do not dismiss the feel-good parts of life though, I'm talking about a fair balance and I think you know what I mean).  Seems easier to just let him have his way all the time, but I know that won't benefit him when he's older.  I want him to learn self-control and be a respectful young man, and even though it is difficult now.. I'm thinking it will make life easier later.  I'm not a meanieMommy, I just want to instill in him some proper manners (i.e. no throwing food, or on-purpose spills) and he really does understand when I tell him to stop.  Its not just SAYING it either, its FOLLOW THROUGH.  I'm no expert but I know that repeatedly telling a kid to stop doesn't make them listen to you unless they respect your authority and know that consequences will come after disobedience.  Parker gets 1 minute "isolation" in the pack-n-play and is normally ready to return to good behavior afterwards.  He actually doesn't even cry when I put him in there most of the time, but that break also gives ME time to walk away and cool down.

So even with "demand feeding"-- he was wanting to nurse nonstop this morning. I told him no because he had already eaten for like 45 minutes.  I have NEVER told him "no" about Mommymilk before. He cried, but only for a few minutes.  I held him til he relaxed and finally went to sleep for about 3 hours til waketime.  Oh it broke my heart a little  but I knew he was dry and full and needed sleep.  I'm a sucker and can't stand the CRY IT OUT alone thing, so I let him cry in my arms.  It worked.  He also usually wants to nurse a LOT during the day so I've been spacing it out a little (he knows the sign for milk and says MAMAMA (mamamilk) when he wants it, so I have to tell him "no not right now honey" + a fun distraction). I'm also trying to fill him up with more solids.. I can't be an all-day buffet- its exhausting! He is 14 months old and I don't plan to wean him anytime soon but I also plan to help him slowly adjust.

We are trying to get him into his bed in preparation for Daddy coming home, but with all the traveling we've done its been tough... yes, he's wound up in bed with Mommy for the past several months, and he actually slept through the night (in his own bed) when he was 6 weeks old so i know its my fault!  So I've been putting him down for naps in his room and starting the nightsleep in there too.  He's getting used to it, and because I'm not going to bed at 8pm and snuggling him all night, he's learning a little independence and confidence in me that I will still be there (even if I am in the next room) when he wakes up.  And when he's awake I have to make a point to read books with him, play, sing, goof off, and snuggle with him. I must get down to his level (crawling), and bring him up to mine (helping Mommy). 

For the most part, we have lots of fun together!  He is such a sweet child, and he thinks I'm funny so we laugh a lot.  It's so neat to see his little personality developing and his curiousity growing.  Being snowed in the past few days has allowed me some time to focus on these few areas.  I'm a new mommy and have a lot to learn, but I feel a lot more confident with a goal in mind.  I don't expect perfection (from Parker or myself) and that's a big step for me. My expectations might go back up again tomorrow though, haha, so I've got to continually pray for guidance and a daily (or hourly) reality check! Maybe my thoughts can help someone else.

One last thing, I've decided NOT to do hair until Daniel is back home to take care of Parker while I'm doing it.  The past few appointments have been quite disastrous... He doesn't understand that Mommy is "off limits" while unfamiliar people are in the house as Mommy is attacking them with scissors and spraying them with water.  I end up saying "sorry, hold on while I try to get him to nap/eat/chillout/playalone/whatever" and its totally unprofessional. He ends up covered with hair and it gets all over the house. Clients are here for LONG periods of time and we all end up hungry and groucho. The only exception is if I hire a sitter (profit=ZERO) or its someone who Parker is comfortable with their spouse.. So that leaves me with like 3 clients.  I'm cool with that for now.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The past few months...

The past few months have gone by SLOWLY... A mixture of fun and boredom, excitement and inconsistency, and overall good times.  Parker is now 14 months old.  Daddy has been in Iraq for a little more than 3 months, and we spent 6 weeks in the states with family for our birthdays.  For Thanksgiving, we went to Garmisch, Germany to visit some friends.  We get to talk to Daniel almost everyday on Skype so it makes the seperation easier.  But I never want to do this geographical bachelor thing again!!!  The good news is, Daniel has been "right" about nearly every decision lately, so I'm learning to trust his judgment and leadership more.  God always provides what we need, far beyond the basics.

Parker is potty training and that THRILLS me!  He is learning the sign for "toilet" and we'll say POTTY or POOPOO.  He's only learning to go #2 but hey, he's 14 months old! The last 5 days have been successful, with only one dirty diaper!

We are getting ready to head to the states again for the Christmas holidays, and I'm so excited.  I feel so blessed that Parker has so many grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that love him so much. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Fort in France

Woohoo--Daniel actually had a 3 day weekend.  And by weekend, I mean Monday through Wednesday of this week.  It was fabulous!  On Monday (Memorial Day) we stayed home to relax, and do homework.  Parker helped Dada study:

In the evening Daniel built a fire on our back porch.  We roasted marshmallows and ate them with chocolate chips.  Since there were no graham crackers, I called them "low carb" S'mores. :)  Don't think there's much truth in that, though..

Parker was not too interested in the fire... Maybe because it was pretty much a smoke stack for the first half hour or so, not to mention the fact that I was trying to feed him green beans while he was in the exersaucer all bundled up in lots of clothes.  There were lots of distractions.  The fire eventually blazed in the cold night, and was beautiful.  We love being outside.  I read a quote somewhere that to admire nature is to worship God.

Parker has started pointing at things and can sit up on his own.  It is SO cute to see that plump little hand pointing at Dada or a toy.  He normally touches the thing he is pointing at, so his little finger rests there as he studies it.  Tuesday was a restless night, so Parker ended up in our bed.  I actually slept well (He normally keeps me half-awake so I don't really like him sleeping in there).  The next morning, I woke up to sweet sounds of baby jabber and an index finger shoving into my eyelids.  When the eyelash-petting stopped, I opened my eyes to see my sweet little guy sitting up and working on Daniel's eyelids.  It was like he was saying "Hey, are you in there?  Come out, its time to play!"  It was such a sweet moment.

On Wednesday, we headed over to France to a huge fort in the town of Bitche.  Yes, you say it how you would think.  Sometimes it sounds like "beach" but that's about as PG as the name gets.  Once we got over the feeling bad about saying it, we enjoyed what the place had to offer!  We ate quiche and baguettes at a little Tea Cafe in town, then headed up to the huge stone architecture that is visible from nearly every point in the town.  The Fort was SO fun!  Definitely one of the best audio tours we have ever taken (thats why we have headphones).  It was very interactive and easy and fun.  I recommend it highly.  If you come visit me, I will probably take you to Bitche.  You can't even take a picture of the fort unless you're like a mile away, so here are a few pieces of it (with us in the foreground, of course).  And I'd like to say that this place in NOT the place to be in a bad mood.  Bad moods cause bad jokes when you're in a town with such a name.

The walk up to the fort was steep and bumpy for a baby in a stroller.  Perfect opportunity to SING, or, "aaahhhh" over the bumps.  Parker is a good singer.

Here, Daniel is inside the Well Room.  Two men would get in this wheel and run like hamsters to draw water up from the well during the French Revolutionary War.  Pretty cool, I think!

Sheep on the hill!

Did I mention that it was a beautiful day?  Included in our tour of the fort was a Garden Tour.  It was very interesting, too.  There are some HUGE plants there!  Parker-sized leaves and flowers bigger than his head!  Parker had his first merry-go-round ride, and the botany everywhere provided for some great pictures.
I LOVE seeing my boys together!  Makes my heart sing. (And Dada time gives me time to get things done sometimes, like cleaning the kitchen for example)/.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Videos Galore

Here we are playing on the floor:

Parker's 8 month birthday (Enjoy my singing):

These are not in chronological order, but they are from the past month or so.
Here is a typical 5 minutes in Virginia with our families!!

Crazy, but I love it!

Cloth Diapers provide quite an exploratory event at each diaper change.  My kid eats more than I thought....  OnThursday, I made a paper craft, and on Friday, what do I find?  Some blue flowerprints in the diaper...  Good to know it passes right through.  Then today, I found a plastic pricetag piece--the part that looks like a string but holds the paper to the clothes.  Yep, goes straight through, too.  I promise I clean the floors!!

With all this hand-to-mouth exploring, you would expect him to be ready for all sorts of textures in his baby food, so I decided to try grownup applesauce on his 8 month birthday.  As you can see, he's not a fan of the textured food yet.  For now, he wants liquidy foods and paper or plastic.

Here are a few more from exploring the world.  They are candid and random, but hey, it will make you feel like you were there.
Happy Feet: This is in VA while we were visiting Grandma Burris (5 generations!)

Here are the Wise Guys playing in VA

Playing with Mee Mee

I LOVE his chunky legs!  We are so blessed to have such wonderful memories. Have a great day <3