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
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.

~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!!!


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!)