Tuesday, November 7, 2017

SATCOM Curse


The Satcom curse is alive and well in our household.

And we are having another girl.

For those of you not familiar with the "nerdy" side of the Army... the satcom curse is something satellite communication soldiers believe in.  It all goes back to our time at Fort Meade way back in 2010.  Soldiers believe(d) that all their time spent near radiation kills off all of the male sperm and they are destined to have only girls.

This was 7 years ago... but we have 2 girls already and found out just about two weeks ago that this baby I'm almost halfway done cooking is also another girl.  Dashing my husbands hope of having a boy of the human variety and not just the furry kind.

Of the people we were stationed with at Fort Meade... I can count on one hand the couples that left and had boys.  Most of us?  Have girls.

It is what it is though and we are very excited to welcome this baby come April.  My husbands shock was very evident for a few hours, but baby #3 already has a name (that was decided upon within 24 hours - beating all other naming time periods by days) and I've already started scooping up some of the cutest baby girl items as I come across them.  Unfortunately I thought we were done having kids so I had started selling off most of our baby gear... but still hadn't sold the majority of our baby girl wardrobe.  So a loss and a win.

All I know is I can't wait to go through the newborn phase just one more time.  There is nothing sweeter.



always,
amanda
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Currently

A gif from the church picnic we went to with my parents last weekend.

Making: A plan for a couple of Saturdays from now.  Birthday parties and painting classes.  It will be a fun one!
Cooking: Nothing - just finished eating breakfast, peanut butter toast.
Drinking: Milk.

Reading: Besides the words on this screen, text messages from my mom and husband.  I haven't read an actual book in quite awhile.
Wanting: The wind to chill out before it seriously damages something in our backyard.
Playing: Old movies I've seen 100 times.  The Notebook and Pitch Perfect to name a few.

Listening: To my sweet Brooklyn play with her toys in the playroom and the washing machine whirl behind the laundry room door.
Wishing: Rob's dry cleaning was available for pickup BEFORE 5 pm today.
Enjoying: The picture Rob asked me to find from his time in Kuwait back in 2012.

Liking: All the fall vibes.  Pumpkins, sweaters and my babies excited to wear there Halloween costumes several times over the next couple of days.
Wondering: If we will get to find out for sure whether the baby is a boy or girl this weekend.  He or she is another stubborn Gregory baby, making it difficult on us.
Hoping: Grace is having tons of fun at preschool this morning.

Marveling: At how much Brooke has grown lately.  Maybe not physically but she talks so much more lately and has this ornery little personality that keeps us busy but constantly in awe of how sweet she is.
Needing: To actually get ready before preschool pickup.
Smelling: Cool fresh air with a hint of pumpkin spice.

Wearing: Pajama pants and an oversized t-shirt.  Pregnant = comfortable.  Duh.
Thinking: Of todays to-do list.
Feeling: Tired.  Always tired.  Otherwise I am just annoyed this morning with healthcare related things.  The joys of adulthood.

It is a cold, windy day here in Kansas.  Winter like temps are supposed to arrive in time for the weekend, if we don't blow away first.  I say bring it on.  Even though juggling kids and jackets is a GIANT pain in the butt.. I will take it over summer heat annnnnnyday.

Happy Tuesday friends!


always,
amanda
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

All that is left to say about summer.

It's almost Halloween and the Kansas weather is officially doing that thing where if you dress for the morning temperatures you will basically be dying by the time the afternoon rolls around.  Luckily it is also the time of year where the humidity is mostly gone and I praise the Lord every day that we are no longer living in the south.  Four seasons for life y'all.

In my last post I announced our latest news.  This pregnancy has been relatively rough.  I'm VERY tired all the time.  I spend my afternoons napping while Brooke does and somehow wake up still tired.  Luckily the morning sickness and nausea has for the most part subsided.  I've been playing catch up on the house when I am not sleeping and I'm always busy running Grace all over town to her activities.  So blogging has definitely hit the back burner.  Probably a lot like how most of my leisurely activities will once this baby makes his/her debut.

Today I am here to officially close and wrap up our summer 2017.

Starting with July.


-We celebrated the 4th with some of our new neighbors.  They had a gathering at their house with and it was a great opportunity to meet even more neighbors from our street.  I will probably never stop talking about how happy I am that where we finally decided to settle down came with some super friendly neighbors that we trust and appreciate.


-The girls and I spent one hot morning going to our first Touch-A-Truck event.  In the past this has been on my list of events to attend but the word free often brings rather large crowds when it comes to the military community so we never made it out.  My sister works for the recreation department in a town just south of Kansas City.  So we were able to enjoy the event without huge crowds and both girls really enjoyed themselves, minus the scorching heat of the day.


-I said a few posts ago that we aren't big pool people.  When we moved to Lawrence, Rob joined the local country club for the golf benefits and with it came an amazing new walk in pool that is rarely overcrowded.  We spent a few evenings this summer swimming, playing and in Brooke's case, floating.  Grace also completed swim lessons this summer.  We are a few blocks away from the University of Kansas and in the summer swim team students teach lessons to local kiddos.  We saw a HUGE improvement from these lessons and while she still isn't a huge fan of putting her head under water, she will put half her face in and knows how to kick herself around.  Making it 100% worth it in our mind.


-What seems like forever ago, we finally got to hang out with and meet Jen and E at Wonderscope in Kansas City.  It's an indoor children's play museum with rooms for painting, a farm, grocery store, nursery and vet's office among many other activities.  It was awesome finally getting to meet Jen after all this time of keeping up with each other via blogs.  Hopefully before to long we will be able to catch up again.


-We went to our second Royals game of the season in mid-July.  Kara and her fiancĂ© Mike invited us to the Royals vs. Rangers game.  The boys claim the Rangers and all 4 girls claim the Royals (sorry Rob!).  It was a CLOSE game but the Royals pulled it off.  Baseball games are not my favorite for entertaining my children... but somehow we made it through.  Definitely with the help of Kara!


-At the very end of July my core group of friends from high school were all reunited for one evening in Manhattan for dinner, drinks and catching up.  Kara, Megan and I drove out to meet up with Allison and we laughed and talked, probably embarrassing the people near us at the restaurant.  It was just like our pre kids dinner outings.  Now 6 kids and 2 on the way later, things are a wee bit different.  Megan stayed the night as our first official house guest in our new home and more chatting, good food and trips to the pool later, we accomplished all the time spending together we hoped to.


-We capped off the month of July with another trip to the lake with my family.  Rob was able to master my dad's new toy, a jet ski.  So most of the weekend was spent on the water playing, napping and feeding the fish.  Grace used her new found swimming skills to actually swim alone and really had us all impressed with her abilities and trust for her lifejacket.

On to August.


-The girls and I started the month of August with a trip out to Western Kansas.  My cousin Shelley and her family were back visiting from South Carolina, so we made the 5 hour drive to spend time with them and other family members.  This trip coincided with the county fair.  Cheap tickets and food make it still the best fair I've ever been to after all these years.  The girls both got to ride some rides and the train and we played a few games.  By the second night the crowds were growing so we dipped out a bit earlier.  I was able to see several of my cousins and aunts and uncles before we headed back home. So it was definitely worth it.  Even though... I was coming down with..

-I spent one very miserable week with hand, foot and mouth.  It was AWFUL.  I'm 90% sure I caught it at the local indoor playground... that we have yet to step foot in since.  Adults are supposed to be mostly immune to this... except me, of course.  Luckily I was the only one to catch a major case of it. Thank God.


-We went to the US Open Cup semi-final match where Sporting Kansas City ended up winning after a VERY intense penalty kick shootout.  It was a late night, but definitely worth it to witness another major win for our city.  My family was able to join us and even though my dad still doesn't like soccer as much as football, everyone had lots of fun.

-One afternoon was spent at the mall with Kara and her sister.  We were there to help pick out engagement picture outfits, but spent a good chunk of time cruising the Disney store and riding the carousel.


-We took another trip out to the lake with Rob's grandparents and my family.  Rob was able to take Grace out on the jet ski and we spent one really nice afternoon floating and listening to a live band play in a nearby cove.  It was a really good, exhausting weekend that we all enjoyed.


-Grace started soccer in August too.  While it ended up not being her thing right now, we think it may be someday.  I went ahead and signed her up for the local club soccer team.  But at 3 they spend a lot of time running drills and after dribbling the ball up and down the field, Grace wasn't into any of the other drills and it turned into meltdown city with Rob and I very frustrated by the time we headed back to the car on Saturday mornings.  So after a few weeks of this we abandoned it all together.  I don't fight with Grace at all when it comes to gymnastics, so I knew that right now this isn't her thing.  We will try again in a few years when she can actually play an entire game.

-Oh and we found out about number 3 at the end of August too!

So that's the last of our summer.  It was a good one for the most part. A few lows, but mostly highs capped off our entire summer.  We definitely didn't plan for it to end with me pregnant... but we firmly believe that everything happens for a reason.

Here's to the holidays (hopefully I actually get back in here before then. ;) )!


always,
amanda
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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Surprise

If you have been around this blog for any amount of time... you know that month plus long blog silence can often be attributed to one of two things.  We just moved or I'm pregnant.  Since we bought our forever home in March and don't plan to move that can only mean one thing...

I'm pregnant.

Again.


We've only known for about a month but somehow my first trimester is already over, the family and friends have been let in on our secret and earlier this weekend we made it known via Facebook.

This was not a planned pregnancy.  It actually came as a shock.  But we are excited none the less.

And praying for a boy.

Things have been chaotic lately with a VERY busy 18 month old who keeps me on my toes and an active 3 year old that I'm constantly driving to preschool, speech or gymnastics.  I've also struggled for the first time with first trimester symptoms and it is has been a rough early pregnancy.  Nausea, heartburn, early doctors appointments for bleeding and of course extreme exhaustion.  I'm finally starting to come out the other side of things.  Even the disgusting floor beneath our kitchen table got mopped this weekend.  That's a huge accomplishment.

Now if only I can get caught up on laundry...



always,
amanda
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Vacationing in California.

Picture overload ahead. You've been warned.

We spent the last week of June in California, on our first major family vacation.  The whole trip was planned around my best friend from college finally marrying her person.  Bree and I have been friends sine 2008... so a trip to California has always been high on my to-do list.  It was sort of like a dream come true for this trip to actually happen.


Although, I really can't claim that it started as a dream come true.  We ended up missing our 7 am flight out of Kansas City when we got to the airport and were greeted with hour plus long wait times just to check luggage.  We got to the front desk 5 minutes before our plane was to depart.  After exploring our options we ended up taking a noon flight to Las Vegas and then driving the 4 hours to Los Angeles.  It was a long day trying to keep everyone happy and in good spirits.  We met up with Bree and Joe for dinner and drinks and it was a LOVELY escape from the car.  This time last year was the last time we got to spend time with them, so it was great to catch up and provide them a break from all things wedding.  After dinner we parted ways, and found our way to a mall.  In our haste to get out the door I forgot to bring any shoes other than sandals.  Knowing what our trip would entail, we had to stop and purchase another pair of shoes.  We finally pulled into our home away from home, a 2 bedroom beach house, late that night with two sleeping kids and an amazing view.

Our view.
Girlfriend LOVED this ride.
We loved the A/C.
And she's out.

Wednesday we woke up and hustled to get out the door.  Bree hooked us up with tickets into Disneyland.  Which was amazing.  I've never been to any Disney park so as a 27 year old, I was excited.  Rob was excited.. and when we walked down Main Street and Grace saw Mickey, she was excited.  Unfortunately Grace is still too short to ride most of the rides available at the park.  But we rode two as a family of 4.  And Rob and Grace got to ride a couple more by themselves.  We ate one crazy overpriced brunch, met Mickey and some princesses, watched Beauty and the Beast and left with some souvenirs about 5 hours later.  It wasn't too hot, compared to Kansas humidity, but the lines for rides were getting long and we started worrying about Brooke sitting in the stroller in the sun doing a lot of waiting.  So we called it a day and left early.  From there we drove down to Encinitas... following the coast to the Scotty Cameron Gallery.  Since Rob has picked up golfing as his favorite hobby, he has also started collecting Scotty Cameron items and this was one of the highlights of our trip for him.  He walked in as they were restocking for the next day, so he walked out with a pretty good haul and still hasn't stopped talking about it.  We drove back up to Long Beach, where we were staying, after that and decided to walk a few blocks to dinner.  Craft beer and good food.  Plus the weather was nice and cool.

The Santa Monica Pier.

Thursday after gathering our items from the beach house and loading the car back up we headed for LA.  The 30 mile trip took well over an hour, but we were able to park close to our final destination and walk Hollywood Boulevard before hopping on our bus tour to see Beverly Hills, Sunset Avenue and all sorts of random celebrity related places.  The kids were super restless making the bus tour not our favorite part of the trip.  We hopped off for lunch at the First Farmer's Market.  Rob found some Brazilian grub and I sampled his while munching on a plain old salad from the pizza place I got the girls lunch at.  We walked around a bit before hopping back on the bus to finish out the loop.  We originally planned to hop on another route and head to China Town but the kids made us change our plan.  So we drove out to the Santa Monica Pier not realizing there was a free concert there that night.  Traffic was chaotic and at one point we questioned the weight limit for the pier.   But we were able to squeeze through the tight spaces, stroller and all and make it to the end of the pier.  Being from a land locked state... I can't ever get over the views of the beach.  We ended up eating dinner at the Mexican restaurant right there at the end of the pier.  Which was a bit chaotic... all the signs said "DON'T feed the seagulls".  Unfortunately a certain one year old can't read... and loves to throw food to her fur-brother at home... so clearly, that was a rule we had a hard time following.  After dinner we played in the arcade for a bit before an epic meltdown from Grace made the trek back up to the car a huge ordeal.  We could tell our kids were done at that point... so we hopped back in the car to head to our hotel.


Friday we woke up at the base of the mountains... a good 20-30 degrees hotter than the day before.  Originally we had planned to spend the day at Bree and Joe's house but had to change our plans a bit when the wedding to-do list kept growing.  Instead we attempted to find a local brewery to eat lunch.  Unfortunately, California is not like Kansas in that they have just breweries, no food.  But we finally found someplace with craft beer and Italian food.  Good enough for us.  After picking up a wedding gift and changing we drove up the mountain to the most GORGEOUS venue ever (Mile High Oaks) for the wedding rehearsal.  Bree had asked me to be a part of her wedding day as a bridesmaid, and I could not have been happier to accept.  After a few quick walk throughs we headed off to Joe's parents house for dinner.  It was so good meeting so many people I had heard about but never been able to meet.  After an evening of socializing, chasing kiddos, food and drinks... we were wiped.

A real live Snapchat filter was applied.
I mean LOOK AT THEM!

Saturday was WEDDING DAY!  Rob dropped me off at the venue at 9:30 and like a saint had the kids ALL day in a small hotel room (that was destroyed with Cheezits, cookies and countless other messes).  Meanwhile I spent an hour in the makeup chair, and came out looking like a snapchat filter.  Then another hour getting my hair done.  The ladies also did quite a bit of setting up and decorating... so we all helped with that throughout the morning.  Finally 4pm rolled around and it was time to get those two married.  After a 25 minute ceremony, tears were shed and they were married!  Pictures and other wedding festivities ensued before it was time to dance, drink and celebrate.  It was such an amazing day and I've never left a wedding knowing two people were so meant for each other like these two CLEARLY are.


Sunday we got up, checked out and headed over to Bree and Joe's house to drop off our gift, brunch and to say goodbye.  I HATE saying goodbye and definitely shed some tears as we pulled away.  I'm so thankful we were able to be there and celebrate with these two lovely people.  After leaving CA we drove back to Las Vegas.  Rob had a work conference back up perfectly to this trip.  So the plan was for the girls and I to stay one night with him in Vegas before heading back to Kansas.  Another place I'd never been.  Plus the hotel Rob was booked at was the Bellagio.  Which was an entirely different experience on it's own.  After checking in and freshening up we headed out to walk (!!! it was like 120* or something stupid..) to dinner.  Right across the street from the Bellagio is Planet Hollywood and Gordon Ramsay Burger.  We are fans of Gordon Ramsay, so that was a must.  Thankfully it was only a 40 minute wait.  Which gave us enough time to walk the Miracle Mile Shops and scoop up some souvenirs.  The kids had a bit of a rough time waiting for dinner, but short of having to walk out front with Brooke, we somehow made it and it was absolutely worth it.  After dinner we went back into the shops to get Rob some shoes he had been looking for forever and happened to find.  After watching a thunderstorm in the middle of the mall we headed back outside.  The only other thing I really wanted to cross off our list while in Vegas was to watch the fountains at the Bellagio.  So we walked back across the street just in time for one of the evening shows.  Both girls were entranced.  Even though it was only roughly 8:30 at that point, we called it a night. Vegas isn't very stroller/kid friendly and things were starting to get crazy crowded.  After getting the kids to bed I noticed Grace was a bit warm and running a low grade fever.  She ended up sleeping through the night... but..

Passed out at Wahlburgers.
THANKFUL to be back in Kansas, finally.

Monday morning she woke up not feeling it at all.  Which was AWESOME because it was also travel home day for us.  We didn't leave until Monday evening... so after a high-priced breakfast, the girls and I headed out by ourselves.  Rob's conference kicked off that day, so it was just us.  I knew I wanted to eat lunch at Wahlburgers, we had a short 15 minute wait so we ran over to CVS for bottled water (that I later had to chuck at the airport... because of course you have to buy the $5 overpriced airport water) and pull-ups.  Honestly y'all, I liked the Wahlburgers burger better.  It was so juicy and the sauce was amazing.  So after scarfing some food down we hightailed it back to the hotel room to finish gathering things and make the trek down to our rental car.  My shirt that day "Jesus loves this hot mess" fit in every single aspect.  I finally got everyone loaded, in time for Rob to swing by and give one more set of hugs and kisses before we pulled out.  The rental car people must have felt bad for me traveling by myself with two kids, a stroller, two carseats, two backpacks, two suitcases... because they kindly offered me a ride over to the terminal instead of the shuttle.  They dropped us off curbside and by the time we got through security and bags checked we had 2 hours to spare.  By that point mama was basically done... so we ate some more overpriced food (seeing a trend here?!  Vegas is overpriced.  Period.) and sat on the very dirty floor before loading into the airplane.  I felt bad for the young man that plopped down next to me, but he stuck his headphones in and luckily after a short fuss right after takeoff Brooke fell asleep.  Grace watched some cartoons before crashing out herself too.  On the way off the plane I had a nice lady offer to help me by carrying a bag and holding Grace's hand.  We got all our luggage and another kind soul helped me get the luggage to our shuttle.  And thankfully Rob had parked in the Parking Spot lot which meant they delivered me, the girls and all of our crap straight to the truck. Praise all things holy.  I did shed some tears on the way home just because I was so overwhelmed and tired.

I am SO glad we were able to make this trip work.  Some moments were stressful and didn't go as planned, but all the memories that were made are absolutely priceless.  I'd take two stressful travel days if it meant several days of glorious vacation anytime.  But I may have to put my foot down on flying alone with the kids anytime soon.



always,
amanda
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