Sunday, December 27, 2009

He just gets better...

Today is my hubby's 39th birthday.  For so many years, he would get the "here's for Christmas and your birthday" speech from his relatives (not his mom and dad), and that just irks me.  So I try every year to make sure he has separate gifts for both.  Which would be easier to do if he didn't want such big expensive

So today (or tomorrow...we are being total laze abouts here today.) we will be going to purchase a heater for his garage.  Then he has a place to go to escape the crazy teenage girls we have living in this house.

Next year, we remodel that garage and create your favorite place to be.

I love you.  Hope you enjoy your day all day today.  And quit stressing about's just a number, and we all know that you are only as mature as 29 instead!

Monday, December 07, 2009


My hubby is my hero. My laptop screen went wonky a few weeks ago, and the Geek Squad couldn't fix it, but he persevered and now it's good as new.  Let's hope that I actually find some time to blog now!  I have  story about the doctor's office today, the frustration with my car, Christmas to get moving!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

(Broken) stuff happens

(I started this post a few months ago, and am now finally posting it.)

So the last few months have been a little busy around here, but the last month has really kicked my butt.  And today I'm reaching my breaking point.

About a month ago, my power steering started to randomly go out in my car.  My sweet little Chevy HHR that is only 3 years old.  I was annoyed, because of course the warranty expired this summer.  We called the dealership and made arrangements to bring it in for repair.  The morning we were due to take it in, we found almost an inch of water on our passenger side floorboards, and the back seat was soaked.  We took it in, and they called later that day to say that they found the leaves that were blocking a drain, and the car was better. We agreed to pay for them to clean the car so that the stains would be gone, and the mold and mildew wouldn't fester.  The car had to stay there for a few days to have this done and have time to dry out in their bay.

A couple of days after retrieving the car, the power steering starts going out again.  Call the dealership, take the car in.  Two days go by, and they finally call to let us know that they have to replace the power steering motor/computer.  They quote us almost $500.  I was very frustrated, as the car isn't really old enough for these things to need replacing.  So DDS gets on the web, then calls the Chevy customer car line.  They agree that this is unfortunate, and agree to split the cost of the repair.  I'm still annoyed, but at least feel as if they are taking care of us.  A few days later, we find this article, and now I'm not so pleased.  They call us to pick it up, and only charge us around $125.  So we pay it, and move along.  But now, I want to know why this wasn't a recall.

A few days go by, and a heavy rain came, and more water was found.  We called the dealership and made another appointment.  They sealed the area they thought the water was coming in through, and a day later we picked it up. 

Fast forward a few more days...come out of the house at 6:45 in the morning and it's pouring.  Get in the car with the three kids, and all of us automatically check the floorboards...1/2 inch of water.  Drop the kids off, and head straight to the dealership.  Body shop guy comes out, says, "oh, we didn't realize it was coming in back here", even though we kept trying to tell them that.  Make another appointment.  Take the car in on the appointed day. 

They called my husband that night.  They basically apologize out the wazoo, and state that after "testing to see where the water was coming in, and seeing how much and how fast, I'm suprised you were that patient."

All together, they only charged us $40 for the leaking.  But we paid a lot for the detailing, and that bit for power steering.  And I'm still not sure it's done leaking, because we haven't been able to get it truly dry to see if it's still leaking.  But there aren't pools of water anymore, and I still love my little car. 

Of course, during this time, lots of other things broke.  My laptop screen broke.  We took it to a blue and yellow store who accepted it, charged us $40, and then gave it back saying they couldn't get any parts for the brand and couldn't fix it (couldn't you have just not taken my $40 to begin with?) My husband was finally able to take it apart and fix it for $40 worth of parts (my hero!).  Several other things broke during this time as well, and I was greatly frustrated.  I'm hoping 2010 is much better.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What to say

I'm having a hard time working blogging into my life lately.  I'm busy at work, super busy at home, and in the last week things have been starting to have "issues" all over the place.  We had to take my car into the shop, my laptop is being all angsty, and so's enough to make a girl cry. 

One of my favorite bloggy people, Mrs. Wilson, took down her blog...SOB.  Thank goodness I can still follow her in a few other locations.  I'll miss you though!

Monday, November 16, 2009


DDS and I escaped to the mountains this past weekend and had a wonderful time away from it all.  No kids, no family, no cooking, cleaning or remodeling.  It was very nice.  We enjoyed the nice fall weather, beautiful scenery, and remembering the last time we were in this same place.  All in all, a very good weekend away.

Now it's back to the grind...time to finish all the remodelling and room changing going on here at casa de lang.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Taking a breather

It sounds like a cliche, but I've been so busy living life, I haven't been writing.  I haven't been on Twitter, my facebook status gets updated only every few days, and I'm not even really reading blogs.  A big part of it is the basement remodel, which I will have pics to share soon.  On top of that, we've had a birthday party, work, an honor's dinner for DDS, and numerous other things to handle.  I'm tired, and escaping with my hubby for the weekend sounds glorious...which is what we are going to do.  I'm hoping to dig out by Thanksgiving and find my house again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Too much...

I am on complete overload.  Our friend was buried today, and Thursday another member of our guard family will be laid to rest.  She had not been deployed with my husband, but was still a part of the Signal Corp and worked with many of these soldiers.  These people are way to young to leave us, and the shockwaves are buffeting us all.  To go to a war zone for a year and have no major injuries or loss of life, and to come home and experience two in a month is insane.  I dread opening my military email, or hearing my husband answer the phone to a co-worker, worried that it's another call.  And I'm trying to comfort him when I don't have the words to say.  I know that time will begin to heal, but I see it taking some time. 

In the meantime, we have taken on a huge endeavor to update our basement family/craft room.  Paint and moving furniture has been therapeutic, and I'm trying to ignore the complete disaster my house is at this time.  I guess I should try to finish putting clothes away tonight, seeing as how I still have my suitcase from Disney lying on my floor with clothing still in it.

Good night all. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Our friends funeral service is tomorrow.  I've been sitting her tonight looking through all the pictures our friends and his wife have posted on Facebook, and the tears just won't stop.  Not for him...he's beyond pain and unhappiness, no matter what you believe happens after death.  But for his wife and kids.  Tomorrow will be a long day, as his service is in another state, so there is travel in addition to the service itself.

He will be buried in Arlington next week.  I most likely won't attend that ceremony.  It feels weird to say that I will know someone buried in Arlington.  This song by Trace Adkins keeps running through my head.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I strive to live in the moment, enjoying my family and my life for what it is today.  This wars with my planning nature, which wants to extrapolate out all the possible scenarios for upcoming events, figuring out how I'll handle each one.  It's hard to be in the moment when your mind is filled with what-if's.

Lately, I've been rushed and tired.  I'm feeling torn in several directions...busy at work, and busy at home.  When I'm home, I'm feeling guilty for what I didn't get done at work, and when I'm at work I just want to be home.  I know that a large part of this is wanting time with my husband now that he's home, but knowing why you are feeling a certain way doesn't make it go away, or even make it better.

But last week, a co-worker of my husbands passed away at 36 years old.  He leaves behind a wife and two small children, and a unit full of soldiers struggling to make sense of this event. He contracted spinal meningitis and the time they knew what was wrong with him, it was too late.

Thinking about his wife and kids haunt me.  Knowing that he spent a year in a war zone, and came home in some of the best health of his life, then 3 weeks later do you reconcile that?  How do they go about their lives, living day to day, after the highs and horrible lows they've experienced in the last month? 

Right before my husband was deployed, a person I considered a friend lost her husband to the war in Afghanistan.  We had sort of lost touch, and I wasn't sure how to reach out to her.  And I was scared, and facing her lost meant dealing with the fear of losing my own spouse as he was leaving.  I still regret not following up with at least an email.  She recently friended me on facebook, and I'll be sending my feelings out to her. 

I found myself frustrated with my son this morning, and so ready to drop him off at the Youth Center.  And suddenly, this soldier's face flashed into my head.  I am so very blessed, and lately, I've let myself forget that.  I made sure to hug my baby extra tight when dropping him off, saying a prayer that I'll get to do this millions of times in the future. 

God blesses every day, it's up to us to notice.

GIS # I don't know, but it's time to get back on track
1.  My husband came home from the war.
2.  He's relatively healthy.
3.  He never saw heavy combat.
4. My family is intact again.
5. My children's laughter and hugs.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Coming home

I'm sitting at the Orlando airport, waiting for our plane to board. It's been a good vacation, but it will be good to be home. Even with the cold rain.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Photo journal, day 1

The reason for all the hooplah when my hubby's unit came home.  This is the Vice President's car.  I have lots more to tell, soon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Living Life

Hi friends.  I'm living my life large here.  Right now, here is Disney World.  It's amazing how little you want to be on a computer when you haven't been a full family for a  And now we are all celebrating at the House of Mouse.  We'll return to regularly scheduled posting once we return from the house of mouse.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Counting down and updates...

We aqre a little excited here in casa de husband will be home in the next week.  This long, long year is coming to an end, and we are all ready to move on as a family.  But there are a lot of other things happening here as well!

PB had her teeth pulled last Tuesday, and she came through like a champ.  She has to have a palate expander put in soon, and had to have some of her upper baby teeth removed so that the adult teeth could start coming in.  I feel a bit bad, as chewing is a little difficult, but she's doing great.  They sedated her to make her more comfortable, and the thought of her under anesthesia still makes me want to cry.

I bought this cool plate from Bethany and she added this cool cupcake into the mix.  The kids love that cupcake.  Monster uses it to pretend to hypnotize us...and the colors are Bug's favorites!  Thanks Bethany!

Monster is moving up to a Yellow Belt this weekend...Yay Monster.

PB's birthday party was last weekend. A post will be coming about that soon.

Please, be patient with the light posting...I'm trying to fit everything in while getting to see my hubby :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

And everything falls apart now...

So...hey there internets.  How's the parenting gig working out for you?  Cause I'm sort of sucking at it lately.  Well, really, only one thing, maybe two, but dang it, I'm tired.

I've managed to hold our household together for the last 11 months.  I've fixed (or arranged for someone to fix) broken appliances, lights, etc.  I've stayed on top of my children's schedule, making sure they did their work, got to bed on time, ate mostly good food, had all the permission slips and papers for school, doctor and dental appts made, and so on.  And I've done well so far.  Until school started.

We are in the 4th week of school.  So far, I've forgotten to give one child lunch money one day, manged to get only one of them in bed on time regularly, fed them more non homemade food than in any given 4 month period before, had a child left at horse back lessons, lost both of my military ID's on the same day (they were found the same day) and been late to a million and one things.  But today, today topped it all.

I forgot school picture day for Monster.  Luckily, they still snapped a shot of him, and all is not lost.  Cause retakes?  They are scheduled while we are in Disney. 

And tomorrow, my PB gets five baby teeth removed while under anesthesia.  My SIL is going with us to sit in the room with her, because I'm afraid I'll freak out while she's getting sedated.  Seriously, my stomach has been in knots and I've been on the verge of tears for the last 3 weeks just thinking about it.  I prayed they would fall out, or at least loosen, on their own.  One did fall out (it was originally 6) and several have loosened, but it isn't enough.  I'm stressed and trying to hide it.

But you know what?  I was the only parent in Bug's Chemistry class at open house tonight.  Guess I'm not failing as bad as I thought. 

But thank goodness my husband is home in less than 3 weeks.  The brain is short circuiting from the overload, and I need the help.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering September 11th, 2001

I very rarely really try to think about that day.  I try to avoid the articles and such.  But this year, something was different. I don't know if it's because my husbands been overseas serving in the war that began in some way after that day, or if it's just been long enough.  After reading a few of those articles, I felt compelled to remember, and record my thoughts and memories of that day.

My husband had an appt in another town that morning.  We were living with my MIL and I was driving Bug to school in our old town 20 minutes way every day.  PB was in home daycare and Monster wasn't even thought of existing at that time.  That's hard for me to grasp when I think about that day...we didn't even know he would exist.  He's never lived in the world the way it was before 9/11/2001.  That makes me pause, and really think.

I was at work.  We didn't have television access, and our internet access was extremely limited.  I worked in a call center as a telephone rep.  Someone's spouse called, and we all began to hear.  The conversations on the calls we were taking were surreal.  DDS called me to tell me he was on his way back and he was watching planes leave the Air Force Base one right after the other...we have large cargo planes, they don't do that.  He knew then something was very wrong.  We agreed he would stop and get Bug and PB and take them home, and stay in contact with me.  All the information w received that day was second hand.  They finally closed the office around lunch time and sent us all home.

I was terrified that our Air Force Base would be a target.  I was terrified that my husband would be asked to leave home and fight.  I worried about what sort of world we were all going to be living in for the rest of our lives. 

I didn't watch the planes hit, the towers burn or their collapse while it was happening, since I was at work.  And I'm thankful for that fact.  By the time I was able to see the footage, I had already heard and digested what happened.  While the images were still shocking, I knew what was going to happen.  And after seeing it once, I didn't need to witness it again.  We tried to keep the girls away from the news, letting them watch cartoons and videos all afternoon and evening. 

I remember walking around the neighborhood that afternoon with the girls.  It was so peaceful.  The sky was blue and cloudy, and it was eerie to look up and not see a plane flying overhead.  We see so many planes here that you stop noticing them after a while...but that day you noticed their absence.  It seemed as if even the birds had been grounded.  The traffic was so light, it was almost as if we were truly some of the only people left. 

I remember the patriotism of the next few weeks.  I remember the feeling of pride.  But mostly, I remember the fear.  My husband had been put on alert, preparing him to go to war.  But I wasn't allowed to tell anyone, or say anything.  Every time my phone rang, I jumped.  I had long conversations with myself, trying to prepare for that call.  When people asked if he was getting called up, I had to lie and say we hadn't heard anything.  This went on for months...even after we did start the attack.  We were on call. 

But eventually, I realized that I had to stop thinking about it constantly.  I had to live life in my new normal.

Several months later we moved onto that Air Force Base.  My children began going to school and daycare on that base.  And every night I prayed.  We moved off that base, but my children still go to school there.  I still pray. 

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

counting down

I feel as if I am counting down for a million things right now.  My hubby is coming home soon, my daughter is turning 11, we are going to Disney, we are celebrating making it through 12 years of marriage (really? 12? wow...), and Bug's 16th birthday.  That's all in the next 6 weeks.  And that doesn't include the counting down I'm doing just to get through each day.

A sample of our schedules this week...
Meet with Monster's teacher after school at 4:00
Pick up Monster from after school care at 4:50
Pick up PB from field hockey at 5:00
Hope MIL remembered to pick up Bug from Marching Band at 5:10, while driving PB to Horseback riding lessons, which start a 5:30.  Drop her off, reminding her that MIL is picking her up.
Drive Monster to Martial Arts at 6:05
Martial Arts over at 6:35, head to MIL's for dinner.  Realize she forgot she had to pick up PB, so run there to pick her up.
Finally sit down to eat dinner at 7:30.  Take everyone home, get them ready for bed, good night.

This is also the week that we start leaving the house very early.  PB has to be at school by 7:00 for band and choir, and Bug by 7:15.  I spend almost 13 hours away from my house every day this week and next, and all I want is to shut the front door and cry uncle.

So I'm here, and as always, my head is spinning.  Several Presidential Speeches, Japan, military name it and it's there.  But it has to wait, as I have to go to bed now.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The President Speaks

I am not a very political person. The state of politics in our country these days makes me sad and anxious, and there are too many other things in my life to deal with day to day to worry any more.

But I feel compelled to write about the President speaking to our school children next week. This came up on my radar earlier this week, and after reading the "lesson plan" that the DOE suggested, I was against it. Questions like these:
What specific job is he asking me to do?
Is he asking anything of anyone else?
make me wonder what his intent is going to be. But I am not content with just one side of the story, so I did some research. And I still had concerns.

The next day, the questions/lesson plans had been updated, and a transcript was offered so parents could read and speak to their children about the speech. People are still warring, calling for schools to ban the video, blaming teachers for promoting "Obama's socialists ideals." Hello over-dramatics.

And this whole incident demonstrates the low levels that we as a country have sunk. When I was in school, if the President of the United States was willing to speak to all students, we would have been in awe. My mom and I would have spoken about it, and we would have moved on. If there was name calling and such going on, I was blissfully unaware of it. But now, my children know. They know that some people think he is trying to turn us into a socialist state, and they know that some people hate him because he's black. They know that Sarah Palin was attacked about clothing choices, and that she's cute. They understand that people oppose the war, and that many Americans thought Obama would save us all.

But a lot of that information comes in the form of sensationalism. Name calling, finger pointing, mudslinging. These are the things my children see in politics. It's hard to teach your children to live the Golden Rule (do unto others...) when the people they see and hear on television aren't following that rule, especially the people we've elected to lead our country, state and city.

I struggle to truly understand what anyone is proposing these days.  We spend so much time trying to filter what all the talking heads spew out, trying to unspin the truth from the web.  You know how to convince me your plan works?  Use the KISS method.  Keep It Simple Stupid.  Bullet points, summary paragraphs, plain words, etc.  Provide me the basics.  Provide me places to go to ask questions, find answers, etc.  Get rid of the yelling, sensationalism, etc, and just let the plans speak for themselves.

How about we all take a deep breath. Let your child watch the President's speech. Then sit down with them that night, and discuss it with them. Share your views and thoughts about the comments. Tell them why you agree or disagree. Ask them for their opinions. They might suprise you with how insightful they are. After all, they are the future of our country, and I'm hoping that they find a way to stop the system of politics we have now, and learn to work together to make us the great Country we used to be, instead of the laughing stock we've become in the last 20 years, under both Democrat and Republican leaders.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mommy blogger, or just a blogger?

The controversy of Dooce and Maytag, day 9.

Okay, so this was actually (finally) becoming old news, and then Forbes posted this brief story.  And it was temporarily re-ignited.  And then (I think) it's died down again. But I'm behind since this week has kicked my butt, and I have to comment on the Forbes post.

Parmy Olson wrote an article about Dooce tweeting her dissatisfaction with Maytags service. (For those that live under a rock, Dooce is big. She's become a pop-culture figure (at least for most social media people), and people listen to her. Not all of them have the ability to think for themselves, which is the case any time you mix a million people together.)   Dooce was angry and tweeted about the lack of customer service, and included phrases like "Do not buy Maytag."  This tweet bothered some people.  They sympathized with her plight, but were concerned about her tone.  And of course, people began to retweet, and soon, it was big.  And Maytag called her and her washer got fixed and another company wanted to give her a new washer and dryer and all's well, right?  Well, not quite.

When you throw out a tweet (or any public statement) in anger, and you have a million followers, you have to think of the repercussions.  You may credit most of your readers with having a brain that allows them to think for themselves, but not all of them do.  And the potential to drastically impact a company is real.  And there was no background information given during this tweeting frenzy, no explanation of how much she had gone through.  A few days later, she posted about the whole episode, and I agreed she had every right to be angry.  (Although I really wanted to comment with "have you ever heard of a laundry mat" several times while reading the post.) 

But this isn't just about this one tweet incident. This is about the responsibility we all have.  Yes, that organization needed to give her better customer service. And she achieved getting that service, and scored a new washer and dryer for a shelter in the process.  Our responsibility is to realize that there is a greater story here.  That 3 months of non-working washer sucks, but why hasn't it been working?  What has the company done to fix it?  Did a mouse disconnect a wire?  We didn't know the whole story.  It turns out in this instance, she had been trying to get something fixed that wasn't her fault, but what if it was?

During Blogher conference, apparently there was a woman who tweeted about Nikon not allowing her to bring her baby into their party, held at a bar.  She tagged it with something like "Nikon hates babies" and immediately people began retweeting. But many of those people didn't know the whole context.  She made an assumption about what would and wouldn't be allowed, and she was wrong, and then she tweeted about it in jest.  That doesn't mean Nikon hates babies.  But that one tweet could cause the business harm. 

We've all said something we've regretted.  Nowadays, we need to be even more diligent in thinking before speaking (or typing) as our words have a greater potential to reach a larger audience.

All of that isn't even the point I wanted to make with this post.  Sorry for the tangent.

My real point is the article itself, and statements made in the article.  This one made me mad..."in the so-called mommy blogosphere (ie. the thousands of blogs penned by stay-at-home moms, and it's larger than you think)..."  First of all, it "sparked a debate" in the blogosphere in general.  The people discussing this weren't just "mommybloggers."  But what really pissed me off was the ie statement.

Excuse me?  There are so many amazing bloggers out there today.  Some of them are mothers.  Some of them are fathers.  But they are also, husbands, wifes, girlfriends, boyfriends, aunts, uncles and cousins to name a few.  There are people who work in marketing, writers, firefighters, students and many more.  None of us should be defined by one title.  And to insuate that only women who stay at home and pen a blog cared is demeaning.  It demeans those women who do choose to stay home.  It demeans those people who don't, but still cared.

Moms are not the "little women staying home with the kids while their husbands go to work and pay the bills" anymore.  Moms' go to work, whether they do it in an office or at home.  They buy cars, they decide what insurance to carry, they make travel arrangements, they live busy and full lifes, just like other people that aren't mom's do.  But marketing firms and the general media seem to be missing the boat lately.  They are playing up a stereotype that they created, and it isn't valid any longer.  Yes, I wonder how many cup holders my vehicle has in it.  But that isn't a reason I will use to determine what I buy.  How roomy is it?  How many miles to the gallon does it get?  How safe is it? That's what matters to me.  And when you treat me with the respect that I deserve, you'll get my business.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wordless (well Nearly) Wednesday

It is only the 6th day of school and so far this school year is kicking my butt.

And I'd really like to go back to this enjoyable night right now.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I've been to a Swedish wonderland and a circus today

No, really. I made my first trip to Ikea today. Oh my's a good thing that the closest one is an hour away. Seriously. I'm in love. I bought this, and this, and these among other things. I got some ideas for my updated craft area, and can't wait to take my husband there when he gets home. Oh, and the swedish meatballs meal was to die for. Yuuuuummmy, and cheap. 4.99 and I was full.

Then we headed over to watch Britney Spears Circus tour. As long as you remembered that it was a show, not a concert, it was really good. I have pictures to add, but they will have to wait until tomorrow. Now it's time for bed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Linky love and Random Thoughts...

  • I posted a new giveaway over at my review blog.  Seriously, you could win!  Odds are good!
  • I tweeted about a real estate agent carrying her dog while showing houses on House Hunters last night.  I now have around 10 new followers, all Real Estate Agents.  I'm not looking for a house...Seriously.
  • We're going to see Brittany Spears Saturday Sunday (we being my girls, my sil and I).  I'm not sure how I feel about this, other than thank goodness they were free tickets or we wouldn't be going.  We are also going to Ikea, which I have never been to.  I'm excited about that!
  • My husband is coming home in the next 60 days.  At last.  And we go to Disney just after that.  YAY!
  • I forgot to adjust my alarm for school time, then slept through it when it did go off.  That meant that I woke up as we were supposed to be leaving the house.  I still managed to get everyone to school on time, and I am showered and dressed appropriately.  I had to buy lunch, and I was 30 min late, but all in all I'm good.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's official, I will be losing my mind this school year

Today was the first day of school for PB and Monster, and tomorrow Bug begins.  What you, dear reader, may not realize right away, is the fact that I will now have a child in all three levels of school.  I have a first grader, sixth grader, and 11th grader.  My supply list runs the gamut from crayons and glue sticks, to binders and dividers, all the way through a drivers permit!
Monster has been so excited about first grade.  Mostly because of his lunch box, which we purchased last year.  This morning, he asked me how long it was until lunch.  When I asked what his favorite part of the day was, his answer was lunch, then recess, then music class.  He definitely has his priorities set.  Tomorrow is Art.  That will blow his mind, I'm sure.  It's amazing to me to see his sense of style evolving as well.
Because my little Monster was so resistant to learning how to read last year, he has been placed in the Literacy First class this year.  I choose to see this as a blessing.  He is smart, and I know that once the right key is turned, reading will become a fun and exciting subject for him.  And this class has the potential to do this for him.  It is a smaller class (only around 16 students) and they focus more attention on reading, writing and such.  However, I am unhappy with how the school year began.  In years past, the day before school you could go and meet your child's teacher during lunch time. This year, state employees (this would be me as well) had our pay cut by 2.5%.  To soften the blow, the Legislator gave us all 5 paid furlough days.  In order to reduce the cost burden, teachers lost in-service days to cover these days.  This means that teachers only had the day before to arrange their rooms and prepare for the first day, unless they wanted to do it on their own time.  That morning was spent in meetings, leaving them only a few hours to set up their rooms.  When we were invited in to find classrooms at 4 pm, most teachers had already gone home.  While I understand why, it's still frustrating.  I don't try to use that time as more than a few minutes of introduction, but a few minutes of understanding what this classroom entails would have been very helpful.  Instead, I will be emailing his teacher tomorrow to ask some questions.  This means she has to find the time to answer me during the school day, instead of having a few minutes the day before.
I'm also upset as I don't feel that he was given the Speech Therapy that he required last year, and this year I will be fighting early for this.  He pronounces his leading L's as Y's, and it's impeding his spelling/reading abilities.
PB began Middle School.  Yesterday we did get our time to travel her schedule and work her locker (a bunch of times.)  She briefly met her teacher, ad her classes are grouped together well.  One of her best friends has all but one class with her, she's getting gym out of the way first semester and it's the last class of the day, and she's excited. Basically, that is pretty much all we can ask.  She asked her sister about her outfit yesterday a bunch of times.  Bug told her that it was a lot of patterns, but she could pull it off.  And I think she did.
Come back tomorrow for an exciting announcement :) (no, I'm not pregnant.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

When Politics land in your own backyard.

Loralee's post about her conversation with Valerie Jarrett regarding healthcare reform has won her space on the White House Page. This is amazing. How wonderful that a normal, ordinary American Citizen, has been given the chance to share her story.

Her post and the comments have really made my mind begin to tumble around. A post is coming. I've held back from posting anything that could be potentially controversial as it's not what I intended for this blog. But I feel a need to share. You've been warned.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Season of change

Back to school season always stirs up the winds of change, and this year it seems to be even stronger.  One child moves from half day K to all day 1st grade, another begins Middle School, and the third driver's ed.  Milestones beginning for each of my babies.

This past year has definitely been a year of change as well.  Of course my kids have grown up some, that is inevitable.  But I think that they have also grown stronger.  We were all forced to really look at ourselves, to see our lives through a different filter.  We had to re-evaluate our roles and our relationships.  We could break free of the patterns of the past and move forward without those shackles pulling us back. 

I see so many changes in my girls.  Bug has matured, has realized what so many people have been trying to tell her for so long.  She is a beautiful girl, with so much potential.  There is no need to be defensive, loud, brash, mean.  There is no reason for anger, at yourself or others, any longer. It is time to close that chapter and walk into the bright sunlight.  It is time to live a positive life, embracing the future and allowing the past to remain just that.  I see a child that has turned into a beautiful and smart young lady, with a great future ahead of her.

At one time or another, my husband and I have discussed her future.  We were both concerned with the rude awakening we saw heading her way.  "Someday, someone is going to break through that barrier...I pray that it isn't a catastrophe."  We talked, we shared, we prayed and we loved.  Finally, some of that good has seeped through, and that barrier is safely falling away.

PB has really grown this year as well.  The whines, the temper tantrums, they are still there, but I'm seeing them less often.  I see a witty girl, who is sweet and caring, and it's reflected in the way other children want to be her friend.  People flock to PB, they see her and smile and call her name.

Part of her charm is the way she completely lives in her own world.  She doesn't worry so much about what others think...if she is happy, that's all that matters to her.  She doesn't hear you when you say "that doesn't match," she puts it on and suddenly, it matches.  She is one of the few people I have ever met that can pull off a polka dotted shirt and plaid shorts and make it look cute.  For so many years, she has lived in the shadow of her sister.  She has been the younger sister, always trying to do what Bug did, have what Bug had.  No matter how many times and how many ways we tried to show them that life wasn't a competition between them, it was still there.  But this year, she wasn't so much the little sister every day.  She was the oldest.  She was allowed a little more freedom, and a little more responsibility.  There wasn't someone there to constantly compare herself to, and she blossomed.  Now I see a more mature relationship, a sharing of common interests as well as a protectiveness of each other.  There is still a competitive slant, but it is hushed now, toned down.

I hope this year has also taught my children how blessed our life is.  We may not live in a mansion with maid service and butlers, but we have a good life.  And even without the nice stuff, we have each other.  I'm going to try and remember those blessings every day, and count them, and hold them tight to me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Swaparooni update

I was uploading pictures of my most recent swaparooni loot, and realized I never posted the last one!

Here is my swap from swap partner was Karolienkie and she did such a great job.  The theme was Spring Flowers.  The colors are bright, and I'm using most of the stuff!

This month was another Local Swap, and divamom set me up! She is from Vermont, and I got some really yummy chocolate, including the Ben and Jerry's chocolate Cows....yummy!  There were also some office supply items, noteboks, and very pretty notecards.  It came on a day that I absolutely needed the pick me up, and it provided that!
And I haven't graced in a while, so that is my grace in small things. Packages that arrive when you most nee them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The newest Thespian in the house

Last year, PB performed in Robin Hood for the Missoula Children's Theater, and I blogged about it here.  Unfortunatly, she was not able to participate this year since she is away at camp.  But luckily for Monster, he is here and old enough to finally participate.He was cast as Seahorse #2.  OMG, isn't he just the cutest little seahorse you've ever seen?
I love this program, and I'm so happy Monster was able to participate this year.  It's such a positive and fun experience for all of the children that are a part of it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My floor was slowly drowning

The first Sat in August was a busy day. We went to our local Peach festival and a minor league baseball game (more on that was exciting!). But what pushed me even closer to the edge was the ceiling tiles crumpled on the basement floor when I went down to throw in a load of the (never ending) laundry. Ceiling tiles belong on the ceiling, and these weren't just there, they were crumpled, broken, and upon further inspection, wet. Oh crap!

My mind began racing. Water was just trickling from the ceiling, not pouring through. What could be causing it? What's up above it? Grab some towels, pull aside the things I don't want to get wetter. Crap, I have to leave in an hour. Run upstairs, while resisting the urge to call my husbands name. Remembering that it won't do any good. Turn off the outside faucet that was left on earlier that day. Evaluate where that faucet is located in relation to the leak. Run back downstairs. Realize that isn't what's causing the leak. Run to the stairs and look up, back down, up, back down. Finally realize it's the dishwasher or sink.

I run up the stairs, lay down and pull the trim away, and find a soaking wet floor. I panic and my stops functioning correctly. I call my mom. She reminds me to turn off the water supply to the dishwasher. So I do. I call and make arrangements for someone to come look at it for me, and we leave for the ball game.

On the way home, my someone calls me and tells me it's definitely maybe the dishwasher, so I should get a repair man out there. Uh, thanks...but that wasn't really all that helpful.

Sunday morning, I started the process to contact the organization that's offered help for these situations. The organization that sat at an early FRG meeting and swore that they would help, that they had people that wanted to do this for us. I still haven't heard from them, almost two weeks later. I spent the day waiting for them, and dealing with Bug's expected and then cancelled arrival.

Monday, I realized I had to find someone, even if it cost a fortune. The water was still coming, but I couldn't cope with trying to figure out where. I was still dealing with trying to get Bug home, and I needed help. I started calling around. Thursday was the earliest someone could get out. ARGHhh...I finally realize I need to try and resolve this myself. I manage to pull the dishwasher out, and figure out what section it's leaking from, but not from where. I'm frustrated.

Finally, a friend reaches out. Reminds me that her husband is a repair tech. I call him Tues morning and he comes over Tuesday night, finds several PIN HOLE leaks in the tubing, and shuts the water off where it actually comes in. This means no water in the sink whatsoever...I'm still not sure what the other handle that I turned off was for. He comes back Wednesday night with new hoses and helps me put everything back. Yay, it's fixed.

But now I get to clean up the new set of wet towels, and do the extra 3 loads of laundry this has caused. And remove everything from the bookshelf in the basement and look for water damage and treat the carpet and the ceiling/floor joists and on and on and on.

Seriously, this deployment needs to end. I'm thankful for friends, but I'm tired of proving I'm capable.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I feel like all I do is tell you that I'm coming back.

But this week has been an EPIC FAIL so far, and I'm exhausted.  I have a post started (actually, several) and hopefully they'll get finished soon.  Stay with me...I swear it will get better!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tired, just tired.

I really didn't intend to be on such a long break. It's summer. It's supposed to be lazy. Someone needs to let my schedule know that.

On top of the crammed pack schedule, I've been dealing with a bout of the blues. I'm over this deployment. People comment on us being single parents. But I don't like that description. Single parents have to do it all themselves. With no end in sight. This is hard, and I would never dispute this. I get to be a single parent, but for a short time. I have to make short term decisions, but still try to include my husband in those decisions enough to allow him to still feel like part of the family. It's hard to's frustrating, most of the time. The sense of limbo, of just trying to get through the days until everything is put back to rights. I'm lucky because both of our mothers live here, as well as my sister-in-law, and they are more than willing to help. But they can only do so much. I am still the parent. All.The.Time. There is no other parent to fall back on.

While my husband has been gone, I have had to maintain our lives. It's not fair to the children that we can't go to the beach or park or whatever because I need to do all the laundry, dishes, maintenance, etc. by myself, which means it takes too long. So sometimes, it doesn't get done. And I hate that. Sometimes, I have to decide which event is more likely to cause lifelong damage if I miss it, as I'm expected to be in two places at the same time. I still have to go to work 5 days a week. Added in with all of this, I need to find time to talk to my husband with a 7 hour time difference, send him letters and care packages, and try to discover new ways to keep us close with a roommate there and children always underfoot here. Add in trying to find time to exercise and eat right, and it starts to feel like too much.

And lately? I've been failing at some of this. And I'm feeling it. And that makes the pressure and sadness worse. I feel like my brain is constantly going. I stay up late almost every night, hoping to either see my hubby online or trying to get some chore or another done. And then on the weekends I end up crashing. I'm tired, and I'm cranky, (and I know I am...even when I'm trying not to be) and I'm frustrated and I'm lonely, and I'm just TIRED OF IT all....

But I know. I know this is what we signed up for. I know that his decision to serve is right for him. I know that a year really isn't all that long in the scheme of our life. I know that God will not let me go over the edge, no matter how close I feel I am.

And I know that when he comes home, we will adjust again. And our world will tilt back into the right direction. And I'll be better. I just have to make it for 2 more months...1/6 of the total deployment. Pray for me, please!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

LIfe is throwing me lemons

And a few of them are unbloggable, which sucks. Because not only are they the things that are sucking down my time so that I can't blog, but then I can't even use them for blog fodder.  Yuck.

My mom was rear-ended a few weeks ago, and yesterday her transmission went out in her van.  Luckily, some good samaritans helped push her out of the street and into a dealership parking lot, but they were 45 minutes away from home.  And they were taking my grandmother for eye surgery in that town.  So I had to leave work, grab Monster and head down to get them there on time.  This relayed into a whole evening, night and morning of handling all of this.  There are hilarious and not so hilarious stories to tell, but since they involve others, I can't really share them here.  But it meant I might have had free time that could have been used to blog, but no internet access in which to connect to this blog.  Oh yay.

I just have to share that at 3:30 this morning, I believe my grandmother thought that the dresser in the room would move if she just kept beating her walker against it.  Over and over again.  Never mind that the bathroom wasn't even that way.  By the time I woke up enough to realize that she was stuck, my mom had already grabbed her and directed her the right way.  Luckily she didn't wake up the boy attached to my side sound asleep.

It reminded my of my other grandparents blind dog.  If someone left a chair out, she would repeatedly walk into it, instead of going around it.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Adventure travel - road tripping with my kids

When my husband deployed last fall, I promised PB and Monster that we would have a year full of adventures.  So far, we've gone to DC several times, NYC, and now, Chicago.  I think I'm keeping up my end of the bargain.

Thursday, July 25th, we left our house heading to Chicago.  I drove.  Just me and the kids.  We stopped for the night just over the West Virginia/Ohio border, then continued on, stopping in West Lafayette to check out where I went to College, and the Triple X family restaurant. The kids and I saw this restaurant on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives a while back, and I commented that it was located near where I lived while in college.  When I mentioned that I wanted to take the kids through there, PB immediately asked to go to the restaurant.  (I just remembered that we always called it the triple chi.  Cause we were so  Then we finished off our trip north of Chicago late that evening.  Over the course of the week, we visited local attractions near my friends house, Chicago, and Six Flags.  Friday morning, we got up, packed, loaded up the car, and drove home.  We stopped in Michigan to see Bug, and got home in the wee small hours of the morning Saturday morning.  There is a lot more to tell you about all those days, but tonight is a recap, teaser, taste of what is to come.

But right now, I still feel like I'm recuperating from driving all stinking night.  And my bed is calling me.  Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Still alive

Just busy having fun on vacation. More later, and I swear next week I will get back to posting regularly.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


That's what I've been feeling lately.  And I really don't like it.

May/June is always a busy time of year around here.  My job is at it's busiest during the summer (except for next's the one slow week.)  It's stressful and a major time suck, just when my personal life heats up and becomes even busier with end of school year functions.  And this year I felt the pressure even more to be there for my kidlins, since they were milestone celebrations.

But what's really dragging me down is missing my husband.  It's nothing big that causes it, but a million little things every day.  Finding maggots in both of our outside trash cans, and knowing that I'll have to clean them out Wednesday night after the trash people come. Deep cleaning our "den" all by myself, and still having o take care  the laundry and dinner.  Seeing someone drive by on a motorcycle, and realizing that we won't be enjoying that freedom this summer.  Trying to determine when we might be able to go to the beach and drive the jeep up on the sand and realizing how much work it will be alone.  Not having my best friend to go out with, snuggle with, or throw up my hands and stalk out of the room from.  And a zillion more.  I think it's a combination of the (relatively) short time he has left in this deployment, and realizing at the same time that my favorite season will be gone by the time he does come home.  I never realized before how much I loved summer, and the many things we do as a family and couple.  And I'm missing that.

On top of that, I had to have fillings replaced twice over the last two weeks, and yesterdays was a major suck...of time, energy, and happiness.  It was a hour and half procedure, during which I fought to not hyperventilate or pass out.  And my mouth continued to hurt for hours after the numbness wore off.  Dinner consisted of grilled cheese and a milkshake.  And for a few minutes, I sat there and wallowed in the self-pity that I still had to take Monster to Martial Arts, get them showered and fed and tucked in bed, because I'm currently a single parent.  But then I was reminded how lucky I am.

He may be a world away from me tonight, but he loves me.  And we are in this together, no matter what.  When this deployment ends, he will come home to me.  And I will get the chance to fight and yell and love and touch him.  There are others that don't get that chance. 

Monday, June 22, 2009


Maybe it's the time of year.  School is ending, activities are ending, dreary days are giving way to hot and sunny days (hey, I can dream here, right?), but tonight?  The endings are sad.

First, I read this.  I read Sweetney pretty regularly, but wouldn't even begin to claim to know her life.  But this made my heart hurt.  And then I watched Jon & Kate + 8 tonight.  And yes, I knew last week when I started seeing the previews exactly what the announcement was going to be.  But that didn't stop me from watching.  Because I needed to see how they handled it.  I needed to see what they told the kids.  I needed to see it.  And it made my stomach hurt, and my heart hurt.  But most importantly, it made me appreciate what I do have even more.  It all does.

It's so much easier to handle divorce, separations, whatever, when one party is wrong.  When one person is abusive, cheating, etc.  Everyone loves to chear against the villian.  It's so much harder when the together just isn't right.  When the feelings for each other are still there, but something is still missing.  When there is no villian.  Those are the situations that always make me long for a magic wand, a way to make that something right.  To erase the pain caused by doing what you think is the right thing.

As I said before, these are two people hurting, with the whole world watching.  And while Sweetney doesn't have quite the audience they do, she still has an audience.  Tonight I pray for peace for all the parties involved in these situations. 

Thursday, June 18, 2009


things I need to blog about, but I'm too busy doing to do so...

Last day of school
summer day camp
getting a tooth filled (with another session coming)
game night
End of the fiscal year (and I'm in accounting/budgeting)
Philadelphia Zoo
Cleaning my house
Wishing for many more hours in every day...

and now, I'm off to do the one thing that I never seem to have enough time to do...


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Middle school, here we come (again)

My baby girl is "graduating" from 5th grade today. It really does just seem like a year or so ago that she started Kindergarten, looking a lot like this...
The beginning of this year, she looked like this...
and now? She looks like this...
I can't believe how much she has grown this year. Physically, she's grown almost a foot. She's slimming down and getting curves and I want to scream and cry at her to stop. But she has developed a great sense of self awareness. She has started to recognize and accept her flaws and quirks, even joining in the laughter when we "pick on her."
Unfortunately, that hasn't stopped the temper tantrums and whining. I swear we have tried everything...I HATE the whining.
But I love her. And I'm proud of her. She has worked hard, and I'm looking forward to the middle school experience with her.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Beaching it, Kindergarten version

Today was Monster's field trip to the beach. Yes, we took 85 Kindergarteners to the beach. Crazy? Yes, especially when the beach we went to didn't have a playground or anything near by. We had sand, the water that they were allowed to dip their toes in, and the pier they could bother the fisherman on. For 3 hours.

But I got to watch my son interact with his friends. And give him the occasional kiss or hug. This was my view, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Upon Leaving Kindergarten

Monster "graduates" from Kindergarten today.  Technically, his last day of school is next Thursday, but we have a field trip on Monday, and the 5th graders graduate on Tuesday (which means PB will be getting her post next, and the rest of the week is half days.  So today is the day.

I have such mixed emotions about this day.  I'm proud of all that he has accomplished this year, and at how well he's adapted to school.  I worried last summer if he would be able to listen, sit still, not drive the teacher mad.  But he does sit still, and he listens.  At one point, I wondered if he would ever learn his "letters" or to read. He's reading to me now.  He's grown physically as well, and no longer is he my baby...he's all boy now.

But some things haven't changed.  He still lives each day with gusto.  Every thing is exciting (except the American Girl store in, and we have to run every where we go.  His imagination is vibrant, and he still shares his make believe world with me.  We have cuddle sessions every day, and he's constantly hugging and kissing everyone in his family.

Next year he will go to school all day, eat lunch in the cafeteria, and start having gym and music and art.  He'll have homework, and he'll learn so much more.  I just hope that he stays my little boy for a bit longer.

Update - Yay for me.  I didn't cry once. 

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Seriously, I've had enough

I am on my 3rd migraine this week.  I haven't had one in a year, and now I've had three this week.  I'm really ready for Friday night, when I will crawl in bed and sleep until I wake up late on Saturday.  Now I'm going to be and sleeping until the dreaded alarm goes off tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Miscellany, migraine edition.

MommyWizdom was hosting this week's Fun Monday, and I had every itention of participating, until the migraine from hades ripped my Monday away.  Maybe next week I'll enjoy a Fun Monday.

So speaking of migraines, I haven't had one in about a year.  But Monday I had one.  And this morning I started down the path to one a soon as I stepped foot in work.  I left and 30 minutes and 3 ibuprofens later I was fine.  I think I may be allergic to my office. 

Have you seen this site yet?  Oh my goodness.  Honey, we might want to make sure Monster never has access to the computer without one of us present.  This could push him right over the edge to the criminal.

It was a long day.  I returned to shredding after a week's hiatus.  I needed that week...Mother Nature is not nice, and last week was proof of that.

That's it.  I'm sore and tired and going to bed.  And dreaming of not getting a migraine tomorrow.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Yet another Washington DC post

I have decided that this year shall forever be known as the year of Washington DC in our family, with New York City a close second.  It is the end of May, and we have already made 4 trips to Washington and tomorrow will mark my second to New York City.  Which is sort of ironic, since I had never been to NYC prior to April of this year. 

Anyway, last Friday I trekked to DC with PB and her class.  Luckily, I was assigned her two best friends, and we had a very good time while we were there.  We were dropped off at the Museum of Art on the Mall, and were given free reign to go wherever we wanted in the area.  I had asked the girls to prioritize what they each really wanted to see earlier in the week, and that determined our course.  First, we headed to the Washington Monument, as two girls wanted to see that up close, and one of them wanted to see the White House.  Lucky for us, we were able to see the White House, Capital Building and Licoln Memorial from the base, and that satisfied those requirements.  The Washington Monument up close is a site to really can't see the top standing at the bottom and looking straight up.  Did you know that there is a line approximately 150 feet up where work was stopped for quite a few years?  The marble they used when they began again was a slightly different shade.  On the South (I think) side of the monument is a gorgeous old tree.  It's several pieces coming out the ground, gnarly and perfect for climbing.  The girls enjoyed a little time on these tree before moving on to the American History Museum.

(I'll insert pictures here later these evening)

We were able to actually get into the First Ladies exhibit this time, and checked out the pictures from the inaugaration this year and the invention and play room. I also forced the girls to stop and look inside Julia Childs kitchen.  They've rebuilt her set there, and it was very interesting to see.

From there we headed next store to see the Natural History Museum.  We headed straight for the gem section, specifically the Hope Diamond.  With 3 girls, are you surprised?  We looked at a few other gems, then realized that it was too crowded in there to really enjoy the other displays, so headed off to find the gift store.  On the way, we came across the butterfly habitat.  For a fee, you can go in and walk among the butterflies. We didn't have the time and money that day to do so, but PB and I plan to return and go in.

After hitting the gift shop and the Hall of Mammals, it was time to head back to the bus.  All in all, it was a nice field trip.  Allowing each group to go where they wanted really made the trip nice, as we weren't constantly waiting for others to catch up.  It also allowed the kids to see those things that interested them most.  It seems like a fitting final trip for these 5th graders, about to head off to Junior High.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

reading the cues

My children seem to be suffering from a recurrence of "it's almost the end of the school year and I must lose my mind"itis. I'm hoping they survive this flare up with my sense of humor intact.

It's amazing how different two children raised in the exact same household can be. My daughter can be a sensitive soul. She can work herself into a tizzy with very little outside stimulus. Figuring out how to cajole her out of these funks is tricky. It starts with trying to figure out what is causing her funk, and that is usually difficult to do. She's good at smokescreening you, avoiding the real issue.

She has small little moments of sadness several nights a week since her father left for deployment. After a couple of weeks of her working herself into a stomach ache and sobbing, I had to be tough. I now allow her 5 minutes of crying time. Then she has to suck it up and go to sleep. This was instituted after many other strategies were offered and failed. Diary time, talking, writing to daddy, dancing like a mad woman, visualization, nothing seemed to help her. And this solutions doesn't always work, but it has definitely helped. But this past week or so, I've noticed a diffferent type of sadness, and slowly it's been coming out (well, I've been piecing conversations together.) She is in 5th grade, and will be moving to the Junior High next year. This is a big change, but the change is minimized for her since the Junior High is attached to the elementary school. Same lunch room, same band room, same entrance. But slowly, she's learning that some of her friends won't be joining her in those rooms. One is switching to her home school, instead of school choicing. Another is moving to Texas. These are girls that she has literally known since Kindergarten or First grade, they've slept over at each other's houses dozens of times, shared birthday parties and simple growing up things. Going to a military school, she's used to people coming and going, and there are other kids in her class moving on as well. But it's a lot of changes all at once.

Luckily, I've been able to get her talking a little about the situation, and simply acting a fool with her from time to time seems to help the cloud pass over and sleep come. It's not always that easy, but for now I'll accept it.

Monster has also been having some minor melt down moments, although his occur just after pick up each evening. He's graduating from Kindergarten, and moving on to First grade. We go from half day of school, to eating lunch, having "specials", and homework. Luckily, he is super easy to cajole out of these funks most of the time. A good 5 minute session of tickling, kissing, wrestling and such generally gets him back into a good mood and ready to tackle whatever comes next.

As a mom, I'm happy that I'm able to find the keys to helping my children learn to cope with their feelings. I really feel that this year has brought us closer, and although I wouldn't have chosen it, I'm glad I can see the benefits from it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

John & Kate Plus 8, now divided?

I've started and erased a post about this situation several times over the last couple of weeks.  There is so much here that hits so strongly. 

My husband and I have had our rough patches.  We've hurt each other, sometimes very deeply.  That's not a news flash.  We often do hurt the ones we love and need the most, because we are sure they will always be there for us.  But how long should you go on when that hurt is continuous?  That seems to be the real question for this couple.

I struggle with the comments regarding this family and their situation.  She is mean and walks all over him.  He doesn't stand up for himself.  He's made some iffy decisions, and so has she.  Sitting back, looking in, we can be quick to judge.  It makes us feel better about ourselves to see other people's problems.  Of course we would never choose money over our marital happiness, we would never leave our children to travel all over the world, we would know what our husbands are thinking and doing.  But none of us should truly say that unless we've been there.  No one knows what decisions they might make in a given situation until they've been in that situation.  I would probably never do a reality show, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't subject my children to one either.  But, given the right situation, I might have to agree to do the show.  They had 8 children and very little income.  Doing the show for a few seasons probably didn't seem like such a big deal at the time.  But somehow it became a runaway train. And the microscope of fame has magnified the small problems they had in their relationship.

I once thought that my husband and I were so lucky.  We were so in love, we knew each other.  We were the ones that would be married forever with no real problems.  And then we hit some serious snags.  The pain I felt was so deep and so strong, it truly felt physical.  I didn't know who to talk to, since my best friend was the one that was causing all the pain.  But ultimately, we realized that our relationship was the most important thing to both of us.  We worked on it, struggled and fought for it, and now, almost 12 years later, we are still happily married.  It wasn't easy, and there are times that it still isn't easy.  But the good things in life are worth the work it takes to keep them.

For me, one of the things I learned was to never take anything for granted.  It isn't okay to assume that what I want for our family falls into line with what he wants.  If we both agree that a decision is good for our family, great.  But if not, then we have to find a way to work it out so both of us can be happy.  I don't think that is occuring in Jon and Kate's marriage, and that leads quickly to things going wrong.

Did Jon cheat? I don't know.  Really, at this time, it seems only Jon and the other woman know that for sure.  No matter how unhappy he is with his current relationship, cheating is not the answer.  It sounds trite, but if you aren't happy with yourself and the choices you've made, you won't be happy with someone else.

Ultimately, they both need counselling.  And we all need to remember that these are real people, with real feelings.  They are hurting right now, and hurting with the whole world watching sucks.  Tonight, watching them hurt on television, all I felt was sad.  Sad for a family going through a really tough time, not knowing how to end the runaway train.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Moving forward, keeping in touch with our lives.

After yesterday's post, I'm feeling like a survivor.  It's late Thursday night, and we managed to get to everything we were supposed to with everything we needed.  Tomorrow I board a bus with PB to head over to DC again for her field trip.  I'm really looking forward to the day spent with her and her two best friends.  Then home to start the LONG WEEKEND.  Yay.

I started taking the kids to pick strawberries a few years ago, and two years ago I made a batch of jam.  Last year we had to make 4 batches of jam and freeze some berries.  This has grown crazily.  My mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and the kids all want to come over and help.  The problem is we're making so much, it's expensive, and we struggle to get through them all!  But I'll do it still, because this has become a family tradition.  My kids will talk about this when they are older, telling their kids about it, perhaps doing it with them. 

I love traditions, and I'm glad we have some that aren't tied to holidays.  We celebrate our house-iversary with the same meal we had as our first real family dinner.  We tlak about our house and why we are happy to live here.  I feel that these are the memories that will serve them as they grow older.

So now I'm off to do a litle shredding, then head to bed.  Tommorrow is a busy day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


How is it Wednesday already?  Never has a week felt so long but gone by so quickly.  We're in the crazy time of year, when everything is ending, all at the same time.  This is also the beginning of our busy time  at work.  So I am stressed normally, but this year, it's amped up even more.  I have two trips I'm trying to plan, one for this summer and one for fall, plus a bus trip to New York next weekend..  My children have hit the "we're going to be really annoying all the time cause it's almost the end of the school year" phase and are driving me crazy.  By the end of this month, we will have celebrated three birthdays in our family, as well as Mother's Day, plus a friend or two has had birthdays.  I feel like curling up in a ball and crying.

My list of things I want to do has grown so long this month, it doesn't even fit on one page anymore (seriously, I started writing things down so I can keep track and get them OUT OF MY HEAD!).  At the same time, my energy level is hitting an all time low.  I am exhausted almost all the time y'all.  I really need a personal assistant.  However, the pay would have to be very low at this point, as we are about tapped out budget wise. 

I've been looking forward to a weekend free of much to do with others, and just us staying home and me working on some of the things I want to get done, but I'm starting to see that slipping away.  Slowly, little pieces are being taken, and I know that I'll feel frustrated by Monday night with how little I've gotten done.

Don't get me wrong, I'm blessed, and I know it.  Really.  I'm just having a not so good week.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Business Card Giveaway!

If you've never visited Schmutzie, you're missing out. Someday I'll get around to updating my blogroll (or getting rid of it and add her (you know, since she's every where else on my But until tomorrow night, she's hosting a giveaway.

From her blog:

UPrinting, a company with over 25 years of experience in business card printing, asked me if I would like to offer up 1000 free business cards to my readers, and I kind of had to say yes, because I have a thing for business cards. They are such great little means of introduction, and they have the potential to be really freaking cool.

So if you could use a few business cards, or even just have a stationery fetish like myself, head over and participate!

Random thoughts

I always have so many ideas running around my head for posts, and no time any more for actually writing them. Bummer.

1. I've been shredding regularly for almost 2 weeks now. I managed 4 days last week, and 2 times this week so far. Of course, this means I have to shred tomorrow and Saturday (unless I choose to start my week on It is kicking my butt. Seriously. Tonight I did notice that I was able to amp up a few moves for a few seconds, which I guess is an improvement. I just feel like I will be on level 1 forever. I hate that. I'm impatient. But I'm working hard to keep my eye on the ultimate goal, which is looking and feeling better.

2. The kids and I are going on a bus trip to New York City. We're being dropped off at Macy's 34th Street entrance. I'm trying to figure out the best way to see some tourist attractions (the Statue of Liberty seems to be high on everyone's list (my MIL and mom are going as well)) from their. I'd ask for suggestions, but since I don't have very many readers, I'm not expecting much response. Hey, maybe I should facebook it!

3. I'm seriously contemplating switching blogging platforms. And the name of my blog. I chose this name at random before I actually understood what a blog was. And it's not catchy, and I've never been fond of it as a blog's okay as my identity though.

4. I've been working on some things that I want to create to put in my Etsy shop. I'm still working through all the things I need to get it up and going. Maybe I need to start a blog that covers that business as well. Hmmm, food for thought.

5. My son was listening to a rcorded book tonight. He was so excited about the whole thing, and he says to me at one point..."mama, don't you just love technology." My heart melted to a puddle on the floor. My son will be a techno geek like his mama. Of course, he'll be a hot rock star techno geek, but still.

6. It is seriously beautiful here this evening. The temp is comfortable, there's just a little breeze, and the rain showers are short and easy. I'm sitting on my front porch geeking out. I really have to do this more often!

That's it for now! Night!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

feeling strong, but sore

Wow, it's been a long day.  And tonight we had a chair yoga session at our FRG meeting.  It's amazing how much of a work out you can get sitting in a chair!  Of course, eating the delicious desserts afterwards didn't really let any of those benefits of the exercise come through.  But they were veryyyyy yummy.  So I came home and shredded.  I'm tired and sore, but day 2 is done. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Road Trip to Washington, Part II (Easter Egg Roll on the White House Lawn)

Our second trip to Washington, DC brought us to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. We were invited to meet Vice President and Dr. Biden before attending the Egg Roll on the White House Lawn.  For those who don't know, this is the Eisenhower Executive Office Building...
A big behomoth of a building that sits right next to the White House...see?
We had a chance to meet with the Vice President and his family.
I really like Dr. Biden.  She seems like a genuinely nice woman. And I admire that prior to her husband becoming Vice-President, she maintained her own professional life. 
The rest of our visit wasn't so pleasant, and didn't go exactly as planned.  But eventually, after standing in various lines for almost 2 more hours, we finally made it into the Egg Roll...
Unfortunately, in trying to create access for many, the whole thing was ruined for all.  There were too many people, and the lines were so long to do any of the activities.  There were at least 75 people in line just for the egg roll activity.  After spending so long just waiting to get in, and a morning that had to start at 7 am, we were all done.  So we took some pictures, got our posters, and headed out to the egg station.  The wooden souvenir eggs are cute.
Photo taken from the White House official Site.
Then we went to the US History Museum.  Another post of that part of the trip soon.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Shredding (Take 2)

I just finished day one (again) of the 30 day shred.  OMG. 

I started back in March, and I made it several days, and then I got sick, and my hubby came home.  And then was a little better and then I was sick again.  I have had a head cold for the entire month of April.  But after my birthday yesterday, I had told myself that I would start again.  And I wanted so bad to go to bed, but I did the shred.  I may be on Level 1 for the next 30 days, but at least I'm doing it. 

I'm still being realistic and knowing that I may not get it in every single is just too busy some days.  But I will do it at least 4 nights a week.  If I don't pass out first.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Feeling Wicked

While my husband was home on leave, he took me to New York for the first time.  And I was reminded why I don't live in a big city.  But the main goal of the day was to see the musical "Wicked" on Broadway.

OMG. Amazing doesn't even begin to describe the experience.  I read a part of the book prior to going to the musical, and the musical takes a lot of "dramatic license", but both versions definitely ring true.  The two leads that performed in this musical that day were phenomenal, and our seats were amazing.  We were in the 6th row near the middle of the stage.  I felt like a little kid, sitting there watching the story unfold.  I didn't notice the people sitting near me, I wasn't wondering if someone had texted me, I was engrossed in the show the entire time.

If you have a chance to see this musical, go.  It's well worth whatever the cost.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009's what we all need.

Angie Smith over at Bring the Rain is currently on a Compassion trip for Bloggers to India.  Her posts each day are so touching, and so informative.  But her first post, Name, really hit home.  Please, go read her story as she shares it.  You can also read the other bloggers posts at CompassionBloggers

Monday, April 27, 2009

What happened to Spring?

We often joke in the Mid-Atlantic that we don't relly have Spring...but we normally have at least a few nice days between the bitter cold and Africa Hot weather.  Apparently Mother Nature is going through the change and is having major hot flashes.  It was in the 40's/50's for the highs through last Thursday, and then in the 90's this weekend.  That is almost double the temperature.  It has been insane, but it's supposed to be a short lived 4 day streak, with thunderstorms and lower temps (woo hoo 60's) coming Wed.  So far I've refrained from turning on the AC, and this morning it was downright pleasant for sleeping, but tonight it's back to the oven.  Thank goodness we have a nice, cool basement we can hide in.  Play area, tv, craft area and table for the laptop.  We even ate dinner down there (leftovers heated in the microwave, then water ice cups...not the healthiest, but it's too hot to cook.)

This is a busy week here (they all are, but this is worse than usual.)  Tomorrow, PB has her Maypole parent's dress rehearsal night and Monster has Martial Arts.  Thank goodness for family.  Wednesday I have to meet Monster's Title One Teacher for Reading (about stinking time) and Thursday?  I think we might actually be free.  But Friday night we have another Maypole practice, and a cookie/cake decorating class, then Saturday is the festival with parade (which I believe both children will be walking in...which mean I'm walking as well and Maypole, I'm going out for my birthday with friends and the kids are getting individual time with the mother and mother-in-law (divide and conquer is the theme here.) Sunday is my birthday, and PB has to play bells at early service for church.  Then lunch/dinner with the whole fam.  Whew, I need a nap just thinking about all of that.

Is school out yet?  I'm ready for summer break.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Road Trip to Washington, DC (Part 1)

We actually went to Washington, DC twice during my husbands two weeks leave. The first trip was literally the day after he came home. It was a bus trip arranged by the military 4H club to celebrate Month of the Military Child. It was Cherry Blossom Festival time, and we were dropped off just a block or so from the parade. Unfortunately, it took a little longer to get there than planned, and the parade was about to start, so the parade route was completely blocked by onlookers. We are nothing if not creative, and we quickly decided the steps of the FTC building would make a good vantage point.
See those people up on the high part? That's the rest of the family. It was so windy, and it was pretty high up, and the Monster refused to sit still, so the two of us climbed back down and went exploring on our own. DDS was able to take some nice shots of the parade, and maybe he'll upload them to Flickr at some point. But really, a parade is a parade, and unless I know people in it, I don't get excited. Monster apparently gets that from me, and we had a much better time searching for dandelions, climbing on statues, and just enjoying the day.

Finally, everyone was tired of the parade, and our group adventures began.
We wandered towards the Capital, since that was our next scheduled stop. We had to stop along the way and enjoy the Cherry Blossoms and some large rocks.
Then a visit to the Capital Building.
We gave Monster daddy's point and shoot camera to use while we were in DC and he took some nice photos. But my favorite was when he handed me the camera and asked me to take a picture of him.
After that, we had lunch in the Capital Cafeteria. Then we headed to the Air and Space Museum, since that was our bus pick up site. We explored a few of the rooms, did a few of the hands on activities,
then happily boarded the bus or home, exhausted.