Monday, December 31, 2007

Go Vikings


I’m getting really sick of saying “there’s always next year”
History has repeated … again.
Maybe I should start rooting for the Packers… at least they have cool cheese heads… I love cheese.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mid-life crisis?


Yesterday I received my first tattoo.
It's not as if it was a spur of the moment thing. I've had the appointment for 3 months.
I wanted to do it not only because I'll be 40 soon, but also to remember this year. The palm tree represents my SoCal hubby Stuntman... and see the 3 little coconuts? E1, E2 and E3.
I cropped and blurred the photo a bit to disguise Stuntman's real name, but you can see most of the tattoo.
The artist, Henry Powell, did a great job, I think.
We (I went with a friend that received her first tattoo) chose him because we knew many people that had been tattooed by him in the past. He was worth the 3 month wait.
He's one of the artists at six feet under.
I hadn't even thought about the pain, until today. It wasn't that bad. I wouldn't want full body art, but not that bad.
This is from someone that has had 3 kids and has had her knee accidently bend the wrong direction at one time... and the title of my blog? how do you think I came up with that?... I'm not known to be injury free.
I like it, and I guess that's what matters... I haven't received an email back from Stuntman yet with his reaction.
*update*
I received an email back from Stuntman... "I take that as a yes, that you will be there when I come home"
I guess there have been a few Dear John's in his unit.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I'm not ready

Yesterday, E3 wanted to use the potty. I KNOW... he's just a baby! He just turned 18 months, and E1 trained herself by 22 months. He took me by the hand and wanted to sit there, only gas, but that's something.
Instead of happy that he's reaching this milestone, I found myself sad. I'm not ready for him to be a big boy. Definitely not before Stuntman comes home, he was barely crawling when he left!
I told Stuntman what E3 did, he was excited "keep at it, he may be trained before I get home, I may never have to change another diaper!"
I guess it's just one's perspective.

So, I met this chick on the internet...

...sounds like something my brother-in-law would say.
I met the amazing Butterfly Wife for coffee yesterday. She's in town visiting family for the holidays. It was great conversation, but went much too fast before my sitter called.
Coffee with someone that gets it, $3.65. Having someone listen to my rants and raves, priceless.
During this deployment, I've really had no military connection or connection with any other military families, except through blogging. Spousebuzz has been a lifesaver. The Life and Times of a Butterfly Wife is an amazing blog, written by an amazing woman. She is an inspiration.
Thank you Butterfly Wife. Thanks to everyone that is helping me navigate through this deployment. I've realized that I am not crazy... or just not any crazier than anyone else.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

the day after


The day after Christmas tradition of the in-laws.
It was a beautiful day at the beach. Several tons of sand arrived home in pockets and in the car... but isn't that why vacuum cleaners were invented?
We had a wonderful Christmas although I was weepy at times. The kids had a blast playing all day. I ate more yesterday than all last week total.
I can't wait until next Christmas when Stuntman is here and we can enjoy it as a complete family.

Only 15 more hours until I meet, in-person, an amazing blog friend! Yippie! Coffee and conversation with a grown-up! Yippie!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

It's almost Christmas...
I just hung up from a video chat from Stuntman, great connection , it was like he was with me while I wrapped the gifts and set them under the tree. Usually he's the one that does all of that. I do the cooking.

We attended mass earlier in the evening, it was packed and we sat outside, the wind came up, a cold wind, a few people left, but it was bearable. I just kept thinking of all those around the world that cannot openly practice their faith and would love to be attending church under those conditions.
Cookies and milk are out for Santa, carrots for Rudolph, kids are snug in their beds.

I've already used my propane torch to glaze my budget version of Honeybaked Ham. Just as tasty (I've had many compliments on it), plus it's fun to take out the bern-o-matic.
I'm going to make monkey bread and my phyllo dough sausage egg bake for the morning. (recipe here) After opening our gifts here, we'll travel down to the inlaws to see Stuntman's sister and brothers and have brunch. I'm sure the kids will play all day.

I'll get cooking... the power just flickered off for a moment, it is windy outside.

Merry Christmas everyone!

*update* A recipe request was made for the ham. It is a less than $20 version of the $80 ham at the store, without the 2 hour wait.
1 fully cooked shank half ham, bone in (pre-sliced)
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon paprika
dash ground ginger
dash ground allspice
Mix sugar and spices together, coat the ham with the mixture. Place the ham on a pan, flat side down. Use a propane torch with a medium flame to caramelize the sugar , wave it slowly over the glaze so it bubbles, but doesn't burn. Repeat with additional sugar mixture and torch until it's just right. You will not use all of the sugar.
Eat cold, or reheat in the oven.

According to E2-part 2

Her To-Do list (exact words):

"-church
-sleep
-Santa
-wake up
-unwrap
-play"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

According to E2

"Every time a bell rings, an angel gets to swim"

her version of the It's a Wonderful Life quote

Friday, December 21, 2007

Lots and lots of laundry

It seems to be that I didn't have food poisoning after all.
Just as I was going to bed at midnight, E1 started complaining of a stomachache. (I was concerned since none of the kids ate much at dinner). Shortly after, E3 awoke to a puddle of puke. My night consisted of taking care of those two and doing a ton of laundry.
Somehow, (knocking on wood here) E2 seems to be fine after a bit of an upset stomach at dinner.
They all seem to be on the mend, and I recovered just in time. Grandma is sick now too, and sleeping. Hopefully we will be good as new for the weekend.
I spoke to the mother of E1's best friend at school, seems that she had it on Wednesday... going around.
Time to put in another load of laundry...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Not.Fun.

I think someone tried to kill me…
or maybe it was just food poisoning.
I spent most of my 18 hour fast kneeling on the bathroom floor.
Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Thank Goodness, Grandma is visiting to keep an eye on the kids.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wow

I needed to run to Trader Joe's tonight to pick up a few essentials... milk, bread, cereal and Candy-Cane Joe-Joe's.
On the way home, I ran into this house... I've seen ones like this on YouTube before, but it is really cool in person. The kids and grandma want to see it every night before bed, and I think we will.

Stuntman is really going to have a hard time keeping up with the Joneses next year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

To the Fallen Records

Today, I received my order of CD's from To the Fallen Records.
I ordered "Rock-Vol 1" and "Country- Vol 1". There is also a hip-hop CD, but I didn't order it... one hip-hop song now and then is OK, but I couldn't handle an entire CD.
I've listened to both of them while I was working tonight. twice.
I have some new favorite songs, and a couple made me absolutely bawl.
fight for me on the rock album is great.
start saving me expresses exactly how I feel on my bad days with lyrics such as "I'm holdin' on, I can barely breathe, come on home,and rescue me, forget the world, start saving me"
There are several more that I would like to talk more about, but a baby is calling my name... maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

the Gratitude Campaign

Saw this over at Most Certainly Not and needed to pass it along...

My crush


SNL had a special tonight remembering Chris Farley... 10 years after his death. I missed some of it because I just wasn't aware that it was going to be on.
Chris Farley cracks me up. Tommy Boy is my all-time favorite movie. His death was unnecessary, disturbing, sad but not surprising. He followed in John Belushi's footsteps...two great losses, both jut 33 years old when they died.
Stuntman saw Chris Farley shortly before he died.
Stuntman knew (but did not believe) of my infatuation with the man. He was on my list along with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Val Kilmer and Kid Rock.
Humor is a straight shot to my heart. That's what first interested me in Stuntman, and his cute butt of course.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Back to the present time

Today, I read over at Butterfly Wife’s place that she’s in need of a time machine to bring her to the end of the deployment. I’ve been wishing for the same thing for the last year or so, but I also worry about what that wish really means.
I’m wishing my life away… I’m not living in enjoying the present… I’m wishing my children to grow up faster… I’m missing so much.
I have spent a good portion of this deployment just “going through the motions”… feeding and clothing the kids, feeding the dogs, keeping up the house, working, etc..
I didn’t want to enjoy anything. I was focusing only on my “to do” list of the boring, but necessary things that need to be done by me, and me alone since I’m now a temporary single parent.
My happiness suffered and the kid’s happiness suffered.
The kids are growing… I can’t stop that. They will be a year older than last Stuntman saw them. I wasn’t focusing on all of the things they’ve learned this year, all of the growth in their little personalities. I was just trying to keep them in one piece until Stuntman was home to be Daddy again.
A few weeks ago I realized all that I was missing… and I decided that I didn’t want to miss any more. I looked at the kids with fresh eyes and saw how they’ve grown. How did this all happen?
E1 is so mature. She really carries herself well. She’s not as stubborn as she has been since birth. Compromise is actually an option with her now.
E2 is no longer a toddler…. she is on the verge of reading. She’s not always the easy-going kid she used to be. She’s strong in her opinions… when did that happen?
E3, who was just a wiggly baby at the beginning of this deployment is an energetic toddler. “Energetic” doesn’t even begin to describe him. I swear he understands every word I say, and his language is improving.
The doggies have changed too... I couldn't stop Pumpkin from dying without Stuntman here, and Roxie and Sparky have "matured" since her passing.

I guess I just wanted the end to be here so Stuntman wouldn’t miss anything… but instead I missed it right in front of my face.

They're Gone!

Yep, I tossed them all.
My fat pants, that is.
I went through my closet and my dresser. I purged anything that was too big or that I just plain would never wear again... like maternity clothes.
Man, that felt good.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What a beautiful day

OK... I complain about living in LA sometimes... smog, crazy people, it costs too much $$$, no one speaks english, etc...
but today it seemed all worth it. It was chilly last night, maybe 40 degrees. (hey, I know what real chilly is, I grew up in Minnesota and played outside in below zero temps, but it's all relative)
Today was gorgeous. 60, sunny, no wind or a cloud in the sky.
I brought E2 and E3 to the pony rides at Griffith Park, then a little train ride. We followed with a couple hours at Shane's Inspiration, a great playground specifically designed for kids with disabilities, but also an awesome playground for all kids. I usually have a star-sighting there, but not today.
After dinner, the kiddos donned their jammies, we loaded up the car and we went to the coffee drive-thru for chocolate shakes for the kids and an eggnog latte for me. We drove around looking at Christmas lights for over an hour. One neighborhood we visited really goes all out. Each street has a theme and almost every home for blocks and blocks is decorated. Stuntman would love to live in a neighborhood like that.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I could learn something

E1 was twirling around the room (like she often does). I asked her what she was doing and she said
"I'm dancing like nobody's watching"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I was impressed

The shop finished my car and I was able to pick it up. I almost didn't recognize it, it was as good as new.... shiny and clean, inside and out. E2 looked inside and thought her "seat looked funny". I told her it was because it was clean.
During the 2 week repair process, I had a rental car from Enterprise. When I returned it, I had what was possibly the most positive customer service experience I have had in years. I'm in the process of writing a letter thanking them and naming the two employees that were so absolutely helpful.
When we arrived to return the van, we sat in the waiting area and E2 proceeded to say "I'm hungry!". She had already eaten 2, yes 2 breakfasts. I had nothing in my bag, I am usually very prepared, but didn't think of it because it was only 10 am and she had already eaten twice already! The Enterprise employee came over and asked if she liked oatmeal (only her favorite food!)... he then made instant oatmeal for her in a styrofoam cup and she ate every last bite. She must be having a growth spurt.
The employee that drove me to the car repair shop (which was outside of their usual delivery area) was also so friendly and helpful. He waited at the shop until he knew I was satisfied with the work done on my car so I wouldn't be stuck there with 2 kids and 2 carseats. He even held E3 while I installed the carseat into my car. Let's just say I was impressed with everything.

Friday, December 7, 2007

a bit of history...


my father (on the left)


Today is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. My dad was on a ship, about to enter Pearl Harbor, the morning of December 7, 1941.
I don’t know exactly what my father did on the ship; I do know that he worked below, in the “fireroom”. My father passed away from cancer Thanksgiving Day, 1982.
I wish that he were still alive so I could ask him questions. He did say once, that he saw bullets strike across the deck of the ship. He rarely spoke of the war…he was a man of few words. He never even spoke on the telephone, except to say “hello”. Prior to and during World War II, my father was on the USS Antares. His ship was mentioned in the movie “Tora, Tora, Tora” . I have seen this movie dozens of times. A few years ago, I purchased the DVD. I think of my father every time I see the DVD case.
He was one of the few that witnessed the start of the war…before the Japanese planes arrived the morning of December 7th.

Here is an exerpt from wikipedia:

Entering Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked
On 7 December 1941, Antares stood toward the entrance to Pearl Harbor at 0630 with a 500-ton steel barge in tow, having arrived from Canton and Palmyra and expecting to transfer the barge to a tug and then proceed into Pearl. Not sighting the tug at the appointed time, Antares altered course, turning slowly to the east, when her watch suddenly spotted a suspicious object about 1,500 yards on the auxiliary's starboard quarter. Antares notified the destroyer USS Ward (DD-139), on patrol off the harbor entrance, and the latter altered course toward the object which proved to be a midget submarine. A Consolidated PBY from Patrol Squadron 14 showed up almost simultaneously and dropped smoke floats in the vicinity; meanwhile, Ward went to general quarters and attacked, sinking the intruder.


Attacked with no armament to respond
While the report of this incident off the harbor entrance was making its way up the chain of command with glacial slowness, Antares spotted the tug USS Keosanqua (AT-38) at 0715. At 0758 Antares spotted explosions in Pearl Harbor and Japanese planes; two minutes later an enemy aircraft strafed the ship, and soon thereafter, bomb and shell fragments (perhaps American "overs" or unexploded antiaircraft shells) hit the water nearby. As Antares' captain, Capt. Lawrence C. Grannis, subsequently reported of events at that point, "As this vessel is not armed, no effective offensive or defensive tactics appeared possible." Passing the tow to Keosanqua at 0835, Antares zigzagged and turned to a position between the restricted waters of the entrance to Pearl Harbor and the entrance to Honolulu harbor, inshore of the warships beginning to sortie.



more information regarding the USS Antares can be found here.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A bonus


Sometimes the kids wake up before the alarm.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

He has no idea how lucky he is

Chocolate Chip, the hamster, is staying in my office for a few weeks.
My mother is visiting from Minnesota and sleeping in the girl's room. Hamsters are nocturnal... Grandma is not... so therefore, Chocolate Chip has a new temporary home. His cage is placed inside a baby playpen... I have no shelf or table space available in my office, it's a bit of a mess... I'm sure a fire marshall would have me fined, or arrested.
Sparky stepped into my office tonight and began sniffing and trying to reach under the playpen. Then I see a flash of black and white on the floor. I fly out of my chair, grab Sparky, and drag her out of my office.
Little Chocolate Chip is sitting there , out in the open, looking at me.
That hamster really has no survival instinct, but he is soooo lucky.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

On with Decorating...

A busy day here... good , because it helped get me out of the funk I've been in lately.
Church, huge birthday party at a friends, and decorating.
I was able to hang the lights outside. Stuntman goes a little overboard with the outside lights. Not as bad as Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation...but that is his eventual goal. He adds something each year.
I did not climb onto the roof to hang lights from the eaves. I have a lot of left-over light strings, but it's not too bad. It looks as if a drunk monkey decorated, but the kids think it's beautiful... and that's what counts. Only two neighbors can see the decorations, we have a long driveway, and the lights can't really be seen from the street, unless you stand in a particular spot, and tilt your head... but we enjoy them.
The inside tree is almost complete. I really have too many decorations. Everyone collects something ... some people collect stamps, coins, shoes, Stuntman collects camo pants and TA50, and I collect Christmas ornaments. I've added 5-10 Hallmark ornaments every year since 1984... you do the math. Every one is unique, and reminds me of something or someone. It takes us forever to put them all on the tree, but it's also a fun trip down memory lane. More to do tomorrow...
I'm going to do what Kelly suggested in a comment in my last post, and walk toward the sunshine.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Little Christmassy

Tonight we went to a local Christmas parade. It was chilly outside, probably mid-forties. (chilly for my SoCal blood and those around me)
It was a fun parade. A small-town atmosphere, everyone and their brother was in it.
Santa did 3 fly-bys in a helicopter and waved at the crowd, and it concluded with Santa on a fire truck waving at the kids. We watched, sipping hot cocoa and eating churros. E3 waved and yelled “Hi!” to almost everyone walking by in the parade. His little hand was just waving for over an hour straight.
It was a nice end to a day that had it’s down moments.
I decided that I wanted to put up the tree this weekend. I have an fake everlasting tree after having real trees for years. I got sick of the needles and the dropping ornaments in the middle of the night.
The only thing I had on Stuntman’s to-do list before he left was to bring the tree out of the attic and put it into the downstairs storage room. I searched the room today…no tree.
I checked the attic…there’s the tree. It’s a huge box. I hate the attic…it creeps me out. I’ve carried the tree box before, I was the one that brought it home from the store, but today I could not budge it. I couldn’t open the box to take the tree out piece by piece. My sore arm (it’s been hurting for months, a strain from carrying E3) was killing me. I realized that I was stuck. I was stuck putting together a Christmas for the family… alone.
I broke down in tears; tears of frustration because of the f!%&#ing tree, and tears from the realization that Stuntman would not be celebrating Christmas with us this year.
How am I suppose to do this?! Who ever thought that I could do this!? Dammit!
E3 then came around the corner and looked at me… I realized that I needed to get over it and just do it. I did. The tree is up, but we’re decorating it tomorrow.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The smell of wet dog...

It's raining...
really, it is.
I can't believe it either! My plants will love it! That reminds me, I can turn off the sprinklers for a day or two and save a few bucks.
Sparky is soaked to the bone...she's full of mud, and tracking it all over the warm, dry laundry room. I don't think Roxie has left the laundry room, and her cozy blankie yet today. Why does Sparky have so much energy? She's over 12, and has barely slowed down. I'll put her in the shower later...it's easier than a bath.
That's it for now...E3 is trying to eat Play-Doh.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Am I the last to know?

In our civilian lives, Stuntman and I work for the same company. It's a large, international corporation. Combined, we've been there almost 30 years.
Stuntman's been gone since March, and corporate policy is that after 6 months, he's wiped from the roles...taken off the roster, payroll, benefits, access to anything.
Our IT id's are one letter apart (last name,first initial). Someone in IT, in their infinite wisdom, terminated me, not Stuntman.
I've been without voicemail for 2 weeks. Finally, it was restored yesterday, after IT was satisfied that I really still worked for said company. Today, my email was terminated. I'm no longer in the global address book, and I can't access anything.
Of course, I realized this after 5 p.m. home office time.
Man, is my manager going to be pissed.
(not at me, at IT)
I should check my bank and see if I was still paid today.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oohhh, Ahhhhh



Last night we saw the LADWP Light Festival; a 1 mile long light show through Griffith Park. E1 finished art class at 4:30, we hit The Crazy Chicken for dinner (Mmmm, the chicken may be crazy, but it's tasty).
There was no line at all, and we could travel through the show at our own pace. We even went through twice.

Just another tradition without Stuntman.

I forgot my camera, but snapped a few with my phone.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

2240

64 plants per flat x 35 flats = 2240 holes dug

After weeks of watering and weeding, watering and weeding, the hillsides were ready to plant. I bought 35 flats of gazanias at Lowes. I love that store…they even gave me a military discount even though the Veteran’s Day special was no longer in effect. I asked if the discount was still in effect, and the manager said “no, but we’ll give it to you anyhow”.
My pickup-owning brother-in-law picked up the plants on Friday. I’ve been planting off and on since then...mostly when E3 was napping . When he wasn’t napping, he was “helping’. All the kids helped at some time. E1 planted the most. E2 didn’t do much planting, but she did make a lot of mud. E3 would hold one plant, I would dig a hole, he would stuff the plant into the hole, tuck dirt around it and clap.
Just. Adorable.

Here is a before pic (but after the trees were cut down)

Here is a photo from today of one hillside


Here is what it should look like in a month or two.


I’m hoping it is all purdy by the time Stuntman is home on leave in February.

Monday, November 26, 2007

What's in a name?

I’ve been envious of other milspouses who have creative names for their husbands on their blogs. Something other than DH or Hubby, etc.
Marine Wife has Stretch. Homefront 6 has MacGyver…and my favorite is Butterfly Wife’s Jack Bauer. It should not surprise me that Butterfly Wife suggested a great name for Hubby in the Spousebuzz chat room last night.

Stuntman.
It fits.

At the age of 5, the mailman told my mother-in-law that her son was on the roof. Her reply? “He’ll get down when he wants to.”

As a teen, he would roll down the sidewalk doing a handstand on his skateboard.

He doesn't like to fly, but thinks nothing of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane...if the Army pays him for it.

He introduced me to dirt-biking on our first date.

Last year, on base, several soldiers were trying to find a way to hang a giant backdrop on some high scaffolding, no one wanted to climb. My hubby takes one look, and climbs to the top. He was old enough to be the father of most of the soldiers watching.

So yes,
he is now Stuntman.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

One more thing I miss

I’ve seen so many dirt bikes on the road this weekend…in the back of pickups, on trailers, behind RV’s.
We always went riding on Thanksgiving weekend. Sometimes even on Thanksgiving day before dinner. We did miss a few Thanksgivings…sometimes I couldn’t ride because I was pregnant, or when I was recovering from my knee injury and surgery.
I really have the itch to ride right now…scream my bike down the trail…take out all of my frustrations on the bumps and the turns.
My poor bike is just sitting there lonely…
this isn’t a picture of my bike…at one time it looked like this...now it is under a tarp…behind 2 other bikes ☹

I’ll probably get a ticket

Since my little accident, I’ve been speaking with the other guy’s insurance company. Mercury Insurance has really been easy to deal with…and what totally cracked me up was that the adjuster that I have been working with has almost exactly the same name (first, middle and last) of Hubby. The estimate is almost $3K for my van, ouch…glad that I don’t have to pay it. I finally found time to pick up my rental/loaner minivan. A Toyota Sienna… nice car…it was the “runner-up” when we bought the Town&Country last year. The stow-n-go of the T&C is what sold us…we have a ton, really, a ton, of stuff in those under the floor storage areas.
The Sienna does have a bit more power than the T&C, passing/acceleration is quick…a little too quick. I’ve found myself going much too fast. The dash/controls are a pretty blue and purple, but the automatic shifter is odd…I think they were trying to make it sporty or something…really?...it’s still a minivan, people, quit trying to fool yourself.
The kids like it too…E2 asked if we could keep it. I think it’s just because it’s clean.
To do tomorrow…clean out Hubby’s PT Cruiser…it looks like the inside of my van now.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for so much...so..so..much.
I have been very blessed in this lifetime.
Mostly, I am thankful for my husband and children.
The healthy, energetic children that keep me so busy that I do not have the time to type any more :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Food and Football

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving…
my favorite foods, all together.
This year I won’t need to make my own gravy and bring it to dinner so Hubby can smother his potatoes and turkey without using the gravy at dinner that is half wine. Neither of us are fond of wine-flavored gravy, and I make a mean gravy!
I’ll be at the in-laws…should be interesting…
Hubby is the only one in the military…
I’ll be receiving a lot of those “pity” looks and questions.
I don’t feel like a victim, why do people insist on treating me like one…I certainly don’t act like one.
Those at dinner have no idea why anyone would volunteer to serve their country.
At Easter, someone snidely asked me “but is it worth it” and I said “yes, yes it is”
That question, and also the way it was asked, annoyed me. I’m not in the mood for political discussions…or confrontations…just food and football.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Questions, questions, and a big dent

Why don’t people turn around when they back out of a parking spot? Are you really in that much of a hurry? It really slowed you down after you smashed into me, didn’t it?
Took even more of your time to exchange insurance information.
No injuries, except to my door, and my mirror, and my ¼ panel, and my light and bumper... and that teeny scratch on your tailgate.
Something to add to my “to do” list this week.

Actually, I feel kind of sorry for you, guy, I think your wife was yelling at you “don’t park there!” when you changed your mind and backed into me. No wonder you didn’t take the time to look where you were going…I wonder what she said then?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hubby's on location

Today, I was listening to Ben Stein on Spousebuzz Talk Radio. If you didn’t happen to listen to the show live, (I missed it too) listen to the archive if you can. A topic arose that I have been thinking about lately. The Spousebuzz panel was discussing how some people are uncomfortable with talk of the military. For example, you’re having a conversation with a stranger on an airplane…they find out you’re a milspouse, and the conversation ends. Is that person unsure of what to say next?...so says nothing? From someone that is uncomfortable in almost any social surrounding, I understand the feeling of not knowing what to say, so I usually assume that is the case.

I was at a child’s birthday party last week, and the mother of the birthday boy had brought some gently used shoes for me to send to Hubby. Last time I saw her, I mentioned that Hubby had left some of the E1 and E2’s shoes outside of the gate for some young girls that he saw every time he left the base. Another parent was there and the hostess said that my husband was “overseas” (not Iraq, not in the military) and was in a poor area and they leave shoes for the kids. I wasn’t going to spout out that he was in the Army and this poor village was in Iraq… the hostess was obviously uncomfortable about the subject. It wasn’t the first time someone described where Hubby is as “overseas”.
I’m sure in military towns, “overseas” may mean military deployment, but here, most think of filming locations. Many people I know leave for weeks or months at a time to shoot a movie on location. Most of the parents at the party were from the entertainment industry…not actors, well one actor who shall remain nameless, mainly because I don’t know his name.
Does anyone else run into this?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Transportation


Hubby needed a Big Mac?

What's New?

Updates:
Still haven't found the Halloween candy...I've given up. It's in a red backpack. Maybe Hubby will find it when he's home on R&R in February.

I went to the mall today...the dreaded mall. I hate shopping. Well not shopping exactly, I hate people in my way when I shop. I want to go in, get what I want and get the hell out of there. Have you ever noticed that some people walk extremely slow! Geeesh, can't you tell that there is a woman on a mission? She has a sitter for 2 hours and needs to buy clothes, fast! Get out of my way!
My neighbor watched the kids while I shopped. I could bring the kids, but I've found that E3 is very quick, can easily crawl under the dressing room door, and usually chooses to do so when I'm naked. Therefore, I haven't bought any new clothes in many, many months.
My sizes have changed...I have a number on the jeans that I bought that I have not seen in a looong time. It is a single digit! WhooHoo!

The kids still miss Pumpkin, but are doing well. They have already asked for another dog. I told them that instead of adopting another dog, lets just pay extra special attention to the two that we have, Sparky and Roxie. That's what we've been doing and the dogs are very happy. Roxie is a little lost, Pumpkin was like a mother to her.

We started a paper chain to count down the days until Hubby/Daddy is home for R&R. It's less that 100 days now and E2 needs something visual so she knows she will be seeing Daddy again. Every time she speaks to him on the phone she says "I wish you should come home now Daddy". In the sweetest voice imaginable. It nearly breaks your heart.

The upcoming weekend looks busy, but fun. How's everyone else doing?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Change of Pace

The last week or so I have slept well…still not that many hours, but well.
Because I know Hubby is stuck inside the wire for about a month.
I know he’s bored…but I don’t mind. I’m actually kinda hoping his “temporary” responsibilities become permanent. He’s not, he misses the missions, but that’s what you get for a dual-MOS I guess…you go where you’re needed.
He just received the package I sent containing nice new sheets. He had always told me not to bother sending anything like that since he rarely slept in his own bed. Now he’s sleeping in the same place, albeit a crappy bug and rat-infested tent, every night.
We’ve even been able to use the internet connection more often to chat, therefore utilizing that modem we forked out so much $$ for.
He’s still so far away, and I still worry about his safety, but my nerves are a little less frazzled…and I’m going to enjoy this temporary reprieve.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Kids Must Be Geniuses

I feel pretty good today after hearing this bit of info:
Curvy mothers have brainier kids

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Senility?

I realize that I am much too young for this…

I hid the kids Halloween candy last week so they wouldn’t eat it all in one sitting. My plan was to give a treat now and then. They didn’t ask for candy for days later (I think they forgot all about it too).
Now, I don’t remember where I hid it. I’ve looked in the usual places. I could really use a tiny candy bar right about now.

And also…I need to find the Christmas present that I stashed so that I can return it to Wal-Mart tomorrow…it’s been recalled.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Like looking in a mirror...

I ran across this "celebrity look-alike" face-recognition thingy.
I realize that I must always be the one behind the camera, because there are very few photos of me. I couldn't find one that was acceptable to upload so I could find the answer to the question "who do I look like?"
I took a picture with my webcam and uploaded it...here are the results.
not.bad.
but I'm guessing the site just flatters you so you post the results...then they have more free advertising.
Like I would be posting these if they told me I looked like Hilary Clinton.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

and then there were two.

Pumpkinhead

1992?-Nov 7, 2007


Pumpkin…I was told that most boxers don’t live past the age of ten…but no one ever told you, you were at least fifteen. Since you chose me when you were a stray at the shelter, I never knew your exact birthday.
I will never forget your fear of water …you gave me a black eye when you charged from the bathroom during your first bath…and you hit bottom in the pool, too much muscle and not enough fat doesn’t float well.
I will not forget those months you spent snuggled against me day and night while I was on bedrest during my pregnancy with E1.
I can still see you and a toddler E1 standing at the front door and barking at the FedEx guy. You taught a toddler how to bark…something I will always remember.
Just last week, you helped yourself to a box of cereal in the cupboard…how can I forget the racket that made in the middle of the night?
I will miss your “snarf”…no other way to describe the noise you made when you wanted something.
You were a sweet and lovable dog…a bed and couch hog…a good friend.
We will miss you.

*updated for clarity*

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'll Pick Myself Up

Dear Hubby,
I miss you.
I need you.
I need your arms around me…to hold me…to support me…

I know that I’ll survive…the alternative is not a option…
I just wish you were here so I could fall…and be caught.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hubby is a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies. Chewy ones, not cakey.
This is the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that I have used…ever.

I originally found the recipe on Allrecipes.com
but made a few changes. I use less chocolate chips…mainly because they would just melt shipping them to the sandbox if there were as many as the recipe calls for.

I’ve sent these a few times. Each big cookie is in it’s own bag and then wrapped in bubble-wrap. They arrived in perfect condition…and lasted mere minutes.

Six are in a package leaving today.

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

One More Weekend Down

This was a good weekend.
The party was fun, although several people were no-shows…various reasons…kids sick, last minute vacations, soccer overtime, etc… I tried not to be disappointed in the turnout because I was happy to see those that did attend.
Those that did show had a good time. We have a lot of cards for soldiers and some Christmas decorations made. All the kids were exhausted by the end of the day. I have a couple weeks to get things together before I need to ship and I think I’ll need it.
The absolute best part of the day was when Hubby called via Skype. We had a good connection (rare lately) and had a video chat with everyone in the room. It was the middle of the night for him, so he was quiet...everyone else in the tent was asleep, but it was wonderful!

I’m still feeling a little yucky…some bug that I’m sure the kids have too. I feel like I’m in the first trimester of pregnancy…nauseated all the time for no real reason.
Of course, that is so impossible it’s funny.

Something else that was bothering me lately…now that Hubby’s been gone since March…I realized that this deployment would take an emotional toll on the family, but I didn’t realize that it would take such a financial toll as well. Between the increased expenses and the lost wages compared to Hubby’s civilian job, the numbers in our savings buffer were dwindling…fast.
It’s been resolved…I think, but it’s been more of a sacrifice than what I was anticipating.
I’m trying not to think about what we could have done with the missing funds…a couple new cars? padded college funds? an awesome kitchen remodel? what.ever.
I feel like such a whiner.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Flowers for Butterfly Wife


Lemon Stand is guest blogging for Butterfly Wife while Butterfly Wife has a much needed rest. I'm sending these flowers for you BW...enjoy!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Party Time

I’m having a party!

Every year, I have a cookie-exchange party in December. Everyone brings cookies to swap, and I have dozens of sugar cookies to decorate.
This year, I didn’t feel like having the party…maybe because my better half is on the other side of the world? Plus, I’ve been eating much healthier and I’m not in the mood for cookies.

A month or so ago, I saw a post over at One Day at a Time. She was attending a party entitled “Drinking for a Few Good Men”. Her friend was having a party to write cards for the soldiers.

I decided to have a Christmas card party instead. Everyone is bringing a snack and cards. I have blank cards with stamps and stickers for the kids to decorate. I’ll be sending these to Hubby’s unit in a week or so, along with some decorations we’ll be making tomorrow.

It’s been a rough week. E3 can probably be categorized as a hurricane by now. I’ve been missing my Hubby terribly, and we’ve had a few unexpected financial issues arise. I’ve been just plain stressed this week.
My house is a mess, but I think I can turn it around by tomorrow. If not, my friends will understand.
I’m feeling much better today…I think I’m over the hump of this funk I was in.

I’m looking forward to having everyone over tomorrow…I’ll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Payback

I need another pair of hands for E3.

Don’t get me wrong…I feel very blessed to have such a healthy and energetic toddler.
It is now 0735, well 0800 by the time I post this, and this has been his day thus far…
-climb into the bathroom sink and throw all toothbrushes, paste and soap
-Take a box of Frosted Mini-Wheats out of the cupboard, empty the box and throw pieces around the kitchen, not neglecting the piles of sugar/cereal “dust” from the bottom of the bag
-Open the box for the game “Let’s Go Fishin’” , dump it, and throw little fish everywhere.
-Use E1’s glitter glue on the kitchen table
-Up and down the stairs 5 times
-Emptying a box of oatmeal onto the floor, and doing what E2 described as a “snow-angel”
-giggling and laughing the entire time

Keep in mind that I am never more than steps away from E3. I have not showered as of yet, and will definitely need to take him into the shower with me. I cannot keep him in his crib…he learned to climb out months ago. My number one concern is safety…so that has been my focus…keeping choking items away from him.

I guess it was only a matter of time…both Hubby and I were labeled “energetic toddlers”.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Spousebuzz Radio

I survived my first “speaking role” on SpouseBuzz Talk Radio tonight. I bribed the kids to keep quiet with a new Little Pony Movie, and it worked…for the most part. Aside from a few technical difficulties due to my phone (Time Warner has a truck on the corner and my phone/internet/cable cuts off periodically), I think it went well.
The topic was the upcoming Spousebuzz Live 3, and as I said earlier…go if you can, you wont regret it!

I wish the fat lady would sing...

The fires are still burning, and the fire fighters are continuing to do an excellent job. It is amazing to see them in action. Thankfully, I have not seen them up close this time. The fire-fighting aircraft in action is an awesome sight. The skill of these pilots is unsurpassed…they fly low to the ground, with tremendous turbulence and practically no visibility and drop their load of water or repellant right on target. An amazing sight to see. I only saw from a distance this time, but one year, a helicopter was so low, it looked as if it’s straw (whatever it is called-the hose that hangs down to suck up water from the reservoir) was touching the treetops in my back yard as it flew over. The dogs were jumping up at the helicopter, trying to scare it away.

I know the many prayers have been instrumental in keeping so many people out of harms way this year. Many, many homes and several lives have been lost, and so many are still in danger…especially in San Diego County. We are still trying to reach an uncle that lives in an evacuated area. I heard that the avocado crop was hurt by the fires… he has an avocado ranch in the area…so we’re waiting…and praying.

Our upcoming weekend plans include a trip to the pumpkin patch. The pumpkin patch that we were planning to go to was also destroyed by fire. I’ve gone there many times on school field trips with the children. In addition to pumpkins, it had a great little petting zoo, a hayride through a field of scarecrows and sunflowers, and a very friendly staff. E1 was using an orange pencil for homework last night…I’m saving that pencil.
Our cousin’s home, right down the road, was untouched.


I have an odd feeling…tough to describe…maybe guilt? I have only wind damage around here, while others have nothing left at all. I saw a touching report last night…a family returning home to their house that was leveled by the fire. Wrapped in a blanket, were family photos that the firefighters had quickly grabbed off of the wall before the fire completely destroyed the house. It was the only thing this family had left of their home.

I’ll be busy cleaning the yard for a few days…a bit of debris and tree limbs and an arbor full of grape vines torn to the ground…many, many roof shingles have been cleaned up already. I was relieved that for once, they were not from my roof. We had a new metal roof installed last fall…to withstand the wind and fire. It passed the wind test, and I hope it never needs to pass the fire test.

Totally off-topic, but an interesting tidbit…an odd cross-world connection…Just like when my Hubby and I both destroyed our cell phones within hours of each other …Hubby called today while I was in the Taco Bell drive-thru (I hadn’t been there for months!)He had just been to Taco Bell too! (not a regular occurrence for him either, he was at a different base than usual) Our selections were different. I had one chicken soft taco, and he had 10 soft tacos and 3 supreme tacos. He eats like a teenage boy.

*update 10/26 7pm* Uncle has been found...his home was spared, but fired charred everything around it.

*update #2, 10/27* It looks like the pumpkin patch is open for business...not the same as it was, but open. You can view photos of before and after here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WhooHooo!


I know many of you have a way to count the days gone/days left of deployment.
This is what I saw today when I checked my "Donut of Misery"
All I can say is WhooHoo!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Request


I’m asking everyone that may come across this post to pray for all those affected by the many fires here in SoCal. Firefighters are doing an amazing job, but the winds are not cooperating with them.
As I type, I am NOT in the path of any of the raging fires. Santa Ana winds are shaking my home…you can see smoke from one of the fires in the photo…it was impossible to hold the camera still as I was pushed aside by gusting winds. The winds are coming from the dry-brush covered hillside and canyon behind me.
I’m watching the news…as another fire begins…somewhere I recognize. I’ve been on that street many times to visit family.
Information can be found here about all of the fires in the area.
I will sleep when the winds leave…hopefully tomorrow.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

In Training



Go

Vikings!

"A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache." Catherine the Great

The Santa Ana’s are here… crazy, hot, dry, and relentless winds. The meteorologists say that it should last until Tuesday afternoon. Gusts of 80 mph …without a cloud in the sky.

We managed to go to church today. The roads are full of debris, and palm fronds hit my car as I drove, but I had a lot that I wanted to pray for today. I am blessed to live in a country in which a few palm fronds on the roadway is my biggest obstacle in attending church.
The firefighters will be busy for the next few days, if not with actual fires, then with the anticipation of them. A small spark can soon destroy hundreds or thousands of acres with this wind. Needless to say, I don’t sleep well when the Santa Ana’s are around.

Now I’m off to fish some patio furniture out of the pool…

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Just breathe.

Do ya’ know what I dislike even more than knowing my Hubby is in a combat zone?

Driving by my daughter’s school at lunch time and seeing a S.W.A.T. vehicle, along with several other unmarked police cars parked on the street outside of the school.

My heart stopped.

Then I looked more closely…several police officers were sitting in lawn chairs, having lunch, in the yard at the home across the street from the school.

Yes, I think that took at least 1 year off of my life. Thanks.

Hi Hubby!

I finally gave Hubby my blog address, so here is a note to him…

Hi Hubby!
Just a few things you should know:
1. Some days are good and some are bad. I often use my blog to vent. Try not to worry that I’m going totally bat crazy here.
2. I am concerned with OPSEC, as I know you are. I’m pretty vague about things.
3. I refer to you as “Hubby” most of the time. Also, you know E1, E2 and E3…they’re your kids. Wasn't it your idea to have all their names begin with the letter "E"?
4. I DO use the doggies names.
5. TripleE (my name) refers to E1,E2,and E3 not my cup size.
6. Feel free to comment, but don't feel that you have to. You can just email or IM me if you want. :)
7. and last but not least, I LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Something new...

Like many milspouses whose husbands are deployed, I have a list of things I want to accomplish before Hubby returns. One of the things on my list is to get in shape and lose weight. Before my Hubby left, I joined a nearby gym. I go an average of 2 times a week. Sometimes it’s 5 times a week, sometimes I skip a week altogether. I usually skip because either one of the kids is sick (not able to go into the gym daycare), or one of them is crying that they don’t want to go. Both E2 and E3 are having separation issues since Hubby left and they often cry when I leave the room. E2 is always happily playing when I return to the daycare, but E1 is still sad about ½ of the time. The other ½, I am paged before I complete my workout. I am still going to continue try to go, but sometimes I just can’t do it. E3 just breaks my heart when he cries.

I want to get in shape, not only because I want my Hubby to be shocked when he returns, but also for my health. In the past, I exercised primarily to improve my appearance. I am now reaching the age of 40. The majority of my family members have diabetes. Some are obese, but not all of the ones that have diabetes are also overweight. I have never shown any signs of the disease, and I want to keep it that way. Now I exercise and watch what I eat for my health as well as for my appearance.

Since I’m not able to visit the gym regularly, I’m going to try something new…

When I attended Spousebuzz Live in San Diego, I met Billy Blanks .
I was in the hallway, walking in circles, pushing E3 in the stroller as he slept. I had been in the luncheon, but E3 decided that he would rather fuss and have a diaper change. I stepped out, he fell asleep in the stroller, and I listened from the hall. As E3 and I were in the hall, a gentleman walked by, I thought, “that guy kinda looks like that Tae Bo guy on TV”. When I saw his entourage, I realized that it was him. I continued standing near the doorway to the luncheon, and listened to the speaker, rocking E3 back and forth in his stroller. A few moments later, Mr. Blanks approached me, sans entourage, and asked if I was a military spouse. I answered “yes”. We continued to have a very nice conversation, speaking of his trips to Iraq, his children, my husband, etc. I realized that Mr. Blanks had a truly good and caring heart. He was very sincere. He also looked amazing. He is over 50 years old, and looks amazing.
I had never done a TaeBo workout before. I just saw that 15 minute Tae Bo workouts are available on my cable On Demand for free.
I did my first Tae Bo workout tonight. Wheew!
I’m glad that I wasn’t being videotaped, because I am not very coordinated, but I did have a good workout. Hopefully my coordination will improve with time.

Losing 25 pounds before R&R in February is definitely something on my list that I want to accomplish, and I'm NOT going to have any more excuses.
(Thanks Lemon Stand)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Staying Connected

We found a couple new ways to be connected to Hubby/Daddy this week.
At the beginning of the week, my mini-van was telling me screaming at me, that it needed new front brakes. The mechanic needed it for a day to look at a few other maintenance issues while it was there. My wonderful neighbor drove me and E3 home from said mechanic.
I needed to drive Hubby’s car for the day. I searched high and low for the rear seat to the PT Cruiser (BTW, the PT is a great car…Hubby traded in his 1st PT last year with 250K miles on it with very few issues, and then bought the same car/different color). I finally found it (cursing my poor Hubby the entire time). The kids LOVE riding in Daddy’s car. We drove it all week. It was good to run a tank of gas through it. We’ll be sure to alternate cars from now on.

Early today, Hubby called and said that he finally was able to have internet installed in his tent! We IM’d and emailed, and video and audio conferenced today. The kids said, “We saw Daddy! We haven’t seen him move for a long time! Unless we swing flat-daddy around when we dance” They loved it, and I think IM’ing will be a popular way for us to communicate. He won’t be back to his tent for a few days…I can’t wait! I want to thank the guy who invented satellites, and Steve Jobs. It amazes me that I was talking with, and seeing my husband while he is on the other side of the world…in a tent…in the middle of the desert. Technology ROCKS!

Nothing that a Jacuzzi couldn't cure

I’ve been reading a book by Brad Thor, Blowback, for several weeks. I usually finish books within a few days, but I haven’t had time to read this one. It’s a great book…my first by this author…thanks to Airforcewife at Spousebuzz for recommending Brad Thor. Late-night work has been pretty busy for the last few months (I can’t complain, it’s been paying for my retail therapy). I’ve only been reading 5 minutes a day while waiting in the pick-up line at E1’s school. Tonight, I decided that the stack (and I mean stack) of work on my desk could wait. I enjoyed a nice, long bath and read my book. I didn’t finish, but I am now about ½ way through.
I needed a bath…I had…and still have , a hell of a headache.
Let’s see how that happened…
Once again, ants were sneaking into my house. I saw a few under the table and decided to go under there and clean. While bending under the table, I hit my head…hard…really hard, on the side of the table. I don’t know why, I am really not that coordinated, so it didn’t surprise me. I wasn’t surprised, but I was dizzy, and lying on the floor under the table.
You know those stories on the evening news?...the ones about a child that calls 911 and saves their parent?...Well, that is not going to happen at my house.
Yes, we’ve learned about 911, we’ve “practiced”, etc.., but when kids are distracted, they may not noticed that their mother is sprawled on the kitchen floor.
When I hit my head, E1 was just steps away from me. The thud of me hitting my head was loud, REALLY loud. She was looking in the fridge, I don’t know if she noticed. As I was lying there on the floor, groaning, eyes closed, E1 walked past me. I didn’t see her, my eyes were closed, I was afraid that I was going to pass out, but I sense that she stepped over my legs in order to navigate past me.
I could hear E3 calling my name (at least he noticed, he sounded worried) he was on a bench at the table. I called E1’s name, she came, and I asked her to take E3 to the living room so he didn’t fall from the bench. She did that.
A few minutes later, I asked E1 if she noticed that I hurt myself, she said “ya, but I had to get my lollipop”.
Kids…gotta love ‘em.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lazy Saturday


It's a lazy Saturday.
The kids slept until 7 am....the latest they have slept for months.
E3 was up during the night with a nasty cold.
Today will be spent watching TV, listening to the rain, and cuddling in the tent in the living room.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Our Code

There has been discussion around the blogsphere regarding what and how much we should tell our deployed spouses . I saw it again today in a comment from Jan over at Standing By. If we’re having a terrible day, do we tell them? Is it just adding stress to their already stressful day? There is even a recent article in Stars&Stripes that acknowledges that communication from home can increase a soldier’s stress.
I know everyone has a different opinion on this topic, and each spouse really needs to do what they feel is best for them, their spouses and their marriage.
Realistically, my worst day here is better than Hubby’s best day over there. Yes, the kids can drive me crazy, the pipe may be leaking under the house, the car needs new brakes and the dogs won’t shut up. It is still a far cry from IED’s, extreme heat, biting flies and rats sneaking into his tent. Sometimes when my Hubby calls, I just need to vent to my best friend. I need to tell him exactly what’s going on. I do when I need to, and he listens. He knows that there is nothing that he can physically do for me at that moment. He can only listen through the delays and static.
So far, venting to Hubby has been a rarity. Usually, when I answer the phone and hear his voice, the stress melts away and a little smile sneaks onto my lips.
Hubby and I discussed this topic before he left. We decided upon a code phrase that he would use if I was telling him too much…if I was talking about things he could not help me with…things that were either of no consequence, or too stressful for him to deal with at that time.
So far, he’s only used the code once, and he said “just put a newspaper over it until I get home, Honey”.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Sweet Dreams

Today, E2 was lying next to me, asleep.
She awoke, and immediately said “Daddy!”, with a huge smile on her face. I hadn’t seen that smile for months.
She woke further, and realized that it wasn’t Daddy sleeping next to her.
The smile immediately dissipated.
It nearly broke my heart.

Over the Weekend

We had a pretty good weekend.
Busy…but not overly so.
On Saturday we went to our first FRG meeting. It was an FRG for a company other than my husband’s, but one close to my home. I had met the leader some time ago and she invited me. I was hoping that my kids would meet other soldier’s kids, and they did. The FRG leader was very upbeat and had done a lot of preparation for the day…crafts for the kids, flyers for the adults. The turnout was disappointing…one, yes one family from the unit attended. With the addition of my family (from another unit), that made a total of two. Two families…the leader stayed upbeat, but I could tell that she was disappointed in the turnout. The notification of the meeting went out late, but still, it was disappointing.
Saturday evening was fun. A friend of mine invited us over for a little birthday get-together. He’s a friend from work, and is always checking to make sure that we’re not sitting around bored on the weekends. With 3 kids, that usually isn’t the case…there is almost always something happening on the weekend. The food was catered…and it was good…really, really, good. I’m not even sure what it was…beef and chicken skewers with various dips, spicy pasta salad, marinated shrimp, little beef-filled wontons, marinated asparagus, and fried chicken. He said my Hubby was “an American Hero” when people asked about him. The kids had a great time. They had more fun at a 51 yr. old’s birthday party than they had at a party in quite a while.
Sunday was filled with church, lunch, and shopping (needed the biggies: dogfood and diapers).
I had a lot of fun with my children this weekend…no major fights between them and no major discipline needed. I wish Hubby could have been here to enjoy it. He did go to church, as a flat-daddy, but he stayed in the car.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Delicious


Today I found a surprise harvest in the back yard. Pomegranates. I never know when they're due to be ripe, and Hubby is always the one who picks them. I saw one today...high up...it required some climbing (that's why Hubby is usually the picker)...but it sure was delicious. Three in all today...all gone. The kids love them too, and definitely something a mom can agree with...so full of antioxidants etc.. One beautiful fruit, I just love the color. Only problem is, my kitchen now looks like a massacre just took place. I wonder if I should call a studio to see if they need a scene location before I clean.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My Blog needs a makeover.

Sometimes...GAAH!

Sometimes I just want to grab people by the shoulders and shake them…
and say…

-What don’t you understand about the fact that this country is at war? Just because this war isn’t affecting you in the least bit…get a clue!

- I’m sorry that Hubby forgot to call and wish you a happy birthday…he was a little busy avoiding IED’s…and don’t you dare give him a guilt-trip about it. The only reason he remembered last year is because I reminded him when he woke in the morning. Remembering dates is not his specialty.

-Are you kidding me? You’re whining about Hubby not calling you enough? to him?! Does he really even talk to you that much when he’s at home? It’s not as if he’s on a business trip to Fresno…if he was, would he have a line entitled “hostile fire” on his pay stub?

-No, Salesguy, I’m not going to just send this gizmo to Hubby and have him try it because if it doesn’t work, he can just “call customer service”. I want to try it out before I send it. Did you not hear me when I answered “Iraq” when you asked in what country he would be using it?

If I wasn’t so tired and cranky right now, I would figure out how to add a smiley here, like Stephanie at ”She Who Waits”. The one that’s screaming “GAAH!”
so just picture it, will you?
Thanks.

It's NOT Monday?!

The day started like this...
Woke up early...needed to toss a load of clothes into the dryer, or I would have NOTHING to wear today.
Upon removing the clothes from the washer, I hear a thud inside the washer.
Hmmm, what could that be?
a rock?...a toy?
Crap. My cell phone.

Let's add a trip to the T-Mobile store to my to-do list today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

More Quotes

A few more quotes from me today:


Pumpkin, where’s the drill? (she watches me constantly, so I thought that she may know where I left it)

Please don’t climb into the oven (of course, to E3, the lock is no match for him)

Don’t forget…the Caveman show is on tonight. (reminding a friend that is in need of stupid humor)

You will have confetti poo if you eat that crayon!

I’ll have an ice-blended, non-fat, half-caff, white chocolate, EZ sweet please…oh ..medium, please (not at Starbucks, I prefer a great place nearby that has a kids area so the kiddos can throw play with toys)

Teletubbies, Teletubbies, Say Hello!

Don’t put that bean in your nose!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

It was a really good day




We had wonderful time at Disney’s California Adventure yesterday. For those of you that don’t know, CA Adventure is a theme park across from the entrance of Disneyland. It is where the old parking lot was when I was a child. I had been there before, but never spent much time…most of the time we are over at Disneyland. A good friend’s husband works for Disney, so usually I go with her. We don’t have to pay the exorbitant admission price then. Our first trip to DL with her was 5 years ago. Our children were almost 2 years old. E1 and her child cried and screamed during the entire hour+ drive to the park. They continued to fuss and cry the first couple hours there. Then they fell asleep in their strollers. We immediately ran across to CA Adventure. We had heard that alcohol was served there, but not in Disneyland itself. We went to the winery (the entire park is California-themed, so of course there’s a winery). The trip was great after that. It’s amazing how one glass of pinot can change your perspective...
Yesterday, we had lunch at Ariel’s Grotto in celebration of E1's 7th birthday. I had been there once before, but this visit wasn’t as good as the last. I was disappointed in a few things, but we still had a great time. Princess characters come through the restaurant and stop at each table for autographs and photos. The service was great…the waiter didn’t even mind when E3 beaned him with a roll…I tell you, that kid throws everything!
Hubby’s bachelor brother met us for lunch. He went on several rides with E1. E1 even went on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror!
By 6PM we were ready to go…wiped out. We didn’t drive out of the lot until 7PM…stopped at Wendy’s for a drive-thru dinner...then E1 and E2 fell asleep. They are not as easy to carry into the house as they use to be. E3 had a quick nip when we arrived home, then he was out cold too.

I watched one of my favorite shows, NUMB3RS, last night. I’m not able to watch much primetime TV because I’m usually working, but I didn’t feel like working…and I was caught-up…so I sat on the sofa…alone…and watched. I have not done that for months. I was happy to see that the season premiere solved one of the mysteries from last year’s season finale. My favorite character (Colby-he’s the handsome soldier turned FBI agent) was found NOT to be a bad guy, but was just a good guy pretending to be a bad guy. Wheww…he’ll still be on the show this season. Val Kilmer was a guest on last night's show...a bonus hottie. Hubby teases me about the show…mainly because of the geek aspect…yes, I’m a math geek (note-NOT a math genius, just liked math a lot…I was offered to take math courses at the U of M in 7th grade, but my mom refused them…I ,of course, didn’t know this until recently…note to self, do not miss once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for my children). Another thing that I like about the show is that it doesn’t film like CSI does…it doesn’t show the bullet entering the body and slicing through the heart, etc.. I really hate that part of CSI. It doesn’t gross me out, I just think it’s silly, and it looks so fake. The main point of this ramble is that I like NUMB3RS, and the cute guy that reminds me of my Hubby was not sent off to prison for the year.

I’ll finish the day’s thoughts with my favorite photo of today…E3 at lunch. He was hungry

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Am I missing something?!

How hard is it to return a phone call or email? Seriously.
I give up on the FRG, I don't know what information they would even give me. If it wasn't for the milspouse blogs that I read, I wouldn't even feel like my Hubby's IN the military. I haven't met ONE person with a family member in his unit. I missed the one event that was planned...I almost drove those 140miles just to see someone, but my car, and the engine, had other plans. The lone newsletter, in July, spoke of the upcoming farewell ceremony...in JUNE!
GEESH!

It's All About Me...and Tag, You're It!

Stephanie at She Who Waits and A Soldiers Wife both just tagged me with my first meme. I need to reveal 7 things that most people don’t know about me. This is hard … I reveal the oddest things on posts and comments sometimes.
1. Most don’t know that although I have 3 kids now, we went through years of infertility. I’m done now.
2. I regret to say that I am on my second marriage. The first was right out of college. It was closer to an episode of “Cops” than a marriage. When I finally left my first husband, I left with some clothes and my sanity and vowed to never marry again…then I met Hubby ☺ My wonderful Hubby said the reason for the marriage must have been to keep me off the market long enough to meet him.
3. My doggies full names are:
Pumpkinhead(large orange head and Jack-o-lantern smile)
Sparky-the-Space Dog(from an old episode of SNL)
and Roxie (as in dumb as a box of rocks)
4.My relatives include psychologists, farmers, rocket scientists, bank robbers, and everything in between. I’m the “between”.
5. I can’t lie to save my life.
6. I don’t like receiving jewelry as a gift…or flowers…it’s just not “me”. Hubby learned this early.
7. I raced ONE time on my dirt-bike. Just to say I finished, many did not. It was 2 hours of hell through the desert by 29 Palms. Lets just say that sand and a 2-stroke 125 do not play well together. I’m too polite to race, I let people by if they want to pass. I did place 1st in my class…old lady. I enjoy screaming around and finding little jumps a lot better. I’ve hung up my helmet for now and plan to get a calmer bike when Hubby returns.

The toughest part is who to tag… I want to know more about these people...tag...you’re it!

Shelly
ilvmygi08
ABW
Claire
Buck
LAW
and last but not least:
Guard Wife

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Am I Finished Yet?

Why do I find it necessary to finish everything around the house while Hubby’s gone?
Is it because I am the sole decision maker? Anything that I want done…is done…no discussion.
I haven’t done that much since he’s been gone…just landscaped the entire back yard. It’s still in process, but so far the back half has been covered with a giant playground for the kiddos. Approximately 15 trees have been chopped down on the slopes, new sprinklers have been installed and beautiful ground cover will soon be installed. Grass is growing where there hasn’t been any for years. I have plans for the rest….
Inside, the living room looks completely different. Added furniture, took away other furniture, new bachelor-pad TV…
I need to stop now.
I realized this when I was looking at one section of the yard that is in need of a redo. Hubby and I discussed what we wanted to do here…extend the pool fence, build a gazebo and stairs to the upper back half of the yard.
I realized that I didn’t want sole decision-making ability on this project. I want to do it with my Hubby. Half of the fun of home remodel projects in the past has been working together.
I don’t know why I felt the need to finish everything. I don’t know what the future holds for us…when Hubby returns, will we stay here? Will we move to somewhere with a normal cost-of-living? Will he stay in the military? Will he have to stay in the military? And the big question…one that I keep pushing to the back of my mind … but it keeps coming back anyhow,if he doesn’t return, will I ever do another home project again. Maybe that is why I feel the need to have so much completed now. I really don’t know.

*update*
Due to requests, I'll post pictures of the work in progress
Here is the back-back yard...you can see the new grass in the foreground. Previously, this was hard-baked earth (Roxie ate the sprinklers) and a couple lame peach trees.

This hillside had 15+trees chopped down, it was dark and gloomy. Waiting to pull up weeds/ new sprouts



...so it'll look like this hillside after planting



I've never done the "checkbook" remodeling that Buck spoke of in the comments...until now. Most of this was done by checkbook. I just can't do it with E3 being the handful he is...plus, work has been extremely busy , and was this the reason we saved up prior to deployment?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

After the Rain


Ran outside during dinner to quickly snap this picture

Saturday, September 22, 2007

OK, I've lived here too long...

You Are 52% California

You're fairly Californian. Unless you're really from California, you should be stoked!

I'm back, I think...

This virus has been kickin’ my butt this week, but I think I am finally getting better. As far as colds/flu go, this one was pretty minor, no vomiting or extreme chills…just felt like I had been beaten with a stick, and all I wanted to do was sleep.
I took 2 naps this week…in the middle of the day! I haven’t done that for a year at least. My mom is visiting from MN for 2 weeks. She was watching the girls, and the girls were playing nicely, so I took a nap with E3.
My mom’s visit is going well this time. I think her medication has been well-adjusted or something…seriously…
I am finally catching up on my paying job. Luckily it was a pretty slow week so I haven’t fallen into too deep of a hole. I just realized that I am totally out of FedEx supplies…see what happens when my regular driver is on vacation☹ She is wonderful; actually even the subs are great, usually. When E1 was a toddler, she would bark at the FedEx truck. She imitated her best friend, Pumpkin.

There have been so many good posts that I have seen this week, but I can’t remember much about any of them. I was too sleepy. I know I added some new favorites to my sidebar.
I’m looking forward to the weekend, it’s raining! Little tiny baby grasses are sprouting from the seed I planted in the backyard.
To do this weekend:
-clean out garden, remove all some toasted plants
-transplant some St. Augustine into bare spots
-finish large report for work
-mend school uniforms for E1
-can’t watch TV, the DVR is broken. Time Warner will be arriving Sunday. My new TV cabinet arrived today and when I plugged the DVR back in, it only says “One Moment Please” great. I’ll miss football on Sunday. I guess I could watch it on the little TV, but I’ve become totally spoiled with HD.
-send package to Hubby

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

One of Those Days...

Today began like any other day.
Except E3 decided to wake up ½ hour early.
It was raining…a good day in my book, I like the rain. I miss it since I live in SoCal where it only rains approximately 4 hours a year, give or take.
Upon rising, I realized the joys of the kids returning to school…a new virus. I felt like someone had beat me with a baseball bat, OK, not much to do today, I can drag through.
Got E1 to school in time. Her teacher had a hamster that was looking for a home, so we brought home a new friend. Chocolate Chip is his name. He came with a new cage and a big bag of food.
When I got home I cleaned the cage (it stunk so bad, I needed to drive with the window down on the way home). The bag of food was full of bugs, so I tossed it in the trash. Yuk.
A trip to Petco for new food and supplies.
E2 was attached to me today…maybe she feels a little sick too? Either way, I was barely out of her sight today. There was a lot of drama…
E3 is destined to be either a baseball pitcher or a football quarterback. He throws everything. He tossed a full bag of hamster food down the stairs. It was partially open. As it tumbled down the stairs, in what seemed like slow-motion, it gradually opened completely, spewing hamster chow everywhere. It covered the stairs, the foyer, and part of the adjoining living room. E3 thought it was hilarious! Yesterday, E3 tossed a box of Apple Jacks. The dogs were the clean-up crew for that mess, but no help today.
The kids ate well at dinner, then baths. E3 pooped in the tub, what fun.
I finally was able to take a shower at 6pm, just before the PTO meeting tonight. I’m sure everyone appreciated that.
I’m currently taking a break…I’m buried in work. I’m waiting for a large report to print. I should get back to that…it is the job that sends me a paycheck.
In the big picture, the day wasn’t that bad, one day closer to the end of deployment

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

R.I.P. Snowflake


You were a wonderful addition to this family
, however so brief. We don’t know why your time was so short.
You were the fastest hamster
…ever…and have the trophy to prove it (even if it was a paper trophy).
We love you…you will be missed.
You were a good hamster

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Little Distraction

Had to share this with everyone, from Shutterfly
if you're 4 years old, you'll think this is great



*update* It seems as if the image is removed from the video now, but go create your own. It's hilarious with an adult's face too.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I’m Beginning to Hate Acronyms

Today was a beautiful day. Not as warm and I was able to do a lot of yard work. I cleaned the pool, chopped off tree branches, seeded a bare slope in the yard that has new sprinklers, and rolled the trash cans down to the curb. All the time, E3 was playing with the hose set to “trickle” and E1+E2 were playing in the mud he created. I know that I have a gardener (Ha, still cracks me up that I hired one), but I don’t pay him enough to do everything.
I’m just going along, like any other day, in denial.
Everyone tells me how strong I am…I’m not strong, just in denial.
And it’s working for me most of the time.
I had one of those calls from the sandbox tonight, you know the ones filled with static and delays.…”Hi… I love you…I made it to my destination…everyone’s OK….my truck…IED…everyone’s OK…just..truck...told to go to TMC…gotta go…love you...” end of call.
Thankfully, I was in the middle of a Spousebuzz chat and could ask what TMC meant. Troop Medical Center.
Tonight I’m very thankful
I feel like I'm going to puke, but I'm still thankful.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Those Eyes.

Things I do when I’m missing my Hubby (a.k.a. what I find myself doing all the time)

1. Wear his PJ pants…the ones his Mom bought him, Calvin Klein, I wouldn’t have spent that much on PJ pants!
2. Drink Diet Mt. Dew…his main source of liquid when he’s home.
3. Eat pistachios or almonds…his main source of nutrition at home.
4. Wear a dog-tag style necklace that he sent to me while he was in training
5. Listen to our dirt-biking music…Offspring, NoFX, StrungOut…
6. Watch videos on iMovie from his week at home between training and Iraq
7. Hug E3 and look at him in the eyes…he looks so much like his Daddy ☺




Any other suggestions? What do you do?

Back in Time

Two and a half years ago, Hubby informed me of his desire to rejoin the military. It was a shock to me. Of course I knew that he had the heart of a soldier. I knew that he was in boot camp at 18. He had traveled the world, Korea, Germany, Panama… He jumped out of many perfectly good airplanes… He left service several years before we met and vowed that if the Army ever needed him again, that he would answer the call.

Our civilian life was happy and comfortable. Why would he want to change that? He had a great, family, career and home. After the initial shock wore off, I realized that rejoining was something he HAD to do. None of my friends understood. They’re supportive now, but still don’t understand.

This train of thought began when I saw a DeLorean on my street today.

First, I saw how uncomfortable the driver and passenger looked…then I thought about the whole Back to the Future movie series. In my sleep-deprived mind, my mind went to the tangent of “if I could go back in time, would I beg Hubby not to sign those papers?”

The answer is “No”

I miss him terribly...most of the time I’m exhausted... but I’m also learning so much about myself. I’m proud of my Hubby and what he is doing. He amazes me.