Monday, September 10, 2012

Censorship? Yes, please!

I teach Sunday School for a sweet group of children who range between the ages of 5 and 7. Our regular crowd is made up almost entirely of five year olds... And Alex. Who just turned seven.

This week our lesson was about David and Goliath. Thanks to a very thorough Sunday school class Alex visited when he was five, he is privy to gory details about the David and Goliath story that many people are not aware of.

I planned on following the preplanned curriculum, which omitted the gruesome details, partially because they're gruesome details, and partially because having to explain decapitation to my kindergartner a few years ago was slightly scarring for  me. I have no wish to repeat the experience with other people's children.

I decided a quick chat with Alex before class time was crucial for my plan "Avoid Gruesome Details".

Me: We're going to talk about David and Goliath today.

Alex: I know that story!!!! David hit goliath with a rock AND THEN HE CUT OFF GOLIATH'S HEAD!!!

Me: Yes, but we're not going to talk about the part where his head gets cut off.
Because the girls are only five years old, and I don't want to scare them.

Alex: ....If they say it first can we talk about it?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ode to a Pediatrician

Dear Ex-Pediatrician,
The last time I saw you, you broke my heart into a million pieces.
When you said you were moving across the country, I forgot how to breathe.

You came into my life, when I had given up. I had no hope. While the other pediatricians told me I was an over anxious first time mom, you listened to me, and addressed my concerns. Instead of rolling your eyes at me, you looked through the charts and saw my reason for concern.
Because of you we were pushed through to see the specialist and get the necessary tests. Without you we probably never would have had the chance for Alex to get the surgery he needed.
You helped renew my faith in medical professionals.

After you left, we bounced from one pediatrician to another. We saw big ones, we saw small ones. We saw old ones, we saw young ones. After another visit of being bullied and ridiculed, I would sigh deeply and say "I wish Dr. P was still here.".

But then we met someone. Someone else who listened and addressed our concerns. When we choose to do something outside of the mainstream way of thinking, she helped us achieve our goals. I stopped wishing you would come back.

Then today, as I gingerly walked through the crowded pediatric lobby, praying that my healthy children would hold their collective breath and not touch anything. I saw you. I have to admit, you looked familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on who you were until I looked at your name tape.
Excitement coursed through my body as realization hit me.

You are back!

Visions flashed through my mind. First of you ordering Alex's allergy tests, then of our current pediatrician ordering donor milk for Spain. Examples battled in my mind as I grappled with the dilemma: Stay with our current pediatrician, or try to get you back.
All day long I deliberated. I thought I had decided, and then I would change my mind.

Finally I made a decision. What we had was wonderful. You restored my faith in medical professionals, and because of you, my son can breathe... Literally.
It's been three years though, and we've moved on. We're happy in our relationship with our current pediatrician. I can't throw that away.

You'll always have a place in my heart.

Thank you for everything.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Sometimes I sit down to write a post with a very clear idea of what I want to say. Usually it happens to be an issue that I'm feeling particularly passionate about.

Surprisingly, I'm finding that my writing begins to go in a different direction altogether. While the finished piece is something I'm usually proud to share, it is not at all what I had originally intended.

I chalk it up to a supernatural power. You see, in the melting pot that is my genealogical ancestry, there is a strong Irish presence on one side, and a lively Scottish presence on the other side. Neither group is particularly known for their diplomacy.

Not to mention, I really hate having to eat my words.

Sometimes I feel like I'm swimming in a sea of negativity, so writing a blog post- Even unintentionally- that is not negative makes me feel refreshed. As a bonus, the driving urge to vent and rant away about some awful situation leaves me.

That is not to say that I will only be writing positive posts from now on. That is HIGHLY unlikely. I'm just saying that sometimes God takes pity on you, and removes my desire to spew my discord all over the internet.

See, miracles do happen.

Musings from a mother

I often wonder how much value is placed on our children. I don't mean how big is their life insurance pay out.
I mean, how much do we value their contribution to society?
I chuckle when I hear the term "Life skills". Life is what is happening every day. From the moment we are born we start learning and assimilating skills . We study our environment consciously and unconsciously. We learn how to respond to social cues and situations. It's an ongoing process that we never stop cycling through.

When Alex was born, he relied on Sweet Husband and I for everything. In one very short year he could get from Point A to Point B on his own. He could feed himself, and he could communicate with us in broken English. 
Two years after that, he could use the bathroom by himself. He understood the other people had feelings. He could still communicate with us in broken English.
Four years after that, he is starting to learn multiplication. He can grasp concepts in physics. He can read books by himself. He can write a letter by himself. 

Every year he continues to grow physically and mentally. He is maturing and picking up new attitudes and behaviors. Every year he is evolving into the man he will become. 

I have to constantly remind myself that Alex is not three years old anymore. He has new capabilities now, and if I don't allow him a chance to exercise these new  attributes, I cannot expect him to become a contributing member of society.
As his parent I need to allow him the opportunity to explore and expand his skills.

One day Alex will be an adult. It will not be a rapid transformation, but a slow metamorphosis.

My hope is that he will be able to interact with people, regardless of their culture or age. My prayer is that he will never stop seeing the humanity in other people, and that he will value their contributions.

I want my child to interact with people that are much older than him, and with people that are much younger than him. I want to learn first hand about compassion and teaching. I want him to hear firsthand accounts of life before the internet and cable tv.

I want him to know that we can celebrate our differences.

I want him to have the confidence to think for himself.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Ugly Truth

I try to maintain a sen of of zen when my children are driving me batty.

""He's young and still learning" I remind myself as I tell Alex to put his shoes away for the eighteenth time.

"This too shall pass" I serenely tell myself as Spain shrieks like a banshee in my ear.

"I am not bothered by the inconsolable screams of the youngest" my mind murmurs.

"I am a rock. Letting the flood of chaos fall off of me" I chant quietly as I realize it's been over a week since I talked to Sweet Husband.

"God help me!" I sigh as Spain starts his third hour of inconsolable screeching.

Then just as I'm teetering on the edge of insanity. Spain falls asleep. The shoes are put away. Sometimes, the dishes are even washed. I fall on the couch and put my feet up.

"Lord, thank you for wine, crossword puzzles and abstinence. Because after tonight I appreciate birth control."

Our 4th of July

I thought I would share a day in our house with you.
There's only ~37 pictures.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dirty Diapers- The last three days rolled into one post

Whew! One week of using nothing but flats. I wasn't sure if I would make it through the second half of the week. The first four days of the challenge we were mainly at home. Sure we ran a few errands, went to church, and went berry picking, but we were never too far away from home. 
Then Thursday night the boys and I packed up and went on a road trip.

 My cousin was graduating high school. Originally we planned on just going for the graduation. It's a little over a four car drive to where they live from our house. My plan was to leave early Friday morning, hang out with the amazing extended family I have over there, attend the graduation, and then head home.
I called my aunt to give her a head's up about our plans, and she graciously suggested that we come up that night and stay with her family.

I packed all the clean flats that I had, plus a few doublers, I thought about bringing the freshly washed flats and letting them think of a good place to put the wet diapers to dry. I changed Spain's diaper and used a flannel topped doubler to give him a stay-dry feeling. Loaded the boys, and the dog into the car and off we went.
I decided to play everything by ear. We arrived at my aunt's house as the clock struck midnight. Twenty minutes later, we were all in bed. The next morning the real fun began. I had brought a small disposable bag of powdered laundry detergent, so that I didn't have to put off washing. I've learned that immediately rinsing diapers makes washing them so much easier. In the morning I let the dirty diapers soak in the sink with a little laundry detergent, while I took a shower. Three rinses, and a tight wringing later they were stashed safely in my wet bag ready for phase two. Since we weren't going to do a lot of driving, I decided to let the diapers dry in the car. I spread them out on the dash and left them there to dry. Four hours later, they were dry and ready for use again.
I did one other load of incognito washing before we left. These ones I left in the wet bag, since we were driving and I didn't have a space to put them.

So the stats:
31 hours away from home. 8.5 of which were spent in the car driving. 10 flat diapers, 5 fleece topped doublers, and 2 covers. 2 loads of washing away from home. Completely success!!
I even had 4 clean diapers still in our bag when we got home, thanks to the incognito hand washing.


Honestly a week of using flats wasn't as intimidating as I expected. Doing laundry wasn't my favorite activity, but it wasn't horrible. Once we found a system, it worked out fantastically. I did buy a set of Boingos which arrived on Friday. They weren't the greatest with the receiving blanket diapers, but they work fantastically with our prefolds.
We did practice some ECing again. Spain doesn't walk yet, but he does show signs of being ready to use the potty, and hey, every time he uses the potty that's one less diaper I have to wash! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dirty Diapers

How I’m Doing- My Thoughts on Handwashing

I don't hate hand washing as much as I expected to. My arms and shoulders are starting to feel like jelly. I better have some fantastically toned arms after this week!!
 I've moved my laundry facility from the kitchen to the bathroom, and wash a load every three diapers. Three diapers is the perfect load size, it's small enough to fit in our bathroom sink, and it also means I'm not anxiously waiting for the clean wash diapers to dry while I eyeball my dwindling stash of clean dry diapers.

It's a bit bizzarre to figure out how much laundry detergent to use in a tiny bathroom sink. My washing machine uses 3-4 TABLESPOONS of detergent. I have no idea how much water my washer hold, but my sink comes no where close to using that much. I have to fight the urge not to sprinkle "just a little more" detergent in when I'm washing.

Tomorrow is going to be the true test. We will be away from home ALL day. That's right, all day long. I haven't figured out how I'm going to do this challenge. 

What did I get myself into?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dirty Diapers-

 How Do I Use My Flats?

Well obviously, I'm using flats as diapers. My fold of choice is a basic rectangle fold.
I start by laying my flat on the floor.

Then I fold it into thirds. If It's a narrower receiving blanket, then I will just fold it in half.

For the Spain's size*, the diaper needs to be about half the length. I fold one end over. This will be the front of my diaper.  

I fold the flap over one more time. My diaper is now a good size for Spain. 

To put this diaper on Spain, I bring the front corners together. This will make a nice leg gusset to contain any nastiness that might try to escape.

Time to add a little baby.

Then I pin the diaper one side at a time.

And we're done!

*I figured this out through trial and error. I fold the diaper, stick Spain on it and then see if I need to make it shorter or longer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dirty Diapers- The supplies

Here's my general set up. 

My "flats" are all receiving blankets. They just don't seem big enough to be used as a blanket, but they are perfect to be used as a diaper. 
I have an assortment of covers, most of which are not pictured. We use fleece shorties, wool, and your average PUL covers.

See? Dino diaper. What's not to love?!

My fastener of choice are pins. However I do have a couple Snappis. 

The doublers that I use as needed, are mostly burp cloths, there are a few wash cloths thrown in.

For washing I'm using the kitchen sink, a 10 quart bucket, latex free rubber gloves, and of course, laundry detergent. My drying rack is a basic vertical drying rack that I picked up for less than $20.

Why Ice Cream is bad

Today was one of those "can't-keep-up-I-can't-remember-what-color-our-couch-is-DID-I-FEED-the-children-today?" kind of days. You know the type. By three o'clock I was in desperate need of either a grown up beverage or ice cream. Since it was only three o'clock, I decided ice cream was the way to go. Unfortunately we had no ice cream. I knew danger was imminent if we did not  leave the house, so I tossed Spain on my back, slapped a hat on Alex's head, and we trudged two blocks to the commissary to get ice cream. 

During the walk we waited on hold with our internet provider. As soon as we reached the commissary, Alex began his 10 point inspections of the car carts. You know, the shopping carts that were mated with Little Tyke cars in an attempt to make grocery shopping with little children somewhat less traumatic. As Alex approached the fourth hybrid cart, I announced "This one's perfect!!" I swung Spain out of the baby carrier and strapped him into Driver's Seat A. Alex gave me a patronizing look as he climbed into Driver's Seat B "I was trying to find one with a working horn" He explained patiently. I know. That's why I stopped you before you found one. 

By the time we got to the glorious ice cream display, we were talking to a real human trying to figure out our internet difficulties. Twenty minutes later we were still standing in front of the ice cream display as the very nice Indian Jan and I discussed our internet issues. The boys were starting to get skittish. The Hybrid cart was losing it's novelty and it was all my fault!!
I wrapped things up with Jan, we grabbed some Ice Cream (with more than 5 ingredients in it. -10 points), and turned down the yogurt aisle. All of a  sudden the hybrid cart novelty was gone. Spain was screeching like a baby velociraptor and trying to shove Alex out of the cart. I pulled over and pulled Spain out of the cart. Alex got back in to drive, and I awkwardly carried Spain in one arm while pushing the cart. This is where things begin to go HORRIBLY WRONG.
 We stopped in front of the eggs. The price tags for the eggs were on the very bottom shelf, conveniently placed where you could not read them through the door. I put Spain on the floor, right between our cart and door to the egg case, just in case he had any ideas about escaping, then launched myself into the egg case, at an angle that would have impressed a circus contortionist. As my eyes landed on the array of price tags, I saw Spain's diaper cover hit the ground. 

Normally, this wouldn't be an issue, because I like pins. You pin the diaper on, and it's not going anywhere. Cover on. Cover off. The diaper stays in place. 
But I didn't use pins this time.

Now I have your attention. 

That's right. I didn't use pins. Or a Snappi. Or any other type of fastener. I folded my flat into a rectangle, stuck it in a cover and off we went. It would have worked perfectly, except that in my haste to get out of the house I didn't put pants on Spain. When he was in the carrier on my back he couldn't get to the cover, but while wrestling in the confining space of the hybrid cart................

I jerked out of the egg case, in a flash I grabbed the diaper and quickly and awkwardly tried to cover el nino up. The folded flat kept sliding out of place, and EVERYONE in a two mile radius suddenly needed eggs. I forgot how to breathe as I pushed the cart over to a cracker display. Spain, at this point realized that I was cramping his style, and went into thrashing mode. Have you ever held a diaper less thrashing baby in the middle of the grocery store? It will bring you closer to God. 
At this point, through what I can only describe as Divine Intervention, the cover cinched into place, the dairy department empty and I could hear the faint sounds of the Hallelujah chorus being piped through the sound system.

I learned something important today.

Never under estimate the power of pants.... Or at the very least, use a cover that snaps instead of velcros.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dirty Diapers

I live!!!
 I know there was some concern, given the silence of my blog. But everything is fine. We are in fact, all still alive.
  It's no secret that we use cloth diapers with Spain. I'm a huge fan of cloth diapers for hundreds of reasons. I'm always a little taken aback when people site time, money and convenience as reasons not to try cloth.  We started using cloth diapers when Alex was born... Actually it was right after we used the last of the disposable diaper supply we received as baby gifts. He was about two month old at the time. Sweet husband was in school and working part time. I was had taken the semester off and had not gone back to work. The truth was, we couldn't afford to buy disposable diapers. 
  We started off with Gerber prefolds. Then I made some fitters. I soured wholesale co-ops for fabric and snaps. I slowly started buying fitters. Before I knew it I had a sizable stash and was completely converted.
As soon we brought Spain home he was cloth diapered. Our stash has everything; fitteds, prefolds, all-in-ones, pocket diapers, and flats. When I head about the Flats and Handwashing challenge, I knew I needed to try it.  

“Why I’m Taking the Challenge”

  Because it's extreme. In an age where everything is automated the idea of washing clothing by hand seems antiquated. The idea of washing diapers by hand seems almost barbaric. As far extreme challenges go, this is a safe one. I don't have to worry about broken legs, lack of food, language barriers or hitch hiking. It's laundry and it's diapering my baby. Both would be happening anyway, I'm just taking a different path on it.
  I only have a few flats. That means I'm going to be forced to think ahead and try to be prepared. I won't be able to put off doing laundry. Between you and me, I'm excited about being forced to be organized for a week. 

Oh, and the hippy points. I'm totally doing it for the hippy points.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Survival Tips for Spouses of Deployed Soldiers.

Care packages are touted far and wide for their magical abilities. However, you will find yourself wondering what to put in these USPS delivered treasure boxes. Your soldier will be no help at all. There is even a chance that they will insist that they “don’t need anything”. Send snack foods… And baby wipes. Don’t expect a Thank you card. They may thank you in passing, while requesting that you send razors.

Everyone from family members to complete strangers at the post office will tell you to stay busy. After a while “stay busy” will begin to sound like “please hit me”. This goes away after homecoming.

Your soldier will never call at a convenient time for you. In fact the more important your plans are, the higher probability of receiving a phone call.
Case in point, I’ve considered making a doctor’s appointment any time I want to talk to Sweet Husband. It never fails, every time I’m in the middle of an examination, he calls. Every. Single. Time.

Don’t talk to other spouses about the frequency of phone calls. Seriously. Nothing good can come of this. If you are the one whose spouse has a hard time finding the Skype icon on their computer you will feel lousy that you don’t get to talk to your spouse that much. Feelings of bitterness, hurt, and distress may bubble up inside of you.
On the other hand, if you’re the one who gets to talk to your spouse every day…. Run. Your life is in danger. Especially if you’re having conversations that are hours long, everyday.
Don’t talk about it. It’s safer that way for everyone.

Don’t post photos of soldiers you know online without they‘re permission. And err on the side of caution, don’t post pictures of them in uniform with visible patches and name tapes. Familiarize yourself with OPSEC.

Don’t post your soldiers deployment information on the internet. Facebook does not need to know your soldier’s flight information or that the unit is stuck in Oz for the next seven hours. I promise.

Friends and strangers will try to make you feel better by telling you about the time they had to spend a week away from their significant other. DO NOT follow your instincts.
Though they mean well, They are clueless.

Don’t be afraid to take your friends up on their offers to help. I’m still working on this one. But I cannot describe the bliss of knowing that there are people able and willing to help you when you need it.

Deployments are rough. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first one or the eighteenth one. You will not finish it the same person you were when you started, and neither will your spouse.

Did I forget anything?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Three things

March has been a rough month for us.
Just when I started to think that we had found a groove of normalcy, both of the boys had health issues pop up. We discovered that Spain stopped gaining weight whenever Sweet Husband deployed.
We had a blood test run to check his iron levels, which turned into a horrifying string of events. The phlebotomist kept uttering "This has never happened before." and "I don't know what to do." Which is never reassuring, and even less so, when they have a needle inserted into your child's arm.
The tubing for the needle was defective, so his blood kept bubbling in the tube. Spain ended up with a blown vein, a deep seated fear of needles, and we never got the results of the blood test. The lab forgot to run the tests.

We scheduled another appointment for a few weeks later, and I turned on my "Jewish Grandmother" charm. I began to offer Spain food ALL. The. Time. I did "normal" things, like buying avocados by the case. And crazy things, like making breast milk yogurt, from our freezer stash. A pediatric dietitian I spoke with suggested I give Spain butter, just little slices of butter occasionally. Like a dutiful mother, I obliged. I discovered that Spain LOVES butter, as long as he can eat it directly from the package. Every time I gave him a slice of butter, he eyed it suspiciously and then would fling it behind his booster seat.

Finally our follow up appointment arrived. We gleefully discovered that Spain gained a pound. Unfortunately after a slightly less horrifying blood draw, we also discovered that Spain is currently iron defiecent. We've started him on an iron supplement, and I'm hoping that once we get his iron levels back to normal, the weight issue will resolve itself.

Not to be outdone. Alex has developed new allergies. We don't know to what yet, just that it's environmental. The poor child has been covered in hives for weeks. He doesn't even notice them anymore. Which does not leave me feeling warm and fuzzy.

During a particularly rough week, I decided I needed to choose happier thoughts to dwell upon. Three things. I told myself Find three good things that happened today.
At first it was difficult. I would strain to think of three good things that had happened each day, but now I'm finding it easier every day. The biggest perk though, is that I don't feel like a unwritten Edgar Allen Poe poem anymore.

Which is good. Because I'm surround by vibrant colorful scenery, and I really should stop and enjoy it. I'll only have this year once. Spain and Alex will only be young once, and if I'm only focusing on surviving this deployment, I'll miss it.

Today my three things are:
1. Alex lost his fear of water he can't stand in. We spent a couple hours at the pool. He kept swimming back and forth
2. We went on a nature walk, and spied flowers, windmills and butterflies.
3. I'm going to bed before midnight.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fun with food

Sometimes, I wonder How can I bring excitement to our house today?

Then I glance down and see something like this:

No, he isn't laying on my lap bleeding.

He's enjoying a baked beet!

In hindsight, perhaps the high chair would have been more fitting area...

FPAD Finale

Day 17- Time

Day 18- Drink

Day 19- Something you hate to do

Put away laundry....

Day 20- Handwriting

Day 21- A Favorite photo of you

Day 22- Where you work

Day 23- Your shoes

Day 24- Inside your bathroom cabinet

Day 25- Green

Day 26- Night

Day 27- Something you ate

Homemade pasta sauce. It was delicious!!!

Day 28- Money

We bought Alex his first proper Bible.

Day 29- Something you're listening to

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mom Points

Some days I don't feel like functioning. I want to spend all day just recharging my batteries. No emergencies to deal with. Nothing pressing to handle. No decisions to make. Most of the time, these days are accompanied by illness, ick, or general discomfort.
I dream of a time when I can be ill, and stay in bed sipping hot tea and sleeping. My nine year old self had no idea how good I had it.

Today I woke up with a feeling of general ick. My sinuses were going crazy, and my head was not amused. Luckily my gravelly "smoker's" voice had disappeared.
Of course days like today I feel like my worth is only equal to what I rack up in "Mom points".

Today's scorecard looks like this:

Let Alex play the Wii so I could sleep -5 Mom Points
Got out of bed, with a throbbing headache and beginning of a sinus infection +15 Mom points

Feed the boys breakfast before 10am +10 Mom Points
Let Alex have frosted cereal for breakfast -5 Mom points
Made him eat a banana +2 Mom Points

Cleaned Alex's bathroom +5 Mom points
Let Alex veg in front of the TV so I could clean the bathroom -5 Mom Points

Fed the boys lunch before 1pm +5 mom points-
Used canned green beans with a side of BPA -4 Mom Points
Tried to make bread +10 Mom Points
Wash dishes +5 Mom Points
Turned into "shrieky mom" -15 Mom Points

Washed diapers +5 Mom Points
Laid on the couch and pretended not to see the laundry that needed folded -7 Mom Points

Nursed Spain +25 Mom Points

Make yogurt +4 Mom Points
Feed the boys dinner before 7pm +5 Mom Points

Survive until bedtime +5 Mom Points

I could try to shoot for for a few more Mom Points, before I go to bed. Then again, my sinuses are throbbing and my head wants to fall off. I think I'll just be satisfied that I have not gone into the negatives today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sometimes less is more

In some stories, the first sentence tells you everything you need to know.
In brilliant strokes you have a general idea of what the end result looks like. Yes, the details may be a little fuzzy, but those can be filled in later. You learn the moral of the story, and whether it will make you cringe or sigh. All of the information can be packed into one small, possibly innocent, sentence.

For instance, in high school, my brother's friend started a story with:
"Last year I drove a semi truck into my neighbor's garage."
Collectively everyone in the room fell silent as we processed this information. With that opening remark we discovered that 1)this was a tale of impaired judgement, 2)It wasn't a fatal accident, and 3) my parents would be supervising all his visits from there on out.

Sometimes writing in a blog is like that. I have a story to tell. I want to vividly paint it out for you to read, but the first line packs so much information into it, that I am emotionally spent just typing it out.
The following sentence reveals that 1)this is a tale of impaired judgement, 2) it hasn't been fatal, and 3)I probably need supervision.

While on a cleaning bend, I decided to wax my living room floor.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 16- Something New

Two minutes before this picture was taken Spain a asleep.
One minute before this picture was he was crying his heart out about the inhumanity of being tricked into sleeping.
We stand in front of the camera and he's all smiles. What a scamp.

Oh right! Today's topic "Something New". Can you figure out what it is? It's not the baby. My mom made this dress for me. I have to admit, I was a little worried at first. Yellow is not a collor I should wear, but I really enjoy the way it turned.
I should also add that she made this dress with lightening fast speed. I was still working on gathering the ruffles for the skirt, when she finished the dress.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Playing Catch Up

I've been slacking on posting my FPAD photos. I'm sorry!!
Without any further delay, here are the last eight days in my FPAD project.

Day 8- Sun

Day 9- Front Door

Day 10- Self Portrait

Day 11- Makes You Happy

Day 12- Inside Your Closet

Day 13- Blue

Spain believes that it's hard to feel blue when you're eating blueberries... Even when you're boycotting sleep.

Day 14- Heart

Day 15- Phone
I do this a lot. Randomly stare at my phone, trying to will Sweet Husband to call.

Now that I'm all caught up, please send helpful thoughts my way. My camera battery died today, and I can't find my charger. I need to be supervised when I start reorganizing.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whatever happened to my REM

When Sweet Husband and I started dating, we were working nights at a local restaurant. On a typical weekend I would get off of work at 5am. Occasionally I would get lucky, and get released at 2 am. As a survival mechanism, I learned a few skills to get me through my blurry eyed, sleep-deprived weekends. Especially the wee hours of the morning. After all the bars had last call, and the inebriated had satisfied their cravings for hamburgers and pancakes.
I studied lyrics to lesser known Disney songs, for our impromptu Disney trivia games. I mastered how to pantomime walking into a wall. Of course I worked on looking-busy-when-you’ve-completed-your-tasks-there-are-no-customers-AND-two-more-hours-until-you-can-go-home. I think the most important skill I learned, was how to sleep whenever I could.

One weekend my dad was sitting at the kitchen table, reading the paper and nursing a cup of coffee as I dragged myself through the door. I was exhausted.
“Hi stranger.” My dad greeted me “I was starting to wonder if you still lived around here.”
I smiled weakly, and dropped into a chair with the grace of a drunk elephant.
“I smell like rancid bacon.” I replied “I’ve been seriously considering moving into the storage closet at work. You can start forwarding my mail.”
My dad chuckled softly. “I need to go run a few errands. Why don’t you come with me? We’ll have some Daddy-daughter time.”
I hesitated briefly torn between a deep desire to crawl into bed, and wanting to see my dad for longer than thirty seconds.
“Can I sleep in the cart?” I asked.

When we arrived at the first stop, I lost no time in pulling a throw pillow in the bottom of the shopping cart my dad was pushing. I somehow managed to climb in the basket of the cart without breaking my neck. I curled up into an oblong shape, trying to contort by body around the sharp edges of the cart. Shopping cart baskets, were not made with sleeping teenagers in mind. I managed to find a comfortable position and blissfully fell asleep, with my dad pushing me around the store. Thank goodness he wasn’t buying bricks.

Imagine my surprise, a mere five years later, when I realized how difficult it is for me to sleep when Sweet Husband is away. It doesn’t matter if it’s one night, or a year’s worth of nights, sleep eludes me during the reasonable hours. No matter how tired I am, the moment I go to bed, I find myself wide awake. I’ll lay in bed for hours waiting to fall sleep. Go to sleep I tell myself sternly You’re going to regret staying awake so late. The sun comes up way to early. I know I’m right. I just can’t reason with myself. I’ll begin to pray. I’ll for Sweet Husband and the people with him. I pray for the boys, and for wisdom for me, so I don’t screw up raising them. I’ll pray for our families, and start praying for friends going through life changes. Sometimes I even pray for the people who make me want to scream. And when I come to the end of my list, and find myself still awake, I begin to wonder in which box I packed my ability to sleep.

Deployment, please end soon. The bags under my eyes are turning into a full size set of luggage.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

FPAD- A Button

Two guesses as to what we did today...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Orange Corduroy Overalls

Someday, hopefully in the distant future, I will make a fantastic senile person.

I firmly believe that there are three types of people. Those who sort their laundry, those who don't, and those who can't commit. I fall perfectly into the last category.

One day while doing laundry, I put a pair of orange corduroy overalls that I had picked up at a children's resale shop into the washing machine. I have become emotionally attached to these overalls because a) they are corduroy overalls and b) I like my children to look like part of the original sesame street cast.
Fast forward three hours later, when I remembered that I had clean laundry in the washing machine. As soon as I opened the lid to the washing machine, my eye caught a swatch of orange corduroy Those would make fantastic overalls! I thought to myself

I should have been elated when I pulled them out and discovered that they were already overalls, but instead I felt a small pang of melancholy wistfulness for the overalls that I would not get to make.

FPAD- Dinner

No. we did not eat our cat! For starters that basket is not oven safe. And also I'm fairly certain that cat does not fall into the "Mostly vegetarian, occasionally pescetarian" diet I follow. He was our view tonight, and much more photogenic than what we did have for dinner.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

FPAD Over The Weekend

Day 4- A Stranger

I will never make it as a private investigator.

I took my camera with me as thee boys and I went all over the city completing our usual weekend errands. Every time I pressed the power button on my camera, a niggling feeling of discomfort settled over me like the thin paper sheet hospitals enjoy making people wear.
I won't lie. I kept chickening out.

Finally, at 10 pm, I saw my chances of completing the challenge honestly, start sliding away from me... Not unlike the puck in a game of air hockey. It was 46 degrees outside, and most people were tucked snugly into their own houses. It was then that a halo of porch light illuminated my neighbors- who, I have never met. They were sitting outside on their porch watching television. Personally, I don't understand the concept, but I was trying to sneak photos of them from my dining room window. Who am I to judge?

What's that? You can't see them? Oh maybe this shot will help.

I couldn't bring myself to take anymore. I just couldn't shake of "I'm-a-creepy-stalker".

Friday, February 3, 2012

FPAD- Hands

Today's photo was ->this<- close to being a "less-than-complimentary" gesture. It has been one of those days.

But, the dishes were washed. Alex went to bed at a not-unreasonable hour, and Spain sat on the couch detoxing all the "bad day" out of us.

Life is good.... Not perfect, but still good.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

FPAD- Words

I've been finding myself so focused on trying to get things done, that I feel like I've been neglecting Alex's need for a extra nurturing. We pulled out Clue Secrets and Spies for a little after dinner family time.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

That Elusive Something

It's one of those things that you hear happen to other people, but you never expect it to happen to you. It's almost an abstract idea... Or perhaps likening it to a fairy tale would be more appropriate.
It's something often taken for granted by the childless, and coveted by the those with children.... and in some cases pets.

Truth be told, it had always seemed just out of reach for me. A hairsbreadth away. Something continually thwarted by a tea towel or a lone sock.
I cannot adequately express in words my amazement, or the euphoria that washed over me when I realized the implication. I was compelled to take a picture as photographic evidence.

Yes, I found the bottom of my laundry hamper.

Your View Today

I thought it would be fun to participate in the February Photo A Day. Even if it's only to encourage me to post more often.

Today's theme was "Your view today". Lucky for me, most of my view was spent building a new resting place for our record collection.

The classy orange yarn was used to contain them until I could figure out how best to store them... And to make a statement, of course.

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's the little things.

"Mama is 'Okay' with a 'k-o' or a 'c-o'?"
"No, how do you spell 'okay'?"
"MAMA! How do you spell 'okay'?!"
"It's an 'o' and a 'k'."
"Oh! Ok!"

I love moments like these! :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Artistic Endeavors

Chances are, that if you've had a conversation with Alex, he'll slide the fact that he is an artist into the discussion. In fact, you may find yourself one of the lucky few who he offers to take under his wing, to help you too, become an artist.

It really should come as no surprise that sometimes I find myself wondering what life must have been like for the mothers of some artists.

Did Picasso's madre ever chastised him for drawing on himself?

Perhaps Pollock's mother discovered a toothpaste creation on the bathroom mirror.

Do you think Michelangelo's mama ever saw her washtub splattered with paint?

Maybe, just maybe Monet's mum revoked his pen privileges.

"Kill-Joy" Isn't my middle name. It's just part of my job description.