Sunday, January 19, 2014

Christmas Cuties

Since we had just arrived in Texas at the end of November, we stayed out west for Christmas. Luckily, most of my relatives live out here so we had a home away from home. My Aunt Cynthia and Uncle Herb live in Oklahoma City so the kids and I packed up the car and drove north for a week with family. Michael joined us for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but left first thing the following morning. Herb and Cynthia were so wonderful to us and made us feel like we belonged! 

I don't think I have a single picture of Michael and I during Christmas time. Carmen peed on my lap during the beautiful Christmas Eve service so I spent most of it chasing her up and down the hallway trying to dry off the huge pee spot on my leggings. So it's better we have no pictures. 

Carmen and Brooks were as cute as ever despite Carmen throwing her big matching hair bow on the ground whenever she could. I just love them. 

Michael got to Oklahoma around 11:00pm on Christmas Eve and set up 
Carmen's princess castle in true daddy fashion.

There are few things better in life then watching your sweet little one on Christmas morning.

Of course we missed our parents and siblings but it was still a wonderful, new and exciting Christmas celebration. And I still can't believe how big Texas and Oklahoma really are.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Reflections so far

I like the city of Corpus Christi for the most part. The scenery is gorgeous, the coast is unbeatable in January, the palm trees are such a joy to look at. But I'm not a big fan of much else. The downtown area is pretty small and deserted - could be because it's off-season for this beach town - and there are many parts of town that just don't seem very safe to drive through. It has some lovely stretches of gorgeous mansions and the end of town where we live has some pretty modern shopping areas. I'm finding that modern shopping areas comfort me. I'm more of a city girl than I realized.

The kids and I spend  a lot of alone time together. We don't see Michael very much at all. I miss him terribly but I know it's all for a great reason and it won't be like this forever! We've moved Carmen's bedtime to 9pm so that Michael can see her for 30mins or so when he gets home. He'll help with bath time and read her books and tuck her in bed. It's hard, I'm not trying to deny that. I've prayed a lot for patience and gentleness because there are some moments in my day where Carmen is really testing my nerves.  I miss adult interaction and the ability to go see our friends whenever we need to.

Sometimes in our gypsy lifestyle I begin to miss the little luxury of decorating your children's rooms. Carmen and Brooks won't miss it at all. But when I'm laying down on Carmen's bed at nap time and looking around the big, stark room, I feel sad that she doesn't have color on her walls. I never got to make a fun "first big girl" bed for her. No comforters and matching pillows and sheets. I'll never really have a true nursery for Brooks. I won't get to use his darling crib and bedding, his matching artwork (that'll be in his room forever though), nothing that truly screams "I have a precious little baby and here's his nursery to show for it!" I'm aware that these are superficial things in life and don't have meaning, but I do really enjoy them. I suppose it's just another small sacrifice.

I don't have a blender so I can't make the initial baby foods that I started Carmen on. Brooks is so ready to try foods but I want to make them myself. I don't really have a solution. We don't have pictures up around our house, the walls are empty. No pretty little portraits of our family. Because we want to live and travel lightly, there isn't much for me to focus on outside of the babies. I brought a book and my Bible. And we have our computer. Other than that, there are no projects to set my mind to, no crafts to make, no jobs to complete. It is mostly refreshing and freeing, but sometimes I get the bug to create something.

There's also no real place to call home. We don't have that house back in Bristow anymore to ground us. Our families are still around and have their homes, we do feel welcomed and at home there, but it's different. Being together as a family of 4 is home, but I still get that feeling once in a while like I'm floating and miss feeling gravity. It'll come, but in the day to day I'm living, I really feel it's absence.

And I just plain miss our friends. I think everyone understands that. Last month on the 30th, we were leaving town to move to Corpus and had just about finished packing our car when I had another kidney stone attack. I tried to tough it out on my own and not take meds that would affect Brooks' but I had to and then I had to get to the hospital. It was horrible and I spent the entire day there. If it wasn't for our precious Farris family in San Angelo, it would have been miserable for all. They took the babies, bought Brooks some formula and a bottle and she kept the children all day. And she is nine months pregnant and has her own 2 boys. Wonderwoman. But it made us value our family and friends even more. What if this happens again and we have nobody? It's just a hard part of this lifestyle. These are just some of my reflections so far and hopefully gives you a realistic glimpse into our reality. More to come....

Apartment in Corpus

I have really come to love the housing here in Corpus Christi. It's everything that excited me about living in a smaller home than our old townhome. I love being on only ONE floor! You can do so many small tasks without ever having to take an eye off your children. I can hear Carmen from every room in the house. I try and always keep an eye on her, but she's fast and moves like a ninja. I bet the folks downstairs wouldn't call her a ninja, maybe more like an elephant ballerina. 
I like being able to let Brooks try and nap in his own bed because I can always hear him and peak on him. No stairs to climb or carry things to and from! 

Downside is that we are on the second floor so there is one flight of stairs to conquer outside. I cannot figure out the best way to bring groceries or two sleeping babies in the house yet?! Someone is always left alone either in the car or in the apartment - only for a quick moment as I sprint back down the stairs, but it's still awful. How else can I do it? Also, there is one floor above us and when we moved in, the family had 9 children staying with them. No lie. It was the loudest thing we had ever heard. And they didn't walk, they only jumped and ran everywhere they went. Michael had to go up there one night at like 12:45am and just check it out. Carmen gets scared of their stampedes. 

So here's the view from the entry way:

This is the sunroom that serves as the play area and computer space:

Kitchen/Laundry Closet
(btw, laundry is SO easy and so wonderful being on the same level as everything.
 I may never want a multi-story home again!) 

Looking back at the entrance:

Kids' hallway

Carmen's bathroom

Third bedroom that would normally be Brooks'

Carmen's Room

Carmen's huge bed, she'll be spoiled by the end of this journey and never want any size smaller than a queen.

 Master Bath, there is a large walk-in closet in the back.
 This apartment is huge and has huge closets in every room.

 Master bedroom (with tiny boy on bed)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Assignment #2

Happy New Year!!!

Don't look for us in San Angelo, TX anymore! We moved to the coastal city of Corpus Christi, TX.

Yep, there are palm trees everywhere down here. I am in love! 

We just arrived on Tuesday, December 31st so we haven't even spent a full week here yet. 

Michael is very busy with this store assignment so Carmen, Brooks and I have been on our own to get to know this new city. We've found 4 parks already, lots of open beaches to run around on, and I've got a list of toddler friendly activities to hopefully begin this next week. 

Our apartment is awesome this time and I'll work on getting pictures and details of that up in the next few days. We're a block from the water but it's not visible from our side of the complex. It's also not the beach area that I'd go visit. We still have to get in our car to do that. I'll post more soon, but for now it's SUNDAY and Michael is home for a much needed day of relaxation!