Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We took a break from working on the house this afternoon to take Elora to the mall for some early trick-or-treating.  She's really too young to appreciate it, but I'm certainly not!  Brandon thought it was all rather silly, but he humored me.

The silly girl sucked on her hand nearly the entire time we were there.  It was prune-y by the time we left.

Is she not the sweetest little angel ever?  Most people thought she was a fairy, though, because I accidentally put her wings on upside down.  Oops.  The crazy thing is that this is the angel costume--labeled 6-9 months--that I bought for her last Halloween!  Thank you again for loaning us the bear costume, Jennifer! So this was Halloween 2009:

And this is Halloween 2010:

When we got back to the house after trick-or-treating and dinner (we went back to Abuelo's for more delicious Mexican)

we went outside to play and take pictures.

These were taken right in our back yard, but we also walked down the path to the little canal right around the corner.  These were taken on the grassy slope by the water.


It's been a good day.  I hope you've all had a happy Halloween too!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Reason for the Delay

Ok, remember how we had to keep pushing back our departure date, when we were trying to get out of Germany?  Well, this is why.  
October 13, 2010

I was experiencing complications with the pregnancy, and my doctor grounded me until it all straightened out.  And, now that we're here and everything seems to be ok, it seems like the time to "go public" with the pregnancy.  It's pretty much common knowledge by now anyway.  I'm at 21 weeks, and anyone who looks at me can tell that I'm pregnant. And besides,  I'm terrible at keeping secrets, when I'm this excited about something.  To be honest, I can't believe I managed to restrain myself from blogging about this for so long!

October 13, 2010

This baby was planned, just like Elora was.  They will be almost exactly 2 years apart; this one is due just 10 days before Elora's second birthday.  That was the plan anyway--to space them by about 2 years-- but we kept going back and forth on when, exactly, we wanted to start trying.  When I asked Brandon this spring about what he wanted for his birthday, he looked at Elora with a smile and said, "Another babby."  Well, we found out that I was pregnant while we were in Alabama, about a week after his birthday.  :)
We are still not sure of the gender, though my doctor in Germany was fairly certain it's a girl.  The little peanut is another modest one.  We are hoping to get a much better look when I go for my first appointment with my American doctor next week.

The movers should be here with our stuff by 11 on Friday-- I can't wait!  Hopefully I'll be posting pics this weekend.  :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting Settled

Or, well, we're trying to anyway.  Our household goods will not be delivered until Friday and we have no idea when the long term storage stuff will get here, so we're currently sleeping on an air mattress and living out of our suitcases.  BUT, we have a brand new washer and dryer (delivered Friday) so we can do our laundry right here at home.  And, we got a new dining set and a whole new living room set (delivered Saturday) so we have couches to sit on and a dining table to eat at.  I bought towels so we can shower; basic food stuffs so we can eat; disposable plates, cups and silverware so we have something to eat off of; and the sundry soaps and cleaning supplies so we can stay tidy.  Verizon came out on Saturday and hooked up our internet, cable, and telephone.  Of course, we won't have a TV to go with that cable until Friday, and I have no idea when the phones will get here, but the internet is AMAZING.  Hooray! Here are a few pictures of the house, and our new furniture:  

I'll post more pics of the rest of the house later this week. Brandon's budgeting program has gone into cardiac arrest with all the money we've spent since we got here, but it's worth it.  We have a lot of other ideas in mind--such as putting up a fence and replacing the cabinetry in the kitchen-- but we will be spacing those purchases out.

Today is Brandon's first day of work here in Virginia.  I hope it goes well!  After all, he will be working there for the next 3 years, so it wouldn't do for him to start off on the wrong foot.  Elora didn't want to let him leave this morning.  We've both gotten used to him being home with us, so it'll be another adjustment now that he's actually got to go to work every day again.  It'll be very good, though, to get back into a predictable daily routine.

All three of us have gotten sick since we got here.  Elora came down with it first, at the end of last week.  I got the sore throat on Saturday, and Brandon got it on Sunday.  I think I have it the worst.  Brandon and Elora are both stuffy and are feeling pretty crappy, but I've got the nasty sounding cough to go with it.  It'll pass.  I'm just hoping it does so before the movers show up on Friday.

My friend Rebekah continues to be a a great help.  She's been running around with me, keeping us company, and helping me to learn my way around the area.  She's going to come over and spend the day with us on Friday, to be an extra pair of eyes and hands, especially with respect to keeping Elora occupied while we're trying to get everything moved in.  Elora is loving her "Aunt Bekah"!  Han is still staying with her, too.  She waves it all off, especially the cat sitting part.  Han is keeping her kitty company, and both cats seem to be enjoying the situation.

These are a few more pictures that I snapped in the apartment before we left Germany, and they are just too cute not to share.  I especially like the last one.  :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We're Buying a House!!

We'd intended to rent, but when we got here, we found out that they'd extended the first time home buyer's tax credit for military service members who have been stationed overseas--and we qualify!  Couple that with the 50 year low on interest rates, and we decided that it was worth it to at least look into buying.  There were 2 houses that we really liked, but one of them was in a less than ideal location and so we settled on this one:

It doesn't look like a whole lot from the outside, but the interior is gorgeous!  It's got 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, a large breakfast nook/dining area, a dining room that we will use as a den, a living room with a fire place, a 1 car garage deep enough for both the bike and the car, and a cute little back yard.  It was built in 1984, but it was just renovated, and all the appliances are brand-spanking new. (We will need to get a washer and dryer, though, and the back yard needs a fence.)  The nice long driveway means that parking for visitors won't be an issue.  The neighborhood is great, the location is nothing short of phenomenal--AND, if we end up staying for more than the next 3 years, the schools in the area are top-notch.  Did I mention that we will be able to get FiOS? Happy dance!

The sellers have accepted our offer, we've been approved for the home loan, and we've already signed all the preliminary paper work.  The inspection is tomorrow--if that goes well, we will be taking possession of the house on Friday!  YAY!


Sunday, October 17, 2010


We made it!!  We got into Norfolk at about 9 on Friday night, and my friend Rebekah came with her husband to meet us at the airport.  We stayed that night with her, and then checked into a hotel yesterday evening.  There are lots of exciting things happening... we got our new cell phones yesterday, and even better, we just happened to meet a real estate agent while we were at the mall. and we have a date this afternoon to go looking at houses!  We were leaning toward renting, but when we learned that they'd extended the home buyer's tax-credit for military personnel who have been stationed overseas, we thought it might be a good idea to go ahead and at least look into buying.  Interest rates are at a 50 year low, after all, so why not? Who knows what we might find!?

I made this little hat for Elora a few days before we left Germany.  She didn't like it at first, but when it was cold, she actually kept it on.  Yay!

Less cool?  This is the mess she made with the rest of my yarn.

I've now got it straightened out and made into a matching scarf, but I haven't photographed it yet.  I'll post pics of the set once it cools off enough here for her to need them.  :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Onward and Upward

Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland!

Hello, United States of America!  Here we come!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More Elora :)

These are just a few more pictures I've taken of Elora over the past few weeks.

Attack of the munchies.

Catching up with her Gigi.

She's getting better about letting me put her hair up.  Yay!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our Mini Apartment

Now that I finally have my camera batteries charged, and Faith's jewelry ready to go, I can post the promised pictures of our current home.  It's a simple little apartment, and it isn't what we would choose for ourselves for the long term, but it is so, so much better than staying this long in a hotel room!  

There's more to it than this, but these are the main rooms.  There is a second floor (you can see the railing in the pic in the upper left, above) but it's just another bed, and another table, so we don't use it all that much.  If it were all one level, we would put Elora in the second bedroom, but as it is, it's more practical to put her bed in the room with us.  We put all of the cat's things down there, and it's working out well. We keep a big chair in front of the stairs to keep Miss Elora from taking a tumble.  There's also a kitchen and a bathroom on the main floor.  It has been so nice to eat things other than fast food and take-out!  Hooray for short-term-lease apartments!

We've not been doing much of anything exciting.  There's been a lot of TV-watching, computer-playing, book-reading, and nap-taking.  And of course, a lot of playing with Elora.

This child loves her books, I tell you.

This enterprising fellow came in the bathroom window a few nights ago in an effort to find someplace warm, got stuck in the bath tub, and ended up flushed down the toilet for his troubles.  I felt kind of bad for him, but we couldn't just leave him to run around and bite people.  Especially not Elora.  Still, since he was stuck in the tub, it provided us an opportunity to take as many pictures as we wanted without worrying that he might get one of us.  He was fascinating, if creepy-crawly.