Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Rainy Day

It rained today - again. We HAD to get out of the house so we threw on wellies and raincoats, grabbed our umbrellas and went out to play. The kids had a great time splashing in the puddles and chasing each other around. Here they are inspecting the crocuses that are blooming in our front yard.The daffodils that we planted way back in October - there was no way I thought they would come up since the clay under the mulch was rock hard!Aoife enjoying the rain - and an umbrella!Aidan and his frog umbrella:Emmy and her ducky raincoat:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Cake

Sorry to bore you with these cakes! Here's another one from last week - a 33rd bday!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Aidan and Emmy's Hip Hop Dancing

Both Aidan and Emmy have been taking Hip Hop dance class at the youth activities center on post. They LOVE it and they've had tons of fun! Here is a sampling of the dancing!
Aidan dancing - he's in the white shirt:

Emmy dancing - she's in the pink pants and pink hairbow:

Emmy dancing - pink pants and brown shirt:

Emmy's sad face

I made Emmy mad at me the other day for something or other. She took the magnetic drawing board out to the trampoline and came back with this:This is how I made her feel. Glad she can at least communicate with art! :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

4 BCT Cake

My lovely neighbor recommended me to her unit welcome. The 4th Brigade Combat Team's symbol is a spade and their colors are black and white. Not the most exciting colors but I think it came out nicely. The black spades are covered with rainbow disco dust because they were just so boring in plain black! The topper is made of iced sugar cookies. I also made a few extra cookies and bagged them up as favors for VIPs. The cake inside was vanilla cake layered with almond scented Swiss meringue buttercream and raspberry jam. It was frosted with vanilla buttercream and the black spades are made of rolled fondant.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A windy day at the park

On Monday Aidan didn't have school but Emmy did. It was a holiday but Emmy's school is trying to make up some of the days that we have lost due to snow. Aidan, Aoife and I went to a park down by the river to try to run off some of the cabin fever. They had a great time and it was fun to watch Aoife play. She's gotten so much bigger since the last time we were at this park and she's becoming so much more independent. I can't believe that my baby will be 2 in two months!Aoife has decided that she now loves the camera and will sit and say "cheese" even if there isn't a camera around!Testing her boundaries:Showing off his toothlessness:And, have you seen those eyes??

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mario the Fish

I found this adorable fish bowl for Aidan's birthday - how can you resist a fish in space?? We got the bowl set up a few days ago and went to get the fish on Saturday. It's a great new distraction and the kids LOVE watching it swim around!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Two Front Teeth

Aidan finally lost his second front tooth last night. They have been loose for 8 months if not longer and they'd gotten really bad within the past two weeks. He agreed to let me pull one two nights ago but wanted to keep the second one in for another day so he could gross out his teachers. Last night I managed to get one good pull in on the second one and it came out. There are two big teeth right there under the surface ready to come out - you can see them!! He won't be toothless for long!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

10 things I'm going to do this year

This week I've kept a piece of paper on the kitchen island. Whenever I thought of something that I'd like to get accomplished this year, I jotted it down. By the end of the week there were a whole pageful of "to do's" and some artwork by Aoife. Instead of boring everyone with the entire list, I've narrowed it down to the top 10.

#10 - Keep the car clean. I know this sounds easy but I seem to have a really hard time with this one. I've already made a good start. The car is empty of all toys, food, extra clothing and trash. In the back I have reusable grocery bags, Aoife and Emmy's hourly care bags, the Ergo backpack and the diaper bag. I vacuumed it and got the car washed. I even applied tire cleaner and Rain-X to the windows. Making it a habit to keep the car clean will make Brendan VERY happy!

#9 - Finish Aoife's cross stitch and baby scrapbook. They are both ALMOST done - so close but yet I haven't actually finished them. She turns 2 at the end of April and these need to be finished or else they'll never get done.

#8 - Learn to drive a stick shift. I know, I know - I'm 33 years old and I can't drive a stick. That's humiliating - especially when you consider that we've owned a manual shift car for 5 YEARS! There's really no excuse - I just need to bite the bullet and do it!!

#7 - Take a photography class. I love taking pictures and I've gotten a lot better but I've wanted to take a class for a long time. There was always a new baby or a pregnancy preventing me from taking that chunk of time to do it. This year I have dependable childcare and classes available on post. This is going to be FUN!

#6 - Get new bedding for our bed. We've had our current quilt etc. for almost 10 years and it NEEDS to be replaced. I've been looking for something that I like for about 5 years - no joke - and I just haven't found anything that I like any better than what we have. It is time, though, and I need to find something - and maybe I won't be scared of white - we'll see!

#5 - Get the kids into swimming lessons. The indoor pool on Ft. Campbell just opened up a few weeks ago. At least Aidan, if not Emmy as well, are old enough to take lessons without me in the water. Hopefully I can get them all signed up for the same time - Aoife too! They need to be comfortable in the water before summer comes!

#4 - Potty train Aoife. Oh we're both sooooo ready for this to happen. I need to time it for a few days when we will be home all day. She HATES getting her diaper changed. She's always been like this. She's a really mellow kid but turns into a whirling dervish/screaming banshee when it's diaper changing time. I really hope she trains easily. It'll be the first time that I'll be diaper free for 6 years!!

#3 - Organize my closet. I LOVE an organized closet but I never seem to prioritize it well enough. It takes a good amount of time to get it set up so that it'll be easy to keep it neat. It's a good thing that one thing I have this year is LOTS of time - specifically after 7:30 pm!

#2 - Keep making cakes. Since we got here I've been pretty busy making cakes. It's been great and I love feeling productive and making a little (little) bit of money. I stopped taking orders for a few weeks but I have one due this week coming up and I'm open for orders again. Can't wait to get baking again!!

#1 - Be a good friend. I've already met many new people and started new friendships since we moved here in July. I'd like to develop friendships with both new acquaintances and old friends. The only way we're going to get through this is with each others support.

So we'll see how I do! I have a 360 more days to accomplish my goals. I'm off to a good start and very motivated right now - hopefully that will keep up!!

Spring is coming...

This time last week we were still digging out from under the snow. Today it was 70 degrees and cloudy. The kids had fun jumping on the trampoline before school. I am VERY much looking forward to the weather getting warmer. Aoife especially loves to be outside - even if it means that she's by herself in the backyard. I'm so thankful that we have our little fenced in area!!
Aidan had pajama day at school - so much fun!
Aoife getting air!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Aidan's never ending birthday

Aidan turned 6 today!! It's hard to believe that it's been six years and, as he told me, that he is 1/3 of the way to college?!?! What? I seriously hope he didn't do that math all on his own!! This has been the never ending birthday. His party was way back on the 5th, we celebrated again on Friday with Brendan, then cupcakes at school today and finally another birthday dinner, cupcakes and more presents tonight. The kid really scored on presents - let me tell you!
Here are LOTS of photos that cover it all!
Aidan blowing out the candles on his cake on Friday night:Opening presents on Friday. Aidan is such a good big brother - he let Emmy and Aoife open more presents than he did!Emmy and Aidan admiring the Harry Potter Castle Legos:Aidan and Brendan trying to look tough with nerf guns:Aidan's ceiling this morning - we always put lots of balloons to wake up to:Waking up!Cupcakes at school:Aoife and Emmy joined us for cupcakes - they LOVE being at Aidan's school!

Ooops, I kind of forgot about Valentine's Day

I took these pictures of the kids on Monday morning and then forgot all about Valentine's Day! We recycled Emmy's Christmas hairbow because it matched her Valentine's dress PERFECTLY!Aoife wore pink and borrowed Emmy's headband - Emmy even offered it to her!
Aidan's top teeth are hanging on by threads - literally. He won't let me get near his mouth and it is driving me bananas to look at him wiggle them.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's not goodbye, it's just I'll see you later

I knew this day was coming. I've known it for a long time but I didn't actually think it was going to happen. Denial can be very comforting.
I feel like we've handled this departure better than the previous ones. Instead of focusing on the departure date, we've been enjoying and appreciating our time together as a family. Even the smallest things become special these days. The kids seem to feel the same way and walking to school with Daddy or a bedtime story with him was just that much more fun. Savoring the moments we spent together was such a wonderful way to spend the last few days. If we all lived our lives like this, it would be a much happier world.
We've had all the conversations that they tell you to have. I know much more about my husband's burial preferences than most 80 year olds probably do. I know that if something happens, I will be notified in person between the hours of 0500 and 2400. I know that if he is injured but can make a phone call, it will be his voice I hear on the other end of the phone. I've heard that knowledge is power but in this case I feel so powerless. The power that I do have is here at home. This year is an opportunity for me. I know this sounds strange but it's an opportunity for me to grow and become stronger. My goal for this week is to take some time and write out a list of things I'd like to accomplish during the upcoming year. Some things will be big and some things will be small but if it's written down then it will get done. A year seems like a long time right now but if I don't do this I feel like all of a sudden 9 months will have passed and I will be in the same place I am right now. It would be a shame to waste this time.
Here are some pictures that I took this morning. I wanted to document the process. We didn't take the kids with us. Our neighbor came over and stayed with them while I took Brendan over. I know this sounds strange but they said their goodbyes the night before and then the girls got up and saw him off in the morning. The hangar where we waited was crowded and hot and it would have been very stressful for them to be there. They would have been miserable and bored as well. There were so many crying children and crying wives that I was really glad we didn't bring them. We wanted to make this as calm and normal as possible for all of us. I don't think the kids really understand what's going to happen. They know Brendan isn't coming home for a while but there's no way they can comprehend the length of time. It's a good thing.Brendan and Aoife watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse one more time:
Carrying the bags to the truck:
One *very* last check in and weapons draw:Family time - 1 hour - I'm not sure why they make it so long. As Brendan said, "Nothing can be created or fixed in one hour."All the carry on luggage lined up:Second half of the soldiers waiting to get on the buses:Brendan monitoring bus loading:The last one out the door:Buses leaving for the processing center:A plane coming in - I'm assuming it's the one they took out: