Sunday, November 30, 2008

Welcome Home Hero!

Two weeks ago Jack and I had the privilege of flying to Tennessee to surprise Steve when he came back from his 13-month deployment. His mom, Denni, called me about 5 days before he was scheduled to come home to tell me that she would be flying myself and Jack to see him. The original plan was for her & her family to drive down to welcome him home so I was shocked to hear that we would be going instead! It was so nice and gracious on hers and Joshs part. (I know I have said it a million times but Thank You!!!)

The trip started out with Jack, myself, a carseat, stroller, laptop, carry on, and 2 bags of checked luggage. I broke out in a sweat just writing that sentence!! We had 1 layover which worked out well for diaper changes and what not. Jack was so very well behaved on the planes. He actually ended up being woken up by another baby - the irony, huh? Everything was smooth sailing until I got to the hotel. Walking in I fell with Jack IN MY ARMS!!! I was so scared but he let out a 'semi-frightened scream' and then a giggle, so I knew he was just fine. I did bruise my knees pretty badly but I have been through worse. When we got into the room I was trying to wiggle Jack out of the hotsling and ended up breaking my Coach sunglasses - when I heard them snap I think I heard a piece of my heart break off and drift away, never to give that sense of yuppie entitlement ever again. sigh.

After we were settled in the room the countdown was on. The plane wasnt set to land until 1230 am and it was only 330 pm. I thought I would take a nap and rest up for the many hours of waiting for the plane to arrive but the excitement and anticipation was similar to that of a child on Christmas Eve, there would be no sleep. I managed to keep myself busy (Thank God for Wifi!) and finally it was time to go on post. We had to be there 2 hours early in case the pilot had a lead foot. (Okay, I really have no idea why we had to be there early - that just sounded like it would work, ha) Every 15 minutes a man would walk up to the podium and say "The plane XXXXXXX-XXXXX is set to arrive at Ft.Campbell at XX time" EVERY. 15. MINUTES. I think that made the wait a bit longer, but each time he made his way up to the mic the crowd would cheer louder and louder. Jack slept the entire time we were waiting which was incredibly convenient. Once the plane landed the entire vibe in the building changed from anticipation to complete giddiness. We still had to wait another 20 or so minutes for the soldiers to set their things down and get in formation to walk in for a "3-5 minute welcome home ceremony". When they started walking in Jack was awoken by the cheering and screaming which was perfect timing to get him out of the carseat to go find Daddy.

Trying to figure out which soldier is yours is like playing a game of "Where's Waldo?" and they only give you 15 minutes of family time before they have to report back to turn in their weapons. Luckily there were 3 of us wives sitting together looking for each others guys. I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was hilarious - all I heard was "STRICKLER- STRAIGHT AHEAD!!!!" and I was off like Big Brown at the Kentucky Derby. So with Jack in my arms I ran up to Steve and the look on his face was priceless! It took him a second to register but he said "How did you get here?!?!!??!!" After the initial shock wore off we got to talk a bit and then it was time for him to leave again. He ended up being back at his company for a few hours so we didn't get back to the hotel until almost 6 am.

We had a great visit and actually found a house to move into when we head back down at the beginning of the year. It somewhat fell into our laps and is such a blessing. Now it is time to just pack, pack, pack, only to have to do the same exact thing a year from now.

Brady was shuffled around between my mom, grandma, and my friend, but he had a great time and did great for them. The look on his face when he saw me in the airport was a face I will never forget. He was so happy to see me and the feeling was mutual.

I am so grateful to have gotten to go on this trip and even more grateful that my husband is home safe & sound!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

That's the Cat's Pajamas!

We got a a package from Brady & Jacks Grandma Denni yesterday. Inside were the cutest matching pajamas for the boys! I just had to show them off!

Thank You Grandma Denni!
-Brady & Jack

Monday, November 10, 2008

Like a Fine Wine

Some call her "mom", most call her "grandma", but to us she is "bambaw". The boys and I had the honor of celebrating my great grandmothers - their great GREAT grandmothers - 90th birthday with family and friends this weekend.

She is one incredible lady and you can tell just by the smiling faces at her party. She has a glow to her and her smile is quite contagious. I don't visit her nearly as often as I should and it pains me to know that one day she won't be around. She is such a caring soul and is as slick as a fox. She loves sharing stories and I love listening to them. I remember when she found out I was pregnant with Brady, even though it wasn't the best situation for myself at the time and others just focused on the negative, she said "you have to be happy about a new baby!". Thats just the kind-hearted woman she is. She loves owls and she loves puzzles and those two things will always remind me of her. She has the most gorgeous silver hair and it is always perfectly styled. I will never forget the wonderful Christmas's or Easters at her old house. I just wish my chidren would have gotten to experience them like I did.

She was born in the year 1918. The last year of World War I. The average cost of a home was less than $5000 and a new car cost less than $500. A stamp was $0.03 and a gallon of milk was just $0.55. She was born during the Influenza Epidemic which claimed more lives than World War I. She has seen more in her lifetime than I could ask to see in two lifetimes. I suppose being quite young makes it all so surreal to me. Could you imagine being alive during Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream" speech? Women's Liberation? World War II, Vietnam? The Kennedy assasination? The first man walking on the moon? Being past the peak of life during racial segregation and still living to see the first black president of the United States? I know I am missing so much more but I think you get the point. How-freaking-amazing.

The average lifespan when she was born was less than 50 years, now it is about 80 years, so to be able to celebrate a 90th birthday is truly a miraculous event.

One thing that tugs my heartstrings is that my Nanny wasn't able to celebrate this wonderful milestone with us. I know she was dearly missed at the party and it just wasn't the same without her. Her spirit will never go away. I could actually picture her sitting at Bambaws table sipping her Coke and laughing while mingling with all the guests bragging about her great grandsons. I bet you I could even tell you what blouse she would have worn. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss her. The only thing that takes that pain away is to give my boys a big bear hug and think of how much she would have spoiled and loved them. ~ I miss you Nan.


Friday, November 7, 2008

He slept like a....... baby?

I don't quite understand the concept of "sleeping like a baby" because if that is the case then last night was the first time that my baby actually slept like one.

Last night as I was getting Brady ready for bed I thought to myself "maybe - just maybe - I can get Jack to go to bed right after Brady". It was a long shot but what was the worst that could happen? Him keep me up for the rest of the night? Ha, been there done that. So after I went through the routine with Brady - bath, teeth, story time, lullaby, prayers - I decided to give it a shot. I took him into the bedroom and changed his diaper. I turned all the lights out and let him nurse for 30 minutes. He was still awake but I decided to put the plan into full effect. I swaddled him and laid him down in his bed. I tried to avoid eye contact at all costs because we all know it is over from that point on. He tried to wiggle out of the swaddle and he fussed, not even a cry, just a fuss, for less than 5 minutes. I expected at least a full blown scream for 10 minutes.... whimp. I checked on him just a few minutes later and the little bugger was asleep! Praise the sleep gods for finally listening to my begging and pleading!!

Of course I couldn't go to sleep - there was too much to do! I kept putting off going to bed because I figured he would wake up like usual. I finally went to bed thinking I would be woken up shortly because of my childs 'grown man appetite', especially during the night time hours. Can you imagine my shock when I woke up to SUNLIGHT?!?!?! He did it!! He slept from 8:30 pm - 7 am. I am still in disbelief. I hope we can keep this up - I will be one happy, well rested momma.

I am starting to think that we are usually just missing the sleep window. He is a baby, he does need sleep and by the time I get him to bed he is just overly tired and cranky. I am going to make this a nightly routine and hope it works out for the both of us!

One Bright Eyed & Bushy Tailed Momma -

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bonjour et bienvenue à notre blog!

Hello and welcome to our blog!! We wanted to get this started to keep our family and friends updated on life. We will be moving once again and hope this will be a way to stay connected through pictures, videos, stories, and just daily happenings.

This will also be a wonderful opportunity to document the wild and crazy things our children do as well as the transition from Army life back to civilian life! (Only 1 year left- woohoo!) Hope you enjoy!