Thursday, April 29, 2010

Too Cute

That face, that smile, that laugh, that personality, make the overdramatic whiney fits tolerable.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What did we do today you ask?

The same thing we do everyday in some way or another, torture the puppies. Today Reese was playing with her doll and decided that maybe the dogs would like to wear the hat so she started putting it on them and I took photos; I think their faces say it all.
While puppy torture does tend to take up a large part of our day, we also found time to go to the pool with a friend and get a chunk of our spring cleaning done. Oh and Reese wore snowboots while we did the latter, even though it was just clearing out the too small clothes in her room, just picture her in those hawaiian boardshorts with snowboots on.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sharon Visited Us

Earlier this week, my friend Sharon came to spend a few days with us. It was a last minute trip since she was working in Switzerland and finished early, but I still wanted to find some fun things to do with her. On Monday we decided to go check out a waterfall in Irrel which is just 20 minutes or so past Bitburg. I wouldn't say there was much of a waterfall, it just looked like a river with rocks in the center of it, but it was still really pretty and we had a lot of fun. I couldn't help but thinking how big Reese has gotten while we were there, instead of carrying my baby I had a little kid bouncing up and down along side me.
On Tuesday we went over to Cochem castle for a tour. The castle is way up high so you have to walk up to it at what I will call a 35 degree angle, I don't want to be accused of exaggerating, and I was pushing a stroller which made it even more...umm...fun.
The last time I was at Cochem castle was with my Mom shortly after Reese was born. When we were up on the balcony I remembered that my mom had taken a picture of Reese and I so when we got home I found it and looked at how much has changed in almost two years.
When we were walking up to the castle we saw a little carnival ride and I promised Reese that if she was a "sweet girl" at the castle then she could ride it afterwards. Well Reese was very sweet on the tour, she was quite, avoided touching things, and walked with the group, she even got some candy from our tour guide when we were in the armory (that's what she's so intently looking at in the above picture). So when we walked back down the hill and got to the carnival ride I let her ride on it.
And this is what she looked like when the ride came to a stop and she had to get off:
The irony of getting to go on the ride because you were good and then throwing a fit when your turn is over.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gravity

Why is it that gravity allows a giant plane to float through the sky but it won't allow my child's head to stay off the ground? I'm the first one to admit that Reese has a gynormo head but it's still really sad to watch gravity punish her for it. When she was learning to sit up she'd be doing great until she turned to look at something and that huge head would mess up her balance and send her to the ground. Well today gravity decided to punish my child yet again for something she has no control over. We were at the playground and there was a little step from the grass up to the cement to walk to another area so Reese had her hands and feet both on the ground with her butt in the air as she maneuvered this step, her head couldn't have been more than 4 or 5 inches off the ground and then all of the sudden it was as if gravity remembered that her head was too big to be in the air and it yanked her back down. I wish I had video because it was a phenomenon no doubt, the rest of her body didn't even move but somehow her head smacked into the cement like it was being pulled down by a magnet. Lucky for her she has a hard head so she cried about it for all of 30 seconds and then moved on to what she was doing, but gravity still left a pretty nasty mark on that litttle angel face.

Easter



I realized I never put up the pictures from Easter and truth be told I don't really have any pictures from Easter. We got back from the States Thursday evening so by the time Sunday rolled around we still weren't back to normal around here. We did however try our best to make the most of the holiday that snuck up on us. On Saturday we painted eggs and Reese had fun drawing on them and then telling us what color to put them in. On Sunday we had a few friends over for dinner and Nate and I made bunny cakes. I'm sure it goes without saying which cake Nate decorated and which one I decorated. Reese hunted for eggs in the house, since it was raining, with two other kids and was running around trying to get all the eggs. That was pretty much Easter in a nutshell. I know someone has pictures from the egg hunt but it isn't me so if I can get some maybe I'll post them later.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Tables Have Turned

Long, long ago, while Nate was deployed, I had made big plans for all the places that we were going to travel to this year since our time in Germany was growing shorter and shorter. Then Nate came home and we went to Egypt and he got it in his head that going to Egypt meant a long break from going anywhere, not sure where he got this idea from because it wasn't from me. Then lots of things started popping up that made it look like we just might be spending a lot of time home this year. Well I'm happy to report that the tables have turned in my favor and that if everything works out the way it seems it will at this point then I'll be crossing a lot of places off my list this year.
A few months back a family in our ward asked if anyone would be willing to watch their little girl for 10 days while they were out of town and in return they would do the same. Nate and I decided that this would be a great opportunity for us to take a trip without Reese, she's a great traveler but we thought it'd be a lot of fun to take a trip without having to worry about doing any kid friendly activities. So we're watching their daughter right now and we've planned a trip for our anniversary to go to Ireland for 5 days, plus they've been telling us we need to take another 5 day trip so they can fully pay as back so I'll need to think of something else. Then while Reese and I were in the States, Nate found out that he would be going to Spain for a month for work. We were hoping it would be possible for Reese and I to visit him in Spain for a little bit but we weren't sure where in Spain he would be going and what his schedule would be like while he was there. Well we found out yesterday that he's leaving for Madrid next week, earlier than expected, and I found tickets for Reese and I roundtrip for 100 euro so as long as his schedule doesn't have him working nonstop Reese and I are going to go to Madrid.
If that wasn't good enough already, my friend from high school is coming out in September to visit and I'm not sure where we're going yet other than she wants to go to Auschwitz which we've already visited but I'm excited to see more of. Then in October, two of my college roommates are coming out (I'm trying to convince a third so we'll see how that goes) and we're going to tour Northern Italy. Finally for Thanksgiving, since I've decided that it is our travel holiday, we'll finally be going to Prague. I promised Nate that since we went so far away last year that this year we'd stay closer.
This year is shaping up to be pretty awesome which is good because when this year is over we'll only have one year left in Europe and that makes me sad.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oh Dear....

I guess I'm potty training now, Reese peed and pooped on the toilet today and we haven't even started potty training so hopefully that's a good sign.
I guess I should somewhat explain how my child used the toilet when we haven't been potty training. Nate got the toilet set up while we were in the states so we've been showing it to her and telling her what it's for so that she's not scared of it when we start. So today she goes in there fully clothed, sits on the toilet and poops, then a while later she does the same thing but pees. So I was talking to some people at playgroup and telling them about my fears associated with potty training, mainly my lack of knowledge on the subject, and they all suggested I go with it because she seemed ready. After lunch I told her we were going to go potty before naptime and she peed right away. Then this evening she said she had to poop so we went in there but she didn't and then a little while later I started to smell something so we went back into the bathroom and though she had started in her diaper she finished in the toilet. I think it was the most excited Nate and I have ever been about poop and Reese had a huge smile on her face which grew even bigger when she got her jellybeans for pooping on the toilet.
I'm still freaked about doing this, but I guess we're doing it now so I'm crossing my fingers that it goes smoothly. I guess we'll find out soon enough whether it was a fluke day or not.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Things We Like To Do When The Sun Is Shining

We like to jump around....(you'll just have to tilt your head because I couldn't figure out how to straighten it)

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We like to go off roading on our ATV....

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We like to go on roading on our ATV....

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and We like to torture Jaeger...

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Monday, April 5, 2010

The Golden State

Reese and I went to California the last week of February to visit with family since we hadn't been home in 9 months and people don't take well to not seeing Reese for that long a period of time. We were originally going to fly out the end of the week but since Nate had an exercise at work and wouldn't be able to take us to the airport any other time we ended up leaving on Sunday. Now I speak more about my hate of Dover in the final post about our trip out, but our flight out actually foreshadowed the events that would eventually take place. We flew from Ramstein and stopped in Dover to refuel and pick up/drop off cargo on our way to Travis. When we went to get off the plane the guy told us we could leave any carry-ons that we weren't going to need for the next two hours, so I just grabbed our passports and got off the plane. Well when we went through customs the guy told us that everything had to come off the plane to be inspected and we couldn't clear customs without all our bags so we had to wait for them to finish loading and unloading the plane and refueling it before they could get back on to grab my carry on, I was then informed that they may not get it off in time for me to clear customs and get my bags rechecked on the plane. I was off course freaking out but luckily they were able to get my stuff off and I got it rechecked in and boarded the plane to head to California.
 
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Reese had fun playing with her cousin Ava while we were in California, though we did hear a lot of screeching while we were there because Ava wanted to constantly hug/be on top of Reese and Reese would screech every time Ava got too close to her. Other than that they enjoyed playing with each other and I know that Reese learned a lot of new words from her big cousin.
The first weekend we were there we went to an aquarium in San Francisco so that Reese could do one of her favorite things, look at fish. The whole time we were there Reese only wanted to be held by her Papa and she would only hold his hand not mine, which was fine by me because I was enjoying the break. She and her Papa looked at all the fish they could find and of course Ava was also there to help point out all the Nemo's and Dory's to Reese. At one tank there was a diver inside cleaning the window and he waved at Reese and she waved back, then he took his oxygen thingy out of this mouth and mouthed "She's sooo cute" to me, I of course melted at the fact that someone found my child so cute they were willing to go without oxygen while underwater to tell me :) After we'd seen all the fish we could handle, and also penguins and an albino alligator, we went shopping in San Francisco for a little while before we headed back home.
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The next week we went to Disneyland!!! We flew from Sacramento down to Anaheim on Thursday for our long Disney weekend. On Friday we went to Disneyland and while Reese was kind of whiney at times and made me carry her practically the entire day, she still had fun and found her favorite ride...the carousel. She wanted to ride the carousel over and over and over again which was fine because the lines weren't that long. That afternoon we watched the parade down mainstreet and Reese danced along from the sidelines which was super cute to watch. On Saturday morning as we were getting ready to head to Disneyland she was playing in the stroller and tipped it over causing her to faceplant into the corner of the wall. She got over it quickly but it provided her with a nice red line going down her face for the majority of the trip. After we got over our fall we went to Disney California where Reese discovered the Bug's Life area and fell in love. She just wanted to go on the rides over and over again which was cute to see. She was definetly in to any ride that went in circles like Dumbo, Flik's Flyers and the Astro Orbiter, she found all of those very much to her liking. That afternoon we were waiting to meet up with my parents when some music started so naturally Reese started dancing to the entertainment of many people around us, that kid will dance whenever she hears music. That night we met up with my old college roommate Lara and her husband Alan for dinner. It was fun to get to catch up with them for the night. The next day was our final day at Disneyland so Reese and I went early for the magic morning and took all the obligatory Disney photos before they got bombarded with people. We went over to Toontown and I just let her run around all the houses, I had never understood the appeal of Toontown but Reese loved it and when we went to Minnie's house she took a photo with her and didn't freak out which was surprising to me. Later on when we saw Mickey she was desperate to get to him, she'd already taken her photo with him earlier in the day so I wasn't going to wait in the super long line but luckily since she was shouting "Mick Mick" he turned his head and waved at her which appeased her need for him. That night we went back to the park for the firework show and of course Reese passed out before it started, but it was still a fun show and I enjoyed getting to see it. Monday we had to leave Anaheim and fly back to Sacramento, we'd had so much fun that I didn't want to leave but alas the time had come to leave the beautiful sun warm sun behind.
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Our final week in Sacramento was gorgeous, I spent the majority of the time laying out in the backyard soaking up the sun while Reese played which was my idea of a great vacation. We ate at all my favorite places and went shopping to make sure I finished my list of things I had wanted to get, but mostly we played in the sun. Reese found that she liked to dig in the dirt with Ava and she also liked to use the sidewalk chalk. We were able to go up to my grandma's house for a visit and we also went to lunch with one of my high school friends so it was a trip packed with fun and visits. We love whenever we get to go out to California, Reese has so much fun with my parents and with my sister and Ava and I like her getting to spend time with family. There were so many little things we did that were fun that it would take way too much time to document everything, but we did have a great three weeks there and we hope we get to see them again soon.

Early Easter in Idaho

After a great visit to California, Reese and I headed out to Idaho Falls to visit with Nate's family for a week. Reese was a little shy and timid at first, thanks in part to falling asleep on the plane shortly before we landed, but after playing on the playground at the school where Aunt Evie works she was feeling a little more upbeat. On Thursday Nate's mom was watching my niece Kiersten so Reese and Kiersten got to spend the day playing together. The first thing Kiersten said when she walked in and saw Reese that morning was "wow, crazy hair!" it made us all laugh. That evening we drove up to BYU Idaho to pick up Nate's sister Molly so she could spend the weekend with us. Reese immediately became friends with her Aunt Molly and there was a lot of laughter coming from the backseat on the way home from Rexburg.
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The next day Reese's other cousin Benjamin had the day off school so he and Kiersten came over to spend the day at grandma's house. Reese absolutely adores Benjamin and will do anything he tells her to and finds everything he does to be hilarious. In the morning they were all playing with the kitchen making a variety of dishes for Aunt Molly to try and that afternoon we all went out and played in the backyard on the trampoline and had a soccer game.
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Nate's mom had gotten the kids some outfits to take pictures in, so on Saturday we had a little grandkid photoshoot and then we went over to Blastoff, which is an indoor playplace, to spend the afternoon. Reese had so much fun playing in the ball pit and in the littler kid area and then Aunt Nikki took her into the other area with Benjamin and Kiersten and I think she had even more fun doing that. After all that fun we went back to grandma's house for an easter egg hunt. I didn't know how Reese was going to feel about the egg hunt but she got the idea down fast and took off finding eggs with minimal assistance from me. When it was over and she realized that there was candy inside the eggs she became even more excited with hunting eggs. Once she'd had what I determined to be enough candy, the kids all went and jumped on the trampoline some more since the weather was nice enough to be playing outside.
Idaho2On Sunday we went to dinner at Evie and Johnnie's house and Benjamin got his motorized SUV out of the garage and took Reese and Kiersten on a ride around the yard. They were all so cute playing together and at the end of the night when we went to leave I think if Reese had understood that she wasn't going to see her cousins for another long while, she probably would've cried. We had so much fun hanging out in Idaho and I know that Reese misses everybody there.

D.C. and the dreaded Delaware

After a week in Idaho it was time for us to fly out to D.C. to start trying to catch flights back to Germany. The friends we were going to be staying with unfortunately had a sick child in the hospital so luckily Nate was able to contact my friend Trina from BYU and she was happy to let us stay with her til we could catch a flight out. All seemed to be going well on our trip until we landed in Denver on our layover to D.C. and a huge snowstorm hit. We were getting ready to take off but our wings wouldn't stay de-iced so after waiting around in the airport for awhile they ended up cancelling our flight. Reese and I got to stand 12 people deep in a line to get reticketed and it still took us nearly two hours to accomplish. I'd had Nate get on Travelocity and find us a room for the night since sleeping in the airport with Reese and all our luggage was a non option, and I'd called Trina for the hundredth time to let her know that we wouldn't be coming in til the next day (she deserves a saint medal for agreeing to let us stay with her and then having to deal with pushed back flight times and cancellations). Reese and I were able to catch the shuttle to the hotel but when we got there we were told that Travelocity was overbooking rooms for them and that the airport had booked them up as soon as the snowstorm hit. Now I didn't book through the airlines, which would've been cheaper, because I was 12th in my two hour line at the gate counter and in order to book a hotel I would've had to have gone to the customer service line which was over 120 people long when they officially cancelled our flight. So I sat in this hotel trying with a sleeping child in my arms and a trolley of luggage next to me trying to decide what my next move would be when the manager came up to me and said that they had one room that was closed for soem repairs but if I wanted it I could have it. The maintenance guy took me upstairs to show me the room and there was one tile in the bathroom ceiling that had water damage and the rest of the room was fine so of course I took it despite the water damage and the fact that it was a suite and meant I had to pay for a suite. In the morning we went back to the airport and everything was cleared up for our takeoff and arrival in DC a mere two hours later than my rebooking said I would arrive.When we got to DC Trina picked us up at the airport and we went back to her place to relax and let the kids play. Trina's oldest daughter Claire is a day older than Reese and her youngest Alice is 4 months old, luckily Reese pretty much left Alice alone and she and Claire had a blast playing with one another. They went out in the front yard and rode bikes up and down the sidewalk and used sidewalk chalk to make pretty pictures on the walkway. When they were inside they played on the slide, watched videos, and did everything else they possibly could together. It was so much fun to watch them play together because they're that same point in development so they both do everything the other one does, it was super cute. We had so much fun hanging out with them and told them that they'd have to come out to our house next.
We'd arrived in DC on Wednesday and hadn't seen any flights out yet so on Friday I saw there were 3 flights out of Dover, Delaware and another two on Saturday. By this time we'd been in the states for nearly 5 weeks and were ready to get home, so Trina's husband drove us the 2.5 hours to Dover so that we could get home. Unfortunately we barely missed getting on the first of the three flights and the other two took zero passengers so we got a hotel room happily assuming that we'd get out the next day. Well, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were more of the same. I believe it was Monday when I started losing hope and the only thing keeping my attitude upbeat was the knowledge that Reese would start freaking out if I started freaking out. Everyday we'd get to the terminal around 11am and sit and wait on flights until about midnight when they'd finally say the last one was cancelled, oh and I forgot to mention that I'd picked up a package in DC so I had a huge box on top of my two bags and Reese's carseat to haul to and from the termainl everyday. Luckily they had a playroom with toys for Reese and a place for her to take naps and my child is wonderful because she was so good the whole time we were in the terminal and didn't add any stress to my already overstressed mood. On Tuesday night we finally got ticketed on a flight and I was elated to finally be heading home. They took us out to the plane.....and then decided they were overloaded with cargo so they bumped us off. The next day I talked to Nate and we decided that if I didn't get out on a flight that day then he was going to fly out to meet up with me so that Reese and I would get bumped up a couple catergories and at least we wouldn't be apart anymore. All the flights out of Dover were going to be overfilled with cargo that day so we saw there was a 1am flight out of Baltimore and hopped in the cab and hoped for the best. Luckily after the $170 cab ride we were able to get on a flight to Ramstein without Nate having to come out to get us.
Moral of the story is that we made it home, despite the nearly 6 days spent in Dover which is by the way a place I refuse to ever go again, in fact I told Nate that I will never again set foot in Delaware because it's a hole of a state. I wish I'd taken a picture of us in Delaware, with our stuff sitting by that same chair day in and day out, but it's probably for the best that I didn't because I'm now attempting to block that period of time from my memory. Hopefully in a months time the last thing I'll remember is having fun with the girls at Trina's house.