The Weekend

We've been having a nice weekend hanging out with my parents, playing with the kids, having friends over, and just relaxing. Tonight the boys are going to go play at an arcade while us girls watch a movie. It all has been really nice and relaxing, I for one have enjoyed myself. It's so nice to be able to have rest in my heart knowing my husband will be here with us this summer. Last year at this time Daniel was preparing to deploy, and I was struggling. Those of you who have a spouse deployed are close to my heart and in my prayers. I still relish his hugs and being close to him, in a new way, nearly a year later. His kisses, apparently, are a different story! Hope all you all had a wonderful weekend too.

Happy Birthday Eve!
0 years old

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

4 years old
Your opinion...take 2
So, we all know Daniel and Judah are pretty much clones...whatever, a boy should look like his Daddy and I was only in labor for 4 1/2 hours with him, albeit he was 9lbs. and I did have him at home but like I said, whatever. Eve, now here's a different story; she's a girl, 13 hours of labor, had her at home as well, and what did I get....nothing. It's pathetic. Daniel says I am sore about it. Yeah, I guess I am.

Your opinion
This question has been swirling around in my head for quite awhile now; I haven't come up with a conclusive answer yet. As you all know we have two children, since they are not of the same gender some of the issue at hand disappears, but not enough. My question is this: Do you buy two of the same toy/object some of the time, all of the time, or none of the time?

It's easy to avoid the fighting when you buy the same toy/object for each child, but then the lesson of sharing and delayed gratification is gone. Some of the time may be a good middle of the road option, yet do you really want to start that process? When is it appropriate, when is it not? Or you could just decide that you won't buy two of the same whatever, ever. Sharing is a must in life, a lesson best learned while young; and will the two object situation make a difference, they always gravitate to what the other has in their hands anyways ie. the grass is always greener mentality.

Just wondering what your opinion is. Talk to me, people. We don't throw stones here - let it fly.
Happy Spring

***Having fun with my new lens, Kim!
Spring Tip

Hi, it's Daniel. I haven't written in a while and I thought I would grace the pages for a second. I learned a couple of years ago about a great "home remedy" and now that spring has sprung it's time to share it with the world. Since I have a blog, I can share it with all of our illustrious readers. That should be enough anticipation, here's the tip:

If (I should say, when) you are bitten by a mosquito, spray the bite with deodorant and it will not itch anymore. Note- It has to be a deodorant that has antiperspirant in it. The aluminum in the antiperspirant will do something to the histamine to stop the bite from itching.

That's it. Nothing grand, but it turns out to be a very useful tip. Happy Spring.


p.s. If you have a good home remedy, feel free to share by leaving it in the comment section by clicking on the "two cents" link below the post. We would all love to hear how you combat the common household maladies.
My little gardener
He's thorough, to say the least. He waters, weeds, admires, and even goes so far as to taste the dirt. Just to make sure it's up to snuff, of course. All he requires for payment is (my very life) room and board, with a lot of love. I think I can handle it. It doesn't hurt that he's really cute too.

Saturday at the Waterfront
On Saturday, after we survived Costco, we took the kids down to the Lake Champlain waterfront. It is beautiful with nice wide walkways, lots of benches, swings, and a huge open grassy area. The kids and Daniel had fun throwing rocks into the lake, we saw some ducks, a near dog fight, a little boy have a tantrum - oh, wait that was our boy, some really, really white people wearing way less clothes than should be legal, lots of friendly dogs to pet, and of course the beautiful lake.

Yesterday evening we took the kids to the playground for the first time this spring. It was a blast! Watching how they have both grown and developed from last year, how much more they can do this year - it was really interesting! We have decided (okay, I informed Daniel) that this year we are buying a playground type thing for our backyard, and that along with the little pool which we've had every year should make for a pretty fun summer.

I am really looking forward to the warm weather and being able to spend our free time outside playing.Vermont has a wealth of adventures to fill up the months. I am going to get a membership for Shelburne Farms, as that is one of our favorite places to go in the Spring and Summer. It is an amazing place; beautiful, fun, and inexpensive.

We also have new water shoes for playing in the "river" which we weren't able to visit last summer because of Daniel's deployment.

My mom and Eve playing in the river

My brother Sam jumping into the waterfalls at the river (about 40 feet)

So, even though we weren't expecting to be here this summer, after 3 years we know all the great places to go. There are a lot of them here in Vermont! I am certain we will make all kinds of wonderful memories to take with us where ever the Air Force sends us next, and they all started last night with our playground adventure.
We'd love to know where some of your favorite places to visit during the summer months are. Have you ever been to New England?
Not so fresh and so clean
I don't have a whole lot to say today. Yesterday was quite the day with the re-enlistment and a couple other things. Today I am whooped.
So, I leave you with this picture. I love it, totally love it. This pretty much sums up how Judah felt about my brother. Poor guy - Judah's diaper was definitely not "fresh". My brother is such a good sport!

Re-enlistment Day
Daniel re-enlisted in the United States Air Force for another 4 years, bright and early this morning. It has been nearly nine years so far. It was a really nice ceremony with his Group Commander, his Squadron Commander, his boss, and Daniel's office partner. The kids and I were there as well, of course. The last time he enlisted he was in a bucket truck way up in the sky, so I never heard the words they say to each other; this time I heard them, they are so solemn. What a dedication of a life, what a good life it is.
I am very proud of my husband; such a wise decision to make, joining the Air Force at the tender age of 17. To think, if we wanted to, he could retire at 37 years of age. 37! So young. I have no idea what our lives will look like at that point, nor do I really need to know. We just keep taking the steps in front of us, making the wisest, best, and most adventurous decisions we can with our present, and future in mind.
So, won't you congratulate Daniel on his re-enlistment? He is an incredible Airman.

We do our best to promote creativity and imagination within our kids; it is fun and challenging to think of interesting ways to do this.The best ideas I have come up with so far are to play classical music a lot, and just let them be kids!

I had been worried about Eve, it seemed to me that her imagination was taking a long time to develop. Daniel laughed at me a few months ago when I expressed that worry to him saying, "Andrea, we have sharks swimming on our living room floor. I think she's ok." I laughed and started watching her closer and saw that indeed, she has a vivid imagination. Today was a funny example of it. This is Eve using my egg slicer as her guitar. Any one have any fun ideas to promote creativity in kids?

We had a great time making cookies as well; I love listening to all the chatter when we work together. Plenty of fun was had, plus, some really yummy cookies to eat.
Kids love water

The kids had a great time playing in the puddles today. Leave it to Judah to sit in the gutter for even more water fun. Bring on Spring - as in warm weather and flowers!
And the winner is.......

She won her first time playing the always fun Candyland. She didn't even understand what winning meant. Eve is truly the most peaceable soul I have ever met. Her lack of competitiveness is astounding. She must take after her Gramma Chips 'cause it certainly didn't come from either of us - I beat the pants off of Daniel. ok, maybe just the socks...
Hearts are breaking
We don't live on or near a base so I have very few military wives as friends right now, but I regularly read Spousebuzz, which is a great source of community for military spouses. They are hopping mad over there right now! And they have every right to be. Devastating news delivered by a leaker. It's just not right.

My heart hurts so much for all the spouses, children, and soldiers. 15 months away from your family is way. too. long. I cannot even begin to imagine the depth of anger, disappointment, sadness, and a million other emotions that they are experiencing.

I dare not say much on this subject for fear of being lambasted for my non-experiential view. Daniel has been deployed, but not for 12 months with an extension.

We do know of one Army wife in my extended circle of friends whose husband is deployed right now, and you can bet I will be inquiring on how we can support her even more.

And for all you out there, regardless of your political views, help these families! Don't pity them, gather around them. Go out on a limb, ignore the brave fronts they put up and just help. Mow lawns, unload groceries, offer to watch children, buy passes for a local museum and drop them off, rake leaves, hire a house cleaner- one time- just to give that woman a break, purchase a gift card for dinner at a restaurant, wash their vehicle.
Ask and then listen. There may be a light bulb that needs to be changed, or a car making a funny noise, a simple around the house fix that can feel overwhelming to the person who is alone, and trying desperately to keep it all together. Their sacrifice is great. Let your actions show your thankfulness.

Andi from Spousebuzz made a very wise statement in comments the other day: "the leaker had better hope Secretary Gates finds him before an Army wife does..."

God help him if his name ever gets out.
The Commissary
Preface: We live 3 hours from the closest Air Force base now that Daniel is in Recruiting duty.

Oh, how I miss you, my dear Commissary.

Every two weeks I plan out my menu, and shopping list, on that Saturday Daniel and I load the kids up for a fun couple hours of shopping.

Okay, so the use of the word fun is a little optimistic on my part.

My life is so much simpler since I have implemented this strategy. A tortured couple of hours in exchange for 2 weeks of meal ingredients and the necessary items for day to day living at my finger tips. This also makes our conscious decision to own only one car much less of a hassle, since I rarely need the van to schlepp the kids around the fine city of Burlington shopping.

But today, the Commissary was like a mirage in the desert....

Daniel was to be otherwise occupied tomorrow so it was either - do all the grocery shopping myself with the two kids, or wait another week to shop with Daniel.

I took the plunge and did the shopping.


The kids were fantastic. But the twenty thousand innocent questions I fielded from Eve almost drove me batty. Judah, he was great - I just kept him well supplied with food and he was happy. Trying to keep Eve from being run over by crazy Vermonters in Costco while reminding her to "walk beside me honey, not in front of the cart" was time consuming just by itself!

Oh, and I was suppose to actually be putting items in my cart to purchase!

3 hours later we were home

Like I said ....Uggg!

I love the Commissary. Not every one does.

Those who don't, complain about the retirees - I love them. I salute them, at the same time jumping out of the way when they try to run me over in the parking lot. They love my children, "oohing" and "aaahing" when we walk past them in the aisle. They have earned the privilege of shopping at the Commissary and I will never fault them.

They also may complain about selection, or cramped aisles etc. etc.

None of that bothers me. I spend half the amount of money at the Commissary than at the regular grocery store. And I can get everything I need there. One stop, one buckling the kids in and out, someone loads my groceries into my van for me, and when you live on base you are literally minutes from your home.

Heck yeah people.

So, dear Commissary...I miss you, let's get together real soon...k?!

After word:
Daniel's commitment for tomorrow, yeah, it got cancelled.
Go figure!
Why is it that my kids wake up easily, happy, and down right perky from their naps while I am a total zombie?

Is this completely necessary?

An Eve-ism
Eve getting her hair brushed for a pony tail...

"Oooh Momma! My eyes are watering!"

....rubbing eyes

"Oh dear! I drank too much water."
Daniel and I, with my two brothers David and Sam went bowling on Saturday night. We ended up at a seriously ghetto bowling alley somewhere just short of Syracuse. There were 35 year old women that we could just tell had been bowling every Saturday night at this place since they were 18. The bar was full of locals who thought it of no consequence to hit on me, even with a ring sparkling on my left hand. The music they played wasn't half bad so that was a saving grace, and no yelled at me for taking a million pictures in the pitch black alley. They probably didn't even notice with the out of control disco lights flashing.

We had fun, the boys played well and had lots of laughs. I watched since I didn't bring socks, and there was no way I was sticking my feet in bowling shoes with no socks. After the boys played a couple of rounds we headed over to the air hockey table.

This is where it gets serious for Daniel and me. When we go on dates this is inevitably what we end up doing- air hockey. In Alaska we had a movie theater right next to our apartment building that housed a table, that was the beginning. It has gotten serious now after 5, almost 6 years.

This table was real special; it had a huge sticky spot, paddles that made my hand scream with pain, and a few other broken features - most noticeably the score board.

Daniel foolishly decided to play me best 2 out of 3. I mopped the floor with him. He wouldn't agree, but it is true. I have witnesses. A bit of friendly competition is good for your marriage I have found out.

We left the alley at an ungodly hour, my brothers got some McDonald's and we headed home. My head hit the pillow at 2:30 a.m. but it was a great night, full of memories, great pictures, and a new air hockey win to tease my husband about. Good times.
Easter in the "Cuse"

This picture pretty much sums up Judah's weekend. It wasn't pretty- at all. A molar, an eyetooth and one regular tooth coming in made for a pretty miserable boy. We managed to have fun regardless; it was so great to see my brother David, he's stationed at Kadena AFB, so it's been awhile since we've hung out. Can't exactly pop over to Japan for the afternoon, unfortunately.

The guys had a blast, hopefully someday we can be stationed together. That would be incredible! Even though my grocery bill would sky rocket, it would be totally worth it.

We had a really nice Easter day; we ate a huge family meal complete with the traditional Lebanese and American dishes; it was loud, delicious, and fun as usual.

The kids totally scored this Easter - a total of 4 egg hunts were attended by our two, and we don't even eat the candy! It was fun to watch them participate; Eve had better watch out, in another year Judah is going to be a force to reckon with! Hopefully they won't have to dig through the snow to find them next Easter- it was absolutely pathetic.

All in all it was a nice weekend; Daniel was able to join the rest of the Air Force in Friday being a "family day", so we had some extra time thrown in there. It was really great to be together. We were able to hang out and enjoy each other during these four days. I hope you all had a wonderful, blessed Holy weekend!
Tired girls
She's Here!
Our new baby
Tomorrow our new baby arrives via a non-stop Delta flight. Don't worry, every one has given us "the puppy talk" so we are well briefed on what we are getting ourselves into. This 3 lb, soft as a whisper, little girl is going to be welcomed into our family and I didn't even have to go through labor! The kids have no idea she's coming, even with all my slip-ups. A minor miracle, seeing as how Eve is sharp as a tack.
Our puppy's name as of now is "Callie", but I'm thinking that I would like to change it to "Georgia". I flat out love that name. Plus, that was where she was born. My little Georgia Peach. (She is going to freeze her cute little butt off tomorrow... there's snow coming. Not in Kansas anymore Toto.)

A conversation between Eve and Momma
"Momma, what are we having for breakfast?"

"I'm making pancakes, honey."

"Can I have some,, spinach cereal? But, with no milk okay?!"


"Honey, did you mean cinnamon cereal with no milk?"

"Yeah! Cinnamon cereal with no milk!"

Few minutes later....

"Yum! This spinach cereal is so good!"
The current trend
I guess I missed the memo- apparently it's a "one shoe day" at our house

Sundays are best spent with good friends

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival."
- C. S. Lewis

My little man
I received some unsolicited advice today on how to get Judah to stop sucking his thumb. I actually like the fact that he sucks his thumb - maybe someday I won't, I will deal it with it then. Now, it is just plain sweet and it comforts him. The thumb stays.

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