Nick biggest project since we moved into our house was our back yard. He spent over 2 months breaking up concrete with a sledgehammer and moving it out of the back yard...all so we could have a little grass. Most homes in California don't have nice luscious green grass like we do back home in the south, so he just wanted the yard to feel a little more "homey". He also wanted some grass for Dannika to play in when she got old enough to play. The week before he left, he put sod down in the yard, bought patio furniture, and made sure the grass rooted properly. We didn't take into consideration that grass grows, and that I would have to be the one to take care of it while he was gone. The original plan was to get my poolees to do it for me. I decided instead, to buy a 100 dollar reel mower (old school lawn mower) from Lowe's and mow the grass myself. It was EXHAUSTING! We don't even have that much grass! I assembled the lawn mower all by myself (something that took a little trial and error), and I proceeded to our "backyard" to cut the grass. For those of you who know me, most of my shoes are open toed sandals, heels, and flip flops. I own some running shoes, but I didn't want to deal with grass getting all over them. I put on 4 inch wedges, and mowed the lawn. The height of the heel kept my feet from getting wet from the grass. I'm sure I looked pretty ridiculous, but I got the job done. I can't wait till Nick comes home, so he can mow the grass, cause honestly...that sucked...hardcore.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I LOVE Valentine's Day...until this year. I've always loved Valentine's Day in the past because I feel that it is the ONE day in the entire year that you can really show the people you love that...well...that you LOVE THEM! I think a lot of times, we get so caught up in day to day life, that we forget to show how much the people in our lives mean to us. I am glad though that Dannika is going to be my Valentine this year since Nick won't be here. It's another one of those things that suck about deployment...our heroes get to watch their lives go on and their kids grow up through photographs. Since Nick is missing Dannika's first Valentine's Day together, I decided to get some pictures done by Erin Dietrich Photography to put in his Valentine's Day care package. I am posting the ones that she posted on her facebook as a "sneak peek" for all my "fans" to see! I don't want to post the other ones cause I don't want Nick to see them until he gets his care package! She took our family pictures in November, and we fell in love with the pictures (check 'em out here --->Dannika's 3 month photoshoot)! She has a natural talent of capturing beauty and life in it's finest moments. We had the pictures done at Pines Park in Dana Point. It was GORGEOUS. It was a little chilly for Dannika, but she was a good sport...except for the fact that she wouldn't smile! ugh. Either way, even her "non smiling" pictures are wonderful. These pictures were ESPECIALLY important to me and meant a lot to me because I want Nick to know that we're always thinking about him and that Valentine's Day won't be the same without him here with us. It was an emotional session for me, cause I kept thinking about how much fun it would have been if Nick would have been there. I can't wait to send them to him. I know he will LOVE them. Thank you Erin! And for those of you in southern Cali who want pictures taken, give Erin a call! http://www.erindietrichphotography.com . She might not be here for much longer so get your pictures done! She does homecoming pictures too for my friends who have husbands that are deployed!
It's been crazy watching Dannika learn and do new things everyday. I can't believe how much she has changed in the short week and a half that Nick's been gone (wow...it's only been a week and a half??). Since he's been gone, her entire eating schedule has changed. She drinks less formula and gets a large helping of veggies twice a day on top of her formula. She sits up and plays with her toys by herself and she likes to lay around on the floor in the living room and just play. Did I mention, she has her first sippy cup?!?! Her dr. recommended that we give her one now to start getting familiar with it. As sad as I am that Nick is missing all this cuteness, I can't wait till he can get on a computer and see his princess. I always seem to forget that when a Marine deploys, his entire life is put on hold. Nick was fortunate enough to be here with us for the holidays, but he will miss...
1. Valentine's day
2. My 26th Birthday
3. St. Patty's Day
4. Dannika's first Easter
5. Cinco de Mayo
6. Dannika's First Birthday
7. Possibly Lydia's wedding
He will also miss Dannika's first crawl, her first cheerio, her first steps....pretty much the latter half of her first year in this crazy world. It makes me sad that Nick will watch Dannika grow up through pictures and short video clips that I post for him on here, but I'll do my best that he doesn't miss anything! Here are just some random pictures I took of Dannika.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The rain has been INSANE here in southern California for the last couple days. Some parts have had some really bad flooding, and we've had tornado watches and tornado warnings. It's days like these when I really wish Nick was here. I'm so paranoid that the power will go out or something, and I'm gonna be lost on what to do. I never realized how much I rely on Nick for everyday things until now. Dannika has been doing well. We've been spending a lot of time at home just playing and watching TV. She loves sitting on the floor and playing with her toys and of course, her baby einstein jumper. She is so happy all the time and such a blessing to me. It's been tough at times being a "single mom", but when she smiles real big at me and starts bouncing up and down in her bouncer for me to come pick her up, it makes all the frustrations go away...for that moment at least...lol. I love how she can hold her own bottle now, cause I can just put her down and she feeds herself! Today, we started a new feeding schedule for her. I'm so excited. She is on less formula and on more vegetables. She had a drs appointment yesterday, and she told us that we can taper off on the formula now...yay! Oh...and Dannika is 16 1/2 inches and 16 pounds and 1 ounce! She is getting so big!
Monday, January 18, 2010
I was doing dishes this morning while Dannika was playing with her toys in her high chair. I started hearing her make all these grunting noises, and when I turned around, she had this expression on her face. She was concentrating REALLY hard and her eyes were getting red and watery. Turns out she was taking a poop.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
This was our first weekend alone without Nick since he left. Last we talked to him, he was leaving Russia to head into Afghanistan. Being a "single parent" has been a bit overwhelming at times, but when I look at my daughter and see her smiling at me, it makes everything go away. I miss Nick so much. I wish he were here. Before he left, she was holding her bottle on her own, but usually not until the end of the feeding when the bottle was light enough for her to want to support it. Since he's been gone, she drinks the entire bottle all by herself! I can't believe she learned to do that in the 5 days that Nick has been gone. It makes me sad cause by the time he gets back...she's gonna be a toddler! Another thing she didn't do when he left was sit up on her own for longer than a few seconds. Today, she was sitting up and actually playing with her toys on her own. My little girl is getting so big!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The last shirt Nick wore before he left, I made him give it to Dannika before he threw it in the dirty clothes hamper. IT SERIOUSLY HELPS HER SLEEP!! It's so weird. I give it to her when I put her to bed and she cuddles her face on it and falls right to sleep. It almost made me cry.
And just a random pic of tummy time
And just a random pic of tummy time
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I had Nick record two stories on camera so that I can play them for Dannika while he is gone.
Nick left today. I have so many emotions going through me it's crazy. One minute I'm depressed, sad, miserable, the next, I'm relieved, refreshed, happy. I'm glad that he's finally gone just because the anticipation of him leaving all last week was more stressful on me than him actually leaving. We spent our last evening together doing "Taco Tuesday". Nick cooked the most delicious tacos. He had his last Newcastle, and the rest of the evening we just hung out watching tv and playing with Dannika. He gave her, her last bath and put her to bed. He recorded two bedtime stories for her on my camera for me to play for her. I bawled my eyes out watching them. We had be at Camp Pendleton by 230am, so our friends, Thomas, Dulce, Jewett, and Ellis all came over to our house. Ellis just said his farewell and left cause of work, and everyone else came to Pendleton with me for moral support and to say goodbye to Nick. I'm glad they came, cause they kept my spirits somewhat up while we were waiting on Nick to draw his weapons from the armory. As soon as I saw him walk into that gym with his weapons, I mentally lost it. My heart just sank. Dannika was busy blowing raspberries and just enjoying her daddy's company. It broke my heart cause she had no idea that after today, it would be the last time she would see him for 7 long months. By the time he returns, she'll be walking, talking, and hopefully have a little more hair! The dreaded announcement, "You have 10 minutes to say your goodbyes"...I fell into a state of depression. Watching Nick say goodbye to Dannika was the hardest thing for me to watch. It was worse cause when he put her down in her stroller to say goodbye to me, she started to cry. I held onto him so tight. I have never hugged anyone like that in my entire life...like some part of me thought that the longer I held onto him, the longer I would have him with me. Thomas wouldn't let me watch the buses leave...thank God he did that because I would have had an emotional breakdown. Dulce drove me home and I watched as we drove away from my better half...the love of my life...my hero...my U.S. Marine...my husband. When we got home, I tried to make Dannika a bottle without putting her down cause she was upset and hungry...but instead i spilled formula EVERYWHERE on my coffee table. I just bawled for a few minutes thinking to myself that if Nick were here, that wouldn't have happened cause he would have offered to make her bottle for her. I fed Dannika, laid her down next to me in our bed and slept for a good hour and a half. I woke up refreshed and a little less depressed. I read a story (Where the Wild Things Are) to Dannika and said a prayer with her in my lap. It made me feel a whole lot better. I went to lunch today with Dulce and Kim, and it was nice. They helped me get my mind off of things, but all good things come to an end. When I got home, I saw Nick's truck parked on the street and for a moment, I thought he was home. I put Dannika down for a nap, and now I'm sitting her thinking about Nick and blogging. I can't wait for this deployment to be over...
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I am so lucky to be married to such a handyman. 4 months ago...our backyard had no grass no patio furniture...no nothing. Nick tore up the concrete all by himself, transported to a land fill by himself. He bought the sod and laid it all down! I was so excited...we found 900 dollar patio furniture on sale for 250 at Home Depot. I am so lucky!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
With Nick leaving in less than a week to Afghanistan, Dannika and I have been trying to cherish every moment we can with him. This is everything from the hour we spend in the mornings getting ready for work and getting Dannika ready for daycare. Nick as been wonderful trying to get everything situated for me when he leaves so that I won't have to worry. Theres been a lot of things around the house that I have wanted him to do, and he has been busy spending the last few weeks doing it ALL. We FINALLY got our pictures that Melissa Lyn Photography took framed and hung up on our wall. Those will be staying up for a long time since the pictures and framing cost us our life savings..lol. I finally got the pictures that Erin Dietrich Photography took as well, and got them up on our empty wall in our hallway! Nick finally finished ripping up our backyard and we now have grass! Lastly, my kitchen is more beautiful than ever...Nick put an entire backsplash up in just 2 short days! I am BLESSED! Our house is starting to feel more and more like a home every day. It still hasn't really quite hit me yet that I will be "husbandless" for the next 7 months, and I'm still trying to fathom how I'm gonna be a full time Marine, mommy, and a housewife all by myself! Luckily I have some awesome friends who I know will be here for me.
A bible quote I found that I feel is fitting for our family...
Baby Dannika at 3 days old...so precious
Be jealous ladies...my husband did my entire kitchen backsplash in just two short days! We picked out the tiles and Nick did all the work! It is BEAUTIFUL!
Chillin with daddy before he goes to work...Notice the Texas bib....in honor of the Longhorns today. They are playing Alabama in the BCS bowl!
I caught them taking a nap and it was just too darn cute. I'm gonna miss these precious moments for the next 7 months...
Friday, January 1, 2010
Nick and I spent ringing in the New Year in the comfort of our own home with our good friends, the Praxedes'. Nothing too wild or crazy...I guess having a baby does that to you! We couldn't be any more happier though. We had champagne, played Scrabble on Xbox and had some DELICIOUS fruit pie that Dulce made....sounds kinda lame, but I enjoyed myself. It's hard to believe that o9 is behind us. Nick and I have been so blessed this year with so much. I couldn't ask for a better year. We purchased our first home, welcomed our precious baby girl into the world, and Nick completed a successful tour on the drill field. These are just a few of the great things that God has blessed us with. As our little family of 3 prepare for Nick's upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, I can't help but think that 2010 isn't going to be as great as 2009. I hope that the deployment flies by and we can once again be together at the end of next year as we prepare for 2011! I did make a couple New Years resolutions...
1. Be more patient with Dannika when mommyhood gets a little frustrating.
2. Get back into running hardcore again and enter a couple races.
3. UPGRADE UPGRADE UPGRADE our house! With that said, I will be learning some home improvement techniques while Nick is away...life will be rough without my handyman around!
Happy New Years everyone! For those of you that are a part of our life, thank you for the wonderful year and memories that you have given to us. We love you!