Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fun at Rodeo San Antonio

We spent the afternoon at the San Antonio Rodeo, the big thing going on in town right now. While we didn't hit the actual rodeo part, we had a fun time wandering the grounds and looking at all the animals.

Part of it was a petting zoo with pigs, goats, sheep, a burro, a llama, and even a wallaby...Isabella loved it of course. She squealed with delight, as she went from one critter to another. The last photo is blurry because I took it as I was scrambling to get Isabella out of the way of a minor stampede of miniature goats.

Later, we got to see Mommy om Skype video...All in all, a great day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

98 and Counting

Last weekend, Bella and I took a trip to Florida to see my Grandma and celebrate her 98th birthday. All of her 7 children were there, along with most of their spouses. My brother, Paul, and Isabella and I represented the 17 grandchildren and 21 (about to be 22) great-grandchildren. It was great getting a chance to catch up with our aunts and uncles, and a rare opportunity for them to see Isabella.

Isabella was a real trooper, flying from San Antonio to Orlando, with a 6 hour layover in Atlanta. We were some of the lucky ones, though, as we had an onward flight. Many around us were scrambling to try to get into points north before the approaching storms, or were stranded from the previous ones. Rough go...

The trip back home was equally uneventful for us. We got back to find that Charlie, who had been looked after by Tita Mickie and Tita Lyn (thanks, ladies) had left the house mostly unscathed. He was really glad to see us though, ebulliently bouncing around the house.

Life as a single Papa has been interesting. I'm gaining an incredible amount of respect for those who do this full time. It isn't easy. But, it's rewarding, and I couldn't ask for a better child. She has her moments, as do we all, but overall, I'm terrifically blessed.

Melody is doing fine out in Washington State. She's so far done Combatives (i.e., hand to hand combat), HMMWV rollover training, rifle and pistol qualifications, land navigation, and a lot of other things. She's enjoying the training, and I continually tell her to pay attention, as it will go far to getting her back to us. Still, it's awfully quiet around here without her. We miss her terribly, but are getting thru it. The routine mentioned in the previous post helps. Still, we can't wait for the time to go by.

Be sure to take a look at her blog,

A few more pictures from the weekend...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Single Papahood

As many of you may know, Melody is on her way to Afghanistan for about 6 months. She left about 3 weeks ago, headed for Portsmouth, VA to finish some Navy requirements before flying to Seattle, WA and Fort Lewis for Army Training (ala "Stripes").

Isabella and I are thus on our own. So far, so good. Not to say that I haven't had help. Melody's cousin Mickie, and childhood friend Marilyn both reside in town, along with my cousin Rich, and Uncle Ed and Aunt Barb, who all live closer to Austin, have all been available if needed. We see Mickie and Marilyn pretty often, especially since Mickie is on retainer as our defacto veterinarian. She was Oji's vet, and is Charlie's as well. We feed her regularly in exchange for her veterinary expertise.

Interestingly, there seems to be a presumed incompetence when you mention that you're wife has headed off to war and left you with the baby. Everyone asks, "Are you going to be ok? Who's looking after Isabella?" I'd like to think I'm doing pretty well so far. She gets fed, bathed, taken to school, cuddled, read to, prayed with, and lots of love. It helps that she's a pretty user friendly baby, too. She's very adaptable. We talk to Mommy every day, and have video Skyped a few times as well.

We've settled into a pretty strict weekly routine, for both of our sakes. The predictability helps Isabella, and I can drive forward on those days when I'm smoked on something like muscle memory. It's working well.

We did take a trip to Florida last weekend (see upcoming post for more details), and plan on heading out to Seattle to see Melody fly off to Afghanistan in a couple of weeks.

Melody is chronicling her adventures at a blog as well, Check it regularly and add it to your favorites.