Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Dad and OIF

Bonus Points for anyone who knows what OIF stands for.

My was dad deployed to Iraq for a year right after Robert and I were married, and he is now back there again for another year. Last time he was in Baghdad, this time he is in Mosul. Last time he was talking to Iraqis to gather intel and opinions and this year he is in charge of a few teams who are doing the same thing.

Here are a few pictures that he sent along with what he said about them.

North Central Iraq. Northwest of Mosul. This is what most of the terrain away from the river looks like at this time of year. Not much there. If you look real close towards the top you can see what looks like a strip of green just on the horizon. That's where the Tigris River is.

Kuwait, early in the morning before it really starts to get hot

Inside of a Black Hawk.

A view of the Tigris River north of Mosul.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Julia 18 mo...

Julia trying to get up after climbing into her old baby bouncer and leaving out a leg.

... at 17 months and 9 days. So we're a little early, but she never did get her 15 mo. checkup in with the move and all. Here's her 17 mo. stats:

Height- 31 in. (43%)
Weight- 22.15 lbs (37%)
Head Circ- 18.5 (70%)

vs. her 12 mo. stats:
Height- 28.5 in (25 %)
Weight- 21.4 lbs (52 %)
Head Circ.- 18 in. (65 %)

So she's gotten a little taller, gained a tiny bit of weight, and still has a larger than average head. She eats plenty though, so I think her lack of weight gain is just from being so active. Like the picture above. She's average size when comparing height to weight, so she is just naturally petite as well. Up next for her, trying out nursery this Sunday!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mount Vernon Market Place and Fair

Last weekend Mount Vernon was having a Market Place and Fair with vendors, shows, and free boat rides on the Potomac. Above, Julia and I on Washington's farm.

On the boat ride. Mount Vernon is far out in the distance above my head or closeup on the bottom left.
Robert talking to one of the soldiers. They had a lot of historical figures walking around and all the vendors were dressed up in colonial dress. The show that was going on while we were there was a fire eater and sword swallower and it grossed me out! It was one of those things where I didn't want to watch but I couldn't turn away.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Julia has become quite the jabbermouth in the past few weeks, with real words! Okay, so she only says one word sentences (that usually end in an exclamation point ie Ducks!), but I still feel like she talks a lot. She knows about twenty words to varying degrees of correct pronunciation, including (basically, all the ones I can think of off the top of my head):
  1. shoes
  2. socks
  3. ball
  4. swing
  5. doggy
  6. car
  7. squirrel
  8. mama
  9. dada
  10. no
  11. uh-oh
  12. hugs
  13. hello
  14. bye
  15. water
  16. ducks
  17. up
Her new favorite word is "ducks!" We have a lot of pictures of ducks and duck figurines in our house and one day she was really interested in them, so I taught her how to say ducks. She really likes the s on the end, so it's never duck, always ducks.

This is a video of me trying to get her to say to some words. All she really says is ducks, doggy (very quietly), and shoes and socks. It's kind of hard to pick them out with all her other chatter though.

Earlier this week we went out in search of real ducks.

It's hard to get a good picture while trying to keep Julia from walking into the water.

We found them almost immediately at Teddy Roosevelt Island, then went for a nature walk around the island and found some more. She got the connection right away that they were ducks, but after a minute or so she didn't really care about them anymore. I was was more entertained watching the ducks with the bread I brought to feed them than Julia was.
Julia and a tiny caterpillar near the bottom of the picture. She wanted to poke it with a stick.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Monday!

Just a quick post on what Julia and I did this typical Monday morning. Buying the jogging attachment to Julia's bike carriage was one of the best purchases of the summer. I usually go jogging every weekday morning with Julia and it's been a great way to start our day. We both love getting some fresh air first thing in the morning. I love getting back into shape and Julia loves that we stop at the playground afterward.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wishing it will feel like fall soon

Over the past month, I have been responsible for about 1,000 of the following video's 1.6 million views. Now that the season has finally started, all I can hope for now is that the weather will soon cool and feel like fall. Until then just sit back and enjoy the video.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

This is what I wrote on Saturday evening about our weekend....

Robert and Julia at the Jefferson Memorial

That was it. I figured I'd wait and add more to it from what we did on Monday. Only...we didn't do anything on Monday. Sunday night we decided we were laying down the law and making Julia sleep in her crib again. So Monday morning everyone was tired and we just didn't have the motivation to go anywhere (besides a walk to the park, that's a given everyday with Julia around here). I think Julia has resigned herself to the fact now that she has to sleep in her crib, although she still is waking up a lot throughout the night and naps. We'll see how tonight goes.

At least we did have a nice Saturday. We visited the Jefferson Memorial, sped through the Holocaust Museum before Julia could get a chance to whine, met some friends for lunch on the Mall, and then stopped by the FDR Memorial on the way back to our car.

And in case you've never heard of the FDR Memorial, it is out on the other side of the Tidal Basin from everything, so not a lot of people go there. It was very...long (It's spread over 7.5 acres). Robert really liked it. It had a lot of fountains and is right next to the water so it is a very pretty area. It has four areas (they call them outdoor rooms) that represent each of FDR terms in office: the Depression, Fireside Chats, War, and...death? I don't remember, the last one, just that he died one year into his fourth presidency term. Some pictures from the web since we didn't take any of us there:

Friday, September 03, 2010

Tender Mercies

Julia asleep on my bed

Lately Julia has been driving me nuts because she just won't give me any space. She's been refusing to go to sleep in her own crib, won't let her daddy hold her if I'm around, and won't even let me go to bathroom without running over and wanting me to pick her up. She did this when we first moved to Virgina and I attributed it to being in a new environment. Then she stopped, but last week she suddenly started up with it again. It's been a little bit of a Julia overload.

Today while Julia was taking her nap I was browsing online and stumbled upon this family's blog. They lost their healthy eighteen month old girl in a tragic accident less than two months ago. I'm not normally a very emotional person, but I cried and cried and cried while I read their story. I felt so much for them to have to go through such an unexpected and devastating loss. I felt for the little girl who fought for a week to live after the accident, but ultimately returned to live with her Heavenly Father. I just felt sad and empathetic towards everyone involved.

We hear about children dying and bad things happening to people all the time, think, oh, how sad, and then move on to the next news story. But reading an account of events first hand from the family on their blog as it happened has so much more impact. It made me really think, that could just as easily have happen to us. Here was this beautiful healthy little girl, no different from my little one, in a normal family just like mine, and one day the baby just wasn't there anymore. I couldn't even finish watching the videos on the blog because the little girl who had died reminded me so much of Julia.So when Julia woke up from her nap early I went and laid down with her and snuggled with her and was just grateful to be able to hold her. And when we went to the park this evening I took the mother's advice and took lots of pictures, just because. I'm going to try to be a little less grumpy about Julia's clingyness and a lot more cheerful around her. Because really, what am I getting upset at her for? For loving me too much? I'm just grateful that she is my beautiful little girl, no matter how much she tries my patience. She is such a sweet little spirit and a welcome blessing in our lives.