Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quick Surgery Update

I had better post an update about Chet's surgery before he goes under the knife tomorrow!  Last Monday (May 21st) we met with the doctor to go over the MRI results.  His ACL is definitely torn, but it was inconclusive whether or not the meniscus was torn (the surgeon won't know until he's "in there").  If the meniscus is torn and the surgeon is able to repair it, Chet will not be able to bear any weight on his right leg for 6 weeks.  That's 6 straight weeks of crutching around and not driving.  I'm praying that the meniscus is not torn at all, because it just doesn't feel right to pray for the doctor to be UNABLE to repair a torn meniscus (even though repairing it will make the recovery process more of a pain in the behind).  It's not necessarily a big deal if the meniscus is torn and not repairable; in that case the surgeon just trims it up and it's gone forever.  Again, not a big deal right now, but 50 years from now Chet may be wishing he still had that portion his meniscus...

Did that make sense?

Anyway, surgery is tomorrow, but we're still not sure of the time.  We will find out this evening.  Thankfully, my dad is driving into town today to help with the kids and whatever else we need help with.  Poor Chet.  He's going to have to spend the first few days post surgery downstairs on the couch, in the midst of the chaos.  At least downstairs is where the better TV and the food is. 

We appreciate your thoughts and prayers; I'll update you as soon as I know something tomorrow!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I kept noticing people on Facebook posting pictures via "Instagram," and I finally decided to investigate. It's a really neat (free) app where you can alter pictures to make them look more professional. Here are all of my Instagram pictures so far (yes, there are a lot more of Lorelei because she sits still longer than Syd and is therefore easier to photograph, ha!):

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend, 2011 (yes, 2011!)

This is a little embarrassing, but I'm a year late in posting about our trip to the Atlanta, GA area last Memorial Day Weekend.  Better late than never...right?  Anyway, last year, while we were still living in Jacksonville, we drove to Newnan, GA to visit my Aunt Shannon and family, and to see my cousin Taylor graduate from high school.  We knew it would be unlikely that we would ever be stationed so close to Atlanta again, so we (finally!) made plans to visit and followed through!

We left Jacksonville on Friday morning and arrived in time for the graduation Friday evening.  Sydney was just 16 months old this time last year, so we only stayed at the stadium long enough to see Taylor graduate (his last name begins with "B"), but it was awesome, nonetheless. 
Sydney, Ashley, Aunt Shannon, Cousin Kasey, Aunt Kelly
The next day, Saturday, family and friends gathered at Aunt Shannon's house for Taylor's graduation party.  It was great to be able to visit and reconnect!  We also went to Stone Mountain that evening to see the laser light show. 
Graduation Party, Sydney

Graduation Party, Logan and Sydney

Graduation Party, Aunt Shannon and Sydney

Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain, Aunt Shannon, Ashley, and Sydney (and purple pacifier)
On Sunday Aunt Shannon and my other cousin, Logan (Taylor's younger brother), accompanied us to the Atlanta Aquarium.  It is an AMAZING aquarium, and although it was really crowded, we still had a fantastic time.  Sydney enjoyed it, but I would love to take her back now that she's a little older.  We had to wait a little while before we were allowed to go into the Aquarium, so we hung out in downtown Atlanta, near the 1996 Olympic Park.


This is when Syd's pacifier dipped in the water:

We left Newnan on Monday and headed back to Jacksonville.  It is hard to believe that it has already been a year since that trip--the following week I completed my time in the Navy and we found out Lorelei was going to be a girl!  Just one month after this trip we packed up and moved to Gulfport.  Time flies!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Update and More Pictures

I don't have too much to report since Lorelei's 6-month update. She is still sitting up well, but isn't quite THERE, if you know what I mean. She's doing really well on solid foods (now that I have my act together). I was really slow with both Sydney and Lorelei on the solid food front (slower with Lorelei than with Sydney). Lorelei didn't take to rice cereal right away; it took a few weeks. Just this week (Monday, really) she's gotten the hang of it. So far I've only given her rice cereal, bananas, and sweet potatoes.

She's going through a phase where she's not sleeping well, but I honestly think it's due to teething. I think those top teeth about to cut through are really bothering her.

Here are some more 7-month pictures. She was really wiggly this time, so that's why several of the pictures are blurry. I can change the camera setting to capture less blurry pictures, but I don't like the way the lighting turns out on that particular setting. I think they turned out pretty well, considering.

This is what she did most of the time, until I forced her to lie back.

This is the face she makes when she "talks":

Weird lighting, but different angle:

7-Month Picture

I have a feeling Lorelei is going to start squawking soon, so I will quickly post the "official" 7-month picture, and follow up later with a post about her progress and more pictures. 

First, a reminder of the 6-month picture (as if you can't tell by the number on her onesie, ha!):

And now 7-months old:

I don't like the lighting on the picture above, but it was the best picture of the "official monthly pose".  I think future monthly poses are going to be more like this:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Green Smoothies

Have you ever heard of green smoothies?  Call me behind the times, but this is something I'm just hearing of, and I'm hooked.  I've never been much of a smoothie fan (I'd rather have a milkshake or a snow cone, ha!), and Chet was quite into making smoothies for a while, but I never partook.  But recently I read a blog post that made me decide to try. 

I'll share three of my recipes and some tips I've learned.  I just use a regular blender to liquefy all of the ingredients.  Also, my recipes may not be "green" enough for people like this or this, but all I know is that SOME spinach a day is better than NO spinach a day, especially for Sydney.  :-)  (She's liked all of them so far...maybe because I refer to them as "ice cream drinks"...)
Green Smoothie Mustache
Peanut Butter-y Strawberry Banana (this was the first smoothie I made, and we did not have any spinach in the it's not a "green" smoothie, but can easily be made into one by adding spinach)

1/2 cup orange juice
1 banana
1 4-oz container strawberry soy yogurt
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1 large spoonful peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 packet strawberry Carnation Breakfast Essentials
2 cups ice

Berry Good Spinach
1 cup water
1 banana
1 cup frozen berries (blackberries, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
1 4-oz container strawberry soy yogurt
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 handfuls spinach
1/2 avocado
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup ice

Peachy Green
1 cup water
1 banana
2 cups frozen peach slices
1 4-oz container peach soy yogurt
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 handfuls spinach
1/2 avocado
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup ice

  • Add ice last; use more ice if you want your smoothie to be more "slushy".
  • If you add ANY peanut butter to the blender, your smoothie will taste like peanut butter.  Not necessarily a bad thing, just a warning.
  • In my opinion, the 1/2 avocado is impossible to taste, but makes the smoothie more "smooth".
  • Chet says he can taste the spinach in the smoothies, so you may want to add less spinach if you don't like the taste.  I don't mind the taste, so I add a lot.
  • All ingredients can be modified.  I'm not a good "modifier" in the kitchen (I like having exact recipes to follow), but you can use any type of yogurt, or substitute milk for yogurt, or substitute juice for water, etc.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

First and foremost, "Happy Mother's Day!" to my mom and Chet's mom, our lovely grandmothers, and all of the other wonderful mothers we know.  We love you and hope you have a special day!

It's not over yet, but I've had a great Mother's Day.  Actually, it started Thursday, when Chet brought home flowers (I love that he did that, because I've been thoroughly enjoying them for three days now!).

We also decided to go out for a Mother's Day meal Thursday night (we're all about avoiding the crowds with two loud sweet youngsters in tow).  We went to a Chinese buffet (my choice); it was delicious and (over) filling.  I like going there, because other people bring their loud sweet children, and the waitresses always get a huge kick out of Lorelei, which I think helps compensate for the mountain of fried rice we leave on the floor under Syd's high chair.

Friday we went to the running store for my Mother's Day gift: a new pair of running shoes.  I've been buying the same type of running shoes since 2004, and decided it was time for a change.  My goal this year is to run a half marathon (not necessarily this one, but there aren't many to choose from in this region), and there are so many choices in shoes out there, I decided I wanted someone to tell me what I needed.  We were in and out of the store in 20 minutes with the perfect pair!  I wish all shopping could be like that...

This morning Chet picked up kolaches and donuts, I opened Mother's Day cards, and then we went to church. 

Syd eating her kolache:

Lorelei eating a marker:

The scene, from where I was sitting:

(I just realized I've never taken or posted pictures of the main part of our house.  The downstairs is just a giant open area, making it very hard to arrange furniture and separate spaces.  It never looks right to me, but an advantage is that the girls can play and I can keep an eye on them from anywhere downstairs.)

Can you tell who the cards are from?

Yes, I look crazy:

I like this picture of Lorelei:

Ready for church:

Me, squeezing the girls too tightly:

Now we're home, Sydney is napping, and our only other plans are to grill out for dinner.  My idea of a great Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I waited to post anything about this until he was home, but...Chet is home!  (No, it hasn't been 7+ months since he left, in case you were worried about a wrinkle in time or something.)  At the beginning of April he was assigned to take a group of Seabees to a Marine outpost about 50 miles away from Camp Leatherneck (the base he was stationed in Afghanistan).  Their job was to build two SWA huts for the Marines at the outpost.  April 10th, Chet tore the ACL in his right knee on the construction site.  He stayed at the outpost until the job was completed, but when he returned to Camp Leatherneck they began arrangements to send him home for surgery.  He will not be returning to Afghanistan this deployment (it's a 6-month+ recovery from surgery, and his battalion will have returned by then). 

Chet left Afghanistan last Sunday (April 29th) and arrived home a week ago (May 5th). He had a three-day stop in Germany, where he was SPOILED ROTTEN by the USO staff. He felt very undeserving of the gifts and 5-star treatment he received, but I love knowing that our military members are appreciated for their sacrifices.  Here are some letters/notes that were left on his bed:

The long letter you see there was written by a little girl in elementary school.  Here are a couple of great quotes from her letter:

"You have done so much for me and our country.  I really give thanks to you for helping keeping me safe."


(after explaining that she is one of three young children) "My moms name is Kathy, she dosent have a job."  (Ha!  Think again, little one!)

The paper with a heart on it is from a much younger child.  Inside it says "Your my best friend.  Be good."  I LOVE what little kids write!

Okay, back to the knee injury.  Even though the orthopedic surgeon is sure the ACL is torn, Chet is scheduled for an MRI the 17th.  He will see the doctor the following Monday (the 21st) to discuss the MRI results, and then surgery will be scheduled.  We are really hoping he has surgery by June 1st, just to get this party started as soon as possible.  (For those of you who don't know, I tore my ACL in high school and had it repaired...I wouldn't wish the surgery/recovery process on ANYONE!) 

It is strange/wonderful/unexpected to have Chet home.  When your husband leaves for deployment, you expect to see them when the deployment is over...not sooner.  You would think I would be only thrilled to have him back (don't get me wrong, I AM thrilled), but I think both of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the unexpected change in plans.  When I first learned he was coming home, I felt guilty, because it didn't seem fair for him to be home while all of the other husbands were still away.  (Granted, it's not going to be all fun and games what with knee surgery and recovery.)  Then I thought about it a little more and realized it had been 95 days since we had seen him...and that is a long time.  Not as long as it was supposed to be, but still long.  I can only pray that the next few months fly by for the rest of the families we know. 

Sydney and Lorelei are thrilled to have Daddy home.  For the last 3+ months, when I would ask Sydney "Where's Daddy?", her answer was "Daddy's working in Afghanistan."  When she saw him Sunday morning (he got in too late Saturday to see her) you could tell she was shocked, but she warmed up very quickly.  Now she says, "Daddy's working at home."  Ha!  Lorelei is as excited as a 6-month old can be about Daddy being back.  I'm very excited about him getting to see Lorelei, because he was in Djibouti when Sydney was 5-11 months old, and completely missed this baby stage.  He is totally in love with her.

Saturday Night

Sunday Morning

  I'll keep you posted on surgery details!