Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1 month in Quantico

Today marks our first month here. 9 more to go. I can't believe it's only been a month, it feels like forever. We're pretty much used to fending for ourselves now, although we sorely miss Friday night pizza and Sunday dinner. Our grocery bill has been going back up, but our eating out bill is going down. Aside from food, we do miss the family very much, but we've been keeping busy.

We like it here a lot, and we're very happy with our decision to live on base. We would highly recommend it to anyone who's coming to Quantico. If you have a family and little kids, you have everything you want and need so close by. It's a nice community. We are hoping to get orders to Camp Pendleton, CA, and we'd love to live on base there too.

Delaney talks to her grandparents and cousins in Massachusetts regularly on Skype. Recently, she talked to her friend Rebecca (also two) too. Neither of them had much to say. At one point, Delaney roared at Rebecca like a lion. Rebecca said, "I'm so scared!" It took a little while for Delaney to understand what was going on the first couple times we sat her down in front of the computer to chat. She had this look on her face, like, 'What the heck is Grandpa doing on the computer screen?' She wouldn't say anything, she'd just stare. But she's getting used to it, and now she interacts much more. If we could get the Schlosser side up on Skype, then we'd really be set.

Tim is very busy at school. Sometimes he comes home for dinner, then goes back to school later that evening. His hard work is paying off. He got a perfect score on his first test. Sorry, had to brag.:) As much as he likes being in this environment, he hates being a student again. He will never go to graduate school. I've always known how much he hates to read. Before Delaney was born, I read The Baby Whisperer, and wanted him to read it too. He wouldn't. Instead, he said that if I summarized it for him, he'd read my summary. So I wrote him a book report on The Baby Whisperer. I don't mind these things. In light of all this, I'm amazed at his level of dedication. When he's studying at night, this house is as quiet as a church. The TV isn't even on (gasp!). If I rode past him on a unicycle with a monkey on my shoulders, he wouldn't take his nose out of his book. I keep wondering, 'What have they done with my husband?'

The girls just keep growing and changing. Delaney's vocabulary is increasing by the day. We can have real conversations now. Her brain just seems to be working overtime. Lately she's been having trouble settling for a nap. This is the first day in a few that she's actually gone to sleep. Usually I'll hear her up there talking, or turning the pages of a book she's taken with her to bed. I try to tell her as I'm changing her before her nap that all the other kids are taking their naps too. (If all else fails, I try for bandwagon appeal.) "Friends sleeping?" she asks. "Friends pooping?" She whines a lot up there too, because she's sure she's missing out on a lot of fun. Our rule is, she stays in there for two hours, whether she sleeps or not. We can call it "quiet time" then, "mommy sanity time" or whatever. She's still in a crib. It seems like almost everyone else puts their kid in a bed by the time they're 2, but not us. The "Sleep Lady" recommends keeping them in a crib until 3. [The "Sleep Lady" is what Kim West, author of Goodnight, Sleep Tight -- my sleep bible -- calls herself.] It's not that I needed the Sleep Lady to tell me that, but it was nice to have an expert second what felt right to us. But if moving her to the bed is what felt right, I wouldn't hesitate to do it.

Delaney and I have a lot of differences these days as she tries to assert her own agenda. Sometimes I get frustrated, sometimes I compromise with her, sometimes I put my foot down and she cries crocodile tears, and every once in awhile we agree. But last night she made a concession to me that was so sweet it almost brought a tear to my eye. I sat her on the sink wrapped in a towel like I do every night after her bath, so she can brush her teeth. She lets her dad brush her teeth, but not me. Last night, just for the heck of it, I asked if I could brush her teeth. She said, "No, mine's." I said, "OK, maybe another night." A moment later she handed me the toothbrush without a word and opened her mouth cooperatively. It was such an unexpected gesture. My heart just swelled up. It fortified me for more struggles to come.

Annalise is a busy little girl too, and growing like a weed. I got her a Bumbo seat and an Exersaucer off Craigslist last week (I love Craigslist!). She loves being able to sit up and stand up like a big girl. It's funny how much better she holds herself up earlier in the day, as opposed to later. By the time it's dinner, she bobs around like she's drunk. That's when I know that soon it will be time to start thinking about bed. She's an absolute joy -- all happiness, contentedness, agreeableness, fat and slobber. I could kiss her all day long.

We had a playdate here this morning, and it was a really nice time.


"Yay, aren't we having fun!" Delaney and Elyse.

Annalise and Haven.

Haven, Delaney and Jimmy.

Delaney and Elyse go night-nights.

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