Saturday, February 28, 2009


Oh boy, sorry for the 6-day lag ... we are off to a rough start up in MI. The VERY condensed version:
  • Missed our connecting flight from Atlanta to Detroit (no thanks to Airtran employees!)
  • Waited 6-hours for the next available flight
  • Arrived in Detroit at midnight
  • Left Detroit at 1am because baggage was missing
  • Arrived home at 5am on Sat morning
  • Jaime came down with flu Sat night
  • Kelty came down with flu Sun night
  • Nana came down with flu Tues morning
  • Jaime finally feeling well on Thurs
  • Kelty doing better but on BRAT (banana, rice, apple, toast) diet to get belly back to normal
  • Nana is OK

So that's it in a nutshell ... we've spent most of our time in PJ's just trying to get through hour by hour. Today I took Kelty outside for about 5 minutes ... I thought a little fresh air may perk us up a little. We've had 2 snowstorms since our arrival last Friday ... it looks beautiful outside.

Ok ... photos won't upload. Sorry.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Posts May Dry Up A Bit ...

Kelty and I are leaving for MI this morning and Al will be leaving for MS tomorrow for the 2nd part of his flight training. This is just an advance warning my blog posts will be a little scarce as I will only have access to dial-up internet *gasp* at my parents house.

I'll do what I can. Take care everyone ... we'll be in touch!

Oh! Wish Kelty and I luck as we travel! 2, 2-hour flight followed by a 5-hour drive from Detroit to northern michigan. I am traveling with a diaper bag and a bag of toys for Kelty (filled with all new, inexpensive toys) and of course his favorite books.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Mohawk is Back!

I took Kelty in for his first official haircut today! We cut the hair around his ears back on Jan 18th (our friend Tina's mom actually trimmed it) but this was the first big haircut! I was so nervous, I thought Kelty was going to lose his "baby" look but I was happy with the result! I took Kelty to Cool Cuts for Kids, a salon that specializes in children's haircuts. He sat in a little car while watching his own personal TV playing the Backyardigans. He did well except when the hairstylist cut the hair at the nape of his neck ... Kelty is very ticklish and kept shrugging his shoulders and squirming to get away. I didn't get too many photo's because I ended up trying to entertain Kelty and trying to keep his curious hands away from the scissors!

After returning to the hotel and putting Kelty down for a nap we spent a good hour in the courtyard playing and doing a "post haircut photo shoot".

Sporting the Mohawk

Pointing at the birds ... when he see's them he says "Buh"

More birds ... he is so intent on the birds in the courtyard

Friday, February 13, 2009

Exploring the Courtyard

Every afternoon after Kelty's nap we walk down to the lobby, I grab a coffee or hot chocolate and then we spend about 40 minutes exploring the courtyard. Kelty quickly caught onto this routine and immediately heads for the door when he wakes up from his nap ... here are just a few photos of our afternoon yesterday.

Peeking out the window looking for Daddy

In the courtyard

Carrying a pebble in the courtyard. Kelty likes to pick up rocks and pebbles and "transplant" them to different areas.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vent Session

I HATE WALMART! I do not visit Walmart frequently; I just can't handle it. Once and a while I'll re-visit and tell myself that "it won't be like last time" and every time I am proven wrong. So I ventured to Walmart today because I thought diapers and PediaSure would be a little cheaper and I needed both. When I was in the baby food isle I knocked a glass jar of baby food off the shelf and the glass shattered all over the isle. I found a clean-up station around the corner and put a big orange "caution" sign by the biggest part of the mess and used a paper towel to wrangle in some of the other pieces. Then I started looking around for a nearby sales associate ... 'ooh, there's one a few isles away! I called for her, she looked at me, we made eye contact, then she turned down an isle and walked away! I went after her, saying "Ma'am, I need your assistance", she looked at me and said "I don't work in that department". I said "OK, but I knocked a jar of baby food off the shelf and there are glass pieces in the isle" ... she told me again that it wasn't her department. I asked her if she could find an associate to clean it up because someone is going to get hurt. She walked over the to isle with me and said "Oh", then walked away. I stood there for a few minutes in an effort to protect the area just in case someone walked down the isle with a child. She came back and said "there is no one to help, the person that works this deparment is on break". I looked at her in astonishment and told her that either she or someone else needs to clean up the glass or a child is going to walk down this "child isle" and slice themselves on a piece of glass and Walmart will end up getting sue'd ... she looked at me like she didn't give a crap and said she'd see if she could find someone to clean it up.

Am I crazy or could this LAZY women have cleaned it up!!! I did more work trying to clean up the glass as a customer than she did as an employee!!

Thank-you Walmart associate for once again giving me reason never to shop at Walmart!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Al and I have been aggressively working towards this moment for over 10 years .... we paid off our last student loan! We graduated college with a whopping $84,000 in student loans ... this particular one at 7% interest. We were able to consolidate some, get decreased interest rates on others but the largest of them @ 7% was a private loan that despite repeat efforts over the last 10 years, could not be altered. Neither of us want to know how much we actually paid after interest!

Getting ready to press enter on our payment!

Kelty wanted to help

We celebrated by going out to a Mexican restaurant that was recommended by Al's instructor ... I had the BEST chicken fajitas I have ever tasted! Seriously, they were amazing. They came with a fajita butter that just kicked this dish into a league of its own. This place also had free dessert ... even better! Kelty had his 1st ice cream cone and actually started licking it like we were showing him. Eventually he figured how to stick his pacifier in the ice cream and then suck it off the paci ... he did this for at least 10 minutes. I wish I would have had the camera with us because it was such a cute moment!

Monday, February 9, 2009

He Keeps Going and Going and Going ......

All things considered things are going very well in Dallas. Kelty is getting to know the hotel staff, and he still loves playing in the courtyard ... unfortunately our hotel room seems to be too small for the amount of enregy he has! He has started to climb up on the couch by himself and likes to run up and down the lenght of the hallways ... both of which you will see in the videos. Yikes! The weather outlook for the week looks grim ... wind and rain. That rules out parks and the courtyard. I found an indoor play center but it's a full 30 mintues away ... Kelty is not tolerating car rides well lately but I think we'll try to get there tomorrow and check it out. It's only $6.00 for the day so we'll see!
Al's parents came for a brief visit to pick up and Pogo and Piper and take them to Maine until we make it up that way to catch our "hop" to Germany. Though they were only to stay 1 full day Kelty warmed up immediately! He always had to hold Mimi's or Papa's hand when we walked and always ran up to Papa to be held.
Kelty's 4th tooth finally popped through but it's not the one we expected! I think it's a molar? It's way in the back. I'll have to read up on it.

Chewing on an apple with Papa Clay

Kelty quickly mastered climbing up on the couch. He had so much energy Saturday night that we were all baffled ... I don't think he ended up going to bed until 8:30 which is 1 1/2 hours past his bed time.

After his bath we decided to let Kelty run out his energy in the hallway ... he ran back and forth between us for what seemed like 15 mintues ... he literally kept going and going and going. I'm sorry to the people that may have been occupying the rooms along the hallway.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Balloon in Tow

We have settled comfortably into our 2-bedroom suite complete with a kitchen and living room! The hotel has a complimentary breakfast and dinner and a nice little coffee bar. There is a great little courtyard for Kelty to run around and explore and the surrounding area seems very nice. All in all things have been going well and Kelty has adapted great!

On Tuesday we took a walk to the nearby CVS pharmacy for some baby wipes, etc and Kelty wouldn't stop "oohing" over the Valentine balloons so I let him pick one out. This little balloon has not left his grasp since I bought it for him ... he takes is to breakfast and dinner with him, he takes it on his walks and he even holds onto to while he plays with this other toys in the hotel room! It is sooo stinking cute!!!
I brought him out the courtyard yesterday afternoon to take some photos of him with this balloon ...

Al is enjoying his training and wearing civilian attire for the course! His immediate class is military (4-students total) but this facility in Dallas trains civilian pilots mostly ... he is really enjoying spending time with non-military aviators. Apparently this is where John Travolta does all of his annual refresher trainings as well ... cool! Al told me yesterday that Travolta was here last year and saw one of the military guys in the hallway ... Travolta wanted to know if he knew any KC-135 co-pilots as he was looking for a co-pilot for his 707 (civillian equivelant to KC-135) ... the sutdent said he was a few years out from going civillian but he could give him a few names of fellow KC-135 guys. No kidding, Travolt's "people" called the guy that night for "the list"! Dang! It's all about timing!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Departing Tampa .... Arriving Dallas

We finally arrived in Dallas after a 3-day road trip ... we broke our trip up into 3 shorter days (still ended up being 8-hours each day with traffic and breaks for Kelty).

Backtracking to Saturday ....

We had a rough departure from Tampa despite a lot of planning and prep work. We had scheduled a carpet cleaning and a carpet stretching for Friday morning (cleaning) and Fri afternoon (stretching) ... these were the last two things we needed to get done before I waxed the hardwood floors before leaving the house. The rest of the house was done and let me tell you it was pretty impressive ... sparkling clean! To make a long story short ... the scheduled carpet cleaners never came; we had to schedule another company to come out short notice Fri afternoon (cost us twice as much) which pushed the carpet stretchers back to Sat at 8:30 am. We figured with an 8:30 am appt for the stretcher we would still be out of the house by 11am ... yeah, whatever! The carpet stretchers called at 8:30 and said they were pulled to another job and they'll be about 2 hours late ... well, as of 1:00 pm they were not there and we were unable to get a hold them! We said forget it (not necessarily in those words); I waxed the floors and we started loading up the Jeep .... only to realize that all of our luggage to get us through the next 2 months did not fit ... seriously, it was impossible! So .... Al drove to Walmart and bought a rear rack that used the tow hitch on the Jeep. While assembling the rack he realized the key that opened the lock for the trailer hitch had been packed! He had to saw off the lock and trailer hitch pin and I drove to Home Depot to get a replacement part. After a tearful good-bye to both sets of neighbors we hit the road at 2:30pm .... destination Pensacola (we were staying with our long-time friends, Rob and Amanda). We arrived at 8:30 and ended up chatting and playing Wii Fit until 2:30am! Whoa! We stayed until 12 noon the next day ... it was such a rejuvinating visit!

Ok ... here is a pic and a video!

Our last photo in front of our Tampa home

Al and Jordan sawing off the hitch lock! One last project between neighbors!

Hopefully my next blog will be a trip down memory lane about our 4 years (almost) in Tampa! We already miss our dear Florida friends!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Wheels Up!

This is just a quick post ... we left Tampa at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon and started leg one of our TDY enroute to Germany. We are on our way to Dallas, TX (currently stopped for the night in LA at a LaQuinta). The camera is somwhere in the car ... I'll re-cap our last day in Tampa after we get to Dallas tomorrow and I have the photo's and video to share.

Be back soon ......... !
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