Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Latest Happenings

Hi Again! Well, our second week back was good. The weather is cooperating more, so more sun less rain. Jacob and I planted some sunflower seeds last week and they sprouted within 4 days. He is so excited and checks on them everytime he goes out, which is several times a day because he has to come out with whoever is taking Star out.

Jacob is enjoying his time with the grandparents and I think they are enjoying him just as much. Tim and I are enjoying the extra help which has allowed us to take walks after dinner alone, do some shopping by ourselves, and even get to have a date night. I cannot tell you how great it was to sit at a restaurant uninterrupted and relax.

The other day Jacob said to Tim "we are happy here" isn't that sweet? We can tell he is really loving the US. It is funny to see him still picking up on things that he didn't see in Sicily. For example, a trip to Shell gas is fun because they have a shell on their sign and he says we are getting "shelly gas" The chili on the Chili's sign he has called a banana, sausage, and whatever else comes to mind as we drive past. He has gotten over the novality mailboxes and garages.

Saturday we headed to the Strawberry festival in Lincoln. It wasn't what we expected. We were expecting it to be like the one in Plant City, Florida which is like a fair. This was extreamly small and the strawberries were not worth the price. The big excitment seemed to be the hula hoop contest. No joke! It was a morning out though.

This week I have gotten some things we need for the new house. Next Monday (Memorial Day) is our 7th Wedding Anniversary and we will spend it in the car driving 6.5 hours to Birmingham to close on our house on Wednesday the 27th. We will then be there until June 5th or 6th hagning blinds, getting a new fridge, washer/dryer, and hopefully our storage shipment. It's in the air if the express shipment will be there. Our inspection was done last week and we are waiting on the report. We figured we should get one even though it's new construction since we couldn't be there earlier to check things out. Tim will leave for Pensacola then and not come back to NC. Jacob and I will come back to NC and stay until the end of June, beginning of July. At some point during that we all have to meet in Atlanta to pick up the other car which as of the other day is in the ocean. A good sign it's on it's way.

While in Alabama, we also need to try and sign Jacob up for pre-school. I called the church yesterday and need to speak with the director about tution prices and days and if he can even get a spot. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I've also been looking for a local MOM's club to pass the time. Jacob needs to be kept busy and socialize. So I hope all this works out.

Speaking of school, the other day Jacob said "Mommy, you need to go to work so I can go to school again." he is really missing his school. This of course opened the whole "Should Andrea go back to work" debate. I say yes, but have to wait until we get a good idea of Tim's schedule before I can commit to anything. I am ready to go back 1-2 shifts a week. I was able to renew my RN license just before we moved so now I just need to look into the AL licensing process. No test thankfully justa lot of paperwork. I'm still leaning toward looking for something in January but we'll see how things play out over the next 6 months. My goal at the moment is to get the house set up and getting Jacob settled and in a routine before I get involved in work.

Have a great week and Memorial Day weekend. Hope to find some Wi-Fi while in AL to pop in :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

More Weekend Pics

Here are some more pictures from our weekend.

Jacob and Star. She looks less than thrilled. Star is our pug that has lived with my parents for the past 3 years. We got her 4 months after we got married in 2002 for our birthdays.
Another beautiful rose from the Biltmore Garden

More pretty flowers

Jacob petting the goat

Yummy. . . chocolate ice cream.

Busy Mother's Day Weekend

Hi Everyone! Hope you had a great Mother's Day weekend if it applied. We were very busy. Saturday and Sunday we were on the go. I'll start with Sunday. The Biltmore Estate in Asheville is how we spent the day. All mom's got in free, kids got in free and if you bought tickets on-line you got $10 off. What a deal! We went there 3 years ago, right before we moved to Sicily and Jacob was only 6 months old. So, it was nice to go back. They were celebrating the "Festival of Flowers" the gardens were beautiful! We ended the day with a trip to the winery to purchase some special ed. "Festival of Flowers" Rose and White wine and ice cream. They also have a small petting zoo and Jacob thought that was great to pet the goats and chickens.

A Rose in the Biltmore garden

Jacob and I under a tree in the garden. Excuse his new picture smile. Looks like it hurts.
The smokey mountains. What a beautiful day.

The Biltmore Estate

Me and my baby

Saturday found us at the Carolina Raptor Center in Huntersville. About 45 minutes away north of Charlotte. A very nice area around Lake Norman. You can go horseback riding, kyaking, hike trails, picnic, etc. We did the Raptor center. Jacob enjoyed looking at all the owls, hawks, eagles. Most are there due to gun shot wounds and car accidents that caused wing damage or blindness. It reminded me of the places we used to go to for field trips in elementary school.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Our 1st Week Back

Today marks our first full week back in the US. American life is agreeing with us quite nicely. We are all a little calmer, less grouchy and all smiles. We are all on track with our sleep. Up until today, I was ready to pass out by 3pm every afternoon. We've spent our first week hitting the stores, but not too hard. We got new cell phones on Monday. My phone in Italy was horrible. It was a Sony but not very user friendly and Tim would get annoyed that it was never on, charged, or with me. Now I am back to a normal flip phone that is very easy to use. If you want the number let me know. I went with Verizon, so all you Verizon people, we can talk for free. I didn't get all those bells and whistles like texting, internet, etc. I love you all but don't need constant contact when I am out and about :)

I started getting some new goodies for the house. A new house deserves some new things. I have to wait until we move in to get the bulk of what we really need but I have a nice start. This week we ironed out the closing time and date, as well as when we will get there. Looks like we will be driving to Alabama on our 7 year wedding anniversary. Not exactly what I had planned but it will have to do.

Today mom and I had a girls day out. So nice. Spent my afternoon in craft stores and Barnes and Noble. It was the first time in 2 years I've had 4 hours to shop with no husband or child. It was heaven! Tim and Jacob spent the afternoon at the park.

Jacob is adjusting well. It's funny to hear all the things that are "new" to him after living mostly in Europe on a base. He finds garages and mailboxes fascinating. In housing we had carports and no mailboxes. All mail went though Tim's work. We went for a walk tonight after dinner and Jacob asked if he could open all the mailboxes. LOL! Of couse we squashed that. He keeps asking to go to school so he is missing his friends and his little routine. We'll have to work on something in the coming days.

Our weather thus far has been rainy. We had one nice day but were out and about. Jacob has a nice little assortment of gardening supplies here and some sunflower seeds that he is just dying to plant. Hopefully, we will have some good weather soon.

This weekend we have some plans. Raptor measeum tomorrow and maybe I can convince Tim to go to the Biltmore Estate on Mother's Day. Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, May 4, 2009

We made it!

Hello all! After a very busy weekend I am happy to report we are back in the US! It is so great to be back. Our last week in Sicily was very busy. We had our final "Express" shipment, house cleaning and inspection. All went great and was very easy. We then headed to the Navy Lodge for our last 2 days. Jacob headed to preschool one last time on Thursday morning. He was thrilled to see his friends one last time and spend the morning out of the "ho n' tell" as he called it. (Yes, we laugh everytime he tries to say hotel). I got a much needed hair cut and highlights that day and then we ended the evening at an Italian Restaurant across the street with friends.

Friday morning bright and early we made our way to the base airport and had a great flight. We could not have asked for better behavior out of Jacob. He slept most of the way and when awake, he watched a movie, played a match card game, and chit chatted. When we landed in Nofolk we got our rental car and made our way to Norfolk Internationl Airport to drop Tim off for his flight to Atlanta. I was a little nervous driving at first since I haven't driving in US traffic in 2 years. It was so nice to finally be on the road with drivers that obey the road rules. I got over my nervousness fast. After dropping off Tim, Jacob and I made our way to our old neighborhood. I was surprised how I remembered how to get everywere after 3 years. It all came back to me. The old house looked good. Jacob could have cared less . He only lived there for his first 6 months. After that, we made our way to our former Sigonella neighbors and good friends house, The Cummings. It was so great to see them and Jacob and their daughter, Faith, quickly got playing. They hadn't seen each other in 6 months but you would have never known.
We really enjoyed their hospitality.

Saturday came too fast. Jacob, amazingly hit the pillow at 9pm Friday and woke around 6am Saturday. I, unfortunately, only slept 4 hours. In the afternoon we headed back to Norfolk Airport and returned the car and got on our flight to Atlanta. That 2.5 hour flight was nothing compared to the day before. Once again, Jacob slept the whole flight! We easily found Tim waiting for us, picked up the rest of the luggage and hopped on the road toward NC. Our drive to NC was very easy. Light traffic in Atlanta (if you've ever been there, you know their 6 lane highway can be a nightmare). We got to my parents after 4.5 hours on the road around 1am. We were greeted by very happy parents/grandparents and a very happy Star (pug). Star and Jacob bacame instant friends. They've been chasing each other around and wearing each other out. Jacob is loving his time with grandma and grandpa and follows them around. He's not happy when they go to work though.

Sunday brought us some very rainy weather. I got about 6 hours of sleep. We returned the rental car since our Camry has been here for the last 3 years. So nice to have that back and not have to buy another car right away. Our Sentra should get here around mid-June. We had a very lazy day, took a nap, played with Star, watched American TV.

Today we are off to shop! I've been very good and showed great restraint so far. I haven't been to a Starbucks or any stores since we landed. Didn't want to get to crazy right away. Jacob earned his Toys R Us trip so we are doing that today and then Chili's for dinner!!!

As for our house, we signed the contract 2 weeks ago and everything is good. We head to Alabama the end of the month and close on May 27th. I am so excited to get there and start moving in. We won't officially move in until July though.

Thanks for all the well wishes on Facebook!