Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thanksgiving to Christmas

I think the best way to talk about what we've been up to is just to post a bunch of pictures. So that's what I'm going to do!

So first up are our visitors for Thanksgiving and the first part of December. Jim and Maryanne (aka Papa and Mimi) were here for Thanksgiving. Not only was it an awesome visit, but they flew in/out of Pensacola, so we got to get our Dunkin' fix when we brought them to the airport! YAY! Ok, there was more to it than that.... including a trip to the base to show off Jason's new work-place and pose for a few pictures. Here are Mimi and Papa with Michaela!

And, of course, I couldn't just take pictures of people. So this is a look at the side of the helo, looking up toward the rotorhead.

While Jim and Maryanne were here (and again with Mom and Heather), we went to Bellingrath Gardens to see the Christmas in Lights display. I had to get this shot of the flamingoes just for my lovely friends Christina and Brad! We think about you guys whenever we see flamingoes!!
Besides the flamigoes, I just LOVED these trees! These were just made out of strings of lights, in a huge open field. And the picture does them no justice!

Here are my two favorite people, taking in the view!! Look at the smile on that cute little toddler's face! If I remember right, a melt-down came shortly after that!

And since I never put any pictures of me on here, and I was happy to finally get a good one of me and Heather together, here's another one from our second visit to Bellingrath.

Michaela was eating up all the grandparent time! She and Grandma had some cuddles in the morning before Mom and Heather flew out after their short stay.

Once all the visitors were gone, it was back to the business of getting ready for Christmas. Shopping got done, cookies have been baked (and even given away to almost all the intended recipients) and we went to a few Christmas parties. First up was the kid's party held at the park next to the base. This picture absolutely screams "Christmas Party!" right? Yeah, I don't think so either, but those tights she's wearing sure are cute. And this kid seriously loves a swing, especially these particular swings because they have long chains so she can get some good air. Little Daredevil!

After another kid event - the Christmas night at Chick-Fil-A (complete with Santa Cow) - Michaela enjoyed a diaper change while checking out her new book. This is what happens when Daddy changes her - he teaches her all his ways. Of course, my first instinct was to go grab the camera. She's such a lady!

Finally, this was shortly after all the family/friend gifts were wrapped up, but before they were packaged for shipping! For reference, the tops of the windows are 9 feet from the floor - that's a tall tree! But with 11 foot ceilings, ya gotta go big! Sadly, we learned that "good" Christmas trees don't grow around here, so we'll be forced to get our tree off a lot for the next 4 years, rather than getting to cut our own, but we'll survive. It's not the same as heading into the hills to cut one down from the "wild" in Kodiak, but it's a beautiful tree anyway!
That's what we've been up to around here! Next up - Christmas itself! We'll have pictures to share after that. We've actually been letting Michaela open a gift every couple of days since there are so many and it will take her all day to open them if we don't start now. It's so fun, though, because she understands what happens when she opens a package and she gets excited about it! So Christmas should definitely be fun!!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and the quick update! Merry Christmas to everyone!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Is this thing on?? (Again... because I just realized I used that title a few months ago...)

In the last two days we've heard from three different people about the lack of activity around here.

All I can say is that I've been busy. First, there were preparations for Maryanne and Jim coming for Thanksgiving. Then they left and we had to re-prepare for Mom and Heather three days later. And then they left and I remembered that Christmas was only three weeks away from the day they flew out. And it was like they moved it this year or something because I had absolutely NOTHING done to get ready for it. At all.

I know... excuses, excuses. After all, I don't even work outside the house anymore, right? Can I just say that I really had a lot more time to myself when I worked full time and took care of the kid. First of all, Jason had duty days, so he would do things like clean and keep the house in order when I was at work and the kid was in daycare. And then there was daycare... those ladies did an amazing job of taking care of my girl during the day! They'd tire her right out and she was easy-peasy to work with for the few hours before bedtime at home!

Now it's MY job to do the tiring out and I SWEAR this kid is running on some sort of radioactive go-go juice because I simply can't keep up. I mean it. Naptime rolls around and I have this big plan - everyday - to do STUFF. (Not laundry - her bedroom is too close to the laundry room, but STUFF.) And then I sit down to eat my lunch - at 1:30 pm - and watch "The Talk" (my addiction to it has solidified my stay-at-home-mom status), and maybe just check facebook or a couple other sites real quick.... And the next thing you know, it's like my toosh is glued to the couch and I can't get up, even when I want to. Then two hours go by and I finally rush around trying to do things like lunch dishes and what-not so Jason thinks I was busy all day (shhhh... don't tell him!) and I can feel like I accomplished SOMEthing during naptime. Imagine how hard up I'd be if she only slept for a couple hours and not the 3+ we've been getting lately!!

So, my apologies for my absence (I think I say that a lot on here) and I really will try to do better. Maybe when I finally get to that "chore" schedule I've been meaning to do, I'll add blogging onto it. Not that blogging is a chore, but it's definitely something I don't leave enough time for. Like a lot of other things these days. Why do people ever have more than one child when one is so much WORK??

Oh yeah....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ms. Personality

In her defense, I'll say that I got the tutu down for her the day before I took these pictures. I put her in the duck onesie she wore for her 1st Birthday Party, so I thought maybe she'd want to wear the tutu as well. BUT, I left it out in the living room and she definitely asked to put it on the next day. (As much as someone with a limited vocabulary can "ask" for anything. But getting it off the chair and bringing it to me while stepping into it definitely passes as "asked" in my book.)

So this is Ms. Personality. Oh, and tonight she tried to say "seriously" after I said it. Good grief we're going to have our hands full with this one.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

Just a quick post to share a few pictures from tonight's festivities. Thanks to an invitation from our friends Dave and Hilary to join them (and their boys) for Trick or Treating, we didn't feel funny bringing a 15-month-old out to get the goods!

We only hit a few houses since bedtime creeps up fast when you're a toddler (and go to bed at 7pm), and she wanted nothing to do with the stroller and got WAY too heavy to carry around, but it was fun while it lasted! She quickly figured out what her little bucket was for, and was hanging onto it for dear life - even pitching a fit when I tried to help her carry it!

So here are the pics.... Michaela the ladybug!


She was totally fascinated by Dave and Hilary's jack o' lantern... probably because we didn't get around to carving our pumpkins so it was the only one she got to see up close. It was too cute to watch her bend down to get a better look!

Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The last of Disney

... I promise. This is the last of Disney. At least until next year. Yeah, we'll probably go back... they're offering a military deal for cheap tickets and it goes through the first week of the Food and Wine Festival. So we'll see where that goes. I'm a glutton for punishment.

Anyway, this will be the last time I mention Disney 2010 - well, at least this will be the last time it's the focus of a post. I might have flashbacks later, so I can't make any promises that I won't mention it at all!

I'm keeping it simple... enjoy a movie! (My first attempt at using iMovie, putting clips together and actually adding music. Plus, like I said on Facebook for those who saw it there, I edited out Michaela's obnoxious parents trying to coax her into high-fiving and kissing Disney characters. So there's a bonus!)


video

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What I learned about taking a 14-month-old to Disney World

Don't do it.

That is all.

Ok, not really, but even with a week at home since the trip, I guess the memories are still a little too fresh to look at the it through anything but reality-colored glasses. To say we had no fun at all would be a lie, but it definitely wasn't the fun we were hoping for!

First, let me start where I left off... with Michaela getting a bit sick the first night at the hotel in Orlando. Little did we know, she wasn't done with that before-bed occurrence. And, sadly, we're not getting any awards for "World's Best Parents" since we ignored her little cries all night (she does that a lot - we can't even get out of bed before she's asleep again), only to find her covered in vomit in the morning... poor baby!!!!

We should've known that things weren't going to be great when we started with that.

So, here's what I learned about taking a 14-month-old to Disney World (or, Orlando in general for vacation):

1) Do NOT plan a park visit the day you arrive, unless you get there first thing in the morning with a well-rested child.

2) Do NOT overschedule your week. We thought we were doing well with having a whole day with nothing planned, which is unusual for us. We're not the people who just take a couple days to hang out at the hotel pool. We'd rather see and do it all. That's great if it's just two of you and you can manage your own tired-ness level. That does NOT work with a 14-month-old who has been taken off her nap schedule.

3) If your 14-month-old is still taking two long-ish naps a day, don't take them to Disney World. You will feel a compulsion to spend as much time at the parks as possible - after all, you spent a lot of money on that ticket! - so you will try to adjust your child's nap schedule. This will result in a cranky, over-tired kid who no longer sleeps through the night, even though she's been doing that for MONTHS.

4) DO limit your time at a park during the day. This we did kind of right. We left when it seemed to be getting to be way too much for her. We also kept meaning to go back later in the day, and never made it back on any of the days we went to the Disney parks. We went back to Universal, and that was well worth it because Michaela LOVED the rides there, and we went back to SeaWorld.

5) About SeaWorld... don't bother with the Clyde and Seymour show (my favorite). A 14-month-old needs stimulation, not corny jokes and silly sea lions. Blue Horizons was a big hit, though. She "oooh'd" and "aaaah'd" at that one. Go to Shamu instead of Clyde and Seymour. And it's fun to listen to your kid say "sh, sh" over and over again.... every time she sees a fish.

6) On your day "off," don't spend the whole day shopping at the outlets and Downtown Disney (though she was sleeping there) and then spend only a little while at the pool before running off to meet friends for dinner. Take the day OFF.

7) Train your child to sleep in a stroller. Ours will not, as long as there are things to look at. EPCOT was the one major exception to this, but that was probably because it's boring to any child. However, she chose her stroller sleeping wisely, and erased some of the bad nights we had by sleeping in the stroller there and allowing us to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival for a couple hours without having to worry about a bored and tired kid!

8) Bring a grandma and use her mercilessly. Uh, I mean, invite a grandmother to come along with you and enjoy the experience of your precious child experiencing the wonder that is Disney World! Yeah, that.

9) Don't expect to actually get a full night's sleep without a child - who has been sleeping in her own crib since she was 7 days old - in your bed.

10) Don't take a 14-month-old to Disney World. Wait until the kid is a little bigger, sleeping a little less during the day, able to handle the heat a bit more, and able to go on more of the rides and play areas. 14-months old is an awkward stage - old enough to be interested in what's going on (unlike, say, a 6 month old), but not old enough to do enough.

Follow these tips, otherwise you'll end up like us... and people will look at you funny when they see this:
(Disclaimer... she did NOT drink the Diet Coke. It was Jason's. The empty bottle kept her happy.)

I'm sure, in time, I'll forget all the bad. But hopefully I'll remember to look back at my own advice in case a second child ever graces our family, and we'll wait longer to take that one!! It wasn't all bad - I'll post more of the good in the next couple days - but it was a challenge!!! We're still thinking about going back again next year - armed with this knowledge, and maybe a grandma or two!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth!

That's where we are - Disney - the Happiest Place on Earth!

This is the 7th time we've been here since we got married, but the first time we've ever been parents here. Wow. It's different. Not necessarily in a bad way (though if the kid doesn't get some sleep soon, it could be REALLY bad), but definitely different!

First, we only spent about 2.5 hours at a park today. We got into town at about 11 this morning, were able to check into the hotel early, got the backpack and diaper bag packed, and headed out for Magic Kingdom. We got there about 1-ish and grabbed some food, which Michaela wanted nothing to do with. From there, we headed out to explore a bit, since we don't usually spend a lot of time at Magic Kingdom and we don't really know our way around.

Our first stop was the Carousel, Michaela's first ride ever! She definitely wasn't too sure what to think of it, and definitely didn't like having to wait for everyone else to get on the ride once she got on her horse! She did seem to know exactly what she was supposed to do, though!
Once we got going, she was definitely a little unsure of what to think about the whole situation! That could be due to the fact that she was EXHAUSTED already at this point. But she seemed to enjoy it at least a little bit!
Though maybe you can't tell so much from this picture, huh?

From the Carousel, we wandered aimlessly a bit, and finally made our way to Mickey's Toontown Fair. After standing in line for what felt like forever as we tried to keep the kid entertained, we finally got to the Happiest Place IN the Happiest Place on Earth.... the inner room of the Judge's Tent, where we met.....
That's right... Mickey and Minnie!!!!!! We weren't quite sure how she'd react to any of the characters, but we definitely didn't need to worry at all. She RAN over to them when it was her turn and couldn't get enough!

video

The day went a little downhill from there, though we did get on Aladdin's Carpet Ride... again, she wasn't quite sure what to think.
And, yes, the pacifier had made it's appearance by then.... it's hard to deny it when she's so incredibly worn out!

We decided the better part of valor was to head out a little after 3. Michaela was asleep in the car within seconds, but that wasn't very long-lasting. Unfortunately, as soon as we tried to put her down in her crib, she woke up and wouldn't go back down. She got to go for a quick swim in the pool, and then we tried to get ready to head back to the park for the fireworks tonight. That was not to be, though. Tired girl got progressively whinier (is that a word), and we decided to hang back and get her some sleep. Lo and behold, she wasn't just tired... she was over-sunned, under-hydrated and not feeling well. Now that she, uh, emptied the contents of her tummy, she's sleeping somewhat restlessly and we're hoping for a better day tomorrow!

But, if all we get out of this week is the excitement on her face when she got to meet Micky and Minnie, it'll be worth it all. And THAT is what makes coming to Disney with a kid different. Not bad different... great different!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Is this thing on??

Geez Louise! Who's in charge of keeping the blog updated??? What? Me? Oh, yeah... um... we've been busy? I mean, yeah, we've been busy.

And I'm still not really feeling like writing much, so I'm cheating tonight and just uploading a couple videos. If you're not Michaela's grandparent, you might not care about this stuff! I'll try to get back later this week with some more exciting stuff, but this will have to do for now!

This first one is a little dark since it's from an evening swim the other night, but I think you'll get the idea.
video

And this one is from this afternoon. Michaela has gotten to be very helpful around the house - which is why I had a few hours of panic last night when I was pretty sure she'd thrown out my checkbook. Turns out she'd only hidden it under a shoe, under our entry bench. But you'll see how helpful she is in this one.
video

So, like I said, that's it for tonight! I'll try to get back later in the week to do a real update.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Catch up

So what's been going on with the FlyingFish?

A lot. We've been pretty busy around here for the past couple weeks, with no real end in sight! We definitely have a lot more boxes still hanging around than we would like, but we're making some progress getting everything put together around here. It's amazing how much different a process it is to put a house together when you're mostly busy chasing a toddler around, and you just try to squeeze the unpacking in during nap times and when she's in bed for the night!

We've gotten one room painted so far - only 5 or 6 more to go - and we've even hung a few things on the walls (in the room that's NOT being painted... the living room!). We're loving our new furniture, and we're pretty sure the pool's going to be great if it ever gets done. The clay kicked the installers' butts, and then the rain moved in and nothing got done for almost a week! The pool that we were supposed to be swimming in after only about 5 days is now on day 24 of installation and it's still not ready!

In case you wondered, though, this is what a pool looks like when it's being built:
Right now, we have what mostly looks like a pool, including the concrete decking, a liner, water that's been sitting too long with no pump or the salt system, and a ginormous
red clay mess in our backyard! Everything should be done with the pool on Monday, including some more work with the heavy machinery (Michaela's favorite...see? There she is watching the show going on in the backyard again!)
to grade the yard a bit, and then we'll have to re-sod a giant chunk of the backyard so that it's usable. We'll be able to use the pool, at least, but Fred will be stuck tied out in the front yard til the sod is done since we can't take the chance of him tracking the red clay into the house.

In time honored Waitt family tradition - no project is ever easy or small... right, Dad?

It'll be worth it, though, when we can actually get out of the house for part of the day, even if it's to hang out in the very warm pool! I'm tired of being cooped up in the house because it's just too hot out to be outside! Poor Michaela gets soaked in sweat sitting in her carseat after only a few minutes! We actually let the car run for a while when we get ready to leave the house - not to get it warmed up like in the winter, but to get it to cool down so that it's bearable for the short trips to the store!! CRAZY!!

Besides the pool and unpacking, I've just been trying to get in the groove of the stay-at-home-mom gig. Thankfully, the kid is adorable, so it makes it a little easier to deal with the wanting to pull my hair out moments! I'm looking forward to getting completely unpacked and settled so we can start exploring a little bit more! Of course, since she's taken to napping for about 4 hours a day, it's tough to get too much done outside of the house, but I've been finding something - anything - to do every day, just so neither one of us gets too stir-crazy!

Speaking of adorable.... she is, right?
One of her new favorite things is to sit on the couch all snuggled up on these pillows we got from Ikea on the way here. I have to admit, they're comfy pillows! It always cracks me up to see her just chillin' on the couch like a regular person, though!


Another new favorite thing - having her picture taken, but only if she can point at the camera (or iPhone, usually) and then see the picture afterwards! Such a ham!

This was her first ice cream from an ice cream truck the other night. We're not entirely sure the ice cream truck is actually licensed to sell anything, but, whatever.... it was all wrapped in original packaging and we wanted ice cream!

And this last one is Michaela hammin' it up in her new rocking chair (that we bought in Houston - at Ikea - and Jason forgot about. I would've put it together myself, but the Ikea directions frightened me!) She LOVES to sit in the big rocker and try to rock, so this is just perfect for her. She climbs up and down a million times a day, and has definitely gotten the hang of rockin' away! The only problem is that we have to keep reminding her that her toosh belongs on the seat, not her feet!

That's about all the new stuff from here. In a week, Michaela and I will be heading up to CT for a quick visit. Mom and Heather were supposed to make a trip down here, but Mom's got some stuff going on that means she can't travel. So we'll happily leave the wicked heat and humidity behind for the cool(er) northeast for a few days. We're leaving Jason with the painting to do, so hopefully, when we get home, pictures will go up and the house will start to feel a bit more like home! In the meantime, I'm looking forward to the trip to CT and the chance for most of the grandparents to see Michaela, and to get a little family time myself. It's so nice to know I'll be able to leave here at 8:30 in the morning and be there by 3 in the afternoon! Such a change from the Kodiak travel!!!

Once we get the house finished, we'll be sure to get some pics up. For now, no one wants to see that, so I'll stick with pics of the kid....everyone likes those!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today I am....

.... a civilian.

For the first time since July 10, 1995, I will not be carrying an active duty ID card (as soon as I get to the base this morning to trade for the dependent one).

Of course, this could just end up being a temporary break since I've got 2 years to decide if I want to go back, but it feels pretty final to me.

In my 15 years of service, I got an amazing education which included traveling to all parts of the globe (Guam, Alaska, Europe and Russia as a cadet), got to sail from Nova Scotia to Venezuela and everywhere in between as a junior officer on two different cutters, worked with the best boss I ever could've asked for at a District staff, was fortunate enough to have the CG pay to send me to grad school for fisheries management, and then had my absolute dream job as the CO of a fisheries training center.

It hasn't been all good, of course - not living with Jason for 3 years while we were separated by orders kind of stunk, and so did getting seasick for those first 4 years - but I still wouldn't trade it for anything. The Coast Guard has been good FOR me and TO me. I feel blessed for the experiences I've had - good and bad - and will be forever grateful that being at the Academy gave me the unexpected bonus of finding my husband.

Although I've been on terminal leave for the past 5 weeks, and I've been doing the SAHM thing for the past 2, today is my first official day as a stay at home mom and "just" a Coast Guard dependent. I think I'm excited about it. I think it'll be good for me and the baby. But I'm also a little nervous and scared to make such a transition and to do something so completely different from what I've done since I was 18 years old.

Transitions are always scary, though, so at least I have that constant to rely on. Now if I could just get the house put together I'd be ready to start exploring all the things there are to see and do in Mobile. Something tells me we're going to need to keep busy!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mish-mash

Since there are two of us at home right now, which means I have a fighting chance of NOT having to chase the baby around the house, I figured I'd try to catch up a little bit on the blog and how things are going around here.

So we'll go back a bit to start off with... to San Antonio.... We initially thought we had just a short drive to Houston from San Antonio (you know, before the stop at the repair shop?), so we took some time in the morning to explore a little of San Antonio. I highly recommend doing that first thing in the morning since it got HOT by the time we left at noon. Not as much fun to walk around in that!

We loaded Michaela up in the stoller, broke the hotel rules by leaving Fred in the room, and headed over to the Alamo. Jason had been once before way back during an Academy spring break one time, but I never had. He was worried I wouldn't think that it was worth it, but it definitely was. One of the things that struck me was how funny it was that this modern city had sprung up around this building that has been there for centuries.
The building itself is incredible - especially since it's been there for so long and had so many different uses - and the history is pretty neat. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas (the official "keepers of the Alamo") have done an amazing job, I think, of telling the history.
From there, we headed back over to the Riverwalk, which was much quieter and much less crowded than at dinnertime the night before! Jason and I just laughed as we listened to Michaela go "ooooo" and screech every time she saw her favorite things - the boats, the flowers, and the ducks!!

Right around noon that day, we loaded everything up, blocking traffic again (since trailers are never meant to be driven around a city!!), and headed out toward Houston. At this point, the A/C sort of worked in the truck, and we were rolling along just fine. Of course, that all ended when we got just outside of Columbus, TX. After that, we don't like to talk about the truck.

So we ended up with about a day and a half extra time in Houston, which turned out to be a good thing because we got to spend some extra time with Kim and Brent - and go to Ikea. I'm in love with Ikea. I'm not ashamed to say it. I'm just ashamed of how many long weekends I now want to spend in Houston. Good thing we've got friends there - and they like Ikea, too!!

We finally left Houston around dinnertime on Friday night, and had a fabulous sweaty drive to Lafayette, LA, where we stayed for about 7.5 hours. Since we were without working A/C at that point, we decided to leave bright and early Saturday morning to try to get as close to Mobile as we could before the heat really kicked in. That almost worked! (By the way, the truck is currently at the Dodge dealership here, with the A/C getting fixed!!!)

Since we've been here, we've been busy shopping for furniture (we sold our bedroom set before we moved, and need a kitchen table since we now have an eat-in kitchen and a dining room), chasing the baby around the house now that she just wants to walk/run everywhere, and watching the pool company struggle with the super-hard clay that is the ground in our backyard. We still don't have our household goods, though we're expecting delivery of those on Monday (YAY!), but I do at least have my car now (which has working A/C). We bought furniture yesterday, which will arrive on Wednesday, and the pool will hopefully be done sometime this decade. We feel terrible for the guys working on it - it's been Africa-hot and the clay has been kicking their butts! It even broke the back-hoe!

Michaela's been entertained, though, between the empty cabinets in the built-ins and the heavy equipment in the backyard, so at least we have that going for us!
(Yes, I know there's an electrical outlet back there with no safety things in it. I don't leave her alone to play in there!!)
We had hopes that we'd be swimming in the pool by tomorrow, but since we still have giant mounds of red clay dirt in the backyard and they haven't even been able to finish getting the walls up yet (hole dug and walls up usually happens on day 1...we're on day 4 - and, yes, they're here working today!), we're looking at more like next weekend at this point. That's fine, though, because we have painting to do and closet organizer systems to design and install! YAY for a new house!!

And now I need to go because the baby is napping and I think that means I might be able to try to get to the store ALONE to do some clothes shopping!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Home, Sweet Home

Well, we made it.

We finally rolled into town at about 11 yesterday morning after a 2-day delay in Houston, $2400 and a disabled air conditioning system in the truck. Which would explain why we got here at 11 in the morning... we left at 5:30 (AM!!!) from Lafayette, LA, to try to get as far as possible before the worst part of the heat of the day.

So when we first rolled into the random garage in Columbus, TX, the other day when the truck started making awesome grinding noises and the brake alarms were going off, Jason was pretty sure it was the wheel bearings. But the motorheads, who seemed to have just decided on a whim to start a shop because they liked cars, saw that the seals were bad on the CV joints so they just assumed that was the problem. It wasn't. It was the wheel bearings.

We didn't realize that was the case until after we pulled out of Columbus to head back to Kim's house in Houston. About 5 minutes down the road, Jason figured out that it was still the wheel bearings. So we limped to the Dodge dealership in Houston, spent another night with Kim and Brent, and finally got the truck back at about 4pm the next afternoon. We hit the road as soon as we could to try to make it at least a little ways down the road that night. Come to find out, the 7 hours that TripTik told us it would take was actually more like 10... so it was good that we got started when we did.

Anyway, we still don't have internet at our house, so I'm being rude by being on the computer at our friends' house. I just wanted to update real quick and let everyone know we made it here. Oh, and to answer the question it seems everyone is asking... yes, we still like the house! In fact, we love it! Now if only we had STUFF to put in it!

Hopefully we'll get internet (and all the rest of the services you usually have at your house) set up sooner than later and I can share the details of the last few days of the trip. For now, it's good enough that we're here!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Texas, Day 3

Short post tonight...

We're in Houston, TX. The truck, however, is in Columbus, TX. In case you didn't want to do the google maps on that, I'll tell you they're roughly 50 miles apart.

That's right... another breakdown. This time it appears as though the CV joint seals are shot and we've been leaking axle fluid. That would explain the awesome grinding noise we were hearing this afternoon!

Fortunately, we seem to have found a good shop in Columbus (completely randomly... AAA failed us with NO recommended shops) and they're planning to have it done as soon as the parts get to them in the morning. Ironically enough, the parts were coming from Houston, and so did our ride.

So our friends Kim and Brent brought both their vehicles (which included a truck that could tow the trailer) over to Columbus to get us, and Kim will take us back over there tomorrow when it's done.

The good news is that it could be worse. The bad news is we definitely won't be making it to Mobile tomorrow. We're going to wait to see what time it's done and then decide whether we'll take off tomorrow or just wait til Friday. Yep, the hits just keep on coming!!

So that's our update for today. Hopefully I'll have good news tomorrow!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Texas, Day 2

We've been in Texas for two days now and we're not done yet. It's definitely bigger than Montana. In Montana's defense (you know, holding onto the title of longest drive through a state), though, we planned three days in Texas. It just took forever to drive through part of Montana.

We're in San Antonio, enjoying a very nice hotel room right on the Riverwalk. The thing that kills me about it is that it's about half as much as the place we stayed in Grand Canyon, but it's about a bazillion times better. Add to that the fact that my margarita cost more than my giant plate of Mexican food at dinner tonight (and only because I ordered the good Tequila) and Texas is now the cheapest place I've ever been. I like that!

What else have we learned about Texas? It's hot. Really hot. And when it rains, it doesn't mess around. We got caught in a thunderstorm at lunchtime in Abilene today... in mere minutes there were rivers running in the streets. It was crazy! But it was over in about a half hour and we were able to open the windows of the truck where we were hunkered down to eat our Chick-fil-A (just had to throw that in there for Abbie!). Here's the rain... sorry about the blur - it's the rain on the car window. I was NOT opening it!

In wildlife sightings today, we had llamas and goats. Ok, they weren't wild, but we saw 'em!

Tomorrow we're going to spend some time on the Riverwalk and go to the Alamo. We'll head over to Houston tomorrow to spend the night with one of Jason's oldest friends and her husband. We're looking forward to seeing them (and having a very short 3-hrs in the car!). From there, we head to Mobile on Thursday - we have a LONG driving day ahead of us that day, but it'll be worth it to pull into our own driveway that night!

Somehow it turned 11pm already, so I'm going to keep this short. I'll just share the view from our balcony tonight. Not bad, huh?
Oh, and one more thing.... I said last night that we had 3 more nights in hotels. I was wrong. As of last night we only had two more nights in hotels. Now we're down to just tonight! YAY!!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hmmmm

I have nothing to say about today. Seriously.

Michaela woke us up at about 5 this morning and wouldn't go back to sleep. It was so nice of her to help us reset to another new time zone like that!

We drove from Albuquerque, NM to Lubbock, TX today. We saw a lot of very flat land, some cows and a lot of straight road. That was about it. Oh, and I apparently snored in the car (yay for not having to drive at all!!!).

We have another long day of driving tomorrow - right around 415 miles - to get to San Antonio. I'm excited to stay right on the Riverwalk, though, and we should get the chance to enjoy it a bit the day after tomorrow before we head to a friend's house in Houston.

We're down to only 3 days of driving and 3 nights in hotels!! I can't WAIT to unpack this stupid suitcase!

Oh, and that time zone shift - it's our last one! We're officially in central time... our time zone for the next 4 years!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Some more eye candy and something for the grandparents

I think I'll just let the pictures from the Grand Canyon speak for themselves. I wish they even came close to conveying the majesty of the canyon. I don't know how professionals do what they do, but I know my pictures fall a little short. But they might give you a small idea of how amazing it is!

The first four pictures are from the early afternoon. The light is flat that time of day, and it was a bit hazy, so it ends up looking like there's some rock in the foreground with a very nice painted background. I assure you, it even looked like that in person! Jason and I just kept saying it looked like a Hollywood set.


These next five pictures were taken from about 45 minutes before sunset until just around sunset (right up until the battery in my camera died. Nice planning, huh?). The light was so completely different that it was like a whole different place...even though we went right back to the same place we'd been earlier in the day. We almost didn't go back because of having to worry about the baby's bed time and stuff.... I'm SO glad we went anyway. Of course, that may or may not have had anything to do with her being up at 2:20, 4:10, 5 and then 6 this morning, but whatever... still worth it!


We left the Grand Canyon bright and early this morning, on our way here to Albuquerque, NM. We had a lot of miles to cover, but we made time for a little side stop in Arizona.... Winslow to be exact. Now, go ahead, I dare you to not sing the song....

So we're now in Albuquerque overnight and we'll head out for Lubbock, TX tomorrow. Only 3 more nights on the road... we'll spend Thursday night in our own house in Mobile!!!!

Finally, onto the stuff for the grandparents. First, I caught this picture of Michaela while we were sweating it out walking the Rim Trail at the Grand Canyon. Somehow I managed to get her to actually look at the camera.... a rare occurrence. The only person she'll pose for usually is Amy of Simply b Photos. Maybe she's taking pity on me since she knows Amy can't take her picture anymore since we moved!

And a little bit of action. Someone seems to have decided that crawling may not be the best mode of transportation anymore. She's gone from a few tentative steps between or to us, to choosing to walk between points on her own. Guess I'll be keeping some things in boxes when we get to the new house!

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