Thursday, July 26, 2012

Winding down...

We are, thankfully, winding down our stay in the hotel. We move out in the morning and should be getting our household goods delivered Monday.

In honor of hotel living, here is a list of things that I miss about normal life:

1. My straightener. I am over my "curly" hair and am really not sure why I didn't pack it.
2. Decent saline solution as opposed to my travel bottle.
3. My wardrobe. Sick of the 5 shirts that I packed.
4. Dishwasher.
5. Comfortable bed.
6. The blanket I like to curl up on the couch with.
7. My teddy bear that I still try to sneak on mine and Chuck's bed.
8. Gilmore Girls... didn't bring a single DVD and I'm pretty sure I'm going through withdrawals.
9. Our regular infant bathtub... as opposed to Piper face planting in the water or floating away in the bumbo.
10. A stocked kitchen that actually gives you space to cook.
11. Space, in general.
12. A sense of normalcy.

And, to be fair, the "good" side, a list of things that I'll miss about hotel living:

1. Chuck being around so much.
2. Chuck letting me sleep in almost every morning.
3. Cleaning up takes about 3 seconds.
4. I can do all of our laundry at the same time if I get lucky and there's multiple open machines.
5. Not cooking. I have gotten sick of eating out but since I don't really like cooking, I know I'll look back on that and miss it :)
6. It's easier to watch two kids when there's nowhere for them to go.

That's all I can come up with. Considering I have all but despised our time here, I'll call half a good number :)

And so that you guys can have a visual of where we've been living for 5 weeks, here ya go. Two of these were taken the day we got here... we did move the coffee table against the ac so that the girls would have a little bit of room to play. Either way, they get the point across: this place is *small*.

Our room... if we needed to get into the closet or dresser, we had to put the pack n play on the bed. There is even less room on the other side and the foot of the bed (maybe a foot or so?)

Like I said, we pushed the coffee table back and we stood Jade's mattress up against the wall during the day.

The rest of the place... to my right is the kitchen table, and then you can see the stove, sink and refrigerator. Bathroom is at the end.

And that's the entire thing. It was... a little cramped and I am beyond excited to be getting out of this place in the morning!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Piper grows up- 8 months

Piper girl,

I never thought I'd be writing another monthly update from the hotel room. Yet, here I am, sitting on the very uncomfortable couch the AF has provided us with.

We've been in this room for 5 weeks now. In those 5 weeks, you have gone from only being able to sit when we sat you up to sitting, crawling, pulling up, and cruising. It's ridiculous. I can already tell that you are going to be much more adventurous than your sister and I think I have a climber on my hands. You still hate to bend, so you spend most of your time standing holding onto the couch. Your crawl is also a bit different... you crawl on your hands and feet most of the time, although you do use your knees some as well. Either way, you get wherever you want to go.

We're moving into our house on Friday and I can just see you crawling to all the different rooms to check everything out. But mostly, I picture you following your sister. I am amazed by how much I already see a bond with the two of you. Jade can make you laugh more quickly than anyone else and I love nothing more than to watch you cracking up at her. You're already trying to follow her everywhere, but in these close quarters that basically means that she's stepping on your hands and feet a lot. You also like to take her books and chew on them, which she does not appreciate :)

You still just have the two bottom teeth, but I keep thinking the top teeth will be here any day. Luckily, you have not had any more ear infections this month... I'm sure the chiropractor has something to do with that! I'm pretty sure you weigh 1,000 pounds at this point, but we'll get a more accurate weight at your 9-month appointment. With a yet to be determined pediatrician.

You officially love food. You enjoy eating all of your meals with the family and I can't even remember how many foods you've tried in the past month. But I will say that I didn't think it was possible to be messier than Jade, but you have achieved it. Luckily we'll get the dogs back soon and they'll take care of most of the clean up!

You are starting to babble more and more and I can't wait to have little conversations with you :) One of my favorite things that you do is wrinkle up your nose and do this snort laugh thing. It's impossible to describe, but it's absolutely hilarious and just melts my heart.

I love to kiss your bald baby head and act like I'm eating your cheeks.

You are seriously the most adorable, chubby baby ever and I'm so glad you're mine.

lots of love,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Birthday re-do

Chuck's birthday is June 17th, which this year also happened to be Father's Day. Really, it should have been an all day "yay for Chuck" fest, but in reality it was spent driving from Richmond to some town in West Virginia, sleeping in a hotel with 2 kids in said town, and then doing it all over again the next day. Not exactly a day of celebration. Although, he did get to ride in his (quiet) truck the whole day.

My birthday was Monday. I never dreamed that we'd still be in the hotel on my birthday. I also never dreamed that I would wake up with a 102 degree temp the day before my birthday and still be fever-y, achy and awful feeling on my birthday.

So Chuck and I have declared August 18th as our birthday re-do day. Now the goal is to find a babysitter before then!

Friday, July 13, 2012


Bedtime was a bit rough around here last night. Chuck was at baseball practice, so I was solo-ing it. Generally not a big deal, but Jade needed a little extra... coaxing (diplomatic way of putting it) than normal. I put her in bed, 5 seconds later she was at the door telling me I needed to change her diaper. I pulled her out of the room faster than you can say "poop" so as not to wake Piper. Checked her diaper. No poop. She told me she wanted to go on the potty. I put her on the potty. She leans forward, hands in chin and says "so mom, how you doing?"

I laugh. She giggles. She gets off the potty because by then we have both realized she's just stalling. Back to bed. Asks me to sing "sunshine". Asks me to sing "Jesus loves me". Ask me to sing "another song?" 

My patience is wearing thin. She gives me a big hug and I keep singing. Who knows how long she'll appreciate my voice? I don't give it much longer. 

I stop singing. Tell her I should go. She says "stay in bed mama?" I realize there is nothing more  important in that moment than laying with her. She grabs my hand, kisses it like I do hers. Tries to roll over with my hand still in hers. It hurts. She giggles.

I ask her if she had a good day. She informs me that Abigail's in Virginia. My eyes well with tears as I say, for the 5,000th time since moving here, that "yes, Abigail's in Virginia". She then says "new friends in Oklahoma" and it's nice to know that she is listening and the repetition is paying off. 

I try to treasure every moment. Burn this memory in my brain. Remember her sweet breath, messy curls, little hands, peeling stickers that she won't let me take off. I need these sweet moments to hold on to when she's screaming "no mama! no obey you!" When I am weary from sleep deprivation and emotional fatigue.

She asks me for Mickey. I hand him to her, she tells me goodnight. I take this as my cue to leave...give her a kiss and walk out of the room. Standing in the doorway, staring at my two girls my heart is more full than I ever thought possible. I walk from the room, beginning to cry. Asking God for more... more patience, more rest, more wisdom. More ways to help them feel safe and secure in this world that is so unsafe and insecure.

I tell myself I'm doing the best I can. Giving them all I can. But it's not true. I fail-daily. I'm selfish- daily. So I resolve, again, to start over. Start fresh. Tomorrow is a new day. And ya know what? If I lose my patience in the first 5 minutes of being awake, the next 5 minutes are a new 5 minutes. What better way to show my girls that we all need forgiveness than by showing them that mama's not perfect?

But right now, I choose to remember my sweet girl, clutching her blanky and my hand. Curling her back into me and showing me, in every way she knows how, that she loves me. And I pray to God that she knows how much I love her back.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The drive... Part Two

And some more photos of the drive... as you can see, we tried to break up the trip with "fun" as much as possible and that definitely made it better for everyone!

Swimming in the hotel pool

"All by myself!"

Jade said that Elmo needed a snack

Very LITTLE state sign that was incredibly hard to get a picture of.

10 minutes after crossing the OK state line, I stopped to nurse Piper and she did this. In the middle of a State Trooper parking lot. With nowhere to lay her down and no bathroom. We went through about 50 wipes. 

And we made it. For the record, we did ask someone to take a picture of all four of us. They took the camera, posed us, say "ok!" and then handed the camera back with no pictures taken. Apparently they didn't press the button down all the way.

Whew. And now I declare myself "caught up". 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

And the drive... Part One

Like I said here, our drive from Virginia to Oklahoma was much better than I anticipated. Jade, who pitched a fit the entire 2 hour flight from Virginia to Atlanta, was practically an angel for the 5 days we were driving. Those toddlers really keep you on your toes!

Our attempt at a family photo

Last look at the house

Our formal Father's Day photo in a mall in Richmond

Goodbye Virginia!

In Indiana with Auntie Beth. Jade loves Auntie Beth. She does not love having her picture taken.

Stopped at a children's museum in Terra Haute, IN. 

I burst out laughing every time I look at this picture.

Jade's favorite thing

On to Ohio. And Chuck's truck, which I stared at for 5 days.

Part two tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our dear church family

I don't think I've written much about our church in Virginia on here, and I'm not entirely sure why. The City Life Church was one of the first churches we visited and everyone there immediately made us feel at home and that feeling never went away. In the three years that we were there, my faith was stretched, I learned a ton, and I met some amazing friends. It it truly the thing that I will miss the most about Virginia. Yes, even outranking the Noland Trail that was right down the road from my house...

When we were planning our road trip/move, we decided it would be pretty cool if we could go to church Saturday night, go out to eat as a farewell and then hit the road.

Sidenote: when I say "we were planning", I totally mean Chuck planning. I did say "yeah, that would be cool" about leaving on Saturday night, but the rest of the trip planning was done without my input and I liked it that way.

So I called a local restaurant, reserved a room for 30 or so people, sent out a facebook invite and let that be that. Apparently, we are more popular than we realized. Let's just say that we had 40+ people, the room was full, and some people simply decided not to stay because they realized they would never be able to eat.

Despite the fact that I was sad not to be able to tell everyone bye that I wanted to, it was an amazing night and is certainly a great way to remember Virginia... by our awesome family at church. When I say I'm going to miss those people, it's the understatement of the century. Here's to hoping we find as awesome as a church here in Oklahoma!

Miss Steph in that last picture saved the night for me. Piper was not a happy camper and instead of me pacing around holding a not happy baby, it was Steph. 

It was such an amazing night and I definitely had tears in my eyes as I drove away. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Last days...

This post might be picture overload for some of you. I intended to post this BEFORE we left Virginia, but *alas*, life got in the way and it never happened. But I decided to go ahead and do it anyways, because really, who cares?

Our last days at "home" (where is home, really?) were a bit crazy. I got sick. Like sicker than I've been in a long time. Just in time to host a yardsale that we didn't get ready for until the night before.

Just felt a little crappy...

The room full of crap that needed to be priced. With the exception of the bookshelves, everything in that room was GONE the next day!

Piper helping out at the yard sale.

The yard sale was Saturday the 9th. Our last day in the house was that Monday because the movers were supposed to come Tuesday. Chuck had some stomach pains that landed him in urgent care Tuesday, delaying the movers. But I treated Monday like it was our last night in the house! We put Piper in bed a little early and let Jade stay up late for a movie night. It was the first time we had done something like that, and Jade loved it. She chose Tangled. Which came as no surprise to me or Chuck.

Piper's last night sleeping at the house. Little did I know this would also be her last night sleeping for weeks and weeks to come ;) 

Jade is sort of in love with the front camera on my iPhone. Getting ready for Tangled.

Cuddling with daddy during the movie.

Because I'm not an idiot, I lined up some friends to watch Jade while the movers were at the house. She wound up being there for a while the last day while they were there, but that couldn't be avoided. Piper, on the other hand, got to be there the whole time, due to that whole breastfeeding thing. Luckily, she isn't running around and tripping people up while screaming at them for taking her toys like her sister would have been :)

Happy to stay out of the way.

Such a sweet girl... and a sweet daddy for wearing her!

7:30 pm Thursday. Moving.truck.closed.

Friday was a day spent buzzing around town trying to wrap things up before leaving. One of the most important things on the list: pictures with each girl in front of the hospital she was born in. 

The ONE picture I have with Piper looking, my hair was all up in my face. Nice.

Last trip (for the foreseeable future) through the HRBT. I will not miss you.

I will admit to liking to drive into the tunnel though.

Complete with Minnie Mouse.

And while we didn't actually plan this, our last family meal in Virginia was at the same place our first family meal in Virginia was. Chili's. Anyone who really knows me will not be surprised. I love me some fajitas. Needless to say, the meal three years ago with just me and Chuck was a bit different than this one. Wouldn't change a thing though!

Girl loves some mandarin oranges.

Soon to come: pictures of our last night there, eating out with our wonderful church family... and some pictures of the road trip itself. Better late than never!