Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gianna's Day

I always decorate the kid's doorway the night before their birthday. Obviously, it's nothing fancy, but it makes them feel special. (And I leave it up for a week.)
And since Gianna was rooming with us for her first and second birthdays, I was excited for her to see the decorations.
Gianna agreed to pose for me after lunch. When I picked her up from pre-school today I had a Princess Tianna balloon for her. She hasn't let it out of her sight!
After arriving home with Gemma and Spencer this afternoon, we were greeted by the UPS man. Gianna received a little birthday surprise from her daddy!!! Flowers, a teddy bear and a balloon!
Gianna was so sweet when we took everything out of the box - she said she wanted "to say thank you"! So we called daddy at the office so she could do just that!

I think the best part of today was that daddy was able to celebrate this special day with his little girl!

(I'm realizing this has slowly turned into a Gianna blog as of late....I haven't forgotten about the others!)

Happy Birthday Gianna!

Mommy meeting Gianna ~ Sept 28, 2007

Gianna's First birthday - Sept 28, 2008

Gianna's 2nd birthday - Sept 28, 2009

Gianna's 3rd birthday - Sept 28, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gianna - Dance Part II

Today was Gianna's second dance class....and it went much better than last week!

First of all, she wore a new costume that Bamma bought for her from the Renaissance Festival.
And she participated for the entire class!
It was so fun to watch her. She kept looking toward the hallway to make sure I was watching.
My little ham!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dancing Princess

Gianna is officially following in the footsteps of her big sister. She attended her very first dance class last night!
(The ballet slippers she is wearing were Gemma's first pair.)

However, it took 10 minutes to get her to actually get into the class room! When I finally convinced her to go in, she wouldn't really move - she just watched the teacher and the other girls.
However, once they changed into tap shoes - there was no stopping Gianna!

I am really proud of her - she has had so many changes in the last few weeks. She now shares a room with her sister, started pre-school, potty-trained and now is taking dance class!

Here is the dancing princess walking out of class! She was so proud of herself and said she had so much fun! Here's hoping she gets to enjoy all 30 minutes of class next week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


image found here

We started potty-training Gianna a couple of weeks ago. And for the most part it hasn't been going so well. I had the bright idea of taking her out on Friday wearing Dora undies (mind you, she hadn't shown real progress at this point) thinking (hoping) she would keep Dora dry. Imagine my "surprise", after dropping Gemma and Spencer off at school and then driving to the grocery store, when I found Gianna WET in her car-seat!!!

However, something must have happened over-night. Gianna went 4 times in the potty-chair yesterday!

Friday, September 17, 2010


We're having Gianna's birthday party tomorrow. Since we had such an amazing time in DC and she was constantly pointing out the Washington Monument, we decided to have a theme party. I had this great idea to make her cake look like the Washington Monument. How hard could that be????

I made my baby's birthday cake look like a penis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know if I should laugh or cry!


David is a US Navy Reservist and just (in August) completed a 12-month state-side deployment. This was our first and will not be our last. We felt very fortunate, for obvious reasons, that he was state-side.

I have to say I am very proud to be a military wife. I'm proud of my husband and the work that he has done. However, I feel being in the reserves in an area that is not very familiar or used to a military presence is a HUGE disadvantage for military families. People just don't get it. Especially the reserves. It's frustrating, but something we've come to just accept. Usually when people ask stupid questions ("Does he get paid to be in the reserves?"), I answer as politely as possible and try to get the hell away from them as quickly as possible. Or when people make ridiculous comments how the government wastes money on military benefits - I'm VERY quick to remind them - "it's the least the government can do. My husband has agreed to give them HIS life."

Anyway...I was surfing the net the other day and found this blog entry and I felt I had to share.

1. "Aren't you afraid that he'll be killed?"
(This one ranks in at number one on the "duh" list. Of course we're afraid. We're terrified. The thought always lingers at the backs of our minds —but thanks brilliant, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next you can go ask someone with cancer if they're scared of dying.)

2. "I don't know how you manage. I don't think I could do it."
(This is intended to be a compliment. Though, its just a little annoying. Here's why: it's not like all of us military wives have been dreaming since childhood of the day we'd get to be anxious single moms who carry cell phones with us to the bathroom and in the shower. We're not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we just got asked to take on a challenging job. So we rose to the challenge and found the strength to make sacrifices.)

3. "At least he's not in Iraq."
(This is the number one most annoying comment for those whose husbands are in Afghanistan. What do they think is happening in Afghanistan? An international game of golf?

4. "Do you think he'll get to come home for Christmas/anniversary/birthday/birth of a child/wedding/family reunion, etc?"
(Don't you watch the news? No! They don't get to come home for any of these things. Please don't ask again.)

5. "What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he's gone?"
(Short answer: Try to keep my sanity. Maybe there's a military wife out there who gets bored when her husband leaves. For the rest of us, those with and without children, we find ourselves having to be two people. That keeps us plenty busy. We do get lonely, but we don't get bored, and drinking massive amounts of wine always helps keep me busy.)

6. "How much longer does he have until he can get out?"
(This one is annoying to many of us whether our husbands are deployed or not. Many of our husbands aren't counting down the days until they "can" get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because they actually love what they do or they VOLUNTEER AGAIN and AGAIN to go back to Iraq b/c there is work that needs to be done.)

7. "This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it."
(We do learn coping skills. We figure out ways to make life go smoother while the guys are gone. But it never gets "easy" and the bullets and bombs don't skip over our guys just because they've been there before. The worry never goes away.)

8. "My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you're going through."
(This one is similar to number two. Do not equate your husband's three week trip to London/Omaha/Tokyo/etc. with a 6-15 month or more deployment to a war zone. Aside from the obvious time difference, nobody shot at your husband or tried to blow him up with an I.E.D., your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, and he flew comfortably on a commercial plane. We do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and, if anything, we probably resent you a bit for it. Comparing a 12 month combat deployment to a few weeks business trip is like comparing a crappy Hyundai Excel with a Mercedes convertible.)

9. "Wow you must miss him?"
(This one also gets antoher big "duh". Of course we miss our men. There are some wives who do not and they're now divorced.)

10. "Where is he exactly? Where is that?"
(I don't expect non-military folks to be able to find Anbar Province on a map, but they should know by now that it's in Iraq. Likewise, know that Kabul and Kandahar are in Afghanistan. Know that Muqtada al Sadr is the insurgent leader of the Mahdi Army in Iraq and that Sadr City is his home area. Know that Iran is a major threat to our country and that it is located between Afghanistan and Iraq. Our country has been at war in Afghanistan for seven years and at war in Iraq for five years. These basic facts are not secrets, they're on the news every night and in the papers every day —and on maps everywhere.)

11. "Well, he signed up for it, so it's his own fault whatever happens over there.
(Yes, ignorant, he did sign up. Each and every day he protects your right to make stupid comments like that. He didn't sign up and ask to be hit by anything, he signed up to protect his country. Oh, and by the way, he asked me to tell you that "You're welcome." He's still fighting for your freedom.)

12. "Don't you miss sex! I couldn't do it!"
(hmmm, no i don't miss sex. i'm a robot. seriously…military spouses learn quickly that our relationships must be founded on something greater than sex. We learn to appreciate the important things, like simply hearing their voices, seeing their faces, being able to have dinner together every night. And the hard truth is, most relationships probably couldn't withstand 12 months of sex deprivation.)

13. "Well in my opinion….."
(Stop right there. Yo, I didn't ask for you your personal political opinions. Hey, I love a heated political debate, but not in the grocery store, not in Jamba Juice, not at Nordstrom, not in a bar when I'm out with my girls trying to forget the war, and CERTAINLY NOT AT WORK. We tell co-workers about deployments so when we have to spend lunch hours running our asses off doing errands and taking care of the house, dog, and kids, they have an understanding. We do not tell co-workers and colleagues because we are giving an invitation to ramble about politics or because we so eagerly want to hear how much they hate the President, esp. while we're trying to heat up our lean cuisines in the crappy office microwaves.)

Last, but not least….

14. "OH, that's horrible…I'm so sorry!"
(He's doing his job and he's a badass. Don't be sorry. Be appreciative and please take a moment out of your comfortable American lives to realize that our MARINES/SOLDIERS/AIRMEN/COASTIES
/SAILORS fight the wars abroad so those wars stay abroad.)

If you want to say anything, say thank you. After all, we are sexually deprived for your freedom.

The Metro

One of the highlights for the kids in DC was riding the train.

This was Gianna's first time - she wasn't so thrilled with the noise, but quickly she became of fan. Whenever we were leaving to go somewhere, the kids always asked, "Can we take the train!"

We quickly became "pros" at riding the train.

It was such a fast and easy way to travel. I miss having the convenience of just hopping the train.

A co-worker of David's sent him a link to this you-tube video. It made me laugh and reminded me of our great summer.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


She was supposed to be in the bathroom.....

Potty-training is kicking my a@@.

Busy, Busy

Wow - with David back to work (after a much deserved vacation) and the kids in school, we are really busy. Gemma and Spencer have soccer twice a week (game and practice). Starting next week we get to add two nights of dance for the girls (Monday for Gianna and Thursday for Gemma)!!!! I'm sooo missing summer vacation.....

Anyway, here are a few photos from Gemma's game last night. She started out in the goals - and looked so cute with the shirt and gloves. After half-time she played on the field. By the way, we ordered her sports glasses - we figured it was worth the investment.

(I kinda have a thing for the coach so I decided to sneak a picture of him while he was working!)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010


A few weeks ago we bought Gianna a scooter from a garage sale.

Actually, Gianna saw it and immediately started riding it.

David and I were "forced" to buy it for her.

Considering it was only $1.00 - I have to say it's probably one of the best toy purchases we've ever made! And by the way, when did my baby become such a big girl???

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School

Today is the first day of school for all THREE children! Gemma is now a 4th grader, Spencer a 3rd grader and Gianna is in PRE-SCHOOL!!!

The customary 1st day of school photo.

Click here for last year's photos and here for the year before.

Gemma and Spencer were excited to go back to school and see their friends. Gianna on the other hand wasn't so thrilled with the idea of school.

(On a side note - Gianna is using the same back-pack Gemma and Spencer used for pre-school!)

However, once we jumped in the van, she was ready to go. David was able to snap this photo just as she and I were walking in to class. We walked into class and she dropped me like a hot potato. Gianna hung up her bag and jacket and was ready to play. I couldn't have asked for an easier transition. I must admit though, I was a little teary-eyed...

Clearly pre-school agrees with her. When we picked her up she was all smiles and shortly after getting into the van, she was out like a light! I'm always sad when summer comes to an end, but with a start like today, fall is looking pretty good!

Friday, September 3, 2010

State Fair

We spent the day at the State Fair today - and by spend the day, I mean we were there from 11:30 until 7pm!!! I've NEVER stayed that long - Gianna even took a nap!!

Anyway, today was fair day with Bamma and Chris. I unfortunately picked the chilliest and windiest day - but we still had fun. We ate lots of food, played games and went on rides. The children were not lacking for entertainment!

So here is our day in photos....