Sunday, May 8, 2016

Watch Liesl Grow! - THREE MONTHS

When Liesl (Liesl Bird, Birdie, or Liesl Ann as she's known around here) had her one month "birthday," I knew I wanted to start taking monthly photos of her.  I perused the Apple app store to try to find an editing tool for labeling monthly baby pictures, and I bought one I ended up loving called "Baby Pics." I was happy to discover there were fun little doodles, other milestone "stickers" (first smiles, rolling over, teething, etc.), and weekly labels you could add to the photos as well (plus the ability to add text and type whatever you want).  So I started taking weekly photos of Liesl at five weeks in addition to the monthly ones since the app made it easy to do so.  Because I've been kind of backed up here on the blog with the move and putting our house on the market and taking care of an infant and all, I thought it would be fun just to share all the photos with you at once now that I have a little time.  That way you can see her change as you scroll through them!  She looks very much the same as she did when she was first born, but she's changed a bunch, too!  It's amazing how much less of a "baby" she seems after growing out of the newborn phase (tear), such a big girl! - I know she'll still be a baby for quite a while longer, though, and I'm so excited to keep watching her change and learn about the world around her.

Milestones so far:
  • Holding her head up
  • Smiling (she's not quite laughing yet but is SO close - we can't wait for that one!)
  • Following objects with her eyes
  • Staring at faces and responding to voices
  • Gurgling, cooing, "oohing and ahhing," squealing
  • Bearing a little weight on her legs when held
  • Rolling over
  • Bringing her hands together and to her mouth, and grabbing at our hands and at soft toys/blankets/burp cloths
  • Sleeping through the night
Liesl loves:
  • Being held and moving around (bouncing, rocking, walking)
  • Gnawing on stuffed animals, blankets, burp cloths, her fingers, and anyone else's fingers who will let her
  • Holding on to her feet
  • Rolling over
  • Talking (we talk, she makes lots of happy noises in response)
  • Listening to Mama and Daddy sing
  • Anything black and white
  • Her swing and her vibrating bouncy seat
  • Grabbing Mama's hair
  • Looking at books
  • Watching ceiling fans
  • Bath time
Liesl doesn't like:
  • Being buckled into her car seat
  • Napping for longer than 30-45 minutes during the day
  • Sitting still
  • Being on her back
  • Getting out of the bath
She's been going back and forth lately on how she feels about bottles and pacifiers.

Altogether, she is a generally happy and very easy baby - we're lucky duckies!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

We have a new home!

We woke up bright and early this morning to head over to the rental office to be the first to check out the keys for the house we thought was PERFECT for us.  After driving to the house, discovering they had given us the wrong keys, going back to the rental office to pick up the correct keys, and finally unlocking the house to take a look around, we were saddened to be greeted by a nasty odor.  It permeated the whole house and smelled like a combination of rotting flesh and cat.  Soooo that house was out because we just didn't think we'd be able to clear the smell enough to not be miserable living there.  Plus we didn't want to leave Lawton with all of our furniture and clothing smelling like that house.

Disappointed, we drove back to the rental office to return the keys.  While on the way over, I found a listing we hadn't noticed yesterday for a pet friendly house in our budget in a neighborhood we hadn't driven through yet.  The Mister asked for the keys to see that house when he went in to return the others, and one of the property managers suggested another house in a neighborhood we had previously written off.  When Chris said we weren't sure about the area, the property manager told him that the neighborhood was actually pretty nice and that we should give the house a chance.  We visited the house we'd found online first.  It had plenty of space and was a little nicer on the inside than the one with the smell, but we weren't totally sold.  Next, we went to see the house the property manager had suggested, and we were pleased to find out that the property manager was correct - the neighborhood really was full of well kept houses and seemed to be safer as we drove away from the main thoroughfare.  It had a bright, open feel on the inside and a big, well landscaped backyard for the doggies.  The only downside was that there were only two bedrooms, meaning we would have to do without a nursery for Liesl and an office for Chris in order to have a guest room for our family members.  However, the bedrooms were very large, and we decided we could make do with a "nursery area" for Liesl in our room for now.  And we were happy to find there was a lot of extra space in the back of the house in the laundry room area that we could make into an office nook by placing some kind of room divider by the washer and dryer.  We were also excited to see an entrance for a storm cellar in the garage - I'm way scared of tornado season out here this summer.

After we had resolved to go with the second house, we hurried over to the rental office to start the process of applying to rent as quickly as possible.  We are ready to be done with hotel living!  They were able to approve us in an hour or two, and we took our security deposit over this afternoon.  On Monday, we'll sign the lease agreement and hopefully move in depending on how quickly we can get the water and electric turned on.  I can't wait to show you the inside!  And to tell you what I'm planning to do to make it our own!

In other news, we went for a walk at a really nice park near our hotel, Elmer Thomas Park, this evening.  It had a beautiful, well maintained three-ish mile long trail.  And I saw prairie dogs up close for the first time! They are SO CUTE.  I want to bring one with me wherever we move after OK.  I can't imagine a life without prairie dogs now. : )

Thanks for checking in on us!  Hope you had a great week!

Friday, May 6, 2016

We've Arrived!

We left Little Rock a few minutes before 7 am this morning and pulled into Lawton, Oklahoma, our new city of residence, at around 1:30 pm.  As soon as we arrived, we parked at a church so I could feed Liesl and change her diaper, then started driving around to get a feel of the neighborhoods before contacting a rental company about where we would like to live.  Although it was not much fun to go straight to house hunting after being in the car for a bajillion hours (especially with a baby who was beyond frustrated about us buckling her back into her car seat for the hundredth time in the past two days), I'm glad we got right to it.  When we did go by a property management office later in the afternoon, all but one of the houses we were interested in were already rented or unavailable.  We're going first thing in the morning to check out the only house in our price range that has a fenced-in backyard for the doggies and is in a neighborhood that seems safe.  Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly and we'll know where we're going to be living for the next six months by tomorrow afternoon!  I'll let you know how it goes!  For now, I'm going to settle into this big, comfy hotel bed and try to catch up on some sleep.  Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Travel Update & A Little Treat

Good news! We made it past our goal of Memphis today!  When we arrived at our hotel in Memphis, we discovered that the parking situation was not as we expected.  We were nervous to leave the truck out in the open overnight in the downtown area with so many of our belongings in it.  Luckily, they were gracious enough to wave the cancellation fee, even though it was our fault for not researching their parking policy further.  We continued on down the road while the Mister's mom worked on finding us something in a little bit safer location to park the truck - and now here we are in Little Rock, Arkansas!  In a great room with lots of amenities!  Although it was a pain to drive for soooo long today (about 15 hours counting baby feeding breaks), we'll only have to drive around 6 hours tomorrow now.  Which means we may be able to go ahead and start looking at rental houses tomorrow afternoon if we're feeling up to it.  We're hoping to get an early start again.  We'll see!

On a completely different note, I've been wanting to share Liesl's newborn photos with you forever, but I wanted to wait until I'd finished writing her birth story.  Now that I finally got that done this week, I decided I'd go ahead and post them while I was here tonight!  : ) Better late than never, I guess. We had these taken a couple weeks after she was born, and I LOVE them.  It's hard to believe my babbling, kicking busybody was once this teeny tiny thing who slept most of the time.  Who knows how different she'll be in three more months!  Being this girl's mama is really the greatest.  I will cherish these photos forever and ever.

* Photos by Poppy and Peony Photography of Fayetteville, NC (the best around!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hitting the road!

Oh pioneer, I sing your song.
It's the hymn of those who've gone before and those who carry on.
Pioneer, your work is hard,
but the future of us all rests on the shoulders of your heart.

Where are we going?
I don't know, but still I gotta go.
What will become of us?
I don't care.
All I know is I'll go anywhere, pioneer.


The lyrics of that The Band Perry song have always reminded me of the Mister and resonated with me in regard to what our lifestyle will be as a military family.  I'm singing them over and over again in my head tonight as we pack the truck and prepare to begin our travels in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow.

Please send good vibes and prayers our way!  Oklahoma here we come!  Fingers crossed that our first stop will be Memphis tomorrow evening...

Monday, May 2, 2016

Bye-Bye Little Green House

You made us homeowners (well you made Chris a homeowner, but what's his is mine).
You were the house we came home to as husband and wife after our honeymoon.
We brought Luellen dog home to you.

We celebrated our first holidays as a married couple with you.
You were there for our first deployment.

Hank spent thousands of happy hours in your backyard.

You were there when we found out that we were expecting and that Liesl was a girl.

And you were her very first home.

For these reasons and a million others, we love you so little green house, and we're already missing you.  We hope and pray that whoever lives in you next will cherish you as we have and make you even more beautiful than you are now.


We officially closed a chapter of our lives today as we told our first home goodbye.  Although I'm sure I'll long for the sound the ceiling fan over our bed made at night and being so close by to our families and almost every other thing about our house, I'm excited for a new home and the opportunity to start over decorating and living in a new place I've never experienced.  And for raising Liesl as a little adventurer!  I'll keep you updated on our journey - we embark tomorrow night (in the wee morning hours of Wednesday, actually) from my parents' house in Burlington, NC, and our first stop will be Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday night.  Wish us luck!