Thursday, December 28, 2006

Disney or Bust!

What can I say other than we are totally lucky to be going on this trip. We've talked about Disney for years now. Since we first got married we dreamed of the day we'd actually get to go. Now, here it is! The car is packed, the kids are getting into bed and at 2:00 am we'll wake up and hit the road.
This trip was planned completely last minute, with not a lot of money, but we pulled it off! It feels good knowing that I get this time to spend with my kids and husband doing something we all love. We're addicted to Disney. We love everything Disney-ish, so this is really dream come true time here.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas... American Style

Why "American Style" you ask? As Christian as I am, Christmas was certainly about the presents this year.
I blame tv. I blame the mass marketing of the stores. I blame the American-way.
Ok, not really. I blame myself. In years past we did a good job keeping in mind what Christmas was really all about. Somehow this year I let myself get caught up in how much the kids were getting, how much I was spending, and making sure they got everything on their lists.
Our rule about lists to Santa is that they can only request a few things and they must keep in mind that Santa may not bring everything. Well, Santa tried hard to make sure he brought everything! And wouldn't ya know, they still found stuff to whine about that they didn't get.

On Christmas Eve after the kids went to bed, husband and I sit down to wrap a few last minute gifts, get the stuff under the tree and go to bed. At about 11:30, with special Santa wrap and gifts sitting on the living room floor, Drew walks out and stands there staring at us. Luckily for us he doesn't wake up easily and it didn't really register to him what we were doing. He had to go potty and wanted a drink of water. Then Louisa comes out. I jump up to head off Louisa because she will figure it out and ask questions.
Whew... that crisis diverted.
We go to bed at a little after midnight and around 1:30 am both kids come into my room and wake me up. Excitedly Louisa says, "Mom! Guess what? Santa's been here! Can we go open our presents?!" Louisa is nine years old and yes, she can look at a clock and tell time. Yes she knows that if the clock says 1:30 and it is dark outside, that means 1:30 in the middle of the night and she shouldn't be waking me up. Apparently when Christmas presents are involved, that rule is out the window. I wasn't amused.
They got scolded and sent to bed. But I couldn't get back to sleep. I finally fell back into bed about 6:30 only to be woken up at 7:30 by not two, but three eager kids wanting to open their presents and how dare I sleep so late! (the third child was not Hunter, if you get my meaning!)
We open the million gifts they got, and there were a few under there for me as well.
Then it's breakfast time and nap time. After only two hours of sleep total, I needed a nap!
One of dh's soldiers came over for dinner. All in all it was a very nice relaxing Christmas. It did rain all day, but that's the south for ya, I guess! Better than snow, so no complaints here!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Doctor Update

I got up the courage this morning to call and make a doctor appointment. At our military hospital they only do "same day appointments". So you have to call at promptly 7:15 am when the appointment office opens. I didn't get through until 7:47 am.
I went in with a list of what I wanted to tell him. I wasn't scared and I was going to be heard no matter what. I spent 4-5 hours last night curled up in a ball in so much pain that I was crying my head off. Every time I got up I threw up. I had enough! I wanted this pain gone, for good!
The nurse who took me back was very nice. Strange. Am I in the right hospital?
The doctor came in and ... get this... he was nice! Ok, now I KNOW I'm in the wrong hospital.
I was totally honest with him, as embarassing as something like this is. He was very nice and understanding. He took his time, didn't try to rush me. I got to bring up all of my concerns and he answered all my questions.
I got some meds that I think will work, however, the pain won't necessarily go away immediately. I may still have to put up with that for a few days. He said the laxatives I was taking were probably contributing to my pain. So I'll stop those immediately. I also need to be drinking as close to a gallon a water a day as I can. Apparently I'll be peeing all the time on top of this.
I was pleased when I left. Really wanted something for the pain and he didn't give me that, but what he did give me, and advise me to do, will help. And I will feel comfortable going back if it doesn't.

Monday, December 11, 2006

O' Christmas Tree

One of my absolute favorite things to do at Christmastime is decorate the tree. When I was in high school, my dad would bring up all the ornament boxes and my parents would just let me have at it. I had to have all the ornaments evenly spaced and placed perfectly. No helter skelter decorating here!
Then I had kids.
When you have kids you have to let them help decorate. They don't place ornaments nicely on the tree in the perfect spot. They don't make sure all the ornaments are evenly spaced. Children would much rather clump all the ornaments in one spot on one branch, or place them all the way in the back so no one can see them. Then I'm supposed to just leave them there so that their little feelings don't get hurt because they are proud of the good job they did. I can't do that! So one by one I start to move them into a better looking spot. If I do it slowly and quietly the kids don't notice it.



This year, however, we have a toddler in the house yet again. Guess what happens when you have a toddler? The tree looks like this:
All the ornaments are on the top half of the tree.
So, what kind of ornaments do we have? Well, I'll tell you! We have Baby's First Christmas for all three kids. I have my first ornament, too, from WAY back in 1978. Yes, they actually made ornaments back then! I don't have it on the tree this year, though. Every year I buy the kids an ornament that reflects the year for them. We also have ornaments that husband and I have picked out together. Things that remind us of eachother. It's nice to open up that box every year and unwrap our memories.




Husband put up the tree while Hunter was taking a nap. When Hunter woke up he was very excited by the tree. He kept pointing at it asking daddy, "Was dat?" He tried to blow out the lights like they were candles. We gave him a few ornaments that weren't breakable and he had fun putting them up and taking them off.
And here are Drew and Louisa hanging their Baby's First Christmas ornaments. Those are always the first to go on the tree. They want to know why they each only have one and Hunter has four! I guess Hunter just got more ornaments for gifts last year on his first Christmas than they did on theirs!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Dear Santa,

I wanted you to know that I moved this year. I was in a very cold place called Wisconsin, if you remember. You probably aren't bothered too much by the cold with all the extra padding you have. I, however, hate being cold. I hate it so much that in the winter, I crank up the heat and throw on several layers of clothing. The heating bill has caused a few arguments between my husband and I in the past, but he's now come to terms with the fact that I WILL be warm in the winter, at all costs.
Well, if you're wondering, I've moved to a place called Louisiana. You might have heard of it. A year ago there was a big natural disaster here. I hope and pray that you grant a lot of Christmas wishes for those still coping with the aftermath of that disaster.
Louisiana is supposed to be much warmer than Wisconsin was. Right after we left Wisconsin a big snow storm blew through. I thanked God I wasn't there for that (and chuckled at all the people that were).
The part of Louisiana I live in is fairly rural. There is a small town, and a big army base. In the small town is one Super WalMart, and one Lowes, and a few restaurants. For fun, in my free time, I go to Super WalMart.
Santa, for Christmas this year, I'm not asking for a lot. I'm not asking for a diamond ring or fur coat. I'm not asking for a Cadillac Escalade (unless you have any that accidentally fell off the sleigh while loading it and maybe have a small ding in the side, I'd be happy to help take if off your hands) and I'm not asking for a million dollars (again, unless you have a dented bag of money that you need to get rid of). What I'm asking for, dear Santa, is something to do.
Now, I'm sure you're scratching your head wondering what in the world I could mean by that. Most of the year you're pretty busy, I have no doubt. You don't sit around your house wishing for something to do. You don't wander the aisles of Super WalMart aimlessly praying for that "something" to fall out of the sky. I'm not picky. I'd take a large mall with full food court, or a big rec center in need of lonely moms to volunteer. Whatever you choose will be perfectly fine with me, Santa. As long as I don't have to clean anything, we'll be good. Or organize. I'm not really good at either of those. Or remember stuff, cause my mind is getting pretty rusty, Santa, and I don't remember much anymore.
Ok, so no cleaning, or organizing or remembering. Got that? But otherwise, go for it! Use your imagination and give me something to do! Oh ya, and my husband is getting a little tired of me sitting at the computer all day, so if it could be something that doesn't involve the computer, that would be great, too.
I know this is kind of last minute for such a request like this, but see, I didn't believe my husband when he said there was nothing to do down here. I laughed at him and said, "I can find stuff to do!" Santa, I was wrong. There really is nothing to do here.
Thank you Santa! Oh, and just bring whatever for the kids. They won't play with it after a week anyway, so it doesn't really matter. As long as the tree is filled with presents on Christmas morn, they won't care what's acutally in them.
Thank you again! And have a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

To Disney, or Not to Disney... that is the question!

What happens when the only time you can take your dream vacation to Disney is during the worst possible time to go there? The busiest, the most hectic, and definitely most chaotic time to go to Disney is the week between Christmas and New Year's. Guess when we're going?
Ok, call us crazy, call us nuts, but we're doing it! Husband has been promising me this trip for years now. We have the money, we have the time, we have the excited kids (two of which are old enough to really enjoy this) but what we don't have is the off-peak season. One thing that really sucks about being in the military is that you are on their schedule. You don't really get to pick and choose when you want to take off for vacation. The military tells you when you have vacation. Well, they told us we have from Dec. 20 - Jan. 4. So if we want to go to Disney, that's when we have to go.
Husband has a guy that he's in charge of who bought cruise tickets that start on Dec. 15 because he heard a "rumor" a few weeks ago that said the leave dates would start on Dec. 15. Does he get to go on his cruise? Nope. Leave doesn't start until Dec. 20. That's how it goes. Is he flaming mad? Yep! Should he have bought the cruise tickets without getting confirmation of leave dates and not just listening to a rumor? Nope!
It sucks, it's not fair, and there's nothing we can do about it. Be glad you get four weeks paid vacation in the military even in your first year. Most jobs don't do that.
So, we're taking the leap and going for Disney! The great part is that we'll be there for New Year's Eve. I think that will be a lot of fun. We have four days and there are four parks. Not sure if we'll do MGM because there is a lot that Hunter can't go in. Most of it is shows and they don't let small children into them.
I'm totally excited by our hotel. It's about a mile away, but it has shuttle service to Disney. I went on priceline.com and looked up the cheaper hotels. Most of them had fair to poor customer ratings. As we all learned when we went to Niagara Falls, a good hotel is important for more than one reason! Then I started searching the 3-star hotels. A tad over our budget, but husband is always willing to make the small sacrifices to make me happy. He said sure, go for it. But before I did, I had an idea. Why not "bid" on the room? After all, isn't that what priceline is for?
So I bid $100 under the price thinking there was no way they'd accept it. It would almost 50% off if they did! I waited... and waited... and waited... then... the answer came in and they accepted it! I couldn't believe it! So I got my 3-star hotel at a 2-star price! Well ok, that didn't sound as cool as I thought it would, but it is almost 50% off the original price.
I guess the only other thing to say is, I want to go to Disneyland!!! (or World, actually)

Monday, December 04, 2006

What? You mean Noah Wyle DOESN'T work here?

I've had tummy pains for probably about 4 years now. They come and go, off and on. I used to think they were stress related. The pain would come during stressful periods in my life. Now it's totally random. Just whenever the pain feels like it.
I've been to several different doctors, all who tell me the same thing. Eat more fiber, drink more fluid, go to the bathroom. Yep... apparently I'm full of shit in more than one way!
Last week, Wednesday I think it was, I was convinced the pain had something to do with my gall bladder. I went to the hospital at about 10:00 pm in so much pain I could barely stand. Going to a military hospital is very intimidating. The docs and staff there usually aren't very nice and they're known for getting you in and out as fast as humanly possible. Me being the meek and timid person I am, was scared out of my wits walking in that door.

Person at front desk: (looking up from his book) Ya?
Me: I... um.... I was told by the triage nurse on the phone today... um.... that... um... well, I have pain here (rubbing my tummy) and she said... um... that I could come in... um... to the ER... um...
Person at front desk: Ya, ok, can I have your ID card, please? Then take a seat and someone will see you.

Ok, I think I'm going to throw up.

Very nice nurse sees me and takes my stats and asks me questions. I lied. I told her I'd only had the pain for about 2 months, not 4 years. Yes, I know... naughty! Well, I was telling her what I thought she wanted to hear. When I said "a few months now", she said, "Like two months?" I said, "Well, probably longer." And she replies,"So, two months, right?" Ok, fine. Apparently thats what she wanted to hear.
After she's done with me, I sit and wait some more. A little girl behind me is obviously very sick and clinging to daddy crying, crying, crying. I felt so bad for her.
A guy comes and gets me and takes me to a room. Oohh... very ER-ish! Not quite so glamorous, though.
I have to put on a gown. Hate that. This thing was like was trying to put together a K'nex Ferris Wheel! It had snaps all over and ties in places I couldn't tie, and ties that had no matching tie and snaps that had no matching snap. I think I got it on semi-correctly. You always rush to get those things on cause of that one time you got caught completely naked when the doc walked in and you didn't have the gown on yet. And eventhough he's eventually going to see all of your parts, one at a time, you'd rather he not see them all at the same time. Or maybe that's just me.
So in walks this little... well, "doctor" with a heavy accent. He talked very bluntly and had no bed-side manner at all. I'm reminded somewhat of Dr. Cox on Scrubs, except shorter, darker, and with an Asian accent. "You tummy pain?" he asks me. "Why you take so long come in here? Why you here at 11:30 at night? Why not day time? Why take two months come in here?" Yes, he asked them all at once. And then I did what I always do. I retreated to the little 10 year old girl that always has her mommy come in to the doctor's office with her. I stumbled over my words and got a little teary and probably didn't communicate very well. Mostly, I'm sure I looked like a fool.
So I go to get x-rays taken. This is the real test to see if I put my gown on right or not. Nope, not on right. When I get to the x-ray room I realize my rear end had been hanging out the whole time. I knew I should have worn those sexy red VS panties instead of the big white granny underwear! The x-ray dude, after taking three x-rays of various positions, asks me to lie back down on the table because there was something weird on one of them. He took it again, developed it, and then came back and very shyly asked if I had some sort of birth control implant. Why yes, yes I do. "I have an IUD", I told him. Boy did he turn red. "So, I guess I didn't need to take that extra one, then." (hehehehe)
When I get back to my little room, the curtains are all pulled back and so there I sit, for all to see. After about 10 minutes someone checks on me and then I hear them say to an aide, "Where's doc?" The aide says that "Doc" took lunch and would be back in half an hour. TOOK LUNCH!!! What the heck?! I'm sitting here in pain, in my stupid little gown and Mr. Pompous-My-Time-is-Worth-More-Than-Anyone-Else's is taking a lunch break?!!!
After 40 minutes (yes, really) he graces me with his prescence, x-ray in hand. What does he tell me? "You need take poo-poo." That was the official verdict. That is what I waited so long for. That was my diagnosis. He said some other things, but somehow my mind wasn't really processing it. I was mad. I was shaking. My head was whirling and very hot tears were about to drop at any second.
He gave me some medicine for IBS, but they triggered my migraines so I can't take it. I'm supposed to go to a follow up with a clinic physician some time this week. You can probably see why I'm a little hesitant.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Down here in Loosiana

Even when you live on an army base, everyone has a southern drawl. I'm so out of place here with my midwestern-Wisconsin "ya der hey" accent! So I'm trying to incorporate a few southern expressions into my lingo so as not to stick out so much. For instance, you call Louisiana "Loosiana". And when you agree with something, you simply go "hmm, hmm... yep" and lazily nod your head. Don't, at any time, end a sentence with "Ya, Hey!" like you would back home.
Things are fine, we're adjusting well. The kids are having a blast in school and making tons of new friends. I'm, well... I'm just trying to get my bearings. This is a whole other side of life. My husband's been in the army for over 9 years. We've been married for 6. Four of those six years we were still living like civilians because he was in recruiting and not attached to any kind of base. Now we're back on an army base, whole other way of life. And in the "deep south" so to speak. REALLY whole other way of life. Granted we lived in Savannah, GA for 2 1/2 years, but Savannah has that warm pecan pie feeling about it. Even if you're only there for a short time, it's home. Louisiana... well, this isn't home unless you've been born and raised here. Otherwise, you're just passers-by.
In all the packing and unpacking, I never found my digital camera that I lost waaayyyy back at Louisa's birthday in September. So wonderful husband bought me a new one! Awwww!!!! He knows I have to have my camera. It's like another limb that I can't live without.
Luckily for you all... oops, I mean ya'll, that means I have pictures to post!

Here's Louisa and Drew climbing the fabulous climbing trees in our front yard:

One day I heard Drew screaming holy terror, I bolt outside and he's hanging from the tree by one foot! Ok, funny now in retrospect, scary at the time. So we've halted the tree climbing business for a little while.

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love frogs, lizards and turtles. Besides cats, they are my favorite animals. We have these adorable little geckos down here. Two of them live on my back wall by a drain spout. Louisa and Drew try to pick them up but they are quick little buggers. I'm sure I'll get tons more pics of these guys. I'm so excited to be sharing a home with them! (hopefully they eat cockroaches!)

And here's Hunter just being cute! He loves having a yard to play in. It was tough for all of us being cooped up in an apartment with nowhere to play. So he's having fun chasing the kids around, playing with the giant pine cones and attempting to climb the tree!

Our future Harley rider! Boy does he want to get on that bike, I'll tell you what! (that's another southern thing! see, I'm getting pretty good!)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

We Have Arrived!

Don't you want to just announce your arrival sometimes? Like walk in to a gathering and cup your hands around your mouth and go "Da, da, da, daaaaaaaa..... Ladies and Gentlemen.... I, have arrived!"
I feel like doing that now. I'm here in Ft. Polk, Louisiana and I should have people running up to meet me. I'm nice gosh darn it! Come say Hi, give a smile, I promise I'll return it! There's no need to be on guard here, just let go and say Hello! Well, we'll give it time. But I hope it happens soon. I can't unpack and help the kids adjust foreve. At some point I have to make my own friends and get involved in stuff again like I was in my old town. There was such a fanfare of good-byes and hugs and tears when we left, I guess I feel a little jilted that the same type of fanfare isn't waiting for me to arrive here.
Instead of fanfare, I have a house full of boxes. Husband was astonished by the number of boxes that belonged to us in the never ending trailer of the semi today. Or well, yesterday, I guess. I think "today" cause I haven't really gone to bed yet! But husband gets up in less than an hour to go to work, so I guess I should get some kind of sleep before I start an exciting new day of unpacking boxes and unwrapping countless forgotten treasures! It's amazing all the things you thought you've lost until you move and POP! there they are magically wrapped in a box marked "misc". Of which I have hundreds, by the way. Ok, well, not hundreds per say... but many, many, many boxes lazily marked "misc".

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a beautiful day it is here in Wisconsin today. It's 60 degrees, sunny and I'm with my children and family. My husband may not be here with us, but he's here in the states and I don't have to worry about him. He's having dinner with some friends and I'll see him tomorrow.
Monday and Tuesday three packing ladies came. It was the strangest feeling watching these ladies pack all of my stuff. I felt like I should be doing it. I also felt like they were judging me. Looking at me thinking, Why can't this lady pack her own crap. So I did little things here and there making it look like I was working hard and keeping busy as well!
On Wednesday 6 moving men came. The big semi that they needed to load it all in was too big to fit back where my apartment was, so a smaller "shuttle truck" had to come back, load up, then go and put everything in the semi, then come back and load up again. I think they took three trips out to the semi parked out front of our apartment complex. Not to mention the fact that I live in an upstairs apartment, so they had their work cut out for them.
Now my place is almost empty. I kept back probably more stuff than I should have. When my husband flies in tomorrow afternoon we'll have to figure out how to transport all this stuff I have leftover, plus the cats and all their stuff.
For today, I get to relax and have dinner at my sisters.
A small thankful list:
I'm thankful my husband came home from Afghanistan safe and sound
I'm thankful we finally get to be with him again after such a long time
I'm thankful for my 3 happy healthy kids
I'm thankful that God gives me so many blessings every day

Hope everyone has a wonderful day and I'll be back when I'm all set up in my new house in Louisisana!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Signing off....

....for a short time.
I'm moving later this week from Wisconsin to Louisiana.

The good part:
~I get to be with my husband again... it's been WAY too long.
~My kids get their daddy back.
~I get to see a new part of the country and have a new adventure.
~I get to meet new friends.
~The boys won't have to share a room as we have a BIG 4 bedroom house waiting for us!

The bad part:
~Most of my family is in Wisconsin
~Taking the kids out of a school that we love to death
~Leaving my church that has become like a second home to me
~Leaving my cute little town

Ok, I could probably come up with tons more on both sides, but that's the jist of it. I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm worried, I'm excied.
And, I won't be blogging for at least a week.
See you all when I'm all settled in... same Bat time, same Bat channel!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

About Me

one. I am ..... totally insane
two. person who knows me best.... my husband
three. I feel .... happy, excited, jealous, angry, hurt, disappointed, relieved... all at this very moment!
four. the most important thing in my life is ..... my family
five. I always carry .... my heart on my sleeve
six. I think .... that I need to get a life!
seven. I’m at my happiest when .... I'm home with hubby and kids
eight. on a Monday morning, you can find me .... yelling at the kids to hurry up so they aren't late for school
nine. my favorite food ingredient is .... anything sweet
ten. my eyes .... are hazel
eleven. my favorite material possession is ...... my books
twelve. to relax, I like to ..... read or sit on the computer
thirteen. the town I live in is .... big enough for me
fourteen. my worst habit is ..... biting my fingernails
fifteen. my guilty pleasure is ..... chocolate, and lots of it
sixteen. when I look at someone, the first thing I see is .... how honest or not they are
seventeen. I think ....way too often about way too much
eighteen. I can live without ..... criticism
nineteen. I wish I had .... more patience
twenty. my life is .... Chaotic

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

I remember when I first heard The Byrds sing "Turn, Turn, Turn", I thought it was such a genius song. Then my mom pointed out a passage in the bible and I couldn't believe they were singing this passage! It's something I really try to remind myself of from time to time. There's a time for one thing, and then there are times for other things.
I have so many things changing in my life right now, and some I'm excited about and some I'm not. But today, this passage came back to me to remind me that there is a time and a place for everything.
Right now, my place is in Louisiana by my husband. I've only got one more week to go before I get to be there. In my rightful place. I'm anxious, and antsy, and I feel my time here has come to a close. I have family here, and they will be missed, but I'm something of a rolling stone. I need to go do something else now. I've been in one place for almost 4 years now. For many people that is a very short time, for me it's way too long. I need adventures, I need to be moving, I need to see new things and meet new people. I need to be with my husband after an agonizing 9 months apart. My children need their father who they cry for every night. "A time to plant, and a time to uproot."
I had a confrontation with a woman who is a virtual stranger to me on my beloved Club Mom message boards last night. I never stand up for myself, I never stick up for myself... I'm very weak when it comes to confronting people. People I know, people I don't know, it doesn't matter. But this one particular woman has pushed my buttons one too many times for months now and nothing is ever done about it. I have several loyal friends who stand up for me time and time again. But nothing is ever done by me. I sit idle and let this woman bully me. I am idle no more. The tamest animal in the world will lash out when cornered. I was cornered. I lashed out. I don't believe in telling people every little thing that you think is wrong with them. I don't believe in confronting them with every problem. Again, I'm weak. I'd rather take the brunt of their criticism and be wounded on the inside than let them know what I'm really thinking and hurt them in return. Like this message board woman. So last night, I finally told her what I really thought of her. Like, REALLY REALLY thought of her. I held nothing back. Did I feel better afterward? You bettcha!.... kinda..... well, after the high died down, I realized that I probably just really hurt someone's feelings. Then I felt like crap. That's when this verse came to me: "a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate" And this one: "a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them" , and I realized, it was time. It was time to tell her that she can't always get away with her surliness. Of course, then she had the nerve to tell me that she was disappointed a Christian woman would talk like that and that she'll pray for my tortured soul or something like that. I should have quoted this passage to her!
There should always have a balance. You can't have on thing without the other. No matter what it is. You can't have the good without the bad, you can't have the bad without the good. I'll have to see how many more things on that list I can check off. How many more things will change, how many more things will flip around and how many more surprises I'll get.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I am Dumbledore

Take this Harry Potter personality test, and let me know who you're like!

Home Sick

Yesterday morning when we got up to go to school, Louisa was too sick to eat her breakfast. She couldn't swallow, her throat was too sore, and she had a bad headache. I sent her back to bed and took Drew to school.
Last night, I had a fever and now this morning my head hurts and my throat is sore. I told Louisa thank you, for which she gave me a very peppy, You're Welcome!
Incidentally, she's home sick again today. I'm not sure how "sick" she still is, but if she passed this on to me, I'm betting money she'll pass it on to others. And she still can't swallow solid food, which may make lunch time a little difficult.
At 11:00 this morning I got a call from school. The secretary says, "Hi, I have another one for your sick crew this morning." Drew had thrown up in class, which caused another friend to have sympathy vomit. Fun fun fun morning for that teacher!
Needless to say, Drew's class was having a pizza party at 11:15 this morning. So I picked up a sad, sad, sad Drew. My poor baby. He missed his pizza party..... and recess.... and rest time where they get to watch a movie.... and..... and.....
What happened to kids actually trying to make themselves sick to stay home? I can't tell you how many moch headaches and tummy aches I had when I was in school. And my kids cry because they have to stay home sick? Seriously? These are so not my kids!
I pick Drew up from school and we get into the car and he says, "Do I get to sit around and watch TV like Louisa did yesterday?" Yes, honey, of course you do. Silly boy!
When I brought Drew home I gave him some "medicine" AKA Pedialyte, and after drinking the whole bottle he's magically all better! Wow, that medicine works good! **wink, wink** Don't ya just love those little tricks we get to pull.
So now they are finally watching Cars, and if you haven't seen it yet, GET IT NOW!!! It's incredible!
I wouldn't feel too sorry for these kids. After all, they're living the life right now. They have a maid/servant, endless supply of drinks, and any movie they want to watch at their disposal.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Halloween? Umm, that was, like, almost a week ago!

Ya ya ya.... I'm way behind on this. But I can't have three adorable trick or treaters and not share their pictures with everyone.
As with most years, because we live in Wisconsin, it was darn cold out. Husband said it was 34 degrees when we were trick or treating! I held Hunter most of the time just to keep myself warm! Louisa realized the importance of wearing gloves even if they don't match her costume. Isn't it great when we can teach them a lesson and then in our minds we can say "See, I told ya so!" and have that smug satisfaction of BEING RIGHT!?
Back in my day, it snowed most years on Halloween and we'd have to smush our snowpants and boots under our costumes! Ok, that only happened one year that I can remember, but I like to tell the story over and over again so it seems like it happened every year.
We got loaded up on candy, and candy, and um... popcorn. Not really sure what was up with this, but an old lady had popped popcorn, put it in a styrofoam cup, in a zip lock baggie. Ok.... in this day and age we just don't do that anymore. She asked the kids if they wanted candy or popcorn. Louisa said candy, but 9 times out of 10 Drew would choose the popcorn. We let him take it, but decided to throw it out when we got home. Too late. He got to it before we could check it out. He's still alive, though. I assume it's just a sweet old lady who's done that for years. I mean, when I was little we got pennies, apples and oranges, home made popcorn balls, home made cookies... all sorts of things you'd never get now.
So, without further ado, here are my little frozen trick or treat-sicles!
Is this not the cutest darn Yoda you've ever seen in your life?!!!!

Harry Potter and the Rennaisance Princess.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

In Remembrance

A lot has happened in the past two years. I've had a baby, husband has been to war, mother-in-law had a nervous breakdown, my niece went to live with my in-laws for awhile, I could probably go on and on with things that have happened over the last two years. But most notably, my niece has grown up without a mother, my mother and father-in-law have struggled to make sense of why their daughter was taken and hold on to their granddaughter which is that last little bit of their daughter that remains on this earth, my sister-in-law has struggled with why her sister was taken.
My husband, well, he thinks about his sister every day. He thinks about the relationship they used to have, laughing, telling jokes, playing cards or monopoly, watching tv, listening to music.... having a sister only one year older than him was fun for him. He always had someone to hang out with, they bugged eachother but most of the time it was all in good fun. Then I came along and that relationship was dashed to pieces.
So many things went wrong the last few years before she died. So many questions that will forever remain unanswered.
I once had a best friend. We hung out all the time. We liked the same music, both played tenor sax in concert band (she was a little better than I was! she was always 1st chair and I was always 2nd!), we got our drivers licenses on the same day, we were both quirky and loved nothing more than to laugh and have fun. We were a perfect match. She was quiet and I was loud, I smoked cigarattes and was a little too promiscuous and she wasn't either. We were also perfectly mismatched.
Then my husband, her brother came along and things went terribly wrong.

So, what went wrong???
After I had Louisa, Tabitha, my best friend, was there for me every second. She watched Louisa when I needed a babysitter, she supported me in everything I did, and she helped me to realize that Louisa's bio-father wasn't ever going to form a family with us, he was just leading us on and breaking our hearts.
I knew her younger brother from high school, and I knew he was in the army, and sometimes he would come visit her and she'd joke that I should stop by and "hook up" with him when he was in town. The day he and I met was totally by coincidence, but sparks flew and the rest is history. Part of what went wrong started with this meeting. Tabitha was happy for me that I'd started dating her brother, but she knew my history of dating men and then tossing them when I was finished. She was afraid I would do that to her brother. I, of course, had no intentions on doing that, but I needed to convince her.
The weekend that I knew that husband was driving from Georgia to Wisconsin to propose to me, I, naturally, called my best friend with the absolutely terrific news that we were going to be sister-in-laws! What I was met with was not excitement, but resentment. Tabitha had just gotten engaged to her longtime boyfriend, the loser of which I've spoke about before. So when I called my best friend and future sis-in-law to tell the great news and was met with such a disappointed tone, my heart was broken. "I know," she said, " my mom told me already. My brother is too young to get married, he has plans and goals. What's this going to do to them? And where is he getting money to buy you a ring? He doesn't have very much money, you know!"
The months to follow should have been happy, passing by in a dreamy-eyed daze. My best friend and I planning our weddings together as we had always hoped we would. Shopping for dresses and flowers and cakes and addressing invitations together. We had been talking about this moment for years! What really happened was her fighting me tooth and nail the whole way. For some reason she was not happy for me. Somewhere in the mix of all of this she got pregnant with Eve. So I could chalk it all up to hormones, but I don't think that's what it was.
For years we had always planned to be eachother's maids of honor. We would get so excited talking about it. Then one day, I got a phone call from Tabitha. "Hi.... um..... I kinda have something to tell you..... (long silence)..... I kinda have to ask my sister to be my maid of honor....."
So I think for me, that was the last straw. She had been pushing me away for months for no reason. Then she tells me I'm not even her maid of honor anymore! I end up 3rd in a line of 4 in her bridal party. That showed me where I was in her life.
So I asked my sister to be my maid of honor, after all, I was my sister's and I was honored when she had asked me.
The years passed and Tabitha and I got to a point where, at family functions, her and I were no longer speaking. The last time I saw her was three months before she died at her sister's house for our nephew's birthday party. She passed by me with a cold shoulder.... and that is the last memory I have of my best friend and sister-in-law.


This is us at my wedding:

She had a whole photo album full of pics of her and I from high school, but after she died and I asked her husband for it, he said he hadn't seen it in years. He said he was looking for it to post pics of her and I on the picture boards at the funeral, and he couldn't find it. He told me that she talked fondly of me, after all was said and done. That she always wanted to call up me and her brother and invite us over, but there were certain things standing in her way. He also lies a lot. So I don't know where the truth is in all of this.
Our 10 year high school reunion was this September. I didn't go, but I sent along a tribute that I wrote for Tabitha, along with this picture, for our classmates to remember her by:




In Memory of Tabitha
1977-2004
Tabitha H. passed away on November 2, 2004 at the age of 27. She is survived by her husband, Chris H., 5 year old daughter Eve, stepson Jacob, parents Dave & Alice, sister Annette (Tim), nephew Corey, brother David (Kelley), niece and nephews Michael, Mackenzie & Colton, and brother Andrew (Peggie) niece and nephews Louisa, Andrew Jr. and Hunter.

On November 1, 2004, Tabitha arrived at work at Jewel Osco in Milwaukee where she was a managing supervisor. She collapsed at work and was rushed to the hospital where it was discovered that she had a brain aneurysm and would not regain consciousness again. We said our good-byes and on November 2, 2004, let God take her home.
She was a special woman who made everyone around her happy. We have not found one picture of her that she isn’t smiling in. She was shy and quiet and usually didn’t have a lot to say. But once you got to know her, you couldn’t shut her up!
Tabitha attended West High School and graduated in 1996. She played JV soccer during her 10th and 11th grade years, and Spring City for several years. She played the tenor saxophone in concert band. She was in honors classes and graduated with honors. After high school Tabitha went on to college at UW Milwaukee where she graduated in 2001 with a business degree specializing in human resource. She worked at Jewel Osco in Waukesha for many years before being promoted to one of the Milwaukee area stores. Before she passed away she was offered the promotion she had been hoping for at the corporate office.
In June 2000, Tabitha married her long time boyfriend Chris H. In December 2000 she gave birth to her beautiful baby girl who was the apple of her eye. Tabitha’s daughter, Eve, was 3 when her mommy passed. She carries her mommy close to her heart. Eve is starting kindergarten this fall and it is difficult to watch such a beautiful little girl grow up without her mom. Tabitha would be so proud of her daughter. Eve has many of Tabitha’s mannerisms and it’s wonderful to see that Tabitha’s spirit is very much alive!
Our family has a huge hole in it since Tabitha is gone. We all feel we made the best of our time with her while she was here and we thank God for giving her to us if only for a short while.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Life is Good, and I'm Singing From the Mountain Tops!

On Monday we got the good word. The very good word. The word that made me cry and scream and dance and get dizzy all at the same exact time.
Seven months apart. We spent seven months apart from eachother. Some days went by in a blurr, some days it seemed as if husband wasn't a real person but someone I had made up in one of my crazy fantasies that sometimes become a little too real for comfort, some days I felt as if he never was going to come home.
It's all over. I don't have to worry, I can eat again, I can sleep again, I can laugh without feeling guilty, I can cry tears of relief and joy instead of pain and heartache.
Life is good. Right now, in this moment, life is good!
On Monday, we got the word that husband's unit has completed their mission in Afghanistan and they are no longer needed. The few guys that got to come home on leave like husband did get to stay here and report back to their army base. The guys who were left in Afghanistan will return home within 30 days.
I don't have to say good-bye again. I get to love him and hug him and keep him all for myself for awhile longer. And eventhough he'll leave on Saturday to go back to his army base, and the kids and I will remain here in Wisconsin until an on-base house becomes available, he will still be mine. Mine to call whenever I want to. Mine to know where he is, what he's doing, and that he's safe. Mine who's so close to me now that I can reach out and touch him whenever I need him.
Life is good!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's the Great Pumpkin!

A few weeks ago the kids and I went to a pumpkin patch that has a corn maze and the world's best home made pumpkin donuts. I tried to save some to share with you all, but got a little greedy and just ate them!

Children of the Corn
Louisa, Queen of the Pumpkins!

Me and my little helper, and don't forget the hot apple cider!

"It's ok, Mom," ((grunt, gasp, groan)) "I can lift this by myself."

"I like this one, Mommy... oopps! I broke the stem off, is that ok?"

Sunday, October 22, 2006

All Alone?

Time to myself? Huh? This can't be right! How am I sitting here, in my apartment, by myself with the baby? Husband is home, kids don't have school, yet here I sit!
Alright, really, I don't mind. My mom had bought tickets a few months ago to take Drew to a play about a Snow Dragon, and husband and Louisa are off seeing Flicka together. So everyone is doing something fun.
Hunter's having fun, too. He's watching Baby Einstein for the 3rd time in a row!
I figured this would be a great time to hop on to Club Mom and catch up on all of my moderating and such. But of course, as my luck goes, I can't get any of the files open that I need. I have special files with URL's that I copy and paste into a Welcome to Club Mom post on the Inroduce Yourself message board. However, I can't get my URL sheets to open or work properly. So, here I sit. What else am I going to do? Catch up on some blogs and write one of my own I guess.
We've got a really busy week coming up, so I guess I should take advantage of this down time. It's so hard when we're constantly on the go to sit back and relax. I wonder what else I could be doing or who may need help with something... maybe I should be cleaning!
HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Then reality sets in and I remember how much I hate cleaning! I think I'll just sit here on the computer for awhile longer.
What's that Hunter? You want me to start Baby Einstein again?! Sure!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

It's Good to be Home!

On Thursday I picked husband up from the airport. Of course the plane had to be delayed, but hey, we've waited 7 months to see him, what's another hour?
When he walks up the corridor Louisa yells, "There he is!" I looked and looked and since I have really bad long distance eyesight, none of the soldiers looked like him. As he gets closer the kids run to get him. Is THAT my husband? Seriously?! Where did he go? He's so skinny! I just couldn't believe that was him. I tried very hard not to cry. But, Oh Lord! did that hug feel good!
Hunter was a little skeptical, having not seen his daddy since he was 7 months old. But he quickly warmed up to him. Whew... that was a relief. We were both worried Hunter would cry and run away at the sight of daddy! And in his military uniform with ruck sack strapped on his back, he looks a little formidable.
So since Thursday, we've gone to his favorite restautant, he's ridden his Harley, and best of all, I woke up this morning to a sparkling clean kitchen and he was working on straightening out the garage. What a man!
He's told me some crazy stories about things he's been through. Nothing I can repeat. But pretty much, he's been to hell and back and is not looking forward to the return trip. He's a soldier through and through, though. I married him knowing that a small part of him will never be mine. That's what you accept when you marry a military man. I just thank God there are men like him doing what they do. The people in Afghanistan are all thankful for the US presence and it makes me feel good knowing that he's doing something positive. Helping to build communities, keeping the villages safe, and working with the Afghan soldiers.
There were several things that he was happy to see again or to have again. Things that we take for granted and that, until he had this experience, he took for granted as well:
green grass
cities, not villages and mountains
running water
a toilet and shower
a building with real walls, not mud huts
paved roads
washing machine
stove/microwave
stores to buy whatever he needs
comfortable bed
and of course, his Harley!

There's so many things that they go without and I don't think I realized all that he's been missing. Although he doesn't usually talk a lot when he calls, he just wants to hear about the kids.
So for the next few weeks, we're a normal family again. Normal.... as normal as a military family can get anyway. And I plan on enjoying every second!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Good-bye Old Friend

I said good-bye to my best friend today. December 5 would have been our 15 year anniversary, and she had just turned 15 years old.
Because we got her on St. Nick's day, my mom suggested naming her Nicole, Nikki for short. We brought her home from the Humane Society in the middle of a blizzard. My mom said I could have a cat, finally after about a year of begging, and I was bound and determined to get her on the day they said I could have her. So in about 3 feet of snow, my mom drove me to the other side of town to pick up my baby girl. She was only 8 weeks old and fit in the palm of my hand.
Nikki was my sweet girl who grew old and got sick like all cats do. About a year ago I came to terms with the fact that she was indeed very old and wouldn't be with me forever. That didn't make today any easier.
Nikki was a tortoise shell tabby cat, gray and white, and absolutely beautiful. She had a aire about her, a bit aloof and maybe even snotty. This was, after all, HER house, and we were HER people. There was no master/pet in this relationship. There was Nikki and her people.
We'll always be pet people. And eventhough today was very painful as I held her at the vet and she went to sleep, I wouldn't give it up for anything. And I have two other cats with whom I can only hope to share so many happy years with. Nikki, though, will always hold that special place in my heart above and beyond the others.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I know you all know this song....

Times have changed and times are strange
Here I come , But I ain't the same
Mama, I'm Coming Home ......
I've seen your face a hundered times
Everyday we've been apart
I don't care about the sunshine, yeah
'Cause Mama, Mama, I'm Coming Home
I'm Coming Home

There are no sweeter words to my ears right now than, Mama, I'm coming home! Ok, he doesn't actually call me "Mama", more like "Sweetie", or "Honey", or mostly "Baby", but I don't care cause, Baby... He's coming home!!!!
Oh ya, you hear me right! He's getting on a plane tomorrow and and as the great Wizard of Oz says, He's coming home!
Husband called on Sunday after a long two and a half weeks of going dark and he said that he might get a two week leave at the end of the month. So I'm thinking, cool, he'll come home around Halloween.
Then he called this morning to say that he's getting on a plane tomorrow to fly home for his leave. I was like, HUH??!!!! Seriously?! I just didn't realize he was coming NOW!!!
And the place is a mess, and I have to put my cat down tomorrow (a whole other post) and I'm just not ready, yet, Baby! But I don't really have a choice, and he doesn't care about the place being a mess. He just wants his bed, and home cooked meals, and play with the kids.... and me!
YIPEE!!!!!!! Oh ya, Baby's Coming Home!
After that we'll worry about if his tour is extended or not. For now, we'll celebrate the fact that he'll be home soon. In my arms, playing with the kids.... leaving his dirty socks all over for me to pick up!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

He's mine, get your mitts off!

I do have sad news, but I'm going to wait and dwell on the good for now.
Yesterday I chaperoned Drew's field trip to a theatre to see a play. It was a lot of fun and the play consisted of several children's stories including one of my all time faves, If You Give A Mouse a Cookie.
We rode on the bus, of course, and it was pretty cold out. So the 20 minute bus ride was not a lot of fun.
Drew has always been into girls, as I wrote about in my very first post that I seem to have trouble linking to. He had a "girlfriend" last year in preschool, even!
So far this year in kindergarten he's had a few girls that liked him, but one calls him her boyfriend. Yesterday on the field trip this little girl, the lovely Jasmine, grabbed Drew's hand an in this sweet coy little voice she says, "I love you, Andrew!" What? Love? Now I'm feeling just a small twinge of what my friend Kelly wrote about when she talked about hearing her 15 year old son say I love you on the phone to his girlfriend!
Then, this little... lover girl... kissed her hand and flirtatiously plants it on his cheek. No bother to her that I, his MOTHER, am sitting right there!
All right, all right, enough, little girlie! Go sit in your seat!
What was I supposed to do? I just kinda sat there with Drew looking up at me all embarassed. The little boy who cries when I make him pick up his toys is being kissed by a girl! This is just too much!
After the play, we're walking back to the bus and Jasmine grabs Drew's hand and starts swinging it back and forth, and again she says, "I love you, Andrew!"
My heart.... is being.... ripped.... from ......my chest......
Then little girlie takes his hand and kisses it! How dare she! Has her mother taught her no better? First of all, she's way too young to be acting like this, and second, she's throwing herself at my 5 year old son who still pees his pants from time to time!
I'm not ready to give up my little boy. He's mine for a long time still. I am not going to be one of those mothers that easily shares their son with every Betty, Paula and Jasmine that comes along! Ok, I may not be quite so protective, but he's going to learn to pick up his underware before starts getting too serious!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

What I Miss....

When your husband or significant other is gone for a long period of time, there are certain things you start to miss. Now there's the obvious, like sex, companionship, someone to think it's cute that you steal the covers... but then there's the not so obvious.

Like:
~When I run out of deoderant, I can't borrow his until I finally get to Wal Mart to buy my own.
~When my 5 year old son comes out of the bathroom looking rather mischievious and I find my wet toothbrush in the sink... there's no one else's toothbrush to borrow until I make it to Wal Mart to buy a new one.
~There's no one to reassure me that I'm pretty when I have my fat/ugly days.
~No one to take the kids to the park on a Sunday after church so that I can sit and veg or take a nap.
~If I am out of eggs and need to bake 24 cupcakes for one of the kids to take to school the next day and I just realized at 9:00 at night that I need to run to the store, there's no one to stay home with the kids for me. I have to either pack them all up in their pj's, or stop by the store before school and get store made cupcakes.... which just don't taste as good as mom's cupcakes do! And do you know that people actually look at you funny when you knock on their door at 9:00 at night in your pj's asking for an egg?!
~On Sundays, no one is parked in front of the television all day watching football until I beg and nag so much that he finally gets up and comes outside with us.

Some things I've just always taken for granted, or complained about. And I'm sure once he comes home I'll start complaining about the dirty socks he takes off and leaves where ever he takes them off at, or the egg shells that he can't seem to grind up in the garbage disposal, or the american cheese wrappers that can't find their way to the trash that's less than 5 feet away. After awhile it'll all start to annoy me again. For now, I'd be happy to let him sit on the couch the whole weekend watching the first 4 Rocky movies back to back, and throwing in a Conan just to switch things up!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I Found It!!!

I FOUND MY RING!!!!

Ok, that is all!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

When it rains.... the poo hits the fan...

Wait, that doesn't sound right. When it rains.... shit hits the ceiling.... No, that's not right either. Ok, when there's shit, and a fan, and lots of rain.... nothing good can come from it!
That sounds good!
Let me list off all the crap, then I'll explain it. Sound good?
1. lost my wedding ring
2. engagement ring is broken (the band snapped off by the mounting)
3. my 15 year old cat, and best friend, has stopped eating and is all skin and bones and I can't afford to keep pumping money into her
4. my deadbeat brother-in-law, dead sis-in-law's widower (although he doesn't deserve to be called that) was in jail. My inlaws were taking care of my niece, their daughter's daughter. My niece was adjusting well and settling into kindergarten. Said deadbeat bro-in-law is out of jail and has taken back his daughter. I don't forsee anything good coming from this.

Ok, I think that about sums it up for now, but if there's anything else, I'll let you know.
Now for my rings. I know the wedding ring is somewhere in this pigsty that is my room. All I have to do is peel layer by layer and hopefully I'll find it. It is quite the daunting task, though. My engagement ring broke once before, years ago. It cost $200 to fix it back then, and I don't have $200 now. So I guess it will be quite awhile before I get to wear that again.

My cat, my sweet, sweet Nikki! I got her on December 5, 1991, and she was 8 weeks old. She was my dream come true and we've been best friends ever since. And now she's stopped eating and she's skin and bones and she's just old. I know that vets want you to spend every cent you have to fix whatever is wrong with them. But what if she's 15 years old and just, well....old. Animals can die of old age, too. I don't know if it's right to keep spending money I don't have to fix her when she's this old. And my husband, although he knows how much I love her and he's spent tons of money on her before, would tell me enough is enough. So this is a decision that I'm going to have to make very soon. For now she's responding well to the canned food that the vet suggested and we'll see what else he has to say on Tuesday.


Now, for what's happening with Eve, my niece. Her dad has had what he calls a bad string of luck since her mom died. I say bullshit! There's no bad luck about his behavior since his wife passed away almost two years ago.
To make a really long story short, he was in jail for drunk driving and my inlaws were taking care of Eve. She was adjusting nicely and had started kindergarten. She wore them out, but they loved having her. They would do anything for their daughter, Tabitha (who we all knew was the favorite!), and in turn they would do anything for Eve.
Now, this bro-in-law of mine has a new girlfriend who he's decided to shack up with, not for love, not for companionship, but for the sole purpose that he's lazy and doesn't want to work and she likes working full time and taking care of loafers. So she's graciously accepted Eve and her daddy into her home. Isn't she a saint? And maybe this girl is very nice, but don't you ever, ever come in and try to replace Eve's mommy. We won't have any of that! And yes, Tabitha has been gone for two years, and yes, her husband has a right to move on. But it's not that simple. I only wish it were a need for companionship on his part. He does have a need, though, he has a need to sponge off of as many people as possible. And this poor girlfriend fell for his bull crap hook, line, and sad little sob story. As Kate tells me, "Women grieve, men replace".
So on Tuesday, a day after what would have been Tabitha's 29th birthday, Eve's dad and new girlfriend go to my inlaws to take Eve "home" to a place that isn't her home. To this girlfriend's apartment.
Since there's nothing else I can do right now, I pray. I pray for Eve. I pray that she adjusts well to being back with her dad. I pray that this new girlfriend takes good care of our little girl. I pray that momma Tabitha watches over her sweetpea. I pray that Eve's dad gets his head out of his ass and realizes that he has a real live human being that is dependent on him and that YES he CAN stand up a be a man for the first time in his life and get a job and work and support his daughter. The daughter that he made with a woman he claims he was madly in love with. I can tell you one thing, no one who loves their partner that much ever treats their kids that way.

Most of this is fixable. It is just overwhelming because so much stuff happened at the same time. Some other things, but I'm not brave enough to tell them. Financial things and let's just say, it will take me awhile to dig out of this one!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Up all night, Sleep all day...

I know you all know this Slaughter song, so sing it with me!

Up all night, sleep all day
Up all night, sleep all day

When evening comes I am alive
I love to prowl around in the streets
It's the moonlight that controls my mind
Now I've got the power to speak
Awake from dusk to dawn
Watching the city lights
Stars are shining down
They'll be shining down
On you and I
And when the morning comes
And I'll hold you'Til the morning light

Everybody sing it now

Up all night, sleep all day
Up all night, sleep all day
(If you could see me, I'm rocking out, headbanging with my devil horns held high in the air!)

This is my theme song, man!!! Me and Hunter are rocking all night and sleeping all day! Party!!!!

Ok, it's actually FAR from a party. It's more, Hunter playing around and me sitting on the couch in a zombie like state begging him to fall asleep. Then, he actually has the nerve to laugh at me!
"Haha, Mommy! I no sleep!!!", as he shakes his head. Awww, isn't that cute?

The good side of this is that the kids go to school, so after we drop them off Hunter goes back to bed and I can go to bed for a little while. I love my bed. It's so big and comfy. And I'm so tired all the time.
The bad side to this, besides the obvious me getting no sleep thing, is that I'm getting nothing done! I don't get my errands done, or dishes or laundry... my whole day is spent sleeping. I'm just so tired.
I need to get this kid back on a regular schedule cause these graveyard shifts are doing me no good when I have a day shift to be in charge of as well.
Last night I was up till 5:00 am, got two hours of sleep and then had to get up at 7:00 to get the kids to school. The other night it was 4:00. I live for the days when he was up till only 12:30. Can't believe I used to complain about that.
So here he is, taking a late evening nap, and I know that means that he'll be up again all night. Grrrr... why did I let him fall asleep?! Oh ya, to get the stuff done that I didn't get done today cause I was sleeping!

Monday, October 02, 2006

I Wonder if People Wonder

The kids and I moved into this apartment after my husband got deployed. He did get to come home one weekend before he left and he saw what it looks like, but other than that, he's never lived here.
We had a house that we sold. A cute little three bedroom house with a nice playroom in the basement and a big fenced in backyard. The neighborhood was pretty good, too. I could let the kids play out front or ride their bikes in the street without too much worry. There was always someone around for them to play with.
Drew got into it with the people across the street once and we stopped playing with those kids, but other than that, they had a lot of friends.
So here we are, in an apartment that looked really big until we moved all of our crap in. There is a private entrance, and three bedrooms. The room that Drew and Hunter share is huge. There are two bathrooms (I get one all to myself!) The kitchen is small as hell, though. There's a dining area that I can only fit a tiny round table in (good thing I already had one) and it's a good thing my husband isn't here because with the high chair for Hunter, only three chairs fit around the table. Also a garage that is filled to the very top with all the crap that seemed to fit nicely in my house.
Ok, so my point is, it's small, and I'm tired of it!
But I wonder a lot of times, as I see my neighbors looking at me, what do they think? Do they wonder why they never see a man go in and out of my place? Do they wonder why I have three kids, no husband, and yet, don't work?
I only talk to the people directly underneath me. They are older, ok, really old, like mid-80's, but really nice. They tolerate our noise and the lady has told me that days we are away all day she gets lonely without the constant pitter-patter. She jokingly asks if Drew ever walks, or does he just run all the time! I can hear their giant grandfather clock chime off the quarter, half, and full hours. Drew is constantly dropping things off the balcony, and the old lady always puts them on our doorstep. Some days we have a whole Hot Wheel collection sitting out front. Then Drew gets one of those looks from me. You know, the, Why did you do that? look!
When we first moved in last April, the girl next to me said she apologizes ahead of time if her cat disturbs us. CAT? Disturb us? Ummm.... I don't get it! A dog would disturb us, but a cat? I said, well, I have three rowdy and wild kids who are used to their own house, so I apologize for them! (Trumped her cat, didn't I?!)
Every once in awhile, though, I'll catch a look from someone. Someone who I know wonders. Wonders just how it is that I'm living here with no man, and seemingly no job.
On the other hand, the manager of the complexes knows my story and he likes to talk about everyone. So maybe everyone already knows and I'm just being paranoid!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Two Weeks

Two weeks isn't really that long of time, is it?
If I was planning a trip to my best friend Jen in Savannah's house (like I was this time last year!), and it was two weeks until I'd be there, we would both be so excited and time would fly right by.
If you and I talked on the phone every day, used eachother for support chit chatted and just in general relied on eachother, and one day I said, "I'm going to be really busy with a lot of projects and upcoming things, I think it will probably be two weeks before I can call again," you may be a little sad, but you'd live life normally and go about your two weeks.
Now, how about your husband? Can you go two weeks without talking to him? Can you imagine what it would be like if your hubby said, "It'll be two weeks"?
Some of you can, if you're military like me, or widowed like Kate. You know.
I get that a lot with my husband being where he is, and having the job he has. Every week or so, all he says is, "It'll be two weeks". Sometimes he only gets a two or three day break and then he's back at it.
But as bad as this is for me, it's worse for him. I can't imagine what he's going through.
So, here's to another two weeks! May they go by quickly!

(*to Jenny Mac, yes, that's what I call you to separate the three Jen's in my life, I really was on my way out when I got distracted! So I wasn't lying! lol!)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Five Girls and a Kitten

Wow, I'm so bad at blogging! It's really been that long since I posted last? That shows you what I think of all of you, huh?!
Last night was the big birthday party for Louisa. We had 5 girls, including her, here spending the night. I live in a small apartment..... I live upstairs.... There is an elderly couple who lives downstairs. Thank goodness for me they are very tolerant. However, 5 girls running, running, constantly running... not to mention jumping... probably drove those old people nuts!
Drew went to his auntie's house. We have a big problem with him being here while Louisa has sleepovers. He likes to chase the girls, and attack them, and do super hyper jump kick karate chops on them. Somehow, I figured the night would go smoother without him.
We started out at a Build a Bear knock off called, none other than, Build a Buddy! (How creative!) There were different birthday packages and the one we chose the girls could pick any animal, and decorate a t-shit, and they would also get a cute little sleeping bag.
Now, if I could find my digital camera, I would be overwhelming you all with pictures right now, but, as my luck goes, I didn't have my digital with me last night. We had a Bratz camera I gave Louisa as a birthday present that had a roll of film with 12 exposures. So that's what we used last night. And with Louisa taking pictures, 12 goes fast! You will just have to bear with me and imagine (no pun intended).
There were so many animals to choose from, some of the girls, including Louisa, had a hard time. We eventually ended up with a duck, two pandas, a cute little brown furry dog, and a cute brown-ish orange-ish floppy dog, and also a unicorn because we had a friend who is only 4 just for the animal stuffing, not the sleepover part. The girls got to sew a trick or treat bag, as well for their new friends. Which was a cute idea, but took way too long. I would have just prefered to stuff, decorate a shirt and be out of there.
Once we got back to the apartment, I took their pizza order and, well, ordered! They played Twister while we were waiting for the food to arrive and holy cow are they crabby when they can't cheat! This would have been an awesome time to have my camera, but alas.
One large pepperoni and one large sausage, cheese sticks, orange soda and Sprite finally arrives. And boy did those girls eat! One girl had 4 pieces of pizza and everyone else had 3. Not to mention the cheese bread and endless refills on soda. THEN they still had room for cake!
Reynolds has these cute new Fun Shapes baking cups out now, so I bought stars and hearts and baked chocolate cake and then let the girls pick what shape. We had 3 stars and 2 hearts. Then they got to decorate their own with frosting, sprinkles, gel writers, etc... Another time where my camera would have come in handy! They got pretty creative.
So, in my title I mentioned the kitten, and I have yet to say why. I'll take a minute now to tell you why. Scooter was by far the center of attention. As I knew he would be. However, it got to be a little much for him. Since his newness has worn off for Louisa and Drew, Scooter is just one of the cats now. He gets a lot of attention, like they all do, but the kids don't have the need to hold him every second. He just runs around and plays and comes to us when he wants some lovin'. That's what he's used to now. But the sleep over guests had something else in mind for this little guy. And it's called, torture!
Especially two twins who want a kitten more than anything (and their mom is seriously looking into it, just has to find one with low dander). The twins chased Scooter all over this little place, and once he'd find some place to settle and catch his breath (and hide) they would find him again. He doesn't like being locked up. I did put him in my room and closed the door so they couldn't get him, but he stuck his little feet out under the door and they still managed to get ahold of the poor little guy.
So Scooter was carried and rocked and petted and brushed and smooshed and smothered and squeezed and fought over (you could just see him saying "Please ladies... there's enough of me to go around!" in his best French accent).
Nighttime came and the girls got out all their sleeping stuff and put on pj's. I thought we'd play a game to help everyone wind down. We played Disney Scene It. Two teams and I split up the two smart girls thinking that way both teams would stand a chance. Louisa and her friend Kenady are both in the gifted & talented classes at school, so I knew I had to split them up. And you always have to split up the twins or they will just fight the whole time. Unfortunately we had a team of 2 and a team of 3, but we didn't really have a choice. Louisa's team won both times.
Then I told them it was time to lay down. It was about 11 and Hunter still needed to go to sleep and I was totally wiped. They brushed teeth and got all situated with who was laying next to who. And then the giggling began. That inevitable giggling that always comes when you get several girls laying down at bedtime together. Then someone farted and there was thunderous laughter. Then someone burped (on purpose) and even more laughter.
One of the twins got a little crabby and decided to go lay down on Louisa's bed so she could sleep. One fell asleep and then there were four!
Four little girlies, laying on the floor, one of them farted and they all laughed some more!
Hey, that sounds like a song!
So they giggled and they giggled and they talked about boys. The pretended their new stuffed friends were boys that eveyrone likes in the class and they asked them out and fought over them. Eventhough Louisa claims she doesn't like boys, she was right there with them, talking about Jakey! ((sigh)) Oh Jakey!
Funny Louisa never mentioned the boy I know she really likes. Or would like if she liked boys. She just went along with who everyone else likes.
Finally at 2:00 am I told them all to lay down. I had to go to bed. Within 5 minutes of everyone laying down, they were all asleep.
Then, 7:00 am, they were all up bright and early! And I dragged my butt out of bed as slowly as possible.
Thus ends our sleepover adventure.
Oh, did I mention that the decorations were pink Super Girl? Ya, Very cool!

(there, since I don't have pics, I did a good job of adding links!)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's Baby Girl's Birthday!!!!

Holy Cow, she's a tween! What am I supposed to do with a tween? Louisa is officially 9 years old. Well, ok, not officially, but pretty close. I told her we couldn't celebrate her birthday until 6:54 PM! She didn't like that.
So as I'm putting her to bed, giving my last hugs to my 8 year old she asks, "Can I have a present when I wake up?" Oh, gee... I don't know.... I didn't really get her many this year because she's having a huge party with her friends on Friday, and some of the gifts she did get were kind of expensive. So we talked about it and she understood that if we counted up Drew's presents from his 5th birthday in May, and her presents, he would hands down have more. However, hers were more costly. Ya, that made sense to her. She's good like that. She thinks of Drew first a lot.
Here we are, and I can't sleep eventhough ALL three kids were in bed by 9:15. Then I IMed with one friend and then another and then read some blogs and am just too excited to sleep. Oh, and I'm also blowing up balloons! I thought it would be funny to blow up a bunch of pink, purple and silver balloons (her fave colors) and put them in her room for when she wakes up. And boy am I out of breath! I think 20 is plenty. Maybe just a few more.
Well, here I sit, finally tired, out of breath, and ready to take on this new adventure with my little girl who's grown up to be a tween! And oh boy are we going to clash when she's a teenager. We are way too much alike and I fight her laziness and airheadedness tooth and nail. I don't want her to grow up and be lazy and airheaded like me. Life is too hard this way. Life is so much easier when you can remember doctors appointments (and not forget them all the time like I did again today), and life is easier when you keep a clean house (so then you don't have to spend an entire week working your butt off cause your daughter is having a sleepover in a few days and the house is a toxic wasteland).
Here we go, on to stage two of baby girl's life. Boys, talking on the phone with friends, hanging out at the mall, ok... I'm getting ahead of myself, but you get the picture. And some of you have been there, done that, donated the t-shirt to Goodwill! So any advice you have for me on this long journey... keep it to yourself! I can figure it out on my own!

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's ok everyone... he knows!

Yes, I told my husband about the new kitty tonight. We were instant messaging (a new thing that is quite enjoyable!) and I asked him what he thought about having another baby. He said no. I said please. He said maybe. I said pretty-please. He said let's talk when Hunter is 2. YES!!! So, score one for me! He is considering another baby! Not that anything is set in stone, and I can always change my mind, but for now, I'm thinking babies! (Yes, I'm totally crazy!)
Then, after that victory, I thought I'd bring up the kitten. So I asked, Can we have a kitten? He said NO! I said Please. He said NO! I said pretty-please, it's free! He said NO! Hmmm.... I wasn't going to win with this one. So I began to bargain. If you let me have a kitten I'll (insert something two married people do here) when you get back! That got him thinking. He told me when he gets back he'll let us have another kitten. Ok... we're making headway. So, I propositioned him again because, after all, what are our womanly ways for if not for bribing our husbands! Little by little he gave and then he got suspicious. He asked just where this "free" kitten was coming from. Uh-oh... should I lie? The kitten came from Ohio a month ago!
Time to fess up. I sent him an email of just a picture of the kitten and told him to check his email. He was gone for a bit and then came back and said "You already got the damn cat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Yup! I did! hehehe
But how could he resist that adorable little face and that sweet little nose and those tiny little ears? He couldn't! He said it was fine, but I owed him big time!
Hehehe.... I always get my way!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

All Settled in School

The beginning of school is a Catch 22 for me. I love that the kids are back in school. I love that they are happy to be there. I love that they both have awesome teachers.
But now I'm stuck without them all day. I have the baby and he really is a lot of fun to be with, but I miss my Drew! Louisa, well, I love her here, but I know how much she wants to be in school. For her it's a NEED to learn. Not just a chore, or a job like for other kids. She has this physical NEED that she has to be constantly learning. So wanting to keep her home would just be silly of me. She's bored at home.
Drew, though, he's my little guy. This is his first year in all day school. He's a kindergartener. A very proud one, at that.
He has the same teacher Louisa had in kindergarten, which for us, is a good thing. This teacher knows that Drew is not Louisa. She doesn't expect the same things out of him. He is every bit as smart as his sister, but he's not near as calm as her. He can't sit for more than a few minutes before he's antsy and bored and looking for something else to do. Whereas Louisa could sit still longer than any other kid when she was in kindergarten.
So, here we are, a few weeks in to school. And Drew has already been sent to the principal's office for fighting and Louisa, well..... she's just perfect as usual!
Drew has a hard path ahead of him, walking in her footsteps. Luckily for him, we don't expect the same thing from him as we do from her. We know he's smart, very smart. But he's smart in a different way and we can't let him get bored.
So far he says he's not bored in school. He's making friends and having fun. Today is his first sick day staying home and he's not too happy with me. He told me, through teary eyes, that he'll miss snack time and he won't get to sign up to be a helper. And today is Hat Day, he can't wear his hat... and... and... and.... there were many reasons why he HAD to go to school today. Thanks goodness, because if he was happy to stay home, then we'd have a problem. I'm glad he fought me so hard to not stay home today. I didn't give in, of course, because he is probably contageous with his coughing and sneezing, but he put up a good fight and a very good argument!

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Box:: This being the story of a soldier's wife, and her box

**I posted this on my other two blogs, so, sorry if it's a repeat for some of you! Thanks for bearing with me, though**

I recently came to the realization that my relationship with my deployed husband is dependent on a box. Every Friday, like clockwork, I mail him a box. The box has a variety of things in it. Licorice, cookies, tobacco, magazines, books, pictures of the kids, pictures the kids drew, a letter from me. I try to make each box a little different so that it's like his birthday every time he opens it. And, I try to fit as much love as I can into each one.
But now I'm thinking, when did this happen? When did our lives become so dependent on a box?
As I thought more about it, I imagined a conversation between me and God that went something like this:

God: It's time now, Peggie. Andrew has to go away for a little while.
Me: But I will miss him! What am I going to do without him!
God: It will be ok. I'll be here with you. I will give you something to help you stay connected.

God hands me a box. It's a plain, brown, cardboard box. Not very big and not very small. There's nothing in it and nothing written on it. I turn the box over in my hands and then look at God. "What do I do with it?" I ask.
"Fill it with love," God replies.
So, every Friday I fill my box with as much love as I can get into it and mail it to a far-a-way place. In that far-a-way place, my husband waits anxiously for his box that he knows is filled with love.
But some weeks I'm lazy. Some weeks I don't feel like it, or I'm too sad and I don't get the box mailed out. I wonder what he thinks on those weeks. Is he sad that he didn't get one? Does he wonder why I didn't send it?
On those weeks, God hands me my box and reminds me what it's for.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A letter from a deployed father to his son

My husband just emailed this to Drew and I had to post it. It made me cry.

"Hey Drew Bear,

Daddy misses you a lot and can’t wait to see you and your brother and sister. I hope you are having fun in school and are being a good boy for mommy. When I get home I hope to do a lot of fun stuff with you and your bro and sis. I am missing you, but remember what daddy does is important and I am making the world a safer place every day I am away."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Today we Remember, John Napolitano

John Napolitano
World Trade Center

I've never met Lt. John Napolitano. I've never met any who either died or knew someone who died on Sept. 11, 2001. But I've prayed for them. I've prayed for 2996 brave people who lost their lives that day. Mostly, I've prayed for their families.

I wish I could write something about John that was just perfect, but I found this and it was all already said. This was originally printed in the New York Times on December 27, 2001, but I found it on Legacy.com Remember: September 11, 2001, which is an incredible Sept. 11 tribute website.

Living Life His Own Way
John P. Napolitano won enough awards, medals and citations from the New York Fire Department and the Lakeland Fire District in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., where he lived, to fill a box.
And a box is where he kept them.
"He didn't have to wear medals on his chest," said his father, John. "I really admired him, not for what he did for a living, but for how he lived his life."
Lieutenant Napolitano — he was promoted posthumously — was a fireman's fireman. He showed up as an experienced rookie in 1991, having started as a junior volunteer with the Lakeland district when he was 17. He eventually became chief and commissioner there.
Robert Galione worked with Lieutenant Napolitano at Rescue 2 in Brooklyn, following him into some tough fires. "He'd go into a fire that was roaring so loud we couldn't hear anything," Firefighter Galione said. "I was right behind him humping the hose, so I know he never took a step back."
Firefighting was his life's work, but not his life. "What did he do outside the firehouse?" said his father. "That's the easiest question to answer. Being with his wife and kids. Period. End of story."
To please his two little girls, Elizabeth and Emma Rose, Lieutenant Napolitano, 33, would do almost anything. The image that sticks in the mind of his wife, Anne, is of him trying to fly a kite on a windless day to make the girls smile.
They did.
Also on Legacy.com there is a Guest Book for John to view and sign. I suggest anyone wanting to get to know John better view this Guest Book as it has 5 years worth of heartbreaking and beautiful letters from his father, John Napolitano Sr, on it. Somehow, it doesn't seem right for me to share those thoughts and feelings with you without asking his father first. So, please take a moment to read at least a few of this grieving father's memories of John. Because no one can ever say it better than he can. His admiration for his son is so prevalent in everything he writes. John Sr. celebrates his son's life in these touching letters.
Please, say a prayer Thanking God for Lt. John Napolitano's herioc acts on the day of September 11, 2001 as he entered the World Trade Center with one thing in mind, to save people. And pray for his family, his mom and dad, his wive and two daughters, his sisters, and fellow firefighters.
Thank you, John.
*Also, please take a few minutes to visit
the 2996 website to see the list of more than 3400 bloggers who have signed up to pay tribute to a Sept. 11 vicitm. Links to all their pages with their tributes are listed.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

One down, many many more to go....

We made it through one week of school! Hooray! Ok ya, lots of people made it through one week of school, big deal, right?!
If you had a Drew in your family, you'd understand my relief of having made it through with very little problems.
Well, there was one big problem on the first day. He bit someone. That is sometimes his reaction when he gets his feelings hurt. He'll bite or hit. I know it's wrong and he knows it's wrong. But he's a very emotional little guy and when someone, on the first day when you're supposed to be making friends says, I don't want to be your friend, you get hurt. He's a friendly sort of boy. He likes to play and have fun and make friends with as many kids as possible. Unfortunately for him not all kids are into running around pretending to fly and climb walls and have super heat lazer vision, like he does. Hey, what can I say? He's going to make a fortune writing comic books and buy his mom a house someday, so I can't complain!
That was Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday both went well. On Thursday when I picked him up I asked if he had any timeouts that day. He looked at me with a puzzled look and said, "Why would you ask me something like that?" Well, good question! I shouldn't remind him that he used to get time outs a lot in preschool. This is a whole new year and if I expect him to move on and behave, then I'd better move on as well. So I promised, no more questions about time-outs. He'll let me know if he gets one.
Drew also wants me to talk to the teacher every day after school to see if he did good. You know what he really wants, the attention and the praise! Don't I give him enough of that at home? I think I do, but apparently he doesn't. I try! He gets rewards for a job well done, he gets tons of hugs and snuggle time, I am constantly praising him on everything he does. Wow, he's a high maintenence kid!
As for Louisa, we never ever have to worry about her in school. She is the model student! Popular, teacher's pet, gifted and talented, sweet, funny, well behaved little girl. Where did she come from?! I was never any of those things. The few times I was popular was because the popular girls wanted to use me for something, I was never in any accelerated class unless photography in high school counts. Oh, there was Honors English, but I took that to get out of speech class!
So, we made it safe and sound through one week. And now we have many many many more to go!