Seriously? Washing my hair?

There’s nothing like throwing your back out while reaching for conditioner in the shower.

It’s pretty bad—normally when I tweak my back I don’t even need to break out the Tylenol 3. Today I took one and it didn’t touch it. Later I took two and it still didn’t really do much.

#ugh
#gettingoldsucks
#tylenol3totherescue
#goodexcusetorelax

I’m having a really rough time tonight.

I’m working on my annual holiday letter and going through all of 2017’s blog posts and it’s a lot sadder than I anticipated rereading all the great times we had with dear friends that we greatly miss. I know this happens EVERY time we move and it’s the way of the military life but it still surprises me and never gets easier. NEVER. 💔😥

#fortbelvoirpediatricsdroppedtheballonthatwellvisit

There’s nothing like a call from the school on Thursday afternoon telling you Katie is missing FOUR shots and absolutely cannnot come to school on Monday unless she has them.

WAIT. WHAT NOW?!

We knew about the deadline but we just had her 5-year well-visit before we left and they said she didn’t need anything so we weren’t worried about the deadline!!! GRRR. 

After a few moments of being completely stressed out and pissed off, I started making calls and thankfully the base has a walk-in immunization clinic so she will be there at 7:30am tomorrow with Tom.

Katie and Gramma Jean’s Big Birthday Adventure

I told Gramma that for Katie’s birthday, instead of giving her stuff, to take her on an adventure. So she did.

In Gramma’s words:

For Katie’s 5th birthday this year, we went on an adventure! (Yes, in Grayling.) We played at three parks, went wading in the river (along some of the racers practicing), went to the grocery store for picnic lunch supplies [where Katie could pick anything she wanted—she got a Lunchable, strawberry yogurt covered pretzels, strawberries, cashews, and chocolate milk], threw stones in the river for a half hour, went for a 3-mile bike ride (yes, I fell), and had an ice cream cone at Wimpy’s. We were gone 7 hours and mom and dad were starting to worry! What great fun we had! Happy birthday Katie Bug!

 

   
       
                        

Gramma says Katie could have pedaled for hours!

  

Gramma says: I am so glad Katie didn’t fall. We were too close to each other and her back wheel caught my front wheel. 

         
  

Katie’s 5yo physical!

She technically isn’t due for her 5yo well-visit for awhile yet, but when we got the forms to register them for school in Illinois, we realized her last physical was too old—it has to be within a year and as it turns out, her last physical was in April since that’s when she started school and needed the physical. So we had a rushed last-minute appointment at 7:50am the morning I was flying out to Chicago (during which trip we would be completing registration!).

Weight: 42.3 lbs. (was 35#)
Height: 44″ (was 40.25″)

So, we had our first housing panic today.

A house came on the market that seems just about perfect. It’s slightly above budget (but by the same dollar amount we’re over here so not a deal breaker) and there are no parks or playgrounds within walking distance (biking or driving, though). It’s really too early to snag a house, but if it’s perfect…

So we figured it couldn’t hurt to have our agent talk to the owner to see if he’d be willing to hold it for us in order to lock down a guaranteed 3-year military lease. He was intrigued by the lease length but hasn’t answered if he’d hold it yet. (According to the MLS it’s been on the market for awhile so we hoped there’s a good chance he would hold it just a bit longer for the guaranteed lease.)

We can’t imagine getting it done this quickly but wouldn’t it be nice? A bird in the hand and all that…but how can we tell the areas without even looking? There are just so many possible cities and neighborhoods that it’s hard to even start researching to narrow it down. We lucked into the house we are in now—with a community pool and playground around the corner—but we weren’t looking for those things! Now that we want to look for that stuff…it’s hard. We have a great agent, but she can only do so much. We Google each address and see what’s around via Google earth but that’s amazingly time-consuming.

We are totally willing to get the perfect house early (even though the extra rent would come straight out of our savings) but we also don’t want to jump the gun and take the first house we see that we like if it’s not perfect. House hunting three years ago in DC really messed with our preconceptions so we are now paranoid (back then we had a Top 10 List and by the time we had driven the five hours from Jacksonville to DC like six of them were gone!). If we knew what city (at least) we wanted to be in that would cut down our prospects, but we also don’t want to eliminate a perfect house if it’s in our third-ranked city. If it comes down to it and we are seriously considering it, Tom would fly out so it wouldn’t be sight unseen…but if we ended up passing on it, then we’ve wasted a trip unless he stays for some extra time and house hunts on his own.

We ended up telling our agent that we weren’t quite ready to fill out an application (it’s $70 a pop for each rental so it’s not like we want to do a bunch of them!) but that was a panicky 15 minutes while we were considering it.

I hate this part.

Owen’s 8-year well-visit

Yeah, we’re a little late this year. For some reason I was thinking we didn’t have to do yearly visits anymore… I tell you my brain is NOT the same these days. :)

The kids kept busy playing I Spy and messing around. I’m not exactly sure what they were doing here but they were having fun! The best part was when they thought they heard someone coming to the room, one would yell POSITIONS! and Katie would run to the chair and Owen would hop up on the table. :)

Height: 55″ — was 53″ at 7y
Weight: 85# — was 85# at 7y

Owen’s Special Letter

The second day of Owen’s “Me Museum” week was a sealed letter written by someone else about his special qualities. This is the letter I wrote.

Owen has many special qualities and continues to amaze us with his abilities.

Owen didn’t really start talking until age 3, but once he did, he never stopped! We were worried about him learning how to read, when one day he came home from Pre-K and just picked up a book and started reading it to me! He still impresses me with all the words he knows!

He got his first Lego mini-figure at age 3 and has never looked back. He can follow directions on sets above his age level and then tears them apart and builds his own super cool creations. He is our own Master Builder.

Owen has always been super nice and polite and makes friends very easily. Friends, family, teachers, and even strangers comment on how sweet and polite he is.

He is the best big brother to his little sister—he plays with her, gives her piggy-back rides, reads her books, helps get her breakfast, and makes her laugh.

He is very loving with all of our pets. He takes good care of our dog and gives cuddles to the cats.

Owen is good at swimming, baseball, and soccer. He is a Shark 2—the highest level of swimming (and I know he could beat me in a race). He always gives 100% at every lesson, practice, or game. During his first soccer season, his coach gave him the “most improved player” award.

Owen is a great kid and we couldn’t be prouder to have him as our son.

Love,
Mom