March 25, 2009

Top Ten Randomess...and a video

***Update*** First of all, the video isn't working - it has sound, but no picture. I'm going to try to mess with it some more. Hopefully, I will figure it out. Secondly, I posted this thinking it was Tuesday, turns out it is Wednesday. If you know me at all, you know I NEVER know what day of the week it is and this proves it - Top Ten Tuesday posted on a Wednesday night. Maybe it's just placenta-brain :-) ***Original Post*** Steve went and bought me a magical wire than now allows me to easily put our videos onto my laptop. Good news for me, great news for you! Now you get to see more videos of the Koper kids! Here's your first taste. It's just a pretty typical night for us. The kids had just got done in the bath, were being groomed (notice the toothbrushes) and getting ready for bed. Steven busted out some pretty serious dance moves. We have no idea where he gets this from ;-)

Random Top Ten Tuesday

I don't have a creative list of ten things today. I just have ten random thoughts and observations to share.

1. Arkansas is WAY different from Texas. Remember this?

Well, this Arkansas (the Arkansas of my mind) is alive and well. It can be found at the WalMart outside the base and frankly, it scares me.

2. After 2 weeks of living in TLF, I still love housekeeping. They change the towels, clean the bathroom, take out the garbage every day. They change the bed sheets every Wednesday. I keep being told that I will get sick of them....NOT YET!!!

3. I can walk EVERYWHERE. I can see the gym out my kitchen window, which inspires me to walk there. The BX and BX-tra (department-type stores to get everything besides groceries) are literally out the back door of our building, along with the library and post office. The commissary (grocery store) is the furthest away, but still less than a mile. And since I still refuse to leave the base without Steve (see #1 as to why I'm a little timid), I've only driven 3 times in the last 2 weeks. Twice to do grocery shopping and once to the gym in the rain.

4. There are some REALLY beautiful places very near our new home. We went on a 15 1/2 mile bicycle ride this weekend along the Arkansas River. It was gorgeous. I was pretty sore after, though. Two hours on a bike seat at 25 weeks pregnant going up some pretty intense hills - not really great on the groin but well worth the workout and the sites.

5. I want an Oreck vacuum REALLY bad, now! I watched an infomercial a few months ago that left me wanting one but now there is one in our unit for me to use and it is AMAZING. I get so excited when there is a mess to vacuum!

6. This is the most quiet my life has been in a LONG time. There's not a whole lot of housework to do, the kids are content, Steve is working and studying a lot. I think I'll enjoy this quiet, simple life now and be thankful for it. The thought of having three kids under 4 is still a bit overwhelming to me, so to have this time of rest before that happens is a blessing. I read a book in three days this week. I don't think I've done that since the days of only one kid! I plan to get a lot more reading in while we're here!

7. I found an OB/GYN yesterday and made my first appointment with him. I'm excited to see a civilian doctor again and to feel a little more confident in the medical care I'm receiving (the fact that I never had to pee in a cup at my prenatal checkups at the military hospital made me wonder about the quality of care).

8. Gabby has adjusted quite nicely to her new bed. She seems to enjoy getting into it by herself. Both kids really seem to love their room and the fact that they are sharing with each other. They have started to play together really well. Gabby is still not in the "interactive play" stage of development but Steven still plays with her and she seems to get a kick out him, most of the time.

9. We have the worst cable selection I have ever seen. Yes, cable is free here, so I shouldn't complain but as #6 revealed, I have a lot of time to watch TV right now and we have none of my favorite channels! No HGTV, no FoodNetwork, no Travel Channel, but we DO have 5, yes 5 religious channels and the Military Channel. Score.

10. I am 25 weeks pregnant. My littler counter on this blog is showing that my days left are nearing the two-digits. Oh My! Our little guy is still nameless. Seriously, we have pretty much nothing. The list of favorites that I shared a few weeks ago has been dwindled down to nothingness. I even asked the Baby Name Genie what we should name him and didn't really like anything he came up with....we are STUCK!

March 19, 2009

Maybe I'm not so gross....

My hair is super curly. It gets frizzy really easily. The cure? Not washing it as often as I used to. I realized that washing my hair every day, or even every other day was drying it out, making it more and more frizzy. I used to wash it twice every time I washed it, too. Now, I wash my hair, maybe, two or three times a week. I feel like if people knew that about me, they would think I was dirty or gross, but no one would ever know by looking. My hair is so much less frizzy, curls so much better, and I have fewer split ends (that's also be because I NEVER blow dry or use a curling iron or straitening iron). THIS article was on the Yahoo homepage today and made me feel so much better about my hair hygiene. Just thought I'd share.
I had a really blah kind of day. I have a post started about all the interesting things here in our new home, but I never finished writing it....I may get back to it eventually and fill you all in but not now. Now I just need to talk about my blah day and put it behind me. There was nothing that I really needed to do today and it just left me feeling lazy. It was rainy and grey outside too, and that always has an effect on my mood. I ate a bunch of junk today and am too unmotivated to work out, so I feel really yucky and disappointed in myself. Tonight, I put the kids in the bath and Gabby pooped in it. Ugh. And with only one bath tub now, that means draining it, cleaning it, refilling it, and putting them back in to be washed. It at least triples the whole bath time routine time. Plus Steven FREAKS out when he sees poo-poo floating near him. I don't blame him. It's really gross. By the time I got them into their beds, I was not in a good mood. At least The Office was on tonight. That show makes me laugh.
Well, I'm off to bed. I'm going to wake up and go to the gym in the morning. If I start the day off that way, it just has to boost my energy level.

March 13, 2009

Home Sweet Temporary Home

We are all "settled" here in Arkansas. As settled as we're going to get, at least. Knowing we're only here for 5 months makes it difficult to be in a settled state of mind, but I think we're going to enjoy our time here.

Moving was stressful but exciting. I'm glad it's over for now and that we have a few months before we have to do it again.
It was strange to see the home we've lived in for the last year all emptied out.

Tuesday, after everything was packed up (including Steve's tools), the Explorer's driver-side window decided to crap-out. It was stuck in the down position. We had the option of taking it to be fixed, which would delay our moving and cost a bunch of money we don't need to spend since Steve can easily fix it himself as soon as his tools are unpacked OR tape it up and head out. We went the latter. Yep, we looked like hillbillies. Wednesday (the 12th), we headed to Abilene with Steve driving the hillbilly Explorer with trailer in tow. And the kids and me in the Expedition with U-Haul trailer in tow. We drove to Abilene, Texas, about 265 miles. 7 hours later, we arrived. Yes, SEVEN hours. It rained monsoon-style the ENTIRE way. I definitely prayed A LOT during that drive. I was so nervous driving in that rain with a 2000 pound trailer behind me. We had to stop and re-tape the window 3 or 4 times and stop and re-tie the tarp on Steve's trailer just as many times. Every time we got out, we got SOAKED. By the time we got to Steve's Dad's house, we were so cold and wet and miserable, it wasn't even funny. My underwear and bra were soaked - that's how wet I got just getting out of the car every hour or so. It was a very long day. At the end of the day we just had to sit back and be thankful that we were safe.
We stayed the night at Steve's dad's house and Thursday morning (yesterday), got up and headed out at about 7am. This time, we were all in the Expedition together, having left the Explorer and one trailer behind in "storage" (Dad's garage) for when we move back later this year.

The drive to Little Rock was PERFECT. The weather was great. We made good time and it took us about the same amount of time as our trip the day before had, even though it was over twice the distance! We only stopped twice, both times for gas, ate lunch from a cooler and just talked and laughed about the day before. It was wonderful. The kids were little angles (for the most part).
I made some car toys a few months ago at MOPS and saved them for this trip. They are cookie sheets that I decorated with paint-pens and gave them lots of fun magnets to arrange on them. Gabby thought it was pretty fun for a while, but Steven really loved his. I think Gabby's still just a little young for it.

We got into our unit in the late afternoon. Steve and I have both stayed in Air Force Temporary Living Facilities (TLF) before, both as kids and in the last year. It's always fine and we tried not to get our hopes up for anything super-duper nice, but we were SO impressed when we walked in the door. It so much roomier than we ever would have thought.
The kids are sharing a room for the first time. They seem to like it. Last night was Gabby's first night in a big-girl bed. I was sad to take her out of the crib but bringing it and setting it up here just wasn't plausible. We got rails for her bed, for her safety and hoping it would help it feel more like her crib.

Gabby is my good sleeper. She has slept through the night since she was about a month old (for real). The only time she gets up in the night is when she's sick. Last night, she woke up fussing 3 times. I finally just slept with her for a few hours. A new bed is going to take some getting used to, I guess. Poor baby.

This morning, I put her down for a nap like normal. She was very sleepy after her rough night and she was almost asleep in her bed when I left the room. All was quiet, when I tip-toed in about 30 minutes later to check on her. I snuck over to the bed to was empty. I turned around in confusion. She wasn't on Steven's bed. She wasn't on the floor. Then I spotted her.

She had climbed up on our make-shift changing table (her changing pad on top of storage bins) and gone to sleep. She was out cold on the changing table. It's the same changing pad with the same cover on it that I've always used for her and I think it was just something normal and familiar so she was more comfortable on it. Notice, she did take her blanky with her. I took her picture and moved her back to the bed. Too cute.

The unit we're in is pretty nice. The decor is very hotel-y but it's quite new and has nice appliances and HUGE closets in the both bedrooms. We have more storage than we need. Steve and I have nightstands!!! At home, our bedroom consists of our mattress and boxspring on the floor, a bookshelf on Steve's side of the bed and I had a cardboard box on my side that I called "my nightstand." We are living it up here in TLF! There's a playground right outside and an indoor play-area down the hall for rainy days. The library, BX and commissary are all within close walking distance. I am so thankful for this place to live. And even more thankful that we have the chance to come with Steve on this training trip and not have to be separated for these 5 months. What a blessing.

For the grand finale of my post of pictures, here are some pictures of our baby boy, taken last Wednesday.

A nice profile shot

The 3-D pictures are really cool, but they get a little distorted. He has his hand on his chin and you can see the cord in front of his face.

I don't really think his neck is that wide....but isn't his little face so sweet?

That's it! And now you're all caught up!

March 4, 2009

It's A....

Steve called it. He knew all along. He's so smart :-)
I'm really excited to be adding anther boy to the Koper family. I got some great 3-D pictures of his sweet little face. They couldn't get them printed for me, but on Monday I will go back and hopefully get copies and show you all. He was so active in there - just bouncing around like crazy. After the ultrasound was done, the tech left the room for a few minutes to show the results to the radiologist and see if she needed to get more pictures. While I was in the room alone, I just lied there watching my tummy bounce and move with his strong little kicks.
I feel so much more connected to him now that I know what he is. He isn't just "the baby," he's my son. I feel like I know him more now, like he has more of a personality because I know who he is. Is that weird? That's why I don't understand how people can not find out the sex - I feel so much more connected to the baby when the baby is my son or my daughter and has a name...I guess now Steve and I can start hashing out the name decision ;-)

March 3, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday Double Wammy

We have lived in our current home for just over a year and we have less than a week left in it. I have really liked a lot about this house. So here are the

Top Ten Things I Will Miss About This House.
1. Wall-to-wall hardwood floors (except kitchen and bathrooms). It is real, old, hard wood. Not laminate and it is BEAUTIFUL (when it's clean). It has so much character and is such a pretty color. I just love these floors.
2. The fenced-in backyard. This is the first time we've had a yard that the kids can just go play in without escaping (except that Steven can climb over the chain-link fence) and I can see them from the living room, dining room and kitchen. I know they love their yard, too.
3. My gas stove top with built in griddle. The best stove I've ever had. Fast, even cooking. I think it's probably 20 years old but I love it.
4. Our HUGE master closet. We could make it a 4th bedroom. Really. We could easily fit Gabby's crib and dresser in it and it could be her room. It even has a nice window and is bright an airy.
5. The open downstairs floorplan. I love that the kitchen, dining and living rooms are all one big room. I never feel secluded in the kitchen.
6. The basement. It's kind of yucky down their but it is GREAT for storage and for just sticking all that random stuff that we don't want taking up closet space.
7. Living on Randolph AFB. This is such a nice base. I've loved living on it. I can walk to the grocery store, to the BX, to the post office, the library. We can hop on our bikes and ride safely all over the base.
8. My neighbors. We've gotten to know a few of our neighbors and have made some good friends. I love that everyone we live near is in the exact same boat as we are - they are all here for the same thing and have so much in common right off the bat.
9. No utility bills. We have certainly enjoyed living on base and not worrying about the cost of cranking up the a/c or heat. We've gotten a little spoiled.
10. My kitchen. It is not a pretty kitchen but it has tons of cabinet and counter space and I love how much room I have in there.

Now, to follow that up, I must admit that I am a little excited to leave this place behind us. There are certainly things about this house that I will NOT miss. So, here are the

Top Ten Things I Will Not Miss About This House
1. Asbestos tile floors in the kitchen and bathrooms. It's not safe. They are butt-ugly. And no matter how much I scrub and clean them, they always look FILTHY.
2. The chain -link fence around the backyard. I don't like the chain-link. We can see into everyone else's backyard and they can see into ours. There isn't much privacy.
3. My gas oven. As much as I LOVE the gas stove-top, I LOATHE the gas oven. It heats SO slowly, isn't regulated properly and heats up the whole house when its on. I have to put it on 400 for about half an hour to get it to preheat to 350. An oven thermometer was a must in this house.
4. Our master bathroom. It's dark and dingy and has some mold-issues on the ceiling. The toilet runs and I never put anything in the under-sink cabinets because they just gross me out.
5. Having to carry Gabby up and down a STEEP flight of stairs 3, 4, 5 times a day. She is capable of walking, but it takes forever and they are VERY steep.
6. Having to carry dirty laundry down two flights of stairs to be washed in the basement, and clean laundry up two flights of stairs to be put away. Especially now that I'm pregnant, it is EXHAUSTING.
7. The sliding glass door. I don't like sliding doors to begin with. I'd much rather have French doors that open up, but when the "sliding" glass door doesn't actually slide and it takes all my strength to force it shut....ugh. One day Steven came and asked me, "Mommy, can you open the door that you hate for me?" That's how much I despise that door.
8. Living outside San Antonio. I love Texas but I am just not a big-city girl. I can't watch the evening news - too violent. The traffic is horrible. Make a wrong turn downtown and you could be in trouble. We don't go into the city often but when we do, I look forward to life in little Abilene.
9. The raccoons and squirrels in the attic. So we live in a townhouse and there are 8 units all connected in a row. The attic space above the units is open - one BIG attic. Rodents get in there and RACE up and down the attic. We can lay in bed and night and here their pitter patter as they run back and forth. All our neighbors hear it too.
10. All the noise. We are about 150 yards from the flight line. As I type, a jet-engine roars. A little further than that, in the other direction, are the train tracks. The train blows its whistle as it goes through the intersection in front of the base and is SO loud. It goes by about every 4 hours - day and night. I will not miss those sounds.

So there are things about this house that I will miss, but overall I am glad to move on and start a new part of our lives. I'm excited to see the TLF unit we will be staying in. I know it's going to be small but I think it will be kind of fun :-) And we can do anything for 5 months. And I can't wait to start house hunting in Abilene. That is REALLY exciting to Steve and me!
Well, I'm off to a doctors appointment. I'm 22 weeks and it's only 3rd appointment. Weird, right? That's another thing I look forward to, seeing a civilian OB/GYN for the rest of this pregnancy. So this is my last appointment here and tomorrow I go in for my ultrasound and HOPEFULLY find out the sex of our baby! So look for that tomorrow!

March 2, 2009

Thank you, Cambridge University!

According to Wikipedia, Cambridge U is the firsts place that a webcam was made. Yesterday, the kids and I got to see and talk to Steve and he got to see his family! It was so nice to see his face! We Skyped with him for a while in the afternoon and even took the camera around the house a little to show him all the work I've done to prepare for the move. Thank you, Skype! Steven really liked talking to Daddy and holding things up to the camera to show him. Gabby just kept saying "Daddy!"
I think for Christmas this year, everyone in our family will be getting webcams from us so we can all Skype!

March 1, 2009

Pictures of Nolan

Here is a link to a few pictures of Sweet Baby Nolan! I love the faces he's making - too cute!