It's strange to think we have less than a year left in Silverdale. Time goes fast when you're busy raising babies. We've started recognizing all of our lasts; our last Easter in Silverdale, our last Memorial Day in Silverdale, our last Viking Day, our last summer (if summer ever decides to show up).
It's pretty obvious to say, but it's so bittersweet. Part of me finds myself looking longingly at the moving trucks that occasionally pull up in our neighborhood for our PCSing neighbors. The other part of me feels my stomach squirm when I think about pulling out on April 1st of next year on the road to who-knows-where. I don't know what type of schedule Andrew will have when we get there or even if we will be able to come with him. Thankfully, these questions should be answered in the next month or so when we pick orders. We are hoping to get stationed somewhere on the east coast this time, but the Navy can obviously do whatever they like with us.
It has really started to hit me recently that it will likely be a long time before I see Andrew as much as I do and will this last few months in Silverdale. He has a fantastic schedule working in the armory on base with a 7-4 workday, weekends and holidays off and only the occasional day "on call". This schedule came just in time right before Annie was born and we have loved being able to get so much Daddy time. His next job description will likely take him away from us much more often, whether that means deployments on a ship or frequent 12-hour posts. He will almost definitely be spending a year away from us overseas in a few years since he is required to do a year "unaccompanied" (away from your family). Most military wives (especially submariners) would be rolling their eyes at me right now since deployments are a fairly regular part of their lives. I know wives my age that have already had to deal with 5+ deployments and are experts on how to get through, so I'm pretty wussy to be whining about the possibility that my husband may no longer have weekends off next year. His absence is something I prepared myself for when we got married and moved out to Silverdale almost three years ago, but once we settled into our nice routine here it's like I forgot that it wouldn't always be this way.
When Andrew reported to this command in September of 2010 he had committed to two years here. We were thinking we wanted to start having kids in about three years. So, if things had gone according to plan (which I'm quickly learning they never do) we would have moved to our second duty station last April of 2012 and would be thinking about trying to start a family this coming fall. Clearly, God had a different plan for our lives since we got extended here for four years and I currently have an almost two year old sitting on the couch behind me watching Sesame Street and a five month old sleeping soundly on the video monitor in the corner of my computer screen. I couldn't be happier that things turned out the way that they did and it's another reminder that I should stop pretending that "I know better". Looking at it that way encourages me that wherever we end up next will be exactly where the Lord wants us and He will work out all those details I worry about perfectly. He will only send Andrew away from our family when I am able to handle that and He will bring him home when I need him. I know I'll learn to depend on the Lord even more through that experience and will hopefully be able to enjoy being closer to our extended family whom we are always missing.
In other news, Will has transferred successfully (and surprisingly easily) to a toddler bed. We tried this process a few months ago before Annie was born, but I put up the white flag after a couple weeks from pure exhaustion from trying to keep him in bed. This time he made two attempts to get out of bed and that was it. No issues since then. The whole "wait until they're ready" rule is sometimes a very good one to follow, which is something we're keeping in mind when it comes to potty training. Will occasionally decides he wants to take off all his clothes and diaper and sit on the froggy potty. In my determination to only have good associations with the potty I'm usually willing to drop absolutely anything to make this happen. Sometimes we "accomplish" something and sometimes we just read some books and kick back and relax for a while. Either way, there is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to having two kids in diapers.
Annie is also making big strides in the sleep department. She is now successfully sleeping in her crib, which she has been doing for quite a few weeks now, but we had her sleeping on her contoured changing pad for a while to make her feel more cozy. She now has the freedom to roll all over the place in her crib, which she does. She only gets up once per night around 5 am for a feeding and goes back to sleep until 6:30 or 7 when Will wakes up. I am loving this schedule, especially compared to her drama queen brother who took until 10 months to get on such a lovely routine.
Annie is in the 74th percentile for weight and 95th for height. My little five month old girl is currently wearing a size 9 month dress that fits her quite well. She's affectionately known around here as "Thunder Thighs". It's so fun to see the personality differences between Will and Annie. Will, unfortunately, has Mommy's stubbornness and never wants to feel forced into anything. Don't even think about asking him for a hug. He'll come to you when he's ready to hug you. He also developed my bashfulness I had when I was little and hides behind my knee anytime someone looks his way (forget about saying "hi"). A couple weeks ago a little girl in our church nursery sweetly toddled up and gave him a hug. I can't begin to explain the meltdown. You would have that he had just been through the most traumatic experience of his life. The poor little girl stared blankly while I consoled the boy five inches taller than her that she had mistakenly thought could be her new friend.
"Nannie", on the other hand, has never met a stranger. She has recently started noticing a little more if someone other than Mommy or Daddy is holding her and not being particularly happy about it, but other than that she stays chill about pretty much anything. She beams a smile at the checker at the grocery store every week and happily plays with her rattle on the floor without a care in the world. She cries if she's tired or hungry and that's pretty much it. Both of my babies have been very easy, but so far Annie is the "go with the flow" baby and Will is the "fall to the floor if you say hello to me" baby.