Saturday, May 31, 2008

Grandma and Grandpa's Park

There is a park down the street from my parents' house that I used to go to growing up. Valerie calls it, "Grandma and Grandpa's Park." This is the first time we went, shots taken almost at sunset.

Just a reminder also, especially to grandparents, if there are any photos (from any blog post, past or future) you'd ever like a print of, let me know and I'll send you a cd with the full sized photos on them. These are reduced so much for the web that printed in full size would make them unclear and very low quality.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Diva Duo

We're back! A quick recap.

*mac/space a/(free jump on a military cargo ship for those who don't know the "lingo") over to Norfolk on a big C5 plane. lots of help, Val made friends with some retirees

*made our way to Chicago to stay with my parents for most of the trip.. first run in with my new best friend, Mr. Starbucks

*loads of shopping, 3 zoos, the Dunes, a billion restaurants, and lots of silly time with grandma and grandpa

*speaking of a billion restaurants.. how is it possible that I lost 2 lbs when I ate out almost every day for a month????

*got to meet our friends', the Stilwell's, new baby girl who is just a doll and eat lunch with her big brother Parker at the Rain Forest cafe! somehow I have zero pictures of this :( UGGG

*stood in line at my favorite popcorn spot, Garrett's, on Michigan Avenue.. and boy was it worth it

*caught the enormous amount of tulips all over Millenium Park in Chicago and along Michigan Avenue.

*spent five days in St. Louis with two great sets of friends- the Lough's and the Monahan's! The girls got lots of friend time in and it was our first trip ever to St. Louis!! We were so excited to meet the Lough's and the newest member to the Monahan household! We went to a big park, where the kids all stripped down and ran in the fountains, the Botanical Gardens, the St. Louis Zoo, the Butterfly House, and about 3 trips to Target after poor Val had the flu and was throwing up. Thankfully, it only lasted about 12 hours but we did infect some of our friends. Sorry guys!!! My favorite part of the trip was eating frozen custard at a famous local spot that Julie knew about. mmm!!

*flew back to Norfolk on Tuesday and sat in the airport for 4 hours only to find that we weren't getting on the flight. bummer. went to the Holiday Inn, sat on the phone with Derrick and my mom trying to book last minute commercial tickets for under $5K. bah! We did get a deal on United for under half that thanks to my hubby being in the military and got back yesterday afternoon. The trip was super smooth, no lost luggage, the kids were angels and actually slept for most of the flights!! The only hiccup being that Valerie threw up on the flight over since we were in the middle of the entire plane, but that seemed to bother the poor, young, single guy next to her more than anyone else. ;)

Here are a couple photos I snapped the first day we were at my parents'. They found an old feather boa I had for a costume in high school and played with it for a long time! I will slowly post more photos over the coming days, after I get my house put back together. Ciao!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Quick update


We are still in the states for another week or so, depending on the whole military flight situation. Now that I have to pay for an adult fare for Valerie it is no longer worth it to shell out the cash for a commercial fare so we will duke it out in Norfolk next week and pray to get a flight. Wish us luck!!

The girls are doing so well since being home. Valerie is laughing constantly and enjoying all of the constant attention and activity which is almost a direct opposite of life in Sicily! Ellie is *running* now and just since coming here at the beg. of May has probably said about 15-20 words. I was a bit worried, as some of you know, because at her 12 month appointment she had only said, "mama" and they told me to come back at 15 if she wasn't saying any thing else. However I think it was more that I couldn't hear her because she is overshadowed by her big sister. Ellie is starting to create her own interests and you can see a divide between the girls' choices in foods, toys, etc. Anyone who has seen them recently knows that they are truly complete opposites to the last degree!

We have been to Chicago a couple times, eaten more delicious food than I can describe, been to 2 zoos, and another one tmrw.. as well as just returning from almost a week in St. Louis to see friends! We are just loving it and will be very sad to leave next week. Luckily it will be a short time until Derrick returns and we can be a family again. Everyone keeps telling me how fast it's going but quite frankly, it is like watching paint dry to me. This has by far been the hardest deployment and I am sure it is because Valerie is now aware of it. She has been having a hard time, even here, but talking on the phone to Daddy really helps when possible!!

I am going to head off for now. I have taken a ridiculous amount of photos, including a pretty much failed shoot at the Dunes/lakeshore yesterday afternoon due to dropping temps and wind! eeek. Valerie had a great time playing in the sand though! :) Even if we were in sweatshirts and needing gloves. he he.

Take care!! Will post pics/update when I return!