Monday, February 18, 2008

Ships, Chocolate and The Flu

Matt's heading on a two week, three country trip, with the Navy today. So, this weekend, we took the girls to tour the Navy ship that Matt will be traveling on. It's a communication ship and holds about 1000 civilian and military personnel. Olivia was quite impressed with the ship in general. On board, we got to see a library, internet cafe and several rooms with computer work stations. She really enjoyed climbing on the above helicopter that travels with the ship, a relative of a Blackhawk, and taking a seat with Lila.

Lila was mostly interested in getting out of the Ergo and running around. About 12-days ago, she was still taking up to 15 hesitant steps at a time. Last weekend, she started offically walking and gave up crawling altogether. This weekend, she started running. Matt is quite impressed. We both have laughed together that she is walking so well, so quickly, that she must have known how to walk for several months now, but refused for reasons unknown for us.

She's also doing a lot of other things that gets Matt laughing. Matt missed this stage of Olivia growing and maturing. Lila is growing into a really fun stage and she pulls at Matt's heart-strings often. He's just amazed at her rapidly growing vocabulary. She's leaving babyhood behind and growing into a toddler quickly. It's not uncommon for her to throw herself on the ground and throw a tantrum or grab a toy away from Olivia and hit her when Olivia tries to take it away. Of course, giving the dog her food and throwing food on the floor is new and very upsetting to Matt. Olivia was past that stage by the time he got home from Iraq.

In other weekend news, Matt and I went to the Obidos International Chocolate Festival. Matt and I try to get away without the girls one night and one afternoon each month. We take the girls with us almost everywhere. However, it is essential, for us, to have some time away from the girls a few hours once or twice a month. We are firm believers that one key to a happy marriage includes date night or date afternoon on a regular basis! Most often, we go out to dinner after they are in bed. We've been able to do this since Lila was about eight-weeks-old and began to nurse every three-four hours instead of every one or two hours (of course, at that age, we didn't stay away for much more than two hours). This weekend, we escaped to the festival as the girls were going down for an afternoon nap.

We were disappointed with the festival. We really like Obidos. There are local artisans in shops making pottery or painting tiles. The famous Ginja liqueur is sold and available for sample in little chocolate cups. But, for the most part, in my humble opinion, Portuguese don't know how to make good chocolate truffles and desserts. While it was advertised as an international festival, I think most of the chocolate bakers were Portuguese. For example, there was a huge line for chocolate chip cookies and just when I was about to get in line to purchase some, I noticed that the cookies were hard and burnt looking. I like a chewy cookie. That's, pretty much, how the festival went. Bad chocolate treats, poor demonstrations and chocolate art work. I don't think we'll go back next year unless we have visitors during that time. Okay, we did get some nice ceremic mugs of hot coco. Caldas da Rainha, a mile or so away from Obidos, is known for one type of Portuguese pottery (among the many types throughout Portugal) and the mugs we recieved are from that region. While this type of pottery is a little too funky for me, I did like the mugs.

As we drove home, I started to feel achy and by the time we got home (an hour drive), I had the chills and felt like I'd been hit by a bus. I'd been fighting a sore throat with Zicam and Echinacea tea for a couple of days. So, it came as no surprise that I was really starting to get sick. Matt helped me feed the girls dinner and put them to bed. He tucked me into bed and cranked up the heat as I was shaking uncontrollaby and freezing. Of course, he's leaving today for two weeks. It's the pefect time to get sick. I woke up this morning with a fever. Popped some Motrin, made myself more tea, dosed up on Zicam and a wonderful throat spray they sell here (and not in the US) and am feeling well enough to take care of the girls. We actually did a couple of shape projects and a puzzle this morning. I think it's quickly passing. But, we skipped out on play group this morning and we'll, most likely, spend the day in PJ's and watch a little too much TV. Hopefully, the girls won't get this. However, I'm prepared. I'm relieved I got it first so I know what to expect when they get it. I noticed Matt was coughing as he walked out the door this morning. Cold and flu season has finally welcomed itself into our home!


The Dunns said...

You know how toys come awake and play all over the house when humans are away? I'll bet Lila has been practicing her walking and running when you haven't been looking. In the middle of the night she's running from one side of the crib to the other. When you are trying to have a quiet shower she's in the kitchen running wind sprints... :)

I hope you feel better soon! A sick mommy is a great reason for TV & pj day!

Natalie said...

Holly, Matt thinks the same thing about Lila. Too funny.

If I'm not drugged up on a combo on Motrin and Tylenol, I can't even take care of my kids. I forgot to dose up earlier and couldn't get off the couch until everything kicked back in! Ugh. This is horrible! My poor girls!

Anonymous said...

I hate to be sick when you don't have family around and your husband is it usually happens. Sara Raney had to take care of my kiddos when I got strep a week after Chad deployed to Iraq. I hope you feel better!!!

Angie said...

I hope that you are feeling better soon.

I'm sorry that the chocolate festival wasn't better. I would have been disappointed, too, since it sounds like it would be great! Allen and I need to get away by ourselves more often. We just haven't made it a priority.

The Matthaidess' said...

So, is Matt on the USS Whitney? My brother was stationed on the USS Whitney for about three years (until this past month when they moved him to land in Naples).

I hope that you feel better! Ed and I were sick a couple weeks ago. It was bad enough just us being sick and not having to deal with two little ones running around. Take care of yourself!

Natalie said...

Yes, he's on Mt. Whitney. I didn't want to put it on the front page of my blog for OPSEC reasons. Matt's been on and off Mt. Whitney for several months now. I wonder if he ever ran into your brother. Small world.

The Matthaidess' said...

My brother is a computer guy on the ship. So...I'm not sure if he met him or not even though the ship is supposed to be pretty small in comparison to most ships. If Matt knows any enlisted computer guys, it's probably my brother!
I hope that you're feeling better.