Friday, March 12, 2010

We're HOME!

Well... after 3 years of living abroad, we have finally moved back home to Houston!  However, before we moved back, we kept quite busy preparing for the move.  With packing the house, selling furniture, having friends get married, and friends visit from Sydney, we were busy bees. 

Our close friends, Claire and Rob got hitched the last weekend we were in Perth.  It was a beautiful ceremony and the reception was just perfect.  Claire looked stunning in her dress and Rob looked great in his kilt. We will definately miss them and look forward for their visit state side in 2011.

A few weeks before our departure from OZ, friends of ours threw us a going away party.  We had a chance to chat with our friends, and enjoy those last moments before we left.  I'm really going to miss you guys from Perth!  Candi....thanks for all your great advice and your friendship.  Our stay in Perth wouldn't have been the same if I hadn't of met you and your family!  Judy, Lisa, Diana, Veronica, Evelyn, Mary I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you.  From walks around Perth to Bunco to AWC events to just hanging out I've really enjoyed it.  I will defiantely miss that.  Claire and Jacqui... I've really enjoyed just getting to know each of you and your other half.  I look forward to future visits here to the USA, be sure to look us up!!!!!!!  And finally, my scrapbook friends!  Rebecca and Christell, don't forget about me!  Make cards and be creative with stamps :) LOL  You'll dearly be missed!

We were lucky enough to have the Batman's from Sydney fit in one last visit before we left.  They arrived 2 weeks before our departure and spent the weekend getting to know Kyle and saying goodbye.  We shared a fun-filled Valentines with them and the Smith Family at one of our favorite restaurants:  2 Fat Indians.  YUM!  Kyle made dad a neat photo box with an imprint of his hand and foot at 2 months old.  He enjoyed it and looks forward to bringing it to work.

Steve and I decided to bring some Aussie wine back with us to remember some of our favorite moments in Perth.  In order to accomplish this we bought over 80 bottles of wine home with us.  Can't wait for the shipment to arrive, especially since I was pregnant when we bought most of it and can't wait to taste test!!!!

On February 23, 2010 we boarded our flight home.  Flight one....11 hours to Dubi....layover in Dubi  14 hours....16.5 hours from Dubai to Houston....3 hours to Copperas Cove, TX....HOME!  It was a difficult trip b/c it was so draining, but to be absolutely honest, Kyle did fantastic and Steve and I worked together to make it the best experience it could be considering.  But now that it is all in the past, I can say it was just fine.

As for the here and the now.... we are living in a 2 bedroom 'apartment' for the next few months until our house gets finished.  It is coming along nicely and they project it to be ready mid-April.  Steve started back at work and is looking forward to his new work projects.  I am staying at home with Kyle and am busy trying to find things to fill my day.  I've found 2 playgroups that I'm going to be trying out and I've enrolled Kyle in a gymboree class every Tuesday.  Steve and I have enjoyed shopping at stores past 6pm and have definately enjoyed our favorite places to eat... LOL!!!!

We will be making our way to Ohio in April to see my parents, I know that they are really looking forward to seeing Kyle.  We were able to spend a week with Steve's parents when we arrived back to Houston.  Oma spoiled him rotten and so did grandpa.  I think that we got to hold him about 3 hours in total :) LOL  But honestly, they were fantastic with him.  From constant dialog and cooing with him to food being served warm instead of room temperature!  (Had to put that in Paul/Ilse :) LOL) We had a fantastic time and look forward to their next visit. 

Finally, I wanted to put in a few pictures that we had taken by a professional photographer before we left.  We loved so many of her pictures and look forward to putting together a family collage. Enjoy!

Steve,Stephanie, Kyle and Zoe

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The New Year 2010

WOW! I can't believe it's 2010.  We've been quite busy for new parents.  Now, don't get me wrong, we are exhausted...but we still need to have a social life!  We rang in the New Year by being in bed by 10:30 :) LOL Maybe we will be a bit more fun for 2011...
Kyle has been a busy bee as well.  We took him to Cottesloe Beach, a Hawks Basketball game, and Swan Valley.  I'm very excited to also include some pictures from the photo session we had.  The pictures turned out fantastic.  We are having another session next weekend so keep your eye out for some more pictures!

We also have some other FANTASTIC news!  We have just learned that we are finally COMING HOME!!!!!  After 3 years of living the life of an expact, we made the decision to return home to the states to start our family and to be closer to home.  Steve was finally told he has a new position in the Houston office so we are scheduled to leave Perth for good at the end of February.  We can't wait!  I'm thinking the next 6 weeks are going to fly by.... Look out Houston, the Waggoner's are coming home...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas and Boxing Day 2009

Ho...ho...ho!  Greetings from Down-Under!  I've attached a few pics of Kyle and his first Christmas!  We had a quiet day here in Perth, we stayed here at the house and enjoyed a day of relaxation.  Kyle woke us up at 7am,  so we had 'breaky', gave Kyle a bath then opened presents.  Santa was good to us this year, he left us a beautiful baby boy :) LOL  Steve got a new camera (as you can see with all the pics he's been sending out, a bit of a papparazzi), I got a new watch, and Kyle got collector Aussie coins and clothes.  We were able to skype with the grandparents (who loved seeing our peanut for the first time) and baked cookies for the holidays.  Instead of making the traditional turkey dinner, we opted for steaks on the grill.  I attempted to make the Waggoner famous stuffing, but as Steve said, " all that was missing was that the stuffing wasn't stuffed in a turkey"  Guess that's important to the recipe! I'll have to keep that in mind for next year! 

The following day is "Boxing Day", and to celebrate we invited our friends Rob and Claire over to the house for a bbq.  Both Rob and Steve attended BBQ school a while back, so they decided to try grilling a 6 kilo ham. (I believe its called, 'pickling')  It was delicious!  We enjoyed a fun-filled day of great company and food.  However, Kyle decided to sleep ALL day... and when we went to go to bed at 1:00am, Kyle decided to wake up and stay awake until 4:30 only to doze off until his 5:15 feeding time.  Today, I'm exhausted and in need of a nap.  But... dad beat me to the punch.  I keep telling myself, it will get easier!  I wouldn't change anything, our precious Kyle is a blessing from God and still can't believe he is here and that Steve and I are parents!

We hope all of you had a fantastic Christmas!  Wishing you all the best...
Steve, Stephanie, Kyle and Zoe

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kyle Matthew Waggoner has arrived!

On December 4th at 8:36am our little bundle of joy arrived.  We'd like to welcome, Kyle Matthew Waggoner to the world.  We have been truly blessed to have him arrive safely and healthy. 

At two weeks old today, the proud parents are EXHAUSTED!  I know...many of you are saying, "I told you so!", but you just don't believe it until you live it.  Mom and Kyle were in the hospital for one week after under going a c-section.  I have to be honest, the c-section was nothing like I had imagined.  I didn't have much pain and was off all pain meds by day two.  The worst part of the whole delivery was the epideral.  They had to try 3 different times before it was successful.  I was told by the doctor that I was the most difficult case of the year.  Thanks.... but why am I not surprised!  I must admit, I was definately stir crazy and wanted to be home, but on the day of discharge, our little one was tested for jonduas and had to be placed under the lights for 24 hours.  After his stint in the Nic Unit, we were able to take him home. 

 Its definately been a whirlwind since being home.  Steve has been absolutely awesome.  We both have to admit that nights are definately the hardest.  Kyle has his nights and days mixed up, so he's only sleeping about an hour to an hour and a half between feedings.  With feeding every 3 hours, that doesn't leave mom much time to sleep.  But, it takes time.  Steve goes back to work next week, so I'm really going to focus on getting Kyle on a flexible routine with feeding/playing/napping.  I'll keep you posted... I might be living in a dream world, but if this helps get me one step closer to Kyle sleeping longer at night and one step closer to sleeping through the night....I'll try anything :)  Saying this...he is only 2 weeks old and I know I need to be patient.

Its hard to believe that next week is already Christmas.  As a Christmas gift to ourselves, we had a photographer come to the house to take some pics of Kyle.  Stay tuned as she puts some finishing touches on them, we'll post some of them for you all to view.  I've seen some of her work and she does a fantastic job.  I can't wait to see what kind of photos she took!  We are looking forward to sharing this holiday with Kyle.  Steve and I are planning on baking cookies and spending time with some friends during the holiday.  With the Smith family gone to the USA, we celebrated Christmas with them early.  We wish them a fantastic trip home and only hope they enjoy the joys of home (ex. Chick-a-filet, Pappasitos, etc. LOL)  We decided to try and plan a few events to keep us busy so that fatigue doesn't rule the roost!  We are planning on going to see 'A Christmas Carol' movie with Jim Carey at the outdoor cinema on the 23rd (let's hope we don't fall asleep :), spending time at Claire and Robs on Christmas Eve, family time on Christmas, and Steve is going to show off his mad grilling skills on Boxing Day. We hope that all of you enjoy your holiday with family and friends.  All the best and know that we'll be thinking of you all during this time!

Steve, Stephanie, Kyle and Zoe

A little of this and a little of that....

Howdy everyone!  We'll its almost time to welcome our peanut into the world and I must say that Steve and I are so excited.  As I write this we have 14 hours to go!  Its been quite a journey to get this far.  I've been truly blessed with this pregnancy, feeling better than ever!  Now, let's hope I loose the weight quickly :)  LOL 
As the Christmas holiday's quickly approach, we just wanted to share with you a few things that have been happening, other than having a baby !  We've been busy preparing our precious Zoe for peanuts arrival.  With lots of love and walks, I think she will transition well.  As you can see in the pictures below, she is one spoiled dog.  We are looking forward to see how Zoe and peanut interact when he/she gets older. 

On Thanksgiving this year, I was in charge of our Annual American Women's Club of Perth Thanksgiving dinner.  Don't ask me why I would take on such a task when I was due to deliver one week after the event, but I did.  We held the dinner at a local yacht club and 175 guests induldged on all American style foods.  The turkey was delicious and thanks to 13 cans of Frenches Fried Onions, 10 cans of canned pumpkin and 8 bags of marshmellows imported from good old USA, we were really able to enjoy those family favorites... green bean cassserole, pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole!  YUM!  The event was a success, but boy am I glad its done.  I'm so happy I got to enjoy the food this year, as last year I got out of the hospital on Thanksgiving from having my appendix taken out!  We all remember that one... go to hospital with migrane, walk out without my appendix.  Geez....

Steve and I enjoyed our last weekend before the baby comes with one on one time.  We saw a movie, went to dinner and decorated for the holiday.  We wanted to cut our own tree down this year, but the tree farms here just didn't seem to cut it and the prices were just insane, so thank you Smith family for allowing us to borrow one of their spare trees.  It was just perfect.  We've really started a collection of ornaments from all the places we've been, and good thing they aren't made from paper or wood, or we probably would have lost them to the mold we 'caught' in KL.  We've also added our Aussie flare to the tree and it looks great.  Only thing precious bubble lights.  But, that will come next year!!!!

Well, that's all for now... Stay tuned and be sure to check back soon b/c I'm SURE we will have lots of picures of peanut!   I can't wait for the doctor to finish this statement, " It's a....._________" 

Stephanie, Steve, 'Peanut' and Zoe

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Exciting days in Perth

Howdy All,

A lot has been going on the last few weeks.  On November 7th, friends of ours threw us a baby shower.  Steve surprised me and flew in a great friend of ours from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...Karen... for the special event.  Wow, what a surprise it was.  Candi and Jacqui were so wonderful to host the party and they made all my favorite treats for the event.  They made quiche, fruit dips, chinese chicken salad and best of all...3 different kinds of cupcakes!  Everything was delicious.  I had an absolutely fabulous time and really enjoyed seeing everyone.  We played games and enjoyed great conversation.  Thanks to all... peanut is going to be one lucky baby to have such great "Auntie's". 

As for Steve, for his birthday I had got him a day at BBQ School.  He scoffed and thought it was a bit funny, but we were finally able to schedule the event.  What we decided to do was have it on the same day as the shower and turn it into a shower of sorts for Steve as well.  The guys had an absolutely fabulous time and they learned quite a bit.  I know that since that day, the guys have been BUSY, BUSY, BUSY trying out their new skills of the trade.  Thanks Clint, Cam, Rob and Kyle for a day filled with laughs and great fun!

Karen was able to stay the week with us and we have been enjoying our days of leisure.  We decided to see what kind of 'Christmas' stores Perth had to offer and found a few that we really enjoyed.  But, wow its nothing like home.  Very EXPENSIVE.... it is hard to pay a lot of money for something you know you can go to Hobby Lobby and get for 1/4 of the price.  But when your away from home, you tend to change your attitude about certain things.  While she was here, we were also able to take a day trip to Swan Valley for some good old wine tasting.  I, of course, didn't par take in the tasting, but enjoyed lunch with her and Steve, as well as, our friends Claire and Rob.  I'm looking forward to the day when I can go to do my own wine tasting in Swan Valley and Steve can be the 'skipper'! 

As for me, I'm hanging in there as the pregnacy comes to a close.  I've been a bit more tired these days and have been struggling with keeping my sugars down due to the gestational diabetes.  I'm going to fetal monitoring twice a week now and we go next Friday for our 36 week ultrasound.  Because the baby is currently breech, this scan will determine delivery date and how the baby is to be delivered.  I'm trying not to have too much anxiety about the quickly approaching delivery date, but as Steve and I have realized we are soon to be parents.  Its hard to get my head around the fact that we are about to be a mom and dad.  We are very excited about this, as well as, nervous.  What a great adventure we have in front of us and we are looking forward to it!

Miss you all!
Steve, Stephanie, 'Peanut', and Zoe

Monday, November 2, 2009

October 2009

G'day Mates....
Its already November 2nd and I'm still wondering where October went.  Its been a crazy month filled with lots of doctor appointments and prepreation for our upcoming 'peanut'.  I'm currently 34 week prego and we are estimating delivery of lil' Waggoner on December 7th.  Our doctor has decided to induce due to my increase in blood sugar and size of the baby.  Baby is almost 5 lbs. I'm hopping not to gain too much more weight! LOL  I've actually lost 3 lbs. due to the strict diet I've been on, so I'm not complaining. 

We had our 32 week scan a few weeks ago and we were lucky enough to see our peanut in 3D.  It is absolutely AMAZING to see the details of the baby.  Steve and I just sit there in amazement and now even more excitement.  It was too funny b/c the baby's lips were opening and closing...thus we felt like he/she was already talking to us!  A Waggoner for sure, can't keep quiet!! LOL  I've been going to have fetal monitoring done 2 times a week b/c of the gestational diabetes, and today peanut was QUITE active with hic-ups.  I've never felt this before, and boy was it funny.  My stomach was just bee-boping everywhere.  I have to definately mark this day in the book for memorable pregnancy days.

For Halloween weekend, our friends the Batman's came from Sydney to visit.  It was great fun having visitors.  We spent the weekend relaxing and showing them just a few of the hot spots of Perth.  That being... wine country... Swan Valley.  Of course, I was the DD or as Australian's would say, the "Skipper".  We definately made our presents known by hitting 6 winery's and buying in total 18 bottles of wine!  Geez, I sure hope I get to enjoy some of these once the baby comes!  LOL  We also had some friends over, Claire and Rob, for a relaxing Friday night of pizza and beer.  We always enjoy having them over and it was great that Taryn and Gary were able to meet some of our friends.

Since we don't have our peanut here yet, I decided to play dress-up with Zoe.  Twice a year she gets to dress up in costume, for entertainment purposes only, and give us great laughs!  While I was home in the states I picked up a 'halloween' costume for Zoe.  She was so adorable in her pumpkin outfit.  I'm thinking matching costumes next year... what do you think?

Steve was lucky to go to KL for a guys fishing trip. He's really been looking forward to it, seeing some comforts of home and some old friends.  He really enjoyed his trip and got some great fishing in while he was there.  I was quite jealous, he got to eat at Chili's and picked up some of our comfort foods (Tollhouse Choc. chips, A1, and taco rice) Amazing what we miss.... I was really happy he got a chance to see the guys, one last hoorah before  the baby comes.  Steve was invited to take a helicopter ride to Rottnest Island through work.  He thought it was really pretty flying over the various land forms.  You can tell the water is crystal blue.  He really enjoyed himself.

Finally, since it's being to be feel like summer here... yes you read right, we decided to heat the pool and have our friends, the Smith's, over for some bbq and pool time.  It was so great to finally have some sunshine and to get an opportunity to use the pool.  Clint wasn't planning on going into the pool...but Steve had a different plan!  Zoe also joined the crew in the pool, a bit scared... well maybe more than a bit, but she managed to dog paddle her way out!  Go Zoe!!!

Steve, Stephanie, 'Peanut' and Zoe

 We hope all is well with you all and can't wait to share more memorable events with you guys next month!