Saturday, January 29, 2011

what's going on.

Today is my husband's birthday!

I realize this is a picture of Jack's 1st birthday, I just think my husband looks really cute here

so you get it now? dang it, he is cute. gosh, what's my countdown at again? crud.

and he's even hotter taking care of our babies!!!

Jeremiah is celebrating his leap into 35 somewhere in the Med on a big steel ship surrounded by sea and sailors. (I just fulfilled my alliteration quota for the month.) I made a video of the kids singing to him and felt cheery while we made it, and now I just feel kind of blah.

And speaking of blah, check out the Valentine's Day card my daughter made below. We went to an FRG (family readiness group- I think) meeting this past Monday, and after the meeting we made cards for all the deployed sailors-- which happens to be a huge chunk of the squadron. Well, we only had 3 cards for my husband's det, and there are 20 sailors, so I said I'd make the rest at home. The kids made some, too, and every single card Kaiti made had me laughing.

I guess Valentine's Day isn't really her thing

I made some on my own, and then went to a friends house last night and finished up the rest. My friend (she is remaining anonymous) pulled out her scrapbook stuff, markers, glue, and construction paper and we went to town. After about the 5th card, I probably was not the most appropriate choice to make these cards. Not many people get my humor. Like that stops me, though......

I'm going to post more pictures of these soon, for no other reason than to have virtual memory of them. Get excited.

I made Evie a headband this week. Actually, I made her three. Then I sent some photos of her wearing them to my husband. His response "She is beautiful. Not the headband, though." Uh, homeboy, I MADE that headband! (I will admit, though, that it was a little big for my liking.) A couple friends asked me about it so I might share how I did that soon. If my children all simultaneously nap. I dream.

Tyler made a lego ship. He is very proud of his lego creations that he makes all by himself....even the smaller ones. 

I really need to start using my actual camera

My friend sweet friend Ellie sent me a care package!!! After chatting on the phone Sunday night she decided to spoil me with things she thought would help me out! I am so grateful for such amazing friends. And I think I am going to be even more grateful for this book she hooked me up with!

That's my girl. Going right for the 'ring pop', which has done her teething gums good!

Um, yes, that is a S'MORES maker! Oh, sweet goodness, thank you Ellie.
And since I mentioned Ellie, I thought I'd share with you.....her adorable baby boy that I asked everyone to pray for? He is doing so well!!!!! His heart issues will likely always be with him and will need serious watching, but today he is HEALTHY and GROWING and making his sweet mama's heart burst with love! Thank you for praying for this family, friends! Here is that sweet boy now. 

Ellie asked me to thank you all for the prayers!!!

Another wonderful friend of mine, Billie Jo, messaged me today to tell me about how one of her friends needs prayers. I know the girl she asked me to pray for, and I will certainly be lifting her up. While we were chatting Billie Jo said something that to me is the difference between a casual friendship and a true, deep-rooted one. She said that this friend needs people to help her out, and that friends keep offering, but a real friend would just show up. How true is that? I know that in times when I have struggled, my real friends- they just show up. Sometimes physically, and sometimes in other ways. Like when I was in the hospital with Kaiti and Jeremiah was deployed, Billie Jo and Carrie just showed up. When I was struggling with Jeremiah's latest departure and a big mess of tears, Ellie called and told me to pick a date to come down to Longboat or to North Carolina. Or, when I am sad and feeling spent, a call or a text message or an email arrives, from Kacie, or Kristen, or Lauren, and I feel renewed. Or I am just feeling alone and new friends I've made remind me that I am absolutely not. So thankful. Everyone deserves friends who come without being asked.

To all the ladies in my life who just show up, I love you all to bits!!! 

Happy Birthday Honey!!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

spilled milk. it undid me.

whataday. oh my goodness, what a day.

I'll make this brief: was up EVERY hour during the night with a feverish, screaming baby who could not find comfort in my arms; when I 'officially' woke up, got an upsetting email from my hubby (he is fine, we just got reminded that we have zero control over anything); Evie's fever continued, as did the screaming; tonight, kaiti acting goofy, spills her cup of milk in the kitchen, I am a terrible mother, tell her to clean it up, and then tell her she can pour another cup, drops the newly purchased gallon of milk jug (my fault, it was too heavy for her), it breaks, milk spills, kaiti cries, I get the mop while wiping away tears, then she runs in asking for water, falls on slick floor, knocks her head good enough to get a goose egg behind her ear and a bloody lip.

At one point tonight I had 3 of 4 children crying simultaneously, all for different reasons, each one not able to be consoled with a quick hug while I moved on the next.

So tonight, folks, I was not enough. And as it pains me to admit this and say it loud, but, I lost my patience. I should have taken deep breaths, but I didn't. I got mad when Kaiti spilled her milk the FIRST time and snapped at her to pay attention and quit goofing off. Instead of saying "it's okay" when I saw on her face that she felt really bad and was worried I would get upset, I yelled "You need to pay better attention!" (I am well aware of how terrible I am as I am typing with tears and full of guilt. I know.) And then, my sweet-hearted child made that face. A face that was a blend of sorry, upset and scared by the sting of my tone,  wanting to please, and so taken back that her mom just snapped at her- the same mom that always says spills are no big deal.

I feel terrible. Once I got the kids in bed, I went into the bathroom and cried a little. I am overwhelmed- yes, tired-definitely, needing a break-absolutely;  but none of those things excuse me snapping at my daughter. They don't.

I am not sure why I am coming on here writing this. Maybe it is the little Catholic girl within wanting to ease the burden of what I've done with confession. Maybe it's a need to keep it honest. I definitely do try to keep calm, and most of the time I present the funny things we do and tell stories that are light and reflect the easy, the ordinary part of our life. But as everyone knows, life isn't all sunshine and daisies.

Like tonight. Tonight, I feel less than human and am so disappointed with myself. I. feel. awful. And the awful wells deep. I let the course of the day get the better of me and I handed it out to my daughter with my sharp tongue. The same daughter who, just hours before all this, fed her baby sister dinner for the first time so I could cook dinner for the big kids.

Which makes what I did even worse.

So I hope, I really, really hope, that next time I am on the verge of snapping something not nice to one of my children, that image of Kaiti's reaction to the sting of my snap comes leaping into my head. That I don't make my children curl away from me and stare at me that way again.

Tonight, I feel like a very bad, very mean mommy, and I am so sorry I snapped at my sweet Kaiti girl. And the thing is- it's done. I cannot undo it. I guess all I can do is try to be enough for her tomorrow. And tell her that I'm sorry. That even though I was frustrated and upset, that is never a reason to speak harshly and hurt someone else with our words.

And I will say a prayer that God fills my heart with love and patience and helps me in my path towards being the mom that I hope to be.

Because tonight, folks, I was not even close to the mom I hope to be.

Not even close.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

outta the mouths of mamas

"Who keeps putting sticks of butter in Daddy's care package? Why? Honey, if he wants to eat a potato, they have butter on the ship. I am pretty sure."

"Please stop using the little broom to brush your sisters hair. Thanks."

"Why is he crying? WHAT?!?! Let me handle the discipline. Because shutting him in the garage with the lights off is mean.....and I don't think it works because I tried it on you guys." (hehhehheh) 

"Stop laughing at him when he says that. Because it's embarrassing that he walks around the grocery store saying 'Scuse me, I farted.' And he is only saying it because you are laughing."

"Please stop talking like a robot. And walking like one. It's creeping me out. Thank you."

"That's a nice thought, honey, but band-aids aren't really something you give as a gift."

"Just give me the peanut butter and the hammer and I will stop chasing you."

"Honey, you can't invite random people you meet over to our house for breakfast. Well, that's nice that she likes little pancakes, but I don't know who that girl is, so I am not making her any." 

"Um, yes, I believe in the moon. Well, for starters, it's right there. See. That's the moon. So, yes, I believe in it."

"I don't get why you are laughing. What you are eating is really part of a real chicken. Seriously. I am not kidding."

"Why are you outside naked? And you don't EVEN HAVE SHOES ON??!?!"

"I don't really think it would be funny if my name was Mordecai. But obviously, you do."

"Stop sticking your meatball in her face. When she leans back and is violently pushing away, that means she does not want it."

"Woo HOOOO!!! Found the missing tater tots from 5 days ago!!!"

"Underwear goes UNDER the shorts honey. "

"What is he eating? Chips??? I didn't bring any chips, where'd he get them? Uh, if you see him picking random food off the ground, could you please bring it to my attention."

....and here are some pictures my husband sent me from his last port in Palermo, Sicily. And the last one is a picture of Little Miss Evie and evidence of our twice-sometimes-thrice-a-night feedings. Yawn. 

*Oh, and if anyone knows of a good countdown tracker widget thing-a-ma-jig, please let me know. Trying to keep our little countdown at the bottom of every post, but I am lazy about whipping out a calendar and counting backwards to 20. I'm seeking help for that. This is it. Help, please :) 
--------Thank you KELSIE, for telling me where to get the countdown widget thing-a-ma-jig (that IS the official name of it)


Countdown to Bliss: 199 Days (yipppeeeee!!!! less than 200!!!!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

five things

This morning I felt the need to sit and write. So I grabbed my laptop (the Apple store repaired it for free!!!!!! yippeee!!!), sat down on the couch (where my kids were watching Honey, I Shrunk The Kids- which is soooooo old school), and got to it.

I am not really feeling anything today. The Jack Handy in me must be on vacation, 'cause I got nothin'. I decided to put to computer screen somethings I have bookmarked on paper and in my favorites toolbar. If you can think of things to add to my list, holla! (or, just leave a comment. actually, please holla while typing. like if you are wanting to add rum cake to my recipes, please shout out 'RUM TO THE C-A-K-E' while typing. any maybe throw in a left arm fist pump and funny head bob-chicken thing. just an idea. you can just type it if that is what you are comfortable with. but I bet the shout/fist pump/head bob will make you feel good. aren't thoughts in parentheses supposed to be brief?)

5 Etsy Sites I've Been Browsing

1) Corinna Couture if you have a daughter, just click. just click.
2) Three Kittens Knitting I got the CUTEST knit sheep baby hat for Evie!
3) Little Town Boutique yes, my obsession continues.
4) Little Party Boutique the most adorable, creative party supply shop out there!!
5) Calabasas Candy Co their candy looks soooo. dern. good. And heart day is coming up....

5 Favorite Recipes Right Now

1) Pioneer Woman's Spaghetti & Meatballs yum. oh, yum.
2) Chewy Sticky Cake even if you don't care for coconut, you'll like this!
3) Pineapple Cheese Ball My friend Carrie introduced me to this and it such a good gathering appetizer
4) My Mom's Shepard Pie nostalgic goodness that makes me feel like Mom's here with me
5) My husband's chicken tacos w/ guacamole I love watching my husband chop jalapenos. Oh my quivers, he is cute and has the bluest eyes and the sexiest smile and how his tush in levis and...

5 Favorite iPhone/iPod/iPad apps:

1) Skype let me talk to and SEE my husband from my cell phone while he was in port in Sicily!!!
2) HeyTell allows you to send voice messages just by touching a spot on your phone to other heytell users
3) Hipstamatic gives your pictures an aged/vintagey look
4) Twitter I'm sure you know about the twitter by now. it's funny. briefly.
5) lets you watch some CBS and other network shows on your phone without having to pay or download anything

5 Things I Am Really Wanting

1) MY HUSBAND!!!!!
2) a Nap
3) Canon t1i
4) a Hug
5) iPad

 5 Songs I Rocked Out To Last Night
1) Down Under by Men at Work
2) Beautiful by Akon
3) Hold On by Wilson Phillips
4) Let's Get Married by Jagged Edge
5) Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield

5 Pictures That Make Me Miss Him Like Crazy

self portrait he took with his cell phone while in port in Sicily
the day after he got home from the last one, just happy!!!

Cuddling with Evie the day before he left last time

oh sweet mercy, I think my uterus just contracted
getting our taxes ready before he left this time. does anyone else think your husband looks even hotter with his wedding ring on?


Countdown To Bliss: 202 Days!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


It was just a matter of time.

I remember playing with the boys in my neighborhood and how even at the age of seven, I didn't get them. Their jokes weren't very funny, they seemed to either be on 36 gallons of kool-aid or so quiet I thought they'd gone mute, and they showed some serious passion about really odd things, like cardboard pictures of old men holding baseball bats.

Fortunately, it did not matter much their weird sense of humor or that they were bouncing off the walls with energy when we were riding our bikes around the neighborhood.

At seven, you don't really care so much that a person is off their rocker, as long as they ride bikes with you.

At thirty-three, riding bikes is no longer the relational activity it once was.

So I am having a harder time 'getting' my son. Most of the time, when he shows me his wacky side, I just smile. Sometimes I laugh- which, I'm sure, is what he was after. And other times I just stare at him wondering how I produced such a creature. And I just don't get it.

Earlier tonight, Tyler walks over to his sister, bubbling with hysteria, and says "Kaiti, do you just LOOOVVVVEEE your socks." Not even looking up (she's totally used to this by now), she says "I guess." Just the response Tyler was after, he starts laughing so hard he is choking on his words, "Well, why don't you get a doctor and MARRY THEM!!" And then I laughed, too, because I have no idea what a doctor has to do with anything, and Tyler's laugh is totally contagious. In the middle of this, Kaiti looked annoyed, shrugs, and nonchalantly says "No thanks. I am to young to get married." *Yes, I have raised her right- she knows that she has a lot of livivng left to do before she can settle down with her Hanes tube socks.

At the commissary today, I was pushing my overflowing cart into the checkout lane to pay. I waved Tyler out of the way, so I would not knock him down with my basket of goods. He scooted and I thanked him for moving aside. He says "Si! Mucho, mucho amarillo Mamasita." He yelled it more than he said it, and I was well aware that half the commissary was staring at me. I wasn't sure if they thought he was funny or if they were annoyed by my 7-year-olds lack of cultural sensitivty (because I hear that is real hot-button issue with the 1st grade crowd these days), but I was defnitely aware of the eyes  on me. I just laughed a little and said something like "I don't get it." 10 decibels louder, he repeats it "Si! Mucho, mucho amarillo Mamasita!!!" so, I say, "Tyler, that does not make sense. What are you trying to say?" But I admit, I was laughing, because some of the baggers laughed and I could not hold back anymore. And I laugh when I am uncomfortable. He says "I thought you spoke some Spanish. You should know, I was saying, 'You are very very welcome short mama." And then he starts laughing so hard, he started snorting and holding his belly. I tell him that mamasita is not spanish for mama, it's just mama, and amarillo means yellow, but I gave up 2 words in because he was not hearing anything over the cackles of his own laughter.

And last night -Monday night- I walked into Tyler's room to put laundry away. I saw what I can only describe as a cross between yoga and a dancing form of karate. Trying not to laugh, because it was pretty clear he was serious about whatever he was doing, I asked him what he was doing. "I think you know, I am stretching Mom. I have P.E. on Thursday."

Again I say, I just don't get it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

WHO is Brian?!?!?!

As I was driving home from the commissary tonight, I heard my phone start dinging, like it does when I get an email.

Once I got to a red light, I picked it up and saw that I had a few emails from my husband. He gets on the computer about once a day to email and I was really not wanting to miss him. One of the benefits of my smartphone is knowing when he is on and dropping everything to chat with him for a few. (there is usually a line so he tries not to be an email hog.) Not wanting him to get off the computer without chatting with him, I emailed him to tell him to hang on, I'd be home in a just a few because I was about to get on the bridge.

At least, that was what I intended to email.

What I actually sent was this......

Thank you, auto-correct, for creating a spike in my husbands heart rate!

Not the best email to send to your deployed husband!

Happy Monday Tuesday!

Monday, January 17, 2011

I like fractions. And also, wine.

My eyes are blurry and my hair is frizzy so I am going to make this quick.

(I understand that you may not get the significance of my frizzy hair and it's effect on my ability to write, but trust me, it's a factor. It always is. You know, like those grown ups who blame everything on not getting enough toys as a child, my frizz is my cop out.)

It's possible I might be delirious. I managed to work about 3 hours today, play 3 games of Zero (it's a card game my mother-in-law taught me and the only one my kids semi get) with my hooligans, and read about 2 dozen stories to my people. My eyes are shot and my patience is out so I am going to just purge what is in my head. Brace yourself for the excitement.
I was trying to clean and get dinner ready and Jack was throwing fit #37 this afternoon. I kind of grunted and said something like "I need someone to come over! I just want to play hookie from adulthood for a little bit." About two minutes later Tyler walked into the kitchen with a deck of cards and said "Okay, Mom, we can do that." Nose crinkled, brow furrowed, "What you talkin bout Willis Tyler?". He smiled and said "I got the cards, so I can play 'hook from adel-hood' with you, just tell me how to play." I am really happy he is my kid. Really, really.

I had a great Saturday night. We picked up dinner, came home and ate while listening to my ipod. Then we all went into Kaiti's room, cleaned it out, and piled on her bed and watched shows. All 5 of us crammed on her full bed and fighting for a pillow. (But I blamed them all for my bad back and took them all :)) We watched an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba and I took a video with my phone because I thought it was so funny. Jack Black doing a funny dance and I almost had to change my slacks I was laughing so hard and doing my K's to stop the bladder from letting go. -Oh, and by slacks I mean my black velour pants with 5 yrs worth of stains and holes on/in them.- Then I sent the me-laughing-at-Jack-Black video I took to some of my friends to share the goodness with them. And then I laughed for another hour from the text exchange back and forth with my friends, and I even got a DYAC submission out of it. All 4 fell asleep in Kaiti's bed, so I carried everyone to their own cots and went and watched The Hangover while playing on Tyler's Club Penguin account, had some wine and engaged in the twitter with friends. An hour later and my stomach was sore from laughing. I went to bed happy, which is probably the first night since my husband left I did not fall asleep sad. Progress, my friends, progress.

Did I tell you that we are moving to Virginia? We are. Not sure when, but most likely sometime in early fall, possibly as soon as late summer. My kids are very excited.....for no other reason than they want a 2-story house. I never knew they liked stairs that much.

In the past week, I have been asked a few times by friends and strangers alike if we are "done" with the making baby's thing. And it didn't even flow with the conversation. Weird. I think I said something sarcastic most of the times I was asked, but one time I said 'well, probably for now since my husband is deployed, and I think he'd be ticked'. Which I thought was perfectly fine, honest answer. I don't think the person had the same reaction because she looked at me weird and the forced a smile and went on her way. People are strange. (which is probably the exact thing she was saying about me as she was walking away.)
Today I am 1/15th of the way through this deployment. I like fractions.
I am thinking this is really boring. could I liven this up? Oh, hipstamatic pictures!


Countdown to Bliss: 207 days!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

you want to know what love looks like?

Want to know the strength and depth of your marriage?

Spend months apart from the man you married.

Deployments are tough, but I have learned that my marriage is tougher.

We have endured a lot of separation, a lot of experiences on our own, and have weathered many ups and downs without the one we love most at our side. This lifestyle can chip away at so many things a marriage depends on, and I have seen marriages I considered good break apart.

And I have also seen such wonderful examples of love and marriage and the strength of relationship all around me. I have seen husbands look at their wives with such adoration, such respect and it just sets my soul at ease to see my friends be so loved. And then I see these wives, marching on through hard days, with hearts as soft as putty, just needing their husband but getting by with an email and the promise of reunion. Someday. These ladies who could use the strength and comfort of their husbands loving arms every single day, but look at pictures of their husbands and feel the love from far away, and somehow, it's enough.

If you ever want to see what deep, pure love looks like, watch a homecoming. There is nothing in the world like seeing your husband step off a helicopter, or an airlift, or come through the gates at an airport after being gone for months on end. Nothing. And even more amazing, knowing that the pure joy that has taken over my heart is being felt by the lady to me left, to my right, behind me, and in front of me. It's all over their faces. I have watched tears spill down cheeks, grown woman shrieking and squealing because they cannot suppress their giddiness, and mother's tripping their children so they could reach their guy first. (oh, wait. that was me.)

From this...........

and this.....


to this...

and this.

thanks for the pictures, Billie Jo!!!

Welcome Home!

So today my heart is light and full of love for my man and I am focusing on the day I
get to rejoice in his homecoming! The day I get to be the girl in the pictures, beaming, eyes wet with happy tears and clinging tightly to the guy who is my whole entire world!

***And to my Navy wife friends....each and every last one of you is beyond amazing. I learn from you, I laugh with you, and my heart aches with you. From the wives I met at 40, to the amazing girls who I loved at 15, and to the new ladies who make me smile at 48! You all are so wonderful and I am better for having known each one of you. Thank you for being an example of strength, kindness, and love and for being my family when family was thousands of miles away.


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