Thursday, December 14, 2017

Twenty Nine.

It's my birthday! I love birthdays! I think they are such wonderful things.  I mean, it's a whole day to celebrate a person.  Everyone deserves to have one day being celebrated.  That being said, I much prefer to celebrate other people's birthday and let them be the center of attention, but I guess I can handle it for one day.  :)   My twenty ninth year was probably the most life changing thus far with the addition of Finn in our lives and a move back to the United States, but I wouldn't have it any other way.







The next year will include ANOTHER move, probably a deployment or two, and maybe another addition to our family (of the furry variety).  Regardless of what happens, I'm a pretty lucky girl who feels very loved, so really, what more could I ask for?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Mike and I both love to host Thanksgiving.  In 2015, we hosted for over 15 international students in Turkey.  In 2016, we had our best friends, Mike and Anna, in Berlin with us and this year, we celebrated with two families in Groton, CT.  Every year has been different and brought it's own set of challenges (ie trying to figure out where to get a turkey in Berlin, how to make a meal for almost 20 people with a tiny oven, and how to cook a meal and entertain a 7 month old), but they'll all been fun and extremely delicious!!

This year, we organized it as a potluck style.  There were two other families joining us, each of which brought a dessert and at least one side dish, while Mike and I prepared the turkey and a side. I loved doing it this way because it allows people to bring that one dish that signifies Thanksgiving to them.  For example, one of the men joining us always had this corn mash (it reminded me of mashed potatoes, but with corn) growing up and his wife has learned to make it.  They brought it to our Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit!! 





We had one toddler and three infants roaming the house, so it was not necessarily the calmest Thanksgiving, but it was a lot of fun and definitely one for the books.  And by the looks of Finn at the end of the night, he enjoyed it as well!  My only regret is that I didn't take more pictures!


Monday, November 27, 2017

Navy vs. Notre Dame

"I root for (insert opposite team) 364 days of the year. Today is not that day." -My dad and Mike on Navy Notre Dame game day

We have really been trying to take advantage of being on the East Coast for the short amount of time that we have and we knew that the Navy Notre Dame game was a must on our East Coast Bucket List.  Since we didn't know Mike's schedule when we booked the tickets, we had to book the late flight which got us in at 10:00pm Chicago time.

My mom and aunt volunteered to stay home with Finn while my dad, Mike, my aunt and I went to the game. I think they were as happy to stay with Finn as we were to go to the game, so it worked well for everyone.   The weather forecast was less than stellar for Saturday in South Bend, but we just said a little prayer and put on our rain gear in preparation.  The whole drive to South Bend was pretty rainy, but by the time we parked and got situated, the rain had let up.  

My dad's first stop before every game is to the Grotto, so we walked over while getting a tour of the campus from my dad and aunt. It's fun going to Notre Dame with my family, even if you aren't rooting for ND, because he gives a great tour. After walking around for a bit, Mike and I grabbed an Uber to meet up with a few of his Navy friends who are at the University of Chicago. 



Before we knew it, it was game time!  We headed to our seats in the warm suite (thanks Duke!) and enjoyed watching what looked like a very cold and wet game from inside. I wouldn't say either team played their best game and it was a lot closer than I think any ND fan would like to admit, but the Irish ultimately pulled off the win! Go Irish!





We returned home to a sleeping Finny and a very happy aunt, uncle and grandma.  

We purposefully booked our flight for later in the day so that Mike could see Chicago since he had never been.  There is a reason that most people don't go to Chicago in November, though.  It is cold.  Very cold.  We all headed to a German Christmas Market for lunch, which was the most authentic I've seen in the United States. We got bratwursts for lunch before Finn let us know that it was time to go inside out of the cold.   We went into the mall and saw a massive Christmas tree and walked over to see the Bean before it was time to say goodbye to my aunt and my parents who had an earlier flight.




Mike, Finn and my flight actually ended up being delayed, so we went for deep dish pizza with my aunt before heading to the airport and bidding her farewell.  We didn't get home until 2:00am, but the Monday exhaustion was well worth it for such a great weekend. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Substitute Adventures

Well I have traded in my passport for a substitute teacher badge and have just as many stories to tell!  Here are a few.  I'm sure you'll be entertained!


  • To get assigned a job, you log on to the sub website and you can see all of the jobs that are available.  It usually tells you the school, the teacher and the grade.  This job, though, only listed the teacher, but it was the only one available for that day, so I took it. When I showed up, they told me I would be in third grade in the morning and then doing In School Suspension with a first grader in the afternoon.  Not ideal, but okay.  The morning was fine and it came time for me to report to the ISS room.  When I arrived, there were four teachers huddled together and I asked what was going on.  They pointed to a shelf with cubbies and said "There he is." Sure enough, there were two little legs sticking out of the cubby.  One of the teachers told me they were letting him stay there because "at least he is safe" unlike when he decided to climb the shelves.  Three of the teachers had to leave so it was just me and another teacher who wasn't even in charge of ISS (it's in the same room as the academic interventions, so she has her desk in there). I sit down and a few minutes later, I see some movement.  All of a sudden, he comes out of the cubby, takes one look at me and realizes he doesn't know who I am and bolts out of the room.  The other teacher calls the office and I run after him.  Luckily, he only ran to his teacher, who instilled the fear of God in him.  He returned to our little room with some work to do and we actually had a great afternoon.  That being said, I don't think I'll be signing up for any jobs that don't list a grade level or are for In School Suspension. One time was enough.
  • I was subbing in a kindergarten class and had forgotten how tired the little ones get, especially at the beginning of the year. We were reading a story after lunch and I noticed that two little girls had fallen asleep and one boy was sucking his thumb.  The little ones may be a handful, but they are pretty freaking cute. 
  • In the same kindergarten class, I had them line up for art. Everyone was lined up and one little girl asked if she could hold my hand.  I told her no since I needed to be able to move around and make sure everyone was staying in line. She kept asking, even as we started moving, but I kept saying no. She refused to move and I told her that she was holding up the people behind her.   All of a sudden, she just yells at me "LEAVE ME ALONE!" and storms off to art.  I guess that's one way to solve the problem!
  • I'm in another kindergarten class on the first really cold day, so all of the kids have cold weather accessories such as hats, coats, gloves, etc. The direction was to put them in their cubby because they can't bring them to the carpet.  One girl put away her coat, but had her hat on.  The teacher (I'm one of the paraprofessionals assigned to one of the children) asked the little girl to put away her hat and the girl's response was "But I look so cute!"  

I'm sure there will be more as the year passes, but it's definitely been a fun start to substituting!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Three


It's been a wild year with lots of travel, a baby and a transatlantic move, but there is no one I'd rather do life with.  Happy anniversary, Mike! I love you!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Greetings from Bedrock: Halloween 2017

Here we are almost at Thanksgiving and I'm posting about Halloween.  I guess that's life, am I right>?Yabba Dabba Doo was the theme for this year's Halloween and I can't think of a more fun family costume than the Flintstones.  We joined forces with Matt, Katy and Adaline so that we could cover all of the main characters and since Finn and Addie made the perfect Bam Bam and Pebbles, we assumed the roles of Betty and Barney, while Matt and Katy were Fred and Wilma.

I had heard that our neighborhood was the place to be for trick or treating, so everyone came over to our house for dinner and some trick or treating.  We also had one of Mike's classmates, her husband (who is also a submariner) and their 11 month old who went with a Star Wars theme.  The baby made the cutest R2D2 I've ever seen!

Dinner was a little chaotic with everyone trying to get ready, a toddler who was "all done" with Halloween the minute she walked in the door, and nonstop trick or treaters.  I now understand why people do pizza or chili since they are so easy. I think we'll be doing something along those lines in future years, especially once Finn starts to really get into trick or treating.  This year, our main goal was to go to at least one house and put our costumes to use.  We doubled our success rate and made it to two houses, so we were more than satisfied. 







Yabba Dabba Dooooooooo!!





Note to future Halloween costume seekers, I highly recommend this because all of the costumes were so comfortable and easy to make homemade. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Finnegan: Seven Months

Guys, we made it. This past month was a rough one for poor Finny health wise, but he also had some huge milestones, so we had fun in between being sick.  A chest cold turned into a fever and a cough that refused to leave which then turned into an ear infection plagued the majority of the month.  Despite all of these issues, Finn spent the majority of the month with a smile on his face as he started daycare and even managed to learned how to Army crawl!  Way to go, bud!




Eating: I would say he spent most of the month ambivalent to solid foods, but just in the past few days has turned a corner and seems to be enjoying the majority of what is given him.  His favorites are definitely the more bland foods, such as peas and green beans.  Currently, he's working on finishing a combination of spinach, peas and carrots, which he seems to enjoy. Mike and I, on the other hand look the other way because of the way they look and smell, but at least he's eating them, right?




Sleeping: Let's just sum up this whole section by saying I'm exhausted. When he was sick, he was waking up every two to three hours, so it was like being back to the newborn stage of life.  I think we've finally recovered from that, but we're still waking up at least twice at night, if not three times depending on what time he ate before going to bed.  I really thought by Christmas we would be sleeping through the night, but it doesn't seem like that is anywhere close to happening. Maybe I should start drinking coffee?

Bedtime stories with Dad
Sometimes you just need to suck your thumb in the tub, right?


Noises: If there is one thing Finn loves to do  in life, it's blow raspberries.  He has no problem blowing when everyone else is quiet or when you are trying to feed him, even if he likes the food. He will talk when he feels like it and usually talks a lot when he's talking.   Laughing is still a rarity, but he was cracking up at Mike making animal noises the other day which was maybe the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. 

Milestones: The biggest milestone is definitely learning to Army crawl.  He can pull himself forward to anything he wants, so nothing is safe anymore. He can also turn his body when he's on his stomach so he can literally go anywhere.  We quickly baby proofed the house once he figured out how to do all of this because he's quick and determined. That being said, it's so fun to watch him go.  You can see him become focused on something and then it's go time!  The other big milestone is that Finn started daycare!! Hooray!!! He seems to enjoy going and the transition has gone extremely smooth, despite being sick. We couldn't have asked for a better scenario!


First day of school 2017
Likes and Dislikes: He loves to be in the middle of whatever is going on.  He loves to sit in the kitchen with me when I'm making dinner and will sit in his high chair while we eat dinner, even if he's not eating anything.  Like I said before, he likes vegetables, but usually will eat fruit after eating vegetables.  He did NOT like amoxiccilin at first, but has grown to tolerate it.  Riding in the car is acceptable now, thank goodness.  Bath time is still a favorite and necessary every day after solid foods.

Hanging out in high chair
Just make yourself comfortable Finn. :)



Hey guys! I'm ready for mug night at Whitlow's!

Nicknames: Finn, Finny, Bud, Buddy, Big Guy, Buddy Bear

Clothing size: 6-9 month/9 month

Diaper size: three

Weight: 17.6 lbs (I think he lost a little bit of weight when he was sick because when we went to the doctor, it was the same weight as when he went for his six month checkup)

Height: 27 inches as of a week ago

Travel: Boston!






Oh Finny, we love you big guy!! Watching you grow and discover the world around you is the highlight of our day.  Your smile lights up the room and you have us all wrapped around your finger. As they say in Where the Wild Things Are, "I'll eat you up, I love you so!"





"Finn why'd you poop on the Naval Academy sheets? We only do that on West Point sheets!" -Mike instilling some early morning wisdom on Finn

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Head of the Charles

Tap tap. Is this thing on?  I definitely didn't mean to take so much time off of blogging, but here we are and it's been over two weeks of silence on the old bloggeroo.  'Tis life I guess.

Anyways, we've been trying to take advantage of being in New England for the limited time that we are here and one thing on our bucketlist was to go to Head of the Charles in Boston.  Our friend Matt is a rower and we kind of thought he might be rowing this weekend.  He didn't end up participating, but Mike and I had already made hotel reservations and I never turn down an excuse to spend time in Bean Town, so we still went. 

Saturday, we met up with one of Mike's friends from Hawaii who is in business school in Boston and spent the afternoon in one of the tents along the water where there were TONS of people eating, drinking and "watching" the races.  I don't know how much watching actually happened, but it was cool to be in the middle of all of the action. 

Matt, Katy and Adaline met us for the day on Sunday and we watched a little bit of the races and walked around town for a while. We truly lucked out with the BEST weather possible the entire weekend.  It was sunny and warm, but not too hot. The perfect weather that makes you want to spend every moment outside.

Finn slept terribly in the hotel and we were all glad to return home to some normalcy in the sleep department, but other than that, it was a wonderful weekend.  Boston is a special place and I fall in love with it more and more with each visit.


The view from our hotel room! Not pictured but just to the left is the beloved Citgo sign and Fenway!

Not our best shot (my twitching eye, Finn's cutoff smile), but proof that we enjoyed the tentlife for Head of the Charles Day One)
And now commence tons of pictures of good old Bean Town.



















We walked around Harvard and showed Finn his "backup school" (you know, in case he doesn't get into the Naval Academy or the Happiest Place on Earth aka James Madison University).   He was clearly impressed.



I've said it once and I'll say it a million times, I think Boston is one of the best cities in the world.  There is just a simplicity to it that makes it easy to enjoy without being overwhelming. There is so much history to see, good food to eat and endless opportunities to take advantage of.  It is a true New England gem.