Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Skipping Through Life

In just two days, on March 29th, our baby girl will be six years old.  Six and in Kindergarten.  It seems like it was just yesterday I was feeling ill in a summer session anatomy class and I knew it was't because of the lesson of the day.  I remember thinking, "Maybe I'm pregnant?"

You have the bluest eyes.
Your name was initially Samantha when you were born. I wanted to call you Sam or Sammie as a nickname. I had to bribe your Dad with cash for that name. He wanted to call you Abigail... but I KNEW what you would look like before you arrived.  I had you pictured in my head: brown hair, pigtails, brown eyes, a tomboy.  And you would be a big plump baby!  Samantha was the perfect name for such a girl.

Imagine my surprise when you popped out, just barely 6 pounds, with blond hair, the bluest of eyes, and a sweet round face.  You were tiny like a little doll, and quietly meowed more than cried.  On the day after you were born, I accidentally called you 'Abby' when I was singing to you, and we had to track down the girl who had previously taken your name for the birth certificate to have it changed to Abigail. Your Dad has never let me live that down (nor did he return the cash to the bank account)! You have not become the tomboy that I envisioned you would; you have, however, become so much more than I ever could have dreamed.

You were the perfect little baby, sleeping through the night from practically day one. Easy-going, and happy, giggly and sweet.  That is how I described you as a baby. You loved your big brother, Owen, even though it was a daily trial for you to keep out of his reach.  Throughout your babyhood, he colored you with a sharpie marker, powdered your face (requiring a trip to the pediatrician), sprayed you with Febreeze (requiring a call to poison control), and gave you your first (unauthorized) haircut.

Dancing with Sleeping Beauty
at the Disney Studios in
Burbank, CA 2009
You've always worn pink, despite my proclamation that if I ever had a daughter she would never wear pink.  You love Disney Princesses, despite my lack of understanding of Princessy stuff.  When you were three years old I encouraged you to be Hermione Grainger from Harry Potter (Owen was a dashing Harry Potter that year).  But you stuck out your tongue and me and said "No!"  "NOT Hair-my-mo-me...Abby Princess!"  And so you were your favorite princess that year, "Seeping Blooty" as you would say at that age.  Since then, you've also been Cinderella and Rapunzel.

Dresses and skirts and dress-up outfits are your preference for daily wear.  You love make-up and perfume and painting your nails.  But you also love gymnastics and climbing and swimming.  So you wear shorts under all your frilly wear and continue on your way.

You are adventurous, but cautious at the same time.  When you were a baby, you opted to crawl everywhere for months, cautiously eyeballing us as we encouraged you to walk.  You didn't walk until you were one year old, in fact it was on your first birthday!, carefully watching your big brother for guidance.  But once you decided to do it, you just did it.  You pulled yourself up and took your first steps, and kept on going from there.

Momma and Abby in Long Beach, CA 2009.
You love to swim and you are a natural in the water.  Your "big sister" Jenny taught you to swim in California, and you've loved it ever since.  Some of my fondest times with you have been at the ocean, watching you run through the sand and into the water, as you fight off the waves and finally cave in to riding one back to the shore.  You braved the Pacific in the winter, never minding the chilly water.  Your lips would be bluish and your teeth would be ever-so-slightly chattery but you always wanted more time in the water.
Thanksgiving 2009 in Malibu (Zuma Beach) -
your favorite beach!

But the thing that always comes to mind whenever I think of my Abby is the skipping.  You love to skip, and you skip more often than you walk or run.  From the moment you get up until the moment you crawl into bed, you skip everywhere.  Down to the park, across the street to your friend's house, even as you enter into school, right after you get out of the car when I drop you off in the morning.  You skip happily through life, enjoying the moments.

Sassy and saucy and pig-headed.  And I had only envisioned pig-tailed six years ago!  You make up your mind and you stick with it.  You can defiantly tell me 'no' without the slightest quiver of lip or glimpse of emotion in your eye.  Frustrating now, but when you are an adult it will be an attribute that will get you what you want out of life - assertiveness is hard to come by, and you have a healthy dose of it already.

You're sweet and kind and the greatest sister - both little AND big.  You've never been upset that when Kellen came along you were no longer the littlest. You think it's pretty cool being the 'middlest'.  You're pretty good at sharing, even when you don't really want to, and you never like for anyone to feel left out.  I'm always proud of you and the way you treat others.

Happy Birthday, our sweet little Abby.  We love you so very much.

Keep skipping and wearing pink dresses and riding those waves.  Do what makes you happy and you will always love life and get exactly what you want out of it.

The best big sister, ever.  But loves being the 'middlest.'

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