I'm back!

We settled in an apartment yesterday and I am happy to say - we are now stress free! The apartment is fantastic, the community is fantastic, we are a sidewalk away from a very long bike trail, we are minutes from the hospital where I am working, and it is finally cool here in Plano!

We moved in yesterday and woke up this morning and went on a long bike ride - it was wonderful! We currently have all the windows open and the breeze feels wonderful! Our apartment is completely shaded by huge trees so we hopefully won't have to turn the air on at all!

I will post pictures later - I just wanted to let everyone know that I have not forgotten about the blog! We now are settled in Plano until the middle of February, so many, many more posts to come! (Don't expect any in the next four days though - I have to work Thurs, Fri, Sat, and Sunday nights so I will be doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and working!)



Here are just some silly pictures of Clay being his silly self!

He LOVES to say "cheese" and flash a toothy grin all the time now! (I wonder who taught him that??)

Clay and I are both still sick and I feel a little disgruntled about it. He is sleeping at night though - only because we are giving him medicine to help with the congestion that allows him to lay down flat and still breathe. During the day is another story though. They (meaning the drug administration) has taken every single cold/sinus medication off the market for kids 4 and under. I understand why but I am not one of those parents that would deliberately overdose my child with medicine just to catch up on a few zzzz's. I simply want him to be able to function during the day while breathing. He can't take a bite of food without having to take a break from chewing to take a breath! Really?? And trying to breastfeed? Simply out of the question. (He can still breastfeed at night after he has had his medicine - thankfully. He will run and play and stop, bend over with his little head between his knees and breathe. Poor guy! Overall he has tolerated it okay. I'm not going to say great because it hasn't been exactly fun around our household as of late. He wants to be held most of the time, (I'm taking advantage because he is usually too busy to want to be held much) no one can leave the room or he gets his feelings hurt, if he's sleepy and goes to sleep laying down he wakes up a few minutes later crying because he can't breathe, and we are stuck in the (hot) house and we are all going a little stir crazy. I am also not one of those parents that will take their knowingly sick child to a play area and let them play just to get out of the house. (I'm not bitter at all about that - can you tell? If your child has snot running down their face - DON'T TAKE THEM TO BE AROUND OTHER CHILDREN. Rant over.)

In other news. It's HOT here. I mean unbearable, make you want to scream and cry like a child, make you want to take your clothes off and sit in ice, make you go postal at Wal-Mart (people down here are crazy when it's hot outside - I saw a woman yelling at the cashier at Wal-Mart because "it is too damn hot in this store to shop?!" That was her complaint. She asked to speak to the manager about it. I laughed. She glared at me.) It has been over 100 degrees every single flippin' day we have been here except for one day - it was 95. Needless to say we are going somewhere a whole lot cooler for the next assignment. Much, much cooler.

I know this sounds like a whole lot of complaining (and maybe it is) but we really are having fun and we do not regret for one second making the decision to travel!



Clay is sick and I am sick. Yuck. We both seem to have a sinus infection - it is not fun. It has not been fun. And I am pretty sure it will not be fun for about another week. Clay has been running 100.5 - 102.4 temp for the past two days and not wanting to eat all that much. I technically don't get sick days (I do, but it is really not worth the trouble of trying to make them up at a later date) so I have been wearing a mask at work every night. So, we are, as you guessed a pretty whiny crew! I told Casey today that he is not allowed to get a sinus infection until we are done with ours - he usually is the one that gets them! (If he got one while I am feeling so bad Clay would be stuck with two panty wastes taking care of him at the same time! I feel pretty much useless and I know how bad Casey feels when his sinuses bother him!)

We are using Baby Vick's rub on Clay continuously, running a Vick's humidifier continuously in the room that we spend the most time in, and running a Vick's steam vaporizer in the bedroom at night. All that just to be able to breathe! Poor little guy is a strict nose breather and has had a hard, hard time trying to breathe through his mouth. He wakes up startled a lot throughout the night because he feels like he is holding his breath. Or at least that's what it seems like because he wakes up, sits straight up, and gasps for air through his mouth. He has been such a little trooper thus far. (I don't know that I can say the same for myself. I feel like dog doo - I can only imagine what his little body feels like.)

No pictures tonight - just picture this: shiny elevens constantly. Sometimes green, sometimes clear, sometimes a mixture, sometimes yellow. Yup, that's right, I'm talking about snot running from both nostrils at the same time. That's what the picture in our home looks like right now - I am sparing you. Trust me.


Indoor Play

Clay LOVES, LOVES, LOVES the indoor playgrounds in all of malls around here! We just mall hop to give him a chance to play on all of the playgrounds!

We have a blast each day watching him play!

There are about 4 posts following this one of just pictures of him enjoying himself playing!! ENJOY!

Indoor Play 2

Indoor Play 3

Indoor Play 4

Going Bonkers

No, we are not going bonkers - that is the name of the place we took Clay yesterday to play! It's a HUGE indoor playground with a small area for children 3 and under. He had a blast! (That is until there were about 500 screaming children there - not only was he done but we were done as well!)

He played for a couple of hours and as soon as we got in the car he went IMMEDIATELY to sleep! He had so much fun playing with other little kiddos! There were quite a few kids that were exactly his age - it's incredible to see him interact with them. He is such a sweet, thoughtful, sensitive, gentle little boy. If he saw anyone crying he would go up to them, bend down in front of them, and ask him in his own way if they were okay. All the parents were in awe of how gentle and sweet he was! (It made us feel good I have to say!)

We have been taking him to an indoor playground every day for the past two weeks for several reasons - 1. so he can have interaction with other kids 2. it is too hot to do anything outside 3. it is so incredible to see him figure out how to play! (I will say that he seems extremely advanced compared to other kids his exact age. I'm not just being partial, he really is. Every parent has commented about it - they all think he is much older than he is! His fine motor skills are amazing and his ability to be so gentle with the little bitty kids but also play with the bigger kids blows me away!)



Current words Clay is routinely saying...

"moo" when asked what a cow says.

"ruff ruff ruff" when asked what a dog says.

"mah mah" when talking to me - it's VERY drawn out...maaahhhh maaahhhh.


"down" when he wants out of his high chair.

"buh buh" for belly button.

"bath" all the time asking for a bath.

"buuuk" otherwise known as book.

"yuck" anytime he sees trash, a trash bag, anytime something gets on his hands, or anytime he is downright unhappy with any situation.

"huh" means yes when asked if he's hungry.

"whah" for water.

"mill" for milk.


"bike" oh how he loves bikes! He will find a bike in any store we go in - he's just like his daddy. (not to mention that he will knock on the closet door where the bikes are - for hours if we would let him - wishing for them to come out so he can play with them.)

I'm sure there are more but those were the ones I have heard in the last ten minutes!



Things I love...

.when Clay wakes up in the middle of the night only to find my hand to hold until he goes back to sleep

.the way Casey looks at Clay with an immense adoration and love

.seeing Clay play with other kiddos

.Greek yogurt with granola

.seeing Clay learn new things

.reading the same books over and over again to Clay to his great delight

.all the new and funny faces that Casey has taught Clay to make (they are hilarious)

.California pizza kitchen (it's an incredible gourmet pizza place here - there is nothing like their margarita pizza)

.riding in the evenings talking about anything and everything with Casey

.watching Clay play with the vacuum. What is it with the vacuum?? He is obsessed - I'm not kidding. He will knock on the closet door where the vacuum is stored until you open it and get it out for him.

Just a few things I love! (There are a million other things - these are just a few!)



I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Casey being off and being able to spend a lot of time with both Casey and Clay! It has been a wonderful treat! Casey is enjoying himself also - he loves spending time with Clay, taking him on bike rides and runs, and studying computer programming during his naps! (That is his new hobby/love - computer programming. He has been studying about it, reading about it, and actually doing a little programming each day! I am so thankful he is finding out what it is he truly is interested in and would like to do eventually - that was one of the whole points of us traveling! I am so glad he is taking every opportunity to do it!)

We are having fun down here. Truly. We are riding (when the weather permits), running every day, and finding new and fun activities to do with Clay each day! Yes, you read that right - we are running every. single. day. We are both committed to getting back in shape and modeling a healthy lifestyle for Clay! He already LOVES being outside and even gets a little disgruntled if he doesn't have outside time during the day! But we want him to be active outside as well - I don't think we will have a problem with that either!

We have all adjusted well to our new (temporary) home and we are already looking forward to the next assignment! There is no telling where we will end up! (Lord knows we never meant to come closer to the equator during the dead of summer?!) We plan to go somewhere with scenery next time! There is a lack of scenery here - unless you count mansions, very large malls, and a whole lot of expensive SUVs as scenery. The bike trails are really nice but there still isn't much to look at while you're riding! We are ready for mountains, rolling hills, cactus, something.

There are a lot of kids around where we live and Clay has had quite a bit of interaction with other kiddos his age - it is too funny to watch him interact. He is a little cautious at first and then he wants to be right in their face talking to them! We went to Barnes and Noble one day and let him play in the kids area. There was a little girl there that was a month older than him that followed him around! She eventually tackled him to the floor and was hugging and kissing him - it was hilarious! He didn't know what to think at first but he eventually gave in and hugged her back!

We are looking forward to going home in a couple of weeks to see everyone!! Until then here are some cute pictures of Clay taken today!



Clay has a new favorite thing - listening to us read books! We cannot sit down anywhere in the house without him bringing us a book and demanding (sometimes not so politely if we are not being very receptive to his request) us to read him a book! He crawls in our lap and will sit for as long as it takes to read his myriad of books - sometimes 30 minutes!

Being the avid reader that I am - I have to say I am so proud that he loves to read already! We are taking every opportunity to read to him, go to Barnes and Noble to let him read new books, buying him books constantly. (I know what you're thinking - it will get expensive buying him books all the time. And it probably will but I am so excited and eager to foster such a positive past time at all costs! What better way to spend our money - buying Clay books!)

He also LOVES LOVES LOVES bath time! I swear the boy poops 6 times a day just so we give him a bath each time! (He has pretty sensitive skin so if we don't give him a bath each time his little booty gets so irritated.) He would spend hours at a time in the bathtub if we would let him!

P.S. We have planned our first trip home - we will drive home after I get off work Monday morning the 29th and stay until Friday morning the 2nd so I can work that Friday and Saturday night. We are excited to get back to see everyone! Clay isn't letting on like he's excited but I guarantee you he will be excited to see everyone as well!!


Here are just a few cute pictures from one of our first nights here - he loves it!


Our traveling adventure has started!

We arrived here July 29th in the afternoon and promptly moved into our "new home!" After unloading the uhaul we took it back and went grocery shopping. (Back up a few hours to when we first moved in - I noticed a few bugs on the carpet so in my true fashion, I vacuumed every square inch of the apartment not really giving it a second thought.) After we went grocery shopping we came home and much to our surprise our "new home" already had occupants. Roaches. EVERYWHERE. Casey took Clay outside to play while I sprayed RAID along the base boards. Here is a little tip - if you think you might have a bug infestation just spray a little RAID on the base board. If 100 roaches scurry up the wall trying to escape the RAID - you have a problem. SO...we packed a suitcase (or plastic tub in our case) and headed to the Marriott for the night. (Which was extremely nice and pretty inexpensive by the way!)

Because I couldn't sleep I got up and spent all night researching solutions to our problem. 1. solution - MOVE OUT. So, I secured the same uhaul that we had dropped off the day before - to be picked up at 8 in the morning. (It was 4 in the morning when I did this - I decided instead of laying there crying I was going to be proactive. And so I planned our day. Pick up uhaul, move all of our stuff out of the roach motel, and then go speak with the office staff about what the problem was - it didn't open until 10am.) We did just that. We picked up the uhaul (after getting Starbucks) moved all of the stuff out of the roach motel (thank you Casey for 1. hauling everything up the stairs to move us in and 2. hauling everything down the stairs to move us out. All in a 12 hour period.) By ten I was ready to go to the office and talk to the manager. (I had been staying in constant contact with Trinity Healthcare the entire time mind you - not only were they understanding but they were willing to let us do anything at their expense to get us into a better situation.) I talked to the office and four hours later we were moving into a 2 bedroom apartment that was MUCH, MUCH nicer! (Again, thank you to my wonderful husband who unloaded and hauled everything up the stairs once again! You are one of a kind! Did I happen to mention that it was 107 outside?)

Needless to say, the start was a little rough but it has turned out to be excellent! Our "new home" is wonderful, clean, free of any creepy crawlies. The hospital I am working in is absolutely wonderful! I mean truly WONDERFUL. The type of place you don't leave. (Unless you're a traveler, of course.) The town is incredible - pretentious, maybe. Snobby, maybe. But man oh man are the houses beautiful. And the landscaping. Holy hell, the landscaping! People take pride in every square inch of their lawn down here. The only thing that would make this more amazing is if it wasn't 105 every day! (I have been told that winters here are an absolute joy!)

We have settled in, I have worked for 1.5 weeks, and our adventure has officially started!

(If you are wondering - Clay absolutely LOVES it! We wake up in the mornings, take a swim, play on the playground and then go on an adventure indoors during the day when it is scorching out. We usually finish the day with a walk, a swim, and a little ice cream treat! Clay has loved Casey being home and I have too!)

Pictures to come later today when I have the software installed on my (new) computer to support the pictures! (I got a little bitty Gateway Netbook - so inexpensive, so little, so portable!)


Up And

We are up and running again with the Internet! Hooray for modern conveniences that keep us connected!

No pictures yet, just a quick update before we go to bed tonight!

WE LOVE IT HERE! While it is extra hot (Northern Texas is about to break a record of number of days in a row over 100 - I think it is up to 40 days over 100 today, 10 days over 110) it is great! The city we are living in is incredible. Incredible for biking, walking, socializing, shopping, and extremely easy to maneuver around.

The hospital I am working in is great! The apartment (after a rough start - more to come on that in a later post) is wonderful! We have spent quite a bit of time outside even considering the hot temps, but we have found great ways to stay cool too!

I have missed blogging and plan on updating regularly with pictures!


Mid America 2

More pictures of Clay at Mid America!

(And probably the last post before we settle into our new temporary home in Plano, Texas! It may be a week or so before the next post depending on when we get the internet - so, please be patient! And keep us in your thoughts!)