We worked on potty training again today. For day 1.5, I think she is doing pretty good. Only four accidents and a couple of those were my inattentiveness. It is so hard to stop whatever you are doing every 15 minutes and run to the bathroom. I don't think Mckenzie appreciates being interrupted every 15 minutes either, but she loves the chocolate or nibs she gets when she is successful! She is so cute when she tinkles. Her eyes get big and her mouth forms the word ooohhh and she covers her mouth! I love how excited she gets!!! I hope we can keep up the good work. We have to drive to Philly for a follow up appt. on Thursday and I don't think we will do panties. I broke down and bought pull-ups so I didn't have to put her in a diaper. I had a bunch of paperwork that I needed to get done for a meeting at Abby's preschool tonight. Being part of the school board is a lot more time consuming than I imagined. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I never realized until getting involved how much time I would spend working on it. Abby was a great helper for me, handing me papers and taking stuff off the printer for me. I love how she loves to help. It would probably be beneficial to add a few more chores to her daily routine. I have gotten into the bad habit of making her bed for her lately because it is so much quicker! I should probably stop that. Dakota must have been taken very good care of at the kennel because all she wants to do is go outside and play fetch! She has been barking at me to play with her. Scott got the girls to bed since I had my meeting and then I ran to Target and the grocery store by myself!!!! (It was wonderful. I think I actually remembered to buy everything we needed!!!) Scott said Mckenzie laid Dorothy the dinosaur (from the Wiggles) and Abby's lambie under the covers with just their heads poking out while they did story time before bed. When Scott told the girls it was time to go to bed, Mckenzie told him "no, play dolls". She is really starting to put words together and saying short sentences. Love seeing the progression. Abby told Scott she needed to have her blinds open a little bit so she could see when my car pulled into the drive. Gotta love my girls! They mean the world to me. No pics today. Between potty duty and school work, there wasn't any time to get out the camera!
On a side note, one of my best friend's dad was admitted to the hospital today because he is septic. They are thinking pneumonia, just have to wait and see. He has been through so much healthwise the last couple of years. Please pray for a quick recovery for him.


I wish I had gotten a picture of the girls this morning. They were both walking around the house, wearing sunglasses with Elmo dolls wrapped around their necks. I have no idea what they were doing, but they looked so silly. Whatever Abby did, Mckenzie followed suit. Then I saw them playing in the foyer. Abby was the teacher and Mckenzie and the two Elmos were lined up in a row against the door. We picked Dakota up from the kennel. My goodness she was excited to see us! When she gets really excited, she tucks her tush under and runs in circles. It really is amusing to watch. The girls were very happy to see Dakota as well and Mckenzie didn't want to sit in her carseat because she wanted to look at Dakota. When we got home, the girls played with Dakota until lunch, having a blast running around the house with her. During Mckenzie's nap, Abby wanted to show me her ballet moves. She is really interested in ballet so I think I need to sign her up for a class. Abby snuggled up next to me and we both ended up taking nap! I love naps! Mckenzie didn't want a diaper on after her nap and we made it to bedtime without an accident!!! YAY Mckenzie!!! Scott got home from work early today which was nice for a change since he had been working the desk and getting home much later. He grilled us some chicken for dinner and we just chilled until bedtime. I am so happy to say that we got the official word today that he will not have to do the first half of the deployment! So for now, he will just continue on regular trips and then come November, he will most likely have to deploy, but only for 60 days!


Point Pleasant, NJ

We took the girls over to the beach in Point Pleasant, NJ today since we haven't been to the beach for quite awhile. There were so many people on the boardwalk that finding a parking spot was quite the challenge and the price to pay to park in a lot was ridiculous. $25 or 30! Absolutely insane! We were lucky enough to find street parking. We didn't realize that you had to pay to use the beach. Crazy. I have never heard of that before. The lady at the booth wasn't very nice when we started to walk down the stairs to the beach without paying. So I made sure to tell her we were from Florida where we don't charge people to use the beautiful beaches there!! Anyway, the girls were so excited to go play on the beach. After setting up the sunshade, we took the girls down to the water so they could get there feet wet. Both had a fantastic time and laughed and screamed when the waves crashed on them. Some of the waves were pretty big and once, I almost lost hold of Abby's hand. She looked at me and said "That was a close one!" I was pretty nervous, but we backed up a little and continued to enjoy the waves. Mckenzie is so independent that she didn't want Scott holding on to her at all. We played in the water for awhile and then we went to play in the sand. Abby was digging holes and piling sand up everywhere. Mckenzie didn't like to sit in the sand or get her toes in it, so she spent a good amount of time sitting on the blanket while playing in the sand. Which meant, there was lots of sand on the blanket. The girls and I built a sandcastle and decorated it with shells we found on the beach. We took the girls down to the water one more time, but it looked like there where jellyfish in the water so we didn't stay for very long. We played a little more and called it a day. We got some dinner and ice cream on the boardwalk before heading home. I don't know why we ordered the kids their own food because they ended up eating most of my sandwich and some of Scott's food as well. Good thing we ordered the girls food I like to eat! Abby had a chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream cone and she doesn't eat very fast so it is always melting. So, she will have one of us lick it so she can eat her ice cream without getting messy. Once when Scott was licking her ice cream, Abby said to me "Mommy, Daddy's eating my ice cream!!!". She was mad because Scott got a chunk of cookie dough when he was licking it. On the drive home, Mckenzie kept saying she was one and we all kept telling her she was two. Every time we said two, she would shout one even louder. It was hilarious! Not sure why she doesn't want to be two. Scott had Mckenzie counting to ten with him. She was doing a great job of pronouncing the words! Soon, she will be able to count on her own! We got the girls home, bathed and off to bed. Both girls were pretty tired out so here's to hoping they sleep well. We got good news today. We have an offer on our house in Florida!!!!! It was only the second showing of our home and the guy fell in love with the place. The price we are selling for is a shame, but that is the market right now so there is nothing we can do about that. We just keep reminding ourselves it was a lesson learned, a very expensive lesson, but a good life lesson. I am hoping all goes smoothly and I am so glad we have a realtor to take care of it all for us.

Sorry the pictures of kind of blurry. I forgot to clean all the little fingerprints off the camera lens!


Norfolk Botanical Gardens

We finished out our last day in Virginia by visiting the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. What a beautiful place and we didn't even get to see half of it! The rose garden was huge and so full of color. There was a butterfly house full of beautiful butterflies and caterpillars. Abby had fun searching the plants leaves for caterpillars and pointing them out to us and Mckenzie. The girls really enjoyed the Enchanted Storybook Land section, which was made up of playhouses designed like fairytales. Many stories were represented, like Three Little Pigs, Huck Finn, and the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. The girls had so much fun playing in the houses and on the slides that were attached to many of them. Scott and I could have done without the oversized bully that kept pushing the little ones out of the way and his parents that didn't seem to notice or care. The girls laughed like crazy when Scott would pop his head into one of the windows on a house and scare the living daylights out of them! Abby would tell Mckenzie to go look for Daddy, so she would get scared first. It was a hoot to watch them! We were on our way out of the gardens because we wanted to get on the road when we walked past a splash pad for the kids. We didn't know it was there so the girls weren't in swimsuits, but that didn't stop them from having fun. At first, they walked around, stomping in the puddles, but not getting too wet and then when Scott gave them the go ahead to get wet, boy did they get wet! Huge smiles from both girls! I just love watching them enjoy themselves and play together! We finally had to call it quits and got on the road around 2 pm. Both were disappointed to leave, but no major tantrums from either of them! The drive was much quicker than the drive down and I made it through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and tunnels without any xanax! It was much better during the daylight, although I don't think I would like to travel on it very often! Abby talked up a storm on the way home. I asked her if she thought she talked a lot, and she had to agree. Then she told me I talked a lot too! There was a group of 6 motorcycles that we got behind that were horrible drivers. They kept cutting in front of people, switching lanes like crazy and acting like complete idiots! I bet they all have those signs in front of their houses too that tell people to watch out for motorcycles! We were so glad when they finally turned off. Anyway, we made it home safely around 8:30 pm and managed to get most of our stuff put away before putting the girls down for the night. Abby was so cute. She came downstairs to let us know that she was picking up her room and putting all the books away that she had taken on the trip. So sweet that she wanted to help. Mckenzie wanted to take toys out and play, so she wasn't much of a help other than to carry her backpack upstairs. I am hoping they both sleep well. Mckenzie is still talking to herself and we didn't get back in time to pick Dakota up so Abby will have to sleep alone!
The huge rose gardens!
Checkin' out the caterpillars!
Not sure what she was looking at!
Sisterly love!


Colonial Williamsburg

Abby came over to our room in the middle of the night, saying she was scared of hers. Scott was sweet and let Abby crawl into the bed and went and slept in Abby's bed. We all got to sleep in a little bit this morning and got going before lunch. We headed to Colonial Williamsburg, VA to check it out. We had planned to go to Washington, D.C., but after seeing how much there was to do around here, we just decided to stay here. We most likely would never plan a vacation here so it seemed like the best time to do it. Colonial Williamsburg was very interesting. It is a large area from the 18th century with many restored and reconstructed buildings, as well as a set up of a typical Virginia plantation from the same time frame. It was very interesting to walk around and take it all in. They had horse and carriage rides and the employees all dressed in the appropriate attire. We didn't do any guided tours since the girls are still so young and some of them lasted 30 minutes. I am sure they would have been interesting as well. The site is near some modern shopping so we checked out a few stores; I think the favorite was the candy store. Both girls chose a large lollipop. Scott and I found our Christmas ornament for the year (every year we buy an ornament that has some sort of meaning for us.)  Abby was getting tired, complaining that her legs hurt (should have brought her a stroller too I guess), and wanting to sit down on every set of stairs or bench that she saw. Scott finally told her it was a good thing that her legs hurt because she was exercising them and she stopped complaining for the most part! Mckenzie did a good bit of walking too and tired herself out enough to fall asleep in the stroller. We spent the afternoon exploring and called it a day. When we got back to the visitor center, Abby managed to make two little friends in the short amount of time we were walking through. It was so sweet to watch. The first little girl and Abby were both looking at a display and shyly looking at each other. Then the little girl offered to show Abby something and they ran to look together. Abby said goodbye and ran back to us. Then she asked if she could find out how old the little girl was. We said sure and Abby ran back over. We saw them chat for a couple of minutes and then Abby ran back over to report she was five and had already finished Kindergarten. Such sweet innocence. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could all still be that comfortable with one another and strike up a conversation with a complete stranger for no real reason! We stopped by a Yankee Candle store on the way to dinner. The store was huge! I saw a strawberry candle that as soon as I picked it up and lifted the cover, I knew I was going to buy it. No, it's not the first time that I have smelled that scent and just had to have it because it was so good. I bought it because as soon as I lifted the cover, I remembered my Grandma Hietala and spending time at her house. She had a strawberry Yankee Candle and I don't think she ever burned it, but what I do remember is seeing it sit on her bookcase in her living room and I remember smelling it. It just took me back in time. Remembering what an amazing, kind, caring, & loving Grandma she was. I will always cherish those weeks I spent at her house in the summer and the family trips every Sunday. She was one of a kind and I miss her dearly! We headed to Joe's Crab Shack for dinner. Very tasty and very entertaining! The waitstaff dances and sings every so often and Abby and Mckenzie got a kick out of watching them and clapping along. It got the girls in a dancing mood, so instead of nicely sitting in their seats, the two of them were dancing away. And, the last song before we left, Abby joined in dancing with two of the waitresses. She got such a kick out of it and high fived the girls when they were done! Mckenzie was too shy to dance with them, but she had a big smile watching Abby do it! We got back to our hotel room and got the girls a bath. They were both sooooo dirty. Suckers in their hair and dirt everywhere! But, now they are nice and clean, sleeping soundly in their room. I guess by night three, the novelty of sleeping in the same room has worn off and they went to bed with only a little bit of talking beforehand. I will add some pictures when we get home!
Oh, I forgot to write about something that Abby did yesterday. We were driving in the car and she wanted to tell jokes. After telling a few of her favorite knock knock jokes, she got bored with those and started making up her own. The one both Scott and I laughed the hardest at was this: knock, knock. who's there? car. car who? cars gonna take your street so you can't drive! Where she comes up with these I don't know. They aren't funny, but the way she tells them and laughs at them is hilarious in itself. When she tells a joke she thinks isn't funny she will say, very seriously, "that's not funny" and go on and make up another silly knock knock joke. I love she has such a sense of humor!

The girl loved her benches!!


Scott had to go do the altitude chamber training early this morning. I didn't even realize he left! Abby got up around 8, so we hung out in bed watching a little tv. Mckenzie didn't wake up until 10:30 this morning. I don't know if she would have gotten up then, but I opened her curtains and started making lots of noise. The girls and I went for a walk along the water and snapped a few photos. The girls had a blast collecting rocks along the path and throwing them into the water. Abby told me she didn't like the walk because she didn't have her bike. I think she enjoyed it though because I saw lots of smiles along the way. About halfway through our walk, I realized we no longer had bearie.  Not a good feeling. I was sure we took her with when we left the room and I couldn't find her anywhere. On our walk back to the room, Scott drove by and the girls were so excited to see him. He parked the car and the girls took off running to greet him! Scott took the girls back in the car and I continued to search for bear. I think Scott and I spotted her laying in the parking lot at the same time. What a wonderful feeling. Mckenzie kept telling us " bear. lost. " So glad we found her. We decided to go out for lunch at a Mexican restaurant near base. It was tasty! We haven't had good Mexican in quite awhile so it was a nice treat. We took the girls to the Virginia Air and Space Museum. Both girls enjoyed looking at all the planes and Scott had a great time too. They even had a 1920's carousel that we let the girls ride on. What a beautiful piece. Handpainted, wooden horses. I can't imagine how much work it was to make it. We went to Wild Wing Cafe for dinner. Scott has been to one since he has made some trips to Charleston lately, but I haven't been for 5 years since we lived in SC. It was soooooo good. Just as tasty as I remember. The girls behaved at dinner which made for an even better meal. We got the girls back to the room and neither one wanted to go to bed even though it was well past bedtime. Mckenzie kept talking and calling for me and Scott. She finally gave up about an hour ago. I took some photos, but I will add them when we get back home.

Rock throwin'

I'm not sure what's she doing!

Blurry, but I really was there!



Abby had gymnastics this morning and when it was over, she told me how much she enjoyed herself today. I love how confident she is getting to do activities by herself. I remember how shy she was in Pace when she would go to her class there. Every session, I had to poke and prod her to go to class. Now, she runs in without looking back! Scott and Mckenzie took the Tahoe in for an oil change and cleaned it out so we could take it on our road trip today. We are heading to Virginia so Scott can do some training for work and have ourselves a mini-vacation. Abby didn't want to leave Dakota behind and had a very good cry over missing her dog. I am glad she loves her dog so much!  We finally got the car loaded, a quick lunch, the dog dropped off at the kennel, a trip to the grocery store for snacks and we were on our way. We were fighting to keep Mckenzie awake until after we had taken care of all our errands only for her to take a short little cat nap when we finally let her sleep. The girls were pretty good. Mckenzie is getting to the age where she needs constant entertainment in the car. I think I was only in my seat belt for half the trip! I was constantly turning around to adjust something or get her something. I remember Abby going through the same phase. Thankfully, she has outgrown that and become a pretty good traveller. We stopped for dinner at this little roadside diner. Not the greatest food, well, Scott's was good, but my wasn't the greatest and our waitress was very inattentive. But, it was edible and it was nice to get out of the car. I am not sure I would have signed on for the trip if I had known we would be using the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel at night! I don't like bridges and I really don't like tunnels in the water. Needless to say I wasn't the picture of calm by the time we reached land again. I could have used some xanax to chill me out a little. I'm not looking forward to the return trip! We rolled into base around 10 pm and got checked into our room. Both girls had fallen asleep in the car, so they were ready to play when we got into the room. Luckily, they both fell asleep pretty quickly. I really like staying on base, because we get a two bedroom suite. Would be nice if there was a pool, but there is a base pool if we want to go swimming.


Quiet day around here again. Picked up this morning so the housekeeper could clean! I love a clean house! And I did a few loads of laundry so I am feeling caught up! We played in the house all day because it would sprinkle/rain off and on all day. We worked on puzzles and 'homework' as Abby calls it. Mckenzie did a little coloring, which is basically having me write her name over and over again. She does a few scribbles and then says M and K, wanting me to write. I hope Mckenzie is just teething because she has been pretty cranky lately and has been wanting to nap. Abby and I played with Lego's during nap time and then she ended up going to her room and falling asleep. I fell asleep too because Mckenzie woke up screaming from her nap and as soon as I picked her up, she was back to sleep. So, I let her lay with me in my bed for a little while. Poor Abby wanted to go to the park this afternoon, but it was still too wet out. And cold. I really don't like how it feels like summer is already over. Scott came home and still no official word on this deployment yet. I went to dinner with a couple of friends and when I was leaving, both girls were so upset. Mckenzie was crying and got her shoes to come with me. It was nice to get out and enjoy a meal without the kids. When I got home, Abby was still awake and came downstairs to see me. I love hearing she missed me. I missed them to, it was just nice to do something by myself for once.


We didn't do much again today. More rain made me not want to do anything today. Mckenzie was up at 6 ready to go for the day. I tried to make her go back to sleep, but she told me she was hungry so I knew there was no going back to bed. During Mckenzie's nap, Abby took all the cushions from the couch and pillows from upstairs and made herself some sort of gym out of the family room. She was bouncing all over and doing rolls, having a blast. I took the girls to Target and the grocery store. They were so good, making for an easy shopping day. Dinner time was very noisy tonight. The girls wanted to make music and soon forks and spoons and hands were pounding on the table making all sort of noise. No pictures today. I wasn't in the mood for it. I am getting cranky waiting to find out what Scott's deployment will be. Still hopeful for a short one :-) Maybe we will find out on Wednesday.


What a lazy day today! It rained off and on and made it hard to do anything. Anything I guess, except destroy the house. It looks like a toy tornado made it's way through the house. There wasn't a room untouched! I didn't even bother to pick up the playroom. It will just get messy again tomorrow! The girls played so well together today. Mckenzie is starting to get a little more interactive with Abby and she went along with most everything that Abby wanted, making for a mostly peaceful day of playing. I was working on colors with Mckenzie earlier and she kept getting them wrong. I was getting very frustrated and she lost interest. Well, wouldn't ya know it, when we were at Best Buy, she looked at a phone case and correctly named purple. Then she did the same with blue. Silly girl. I think she likes to tease me! We went to dinner at Cheesecake Factory after shopping. I am stuffed. Very good food.  The only thing I didn't like is we were seated at a table which meant we were practically seated with the people next to us as the tables are so close. I don't mind sitting like that when it is just adults, but with two kids that don't always sit still, it was a little challenging. Abby sat still the entire time, but it was Mckenzie who kept wanting to switch between Scott and me. Luckily the people seated around us didn't seem to mind all the movement. Our Tahoe made 100,000 miles today and she is still running! Way to go! Scott and I were joking if the engine light would come on right at 100k or wait a few miles before it does! We are both getting the new car bug (me probably more than Scott since I am the one who drives it). We just need to sell our house first! Sorry I didn't get any pics today :-(



We took the girls over to Philadelphia today to see the Wiggles at the Tower Theater. We didn't tell the girls until we found a parking spot (which was very challenging- there was a free parking garage and very little space in the first area we went in. Some morons (actually like four cars) went the wrong way and caused a very big traffic jam.) Scott and I were worried we weren't going to make the show on time, but we finally got out of that part of the garage and into a different place making it to the concert on time. Let me tell ya. We had rock star seats. SECOND ROW!!!! It was so fun to be so close. Abby knew the show was starting soon and could hardly sit still. Mckenzie was getting tired because it was close to nap time. When the Wiggles came on stage, Abby screamed and got so excited and Mckenzie looked a little confused as to why the Wiggles were right in front of her instead of on TV. She did smile and looked like she was enjoying it. It was so worth going to the concert. They give a great performance and look like they actually enjoy what they do for a living. Every single performer had a genuine smile on their face the entire performance. Once Anthony and one of the dancers collided and you could tell it wasn't planned. Anthony laid on the floor for a minute or two before getting up and they were both laughing so hard. Abby shouted out hello to all the performers and Anthony, Jeff, and Sam all looked at her and waved back! Murray wasn't able to be at the performance so they had a stand in for him who was great.  I love how the Wiggles are all so interactive! Abby danced up a storm and played with her paper guitar that we were given. The smile on her face was amazing. I think I spent more time watching the girls than the show! Mckenzie looked like she was enjoying the show. She spent most of the show sitting on Scott's lap, staring at the stage in amazement. She did clap every once in awhile and towards the end, she even danced a little. It was a fantastic day and I am so glad we took the girls to the show. After the show, we picked up a couple of souvenirs and headed back home. The neighborhood that we had to drive through to get to the concert was shady at best and Scott and I decided that we would never see a nighttime concert there! Mckenzie fell asleep within minutes of getting in the car. She was such a trooper at the show considering it was right during her normal nap time. We got home, had some lunch, and Scott took the girls to the park. Sounds like they had a fantastic time playing. Bath time and bedtime for the girls. Hopefully they are so tired out from today, they sleep in tomorrow morning!

Not the greatest quality on the photos. My good camera picked up all the haze in the building from the lights and fog. My point and shoot, well, it is what it is.

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