Category Archives: Pictures

12 Months with Hayley

The past few months have been a transition from “baby” to “toddler.” It has been bittersweet, sad, exciting, joyful, and nerve-wracking all at the same time. It’s amazing to see Hayley grow and learn new things every day, but it has gone so fast and I want to cherish every moment. Our little girl is no longer the sweet baby who just sits in one spot and smiles and coos, but she is now a weebly wobbly walker, laughing and chit-chatting as she wanders all over the house.

Hayley’s 1st Birthday was April 20, 2013 and we celebrated with a Polka Dot Party at our home with family and friends. She loved the attention, opened wonderful presents, and picked daintily at her special birthday cupcake. She is so loved and such a happy baby, I mean toddler. What an amazing year it’s been – the moment she was born, bringing that fragile little newborn home for the first time, her first smile and giggle, sleepless nights, stressful and blissful feedings, rolling over, crawling, cruising, babbling, talking, saying mama, waving hi and bye, finally sleeping through the night, and taking her first steps – I wouldn’t miss a moment of it. No matter the stress or frustration at learning this thing called parenting, one smile or laugh from her makes the world stop.

At one year old, Hayley is 28″ and 18 1/2 lbs. She had 4 teeth by her 1st birthday and had taken a couple of steps on her own. She loves to cruise the furniture and chase the dog. Her favorite food is pancakes, and she loves to eat anything you put in front of her. Bath time is a blast with rubber ducky!

We reached our goal of breastfeeding for one year! It was hard at first, but I knew we’d make it. It’s a very special time between me and Hayley and I can always count on nursing to calm her down if she’s upset. By now, she has pretty much weaned herself. We are down to one nursing a day for bedtime, and she drinks milk from a sippy cup the rest of the day. As much as I have loved breastfeeding (and the awesome baby weight loss!), I am very glad to be done with pumping!

Here are some pictures of Hayley from 10 to 12 months:

10 Months

10 Months

11 Months

11 Months

12 Months

12 Months

1st Birthday - A new car! And Hobbes!

1st Birthday – A new car! And Hobbes!

1st Birthday Smash Cupcake

1st Birthday Smash Cupcake

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day

Baby's First Trip to Apple Store!

Baby’s First Trip to Apple Store!

Pancakes!

Pancakes!

Playing the Piano at Her Nanny's House

Playing the Piano at Her Nanny’s House

Shopping

Shopping

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Jamming to Sweet Tunes

Jamming to Sweet Tunes

Rubber Ducky

Rubber Ducky

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9 Months with Hayley

Our baby girl is growing up. Once she started moving, she started becoming less and less our “itty bitty” and more and more our “big girl.” She can crawl all around the house now. She pulls herself up and stands by the furniture. She’s even started walking along the couch and is becoming more balanced on her own two feet. She is so interested in exploring everything, and we are sure she will be standing on her own and walking in no time.

The past few months have been a blast, including her first Thanksgiving and first Christmas. She decided to show off at Thanksgiving and crawled for the first time in front of my entire family. She was very determined to get to that Black Friday ad. 🙂 Christmas was filled with lots of presents from grandparents, too many to fit in the car. She loved the lights on the Christmas tree. We’re very grateful for everyone who thought of our baby girl during the holidays.

Hayley seems to like trying new foods. Since she got her first tooth, she’s enjoyed “chewing” some solid foods. She loves pancakes for breakfast! She eats lots of vegetables, but since she learned how to pick up her food and feed herself, she loves eating puffs and whatever she can shove in her mouth all by herself.

We had our first time apart in December when I went to New York City with my mom and sister for 5 days. Our fantastic babysitter/nanny watched her overnight while Chad was at work, and although I dreaded the thought of leaving her, she did great and only woke once each night. And I had a great time in New York!

I’m also happy to report that Hayley is sleeping through the night in her crib! I’d been co-sleeping with her since she was 4 months old, but we made the transition to the crib, and she has done great! Mom and baby are both getting lots of sleep now. And Chad is happier because he doesn’t have to deal with two grumpy girls haha.

Here are some pictures of Hayley from 6 to 9 months:

7 Months

7 Months

8 Months

8 Months

9 Months

9 Months

Chad and Hayley

Chad and Hayley

Sweet Potatoes!

Sweet Potatoes!

Crawling!

Crawling!

FaceTime while I went to New York for a few days

FaceTime while I went to New York for a few days

Co-sleeping snuggles

Co-sleeping snuggles

First Christmas

First Christmas

First Christmas

First Christmas

First Snow

First Snow

Standing

Standing

Best Friends!

Best Friends!

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6 Months with Hayley

So much has changed in Hayley’s life in the past 3 months! She’s now 6 months old and showing more personality each day. She’s rolling, rolling, rolling, babbling, yelling, and bouncing. She loves to bang her toys and make noise. Sometimes she yells at the top of her lungs just to hear her own voice. She’s on the verge of crawling, but so far she’s getting up on her hands and knees and rocking back and forth. Any day now, we will have a mobile child.

This has been such a fun age with her. She literally learns something new every week, and you can see how she is becoming more and more interested in the world around her. She loves to bounce in her jumperoo, she loves to roll around in circles and play with all her toys, and she loves to reach for things. She’s even figured out how to pick up her binky and put it in her mouth by herself. Sometimes she sucks her thumb and it’s adorable, but she doesn’t seem too attached to it yet.

Playtime is so much fun with her, but man she’s wearing me out at night. She went from sleeping through the night at 4 months to waking up 2-3 times a night at 5 months and it’s still going on. She has this psychic ability to know the minute I decide to close my eyes and go to sleep. It’s eerie, actually. But I am grateful that she goes right back to sleep after feeding.

Speaking of feeding, she had her first taste of solid food on her half birthday! She had some bananas and loved it! She’s also had avocado and rice cereal and likes those most of the time, too. She LOVES sweet potatoes! I’m really excited and proud to say that Hayley was exclusively breastfed for 6 months. No formula, no water, no juice, no solid foods until her 6-month birthday. I’ve become a huge advocate for breastfeeding in these past few months and I hope that my story is one of encouragement for many moms out there who are trying to stick with breastfeeding. It can be done and it is so worth it!

Here are some pictures of Hayley from 3 to 6 months:

4 Months

5 Months

6 Months

 

Learning how to hold her toys

Gettin some sun in her Hello Kitty cloth diaper

All dolled up

Loves her daddy

Fun with momma

Jumperoo bouncy girl

Sitting like a big girl

Eating solid food for the first time

Halloween costume – Giraffe

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434th Maintenance Group

My adventures as a Grissom Honorary Commander continued in September with a visit to the 434th Maintenance Group. This group has the mountainous task of maintaining and repairing the planes at Grissom Air Reserve Base.

From fabricating sheet metal to changing tires to replacing an engine, this crew does it all. They have machines to suck the nitrogen out of the air to fill tires, they have a giant drill press with bits that go up to 3″ in diameter, they even have jacks to lift a KC-135 off the ground.

We visited the nondestructive inspection unit, which is like a science lab for mechanics. They have all the fun toys. They can run all kinds of tests to determine the strength and conductivity of metals. They can do a magnetic particle inspection and use blacklight to find cracks in metal parts. Then they can use a microscopic camera to look at the cracks up close and determine whether they can be repaired. They also have a really cool machine that can test the makeup of oils and help them determine which part of the plane is breaking down and may need maintenance.

You never really think about all the work that goes into keeping these planes running and looking great. All those moving parts and instruments have to be working all the time. The KC-135s were made in the late 50s/early 60s and the 434th Maintenance Group keeps these planes running like new. Many of the parts are no longer manufactured, but this group can fabricate new parts or recycle old parts when needed. They have one amazing task, and they’re doing an amazing job.

At the end of the day, we took a detour to the new $7.5 million air traffic control tower. Wow! It is beautiful and a much-needed upgrade from the old tower. It is amazing to look out those windows at the airfield. We had a great opportunity to walk out on the catwalk just as a KC-135 was coming in for a landing, and we watched it taxi in just a couple hundred yards away. Another awesome day at Grissom!

Grissom 434th Maintenance Group

Grissom 434th Maintenance Group

Drill bit sizes

Teeny tiny drill bit, giant humongo drill bit

Fabricated metal parts

Fabricated metal parts

Machine shop

Machine shop

Machine shop

Staff Sgt. Shawn Cherty, 434th Maintenance Squadron metals technology specialist, shows us some of the machines in the shop.

Ultrasound machine used on metals

Using an ultrasound machine to test metals

Sheet metal shop

Wheels get repaired, shined up and reused to save cost

Grissom Air Traffic Control Tower

Grissom’s new $7.5 million air traffic control tower

Grissom's Air Traffic Control Tower

About to watch a plane land from 9 stories up at Grissom’s new air traffic control tower

Grissom's Air Traffic Control Tower

Watching a KC-135 land from atop Grissom’s new air traffic control tower

Kahuna Henge

Kahuna Henge!

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3 Months with Hayley

My baby girl Hayley is 3 months old. She is growing up so fast already! Each day flies by and it seems like she learns something new every day. And we learn something new about parenting each day. We learn little tricks, like trying out 4 different pacifiers to finally find one she likes. We learned that she likes her bottles at just the right warm temperature. We learned that she likes to go outside and watch the tree branches sway in the wind. It’s amazing that as she is learning, she’s also teaching us.

Every little moment of motherhood is both rewarding and challenging at the same time. There’s days when I just want to catch up on sleep, but she wants to play all day. There’s nights when she’ll only sleep when she’s snuggled up next to me. There’s times when she’s screaming her head off in the car at each stoplight. But then there’s mornings when she wakes up and smiles when she sees me and Chad’s faces. There’s times when she does something new, like giggling in the bathtub. And there’s days when she constantly reminds me of how amazing this time is in both of our lives.

Now, she’s getting close to rolling over on her own, she let out her first real giggles, she sleeps mostly through the night (only wakes up once), she smiles throughout the day, she talks more and more each day, she’s starting to reach for her toys and hold them, and she’s squirming around, moving those arms and legs all over the place!

Pictures from Hayley’s first 3 months:

1 Month

2 Months

3 Months

Bath time!

Cousins

Great Grandparents

My Dad’s Tattoos Are Better Than Your Dad’s

Mornings with Dad

Rolling Over

Tummy Time

Babywearing in the Mei Tai

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Florida Vacation!

Bonita Beach

Sun and Sand!

Me at the Beach

Getting some sun!

Chad at the Beach

Chad at the Beach

Grilling hamburgers and hot dogs

Grilling

At the beach

Trying to take a pic with no sunglasses

Going to the movies

Going to the movies

Sunset over Nashville Tennessee

Driving home - Sunset over Nashville

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Indy 500 100th Anniversary

This year’s Indy 500 race was the 100th Anniversary and my first time attending The Greatest Spectacle in Racing! This race is one of the greatest highlights of our city – you can go anywhere in the world and tell them you’re from Indianapolis, and they’ll respond with “oh, yes, the Indy 500!”

Of course I was cheering for #67 Ed Carpenter – a fellow Butler University grad and a Park Tudor grad! What a great race he had! Ed stayed in the top 10 for all but a few laps, and even led for 3 laps under caution! Congrats to Ed for finishing 11th!

My second pick was the eventual winner Dan Wheldon, whom I had met during my days interning at Radio Now downtown. I thought he was a very nice, down-to-earth guy, and not much bigger than I am, but then again you have to be tiny to fit in those cars. Congrats to Dan for driving into Victory Lane!

Mom, Dad, Uncle John & Aunt Sarah at the Indy 500

Indy 500 Memorial Day Weekend

Tribute to our Troops

Indy 500 Pace Cars

Pace Cars

Ed Carpenter Indy 500

Ed Carpenter

Danica Patrick Indy 500

Danica Patrick

  View all my photos and videos from the 100th Anniversary Indy 500.

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My backyard turned into an ice rink!

Central Indiana was blanketed with a sheet of ice this week while the rest of the Midwest was buried under 2 feet of snow. Icepocalypse as we called it, caused 3 days off school, lots of accidents, cabin fever, some creative outdoor activities, and some great pictures. Here are some photos and videos that I took, all of which are posted on my Flickr.

Ice pellets
Ice pellets

Icicles dripping down the bushes
Freezing bush

My dog Jude
Dog on ice

Chad sliding down the driveway

Me sliding down the driveway

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Flying in a giant gas tank: The 434th ARW at Grissom ARB

Refueling mid-air from a KC-135RA few weeks ago, I was invited to participate in a special social media event with Hoosier PRSA and Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana. Yesterday, we went up in a KC-135R Stratotanker on a mission to refuel several C-17s along the Appalachian Mountains (WV, VA, NC, SC, & GA). We had the opportunity to lay down in the pit with the boom operator and sit in the cockpit with the pilots. It was an amazing experience! I’ll let the pictures and videos speak for themselves (see the Roll Call at the bottom of this post for links).

Fun facts I learned about Grissom Air Reserve Base and the 434th Air Refueling Wing:

  • Grissom is an alternate landing site for the space shuttle.
  • There are no parachutes aboard a KC-135; it’s actually safer to go down with the bird!
  • The KC-135s were built from 1957-1965 and are expected to run for another 40-50 years!
  • A KC-135 is essentially the same frame as a Boeing 707.
  • The KC-135 can reach speeds of 600 mph and can travel about 5,000 miles.
  • With 16 KC-135s, the 434th ARW at Grissom is the largest air refueling wing in the Air Force Reserves.
  • The 434th ARW averages six refueling missions daily, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see many KC-135s on the ground at base.
  • Grissom puts about $100 million annually into the local economy, which is huge for a rural area of Indiana!
  • Grissom has a major global impact, too. In addition to providing aerial refueling to the nation’s defense aircraft, reservists from Grissom are currently deployed around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Grissom was an Air Force Base until 1994 when a realignment changed it to a Reserve base, but it is still alive and well!
  • The base, originally Bunker Hill Naval Air Station, has been around since WWII.

Roll call:

MobileMe Gallery (all photos and videos): http://gallery.me.com/cassiedull#100051
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cassdull/sets/72157624534240239
Facebook Album: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2103083&id=21104982
Facebook Video: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=575391813242
YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyOLN9mhipI

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Some Old Photos

Remember when life was so simple? When the day’s biggest decision was Apple Jacks or Cocoa Puffs? I’ve been a bit stressed out this past month, with a major project at work and too many things to do at home. So today when I sat down to write this post, I became inspired by some old photos that are collecting dust in my iPhoto library. These pictures reminded me that even the simple things are reason to celebrate, that some arguments are not worth the stress, and that life is in the way we live it.

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