Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Fun Ending

Yesterday I promised the kids some time in the backyard with a new sprinkler that I got for them. Well, wouldn't you know that when I went to hook it up (of course after I promised them an afternoon of fun), it was broken as well as their hearts. So we tromped back inside with pouty kids and I told them I would have Daddy take a look at it when he got home. Didn't you know that Daddy is equal to superman? He can fix everything!!! So, once again, after dinner we tromped back outside with all kids in bathing suits and high hopes. Daddy couldn't get the sprinkler to work but wouldn't you know it, we had a ton of fun anyway!

And don't let the pictures fool you - they got me too!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wednesday Confessions Part II

Sorry about the late post - had some "drama" in the household and had to make a run to the doctor this morning. Thanks Debbie for watching the kids!!!!

Disclaimer: You should have all been forewarned by the title of this post but if you bypassed that part - here is where I warn you. You get what you get here. My mood will vary, that I guarantee, and I will do my best to give you my honesty in my confessions. After all, isn't that what confessions are about? Do you have any today?

1. In my attempt to re-engage the kids in their "jobs" around the house, I am in the process of implementing a new technique (stolen from Parents Magazine). I will post about this later. Something has to give or I am going to go nuts with all of the nagging and reminding. Maybe it is just time for them to go back to school. :)

2. I am terrified for Elizabeth to start kindergarten. Don't get me wrong. I can't wait for school to start but I am terrified of my own emotions. I mean seriously, crying during the registration process just shouldn't happen. I can only imagine what the first day will bring. Why is this so difficult?

3. I am totally stoked about Lynette moving in around the corner of us!!! And yes - I do confess - I am counting down the days. Only three more to go. :)

4. I think I have lost my nursing abilities. I am real quick to panic these days when my kids get hurt. Example, you say? Well, last night Jacob fell while walking on the driveway and somehow scraped two of his fingernails off. (Yeah - it wasn't pretty!!!) With screaming baby in hand and a washcloth soaking up all of the blood, my first instinct is to call our nurse line to find out what to do. I shouldn't doubt myself but I have been out of nursing so long that I do. All said and done, we didn't call the nurse line or head into the ER (another thing I wanted to do) but instead washed it off with some saline and then put some Neosporin on them with some cute band aids. (The band aids didn't stay on any longer than 10 minutes so I'm not sure what it will look like in the morning). Even though I feel like I know what I am doing and the reasons behind my assessments, I seriously doubt my abilities. I think I will take a refresher course.

5. Shhh! I am working on the launch of my brand new website for Bundles of Fun Photography! I am so excited to show you all when it is done.

6. My washing machine stinks!!!! Well - it isn't mine - it came with the house. But anyway, I am now figuring out why they left it. I was so totally excited when I walked in and saw these two new state of the art washer and dryers but have since learned that front loading washers have serious odor and mold problems if you don't take care of them properly. Who knew there was care to a washing machine? Anyway, after some bleach, latex gloves and a toothbrush (all done by Mike I might add) the smell has diminished but ugghhhh!

7. Keeping on the laundry theme, I am thinking about quiting the cloth diapering venture. We are having ammonia problems again but only with certain diapers. I have tried stripping them again but can't seem to get it resolved and I just don't want to put the money into buying new ones. I am so sad about this but if I can't get it resolved I don't see a reason to keep at it.

8. I am desperate to find an activity for AJ to do as he needs an outlet badly but am coming up empty handed. Everything that I think would be good for him requires him to be older. He does start school on September 3rd and that is three days a week, 9-2PM, so I think that will help. If anyone has any ideas - please share!!!!

9. My ear really hurts!!! Did I mention that my ear drum ruptured yesterday on top of Jacob's little fingernail incident? Well, it did and I can't get into the doctor - uugghh!

10. I think I need some chocolate or ice cream! :)

So those are my confessions for the week. Do you have any for me?

Quest to Save Money

In my quest to save money I have become a bit of a coupon nut lately (thanks Amy!!!) and religiously check this site several times a day to get the heads up on any great deals out there. Anyway, she is having a huge sale tomorrow on her books and I thought I would share it with you all. You can access the sale through this link. Happy saving!

Note: Don't forget - tomorrow is confession Wednesday so be prepared! :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

morning at the beach

For nothing better to do but clean the house and go to the commissary, Mike and I decided we would take the kids to the beach this morning. I must admit, this was their first time in almost three weeks of being here (Mike and I weren't up to the challenge). They enjoyed themselves quite a bit after the initial fear wore off.

The water was so clear and there were a ton of little fish that this intrigued the kids quite a bit. Elizabeth spent a good portion of her time trying to catch them. She was successful on one attemtp and it took all I had to convince her to throw it back before it died - she was SO proud of it!
Jacob spent most of his time in Mike's or my arms however, once he figured out how warm the water was he wanted down and wanted to be independant. He is so fearless - is scares me!
AJ was scared of the water until he got some one on one time with Daddy in the water and then didn't want to get out.
All in all it was a pretty fun morning and I'm sure we will be spending many more mornings there in the future.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

wednesday confessions

I am finding myself having more and more random thoughts that I just know you are all dying to know so I thought I would start a Wednesday Confession thing. I figure this is good therapy, right? Get things off my chest no matter how insignificant they are? Well, even if not - I thought it would be fun. So here it goes...

1. I miss California terribly. Don't get me wrong - Florida is nice as far as being in civilization again but I miss my family and the climate and the desert. I am not meant to be in humidity - it makes me cranky! That takes me to #2.

2. I have gone curly. Yup - I just couldn't stay straight in this humidity so I sucked it up and have left my hair curly no matter how much I don't like it. I must say it has made my mornings much more productive and Mike likes the fact that I am not consumed by the hair dryer for so long anymore.

3. Speaking of Mike, have I mentioned that I am totally and 100% in love with that man? Well, I am. As I am sitting here on the computer he has two kids in his arms dancing with the them as he is watching the third. Not many men would take on that challenge. He is such a good father and wonderful husband.

4. And keeping on the subject of kids, I love to see my kiddos in the bathtub! This is one of the few times of the day that I can count on them all getting along and I know they are truly enjoying themselves. See video below.

5. I realize that I have posted a lot of short video clips lately but sometimes action is so much better than still photos when you are trying to capture the moment and I also realized we don't have any video of AJ as a baby and I don't want it to stay that way as they get older. Moving makes you realize all of the items that you have forgotten about or just got lazy about - the video camera being one.

6. Goodwill is going to get a truckload of stuff that we have decided we don't need to cart around with us across the country again. I am just to lazy to list everything on ebay right now.

7. Lazy - okay, that describes me these days. I just don't feel the motivation to finish off this house. There are those random boxes left that have stuff in them that I don't currently need therefore I can find all of the excuses in the world not to deal with them. However my dilemma is that they are currently residing in what is to become my photography studio/office.

8. Yup, I get my own space in this house for just me. Well, I am sure I will have to share but I am turning the dining room area into a proofing, studio area. I have big plans for this area in the near future (just have to get motivated).

9. New business card design. (Recognize that face?)

10. I miss my friends! I am in total TPS withdrawal and for nothing better to do I am finding myself doing nothing.... uughhh! Help me!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

a man and his shoes

So as you know (or maybe not) my son is infatuated with shoes - especially those that aren't his. I have decided by his display this evening that he is much better in high heels than I will ever be. Should I be worried yet?

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Drive

OK - so here is a glimpse of what our drives were like from good old (non-humid might I add), California to Florida. This is how the story went....

Edwards to San Diego, CA (2 days) to Henderson, NV, to Grand Junction, CO to Longmont, CO (8 days) to Wichita, KS to Dallas, TX to Moss Point, MS and finally to Niceville, FL!

And, yes - you did read that right - it does say Niceville! And before you ask, yes, it IS nice in Niceville.

OK - bask to the story. As you know from a previous post, we first headed down to San Diego for my brothers graduation. This is the most perfect child known to man, my brother, David and his girlfriend, Tiffany. Ahhh, aren't they cute?

We were then off to Las Vegas to visit some of our TPS friends and were able to spend some time swimming at the Capsers house. We miss you guys terribly but are so glad that we got to see your new place. Hopefully we can find some cheap fares to Vegas soon - I think I am in withdrawal already!

After Vegas we headed on our way to Colorado to visit the Marlin side of the family. The picture below is the view I saw while driving. It really makes me wonder why anyone would want to live in the east. I am so partial to the mountains and the weather out west - we will be back some day - just don't know when yet.

While in Colorado we were able to attend the graduation of my brother and sister-in-laws graduation from their medical residency. Mike and I were also able to get away from the kids that night as my other sister-in-law had the most wonderful woman come over and watch the kids. It was so nice to have a night out. Congrats Ryan & Heidi!

All of the cousins spent a lot of time together at Nana and Papa's house and we were able to get a picture of all of the kiddo's together. And, no, I don't think AJ was picking his nose....

After 8 days of R & R in CO it was time for the rubber to hit the asphalt again. We planned it so that we would have 1 long day followed by a short day and then repeat again... The kids did pretty good given the hours that we were in the car. They entertained themselves pretty well and it helped having the two cars to be able to switch things up a bit not only for the kids but Mike and I as well.

We spent the 4th in Dallas at the Omni Hotel which was a 5-Star hotel. We spoiled ourselves that day with a whole afternoon of swimming followed by pj's and a dinner of room service. Our room's windows faced all of downtown Dallas and Ft. Worth so we were able to see about 5 firework shows from the comfort of our room - it was great!

The next day we headed out for another long day and this started to wear on Jacob quite a bit. He took to screaming for about 6 out of the 9 hours of driving but looking at this picture it doesn't seem so bad now.Our last day was a short one with only a three hour drive into Niceville. We were able to come straight to our house and check it out (remember we rented it sight unseen). To our surprise and excitement, the Quick's were out here visiting when we got here so we were able to see them again. We stayed in the TLF, which I think is worse than a Motel 6 (at least at this base) for two nights and then moved over to the house.

I will post pictures of the house once I take them. I am having a hard time getting those last boxes unpacked and put away. My motivation just isn't there anymore....

Peeeee - Peeeeee

In keeping with the theme of Jacob and his antics I figured I would share this video with you all. For some reason, Nana's house brings out the urge for all of my kids to sit on the potty for the very first time. When we visit they just feel the need I guess and Jacob did not fail us. He ran down the hallway yelling pee-pee and pulling at his diaper. So just for the heck of it I sat him up there. Nothing happened but boy was he proud.

Just as a side note - he has sat on the potty a few times in the new house and we have had a few successes. I don't know that I am ready to be potty training another one so soon. Maybe it is just a phase...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Water Play

If you aren't familiar with the commissary at Eglin on payday, I don't suggest you familiarize yourself with it! It is like going the wrong way on the track during the Daytona 500 - you WILL get run over! Anyway, for that reason, I haven't yet stocked the house with the move in grocery essentials, so it was off to dinner at the Cracker Barrell with the Quick's (who would have thought they would have been here when we got here - small world) and then over to the Destin Commons for some water fun for the kids. Needless to say, the kids had a blast and were soaked by the time we left. I'm not too sure what Jacob got out of by sitting on the fountains but hey - whatever floats your boat! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

And the winner is . . .

Aunt Heather! Her guess was 152. We actually ended up with 163 boxes. Way to go Heather - your gift cards will be in the mail soon. You are going to get a gift card to Kohl's for yourself and two gift cards to Target for the kids.

More on the move later.....

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Where are they now?

I'm sure that is a question that all of you have been asking yourselves - well probably not but I thought it was a good title for an update post. :)

Well, where do I begin? We have been so crazy busy for the past couple of weeks that I feel like time is either standing still or blowing right by me (not sure which one at this point). But anyway, for the sake of simplicity I will give you the update/lowdown on what us crazy Marlin's have been up to over the past few weeks, in list format.

1. He did it! He did it! ( Or should I say we did it!?) On June 7th Mike graduated for the US Air Force Test Pilot School. What a crazy year it has been! With all of the ups and downs we have faced as individuals, a couple and a family, I do feel like this has been one of the best years of my life. Graduation was definitely a bitter sweet event as we got to celebrate the accomplishments of our husbands, fathers and loved ones but this also was the marking of the time to say good-bye as we move on to our next base and/or job. The friendships that I have made and gained out of this experience are absolutely priceless. I love each and everyone of the girls that helped me to realize how selfless and caring others could be as they took in our families and created one big TPS family. I miss my girlfriends deeply but I know deep down I will get to see each and every one of them again!

2. Disneyland and San Diego! The day after graduation, we headed down to Disneyland with Mike's parents along with his sister and her kids. We spent two days at Disneyland seeing all of the sights and riding all of the age appropriate rides. We ran the kiddos and ourselves raged each day with early starts and late nights with little to no naps. After Disney, we headed down to Carlsbad, CA (just north of San Diego). We spent two days with some beach time and pool time mixed with a little relaxation. We then said our goodbyes to the other Marlin's and headed back up to Edwards to start the pre-movers are coming chaos. We did make a pit stop at my parents house for one last quick visit with my grandmother before we headed on our way.

3. Grandma Anne! Our transition from Disney to San Diego was blessed with a LONG over due visit with my grandmother. All of the Marlin's met my mom, sister and grandmother at a park in Irvine for a chance to let the kids run around and get some energy out before sitting in the car for a while as well as get a chance for my grandmother to meet AJ and Jacob and see Elizabeth all grown up. She was a baby last time she saw her. What an opportunity it was to be able to have four generations in one place at one time!

4. Movers, again! Our packers arrived on the 17th of June and were off to work getting our decorating style to look like it only consisted of corrugated cardboard. They took 2 days to pack us up and thankfully I was able to get the kids in some sort of day care for most of the time. Well the first day wasn't pretty but that is a whole other post! Anyway, they loaded us up on the third day and filled the back end of a truck. I knew we had downsized a bit but didn't think it was quite that much but maybe they were just that efficient! Once everything was out of the house, Mike and I were on crazy house cleaning details that we liked to call the "monster" house inspectors. (The kids like to make up bedtime stories at night....) With spotless light fixtures and mini blinds that you could run a white glove over, we were pretty sure we would pass inspection but were still a little nervous. Anyway, we passed and all was good. Goodbye Edwards - you will be missed, well sort of!

5. Another graduation! The day after we checked out of the base we headed back down to San Diego where my brother was graduating from University of California San Diego with a double major in cognitive science and Italian. Yeah - you guessed it - he is the brilliant one in the family! Love ya, Dave! The graduation itself was quite hot and boring in and amongst the interesting speeches given but we made due with our umbrellas and water. The best part of the whole thing was to be able to spend some time with my whole family before we headed off to the east coast. Congratulations David! You make us all so proud!

6. Hitting the road! After graduation, we hit the road for good. We planned a short day only traveling to Las Vegas but surprisingly enough it took us a full eight hours between pit stops for lunch, bathroom breaks and other random things. We headed to Henderson, NV (southeast side of Vegas) to visit our good friends the Caspers, part of our TPS family. With some good fajitas, flowing margaritas, kids worn out by swimming and a little time on the Wii, we had a wonderful time and it was so nice to see where our friends are moving onto - what a beautiful house! From Vegas we headed to Grand Junction, CO and then onto Longmont, CO. The drives were long and filled with many "are we there yet?"'s but in the end we all made in unscathed.

7. Some time in Colorado! We made it to Longmont, CO on Wednesday and have been having a wonderful time with family. On top of just getting to see everyone we have been privileged to time it with the graduation (yes, I said it - another graduation) of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law from their medical residency at University of Northern Colorado. As family medicine doctors they themselves are now in the mode of moving as they will be moving to western Colorado to be rural doctors. We were also privileged to be here during the in-laws 40th wedding anniversary. How special it is that the whole family was in the same area at the same time for such a wonderful event. It is hard to imagine Mike and I married for 40 years with only a measly 8 under our belt. I only hope we can emulate their love and affection for each other that many years down the road.

8. Family! Every time we come through here I am infinitely jealous of those families that get to live within the same areas of each other. How wonderful it is to see cousins playing in the yard together and know that these people you have around you will love you in all instances.

9. The final leg! We are getting back on the road to finish this trek on the 3rd. We plan on making it to Wichita the first day and spending the 4th in Dallas. We will then head to Moss Point, MS with our final destination being Niceville on the 4th day. We have planned out the trip so that two of the days we are going to have time to do something with the kids to try and alleviate and car cabin fever. (Is that a syndrome?) Anyway, wish us luck on this next adventure on our way to our new home!

So there you have it - a brief synopsis of our lives over the past few weeks. I hope that I will be able to update the blog in the near future as we get settled into our new house and our new lives on the East Coast.