Thursday, April 28, 2011

remember that Van Halen song?

*The only thing Van Halen has to do with this is the 'right now'. But at the end of this post I might Jump, just to make the title a little more fitting. But those are the only 2 Van Halen songs I can think of for now. Bummer. 

Me, Right Now....

I feel like writing down the center of my blog.

The idea of bullet points and numbered lists gives me a headache. Really. Like squinty, steady pulsing headache.

I dream about moving to a beach house, in either of the Carolina's, and letting my kids run wild on sand dunes while my husband and I watch from the porch. 

I am wearing thick flannel pajama pants and a tank top. My PJs are an oxymoron. Hot legs, cold arms. A/C and fan on, but extra blanket on me. 

I am thankful for tiny mercies. Like friends that get what I've got going over here and understand when I sit things out, like the young sailor at the doctor's office that jumped out of his chair to hold the door open for me and my double-wide stroller, and like the long-lasting hug and "I'm happy you're my mom" I got from my child that has been going through a rough stage lately. Grateful for every ounce of compassion directed my way, and hoping I can pass on at least some of it. 

I am amazed at the women in my life. In awe of a friend I recently reconnected with as I watch her juggle her children, one of which is battling constant and very serious health issues, while her husband is deployed, and still reach out and support the women around her. You guys, this girl has faced our greatest fears as parents, she has walked through some horrific things, and struggles with decisions no parent should have to face, and she still laughs, she smiles, she listens, and she encourages. She is such an inspiration and I am blessed to call her a friend. 

I'm touched at the extended camaraderie that exists between us military wives. As I write this, a sweet friend is sitting in an apartment of a girl she has never met, but shares the title 'Navy Wife', as they await news on her husband's well being. I am still blown away by the quickness and the drive these women have to run to help and care for their fellow wives. It's such a beautiful thing- I wish this kind of primal love for a friend on all of you!

I have The Blind Side on in the background and a Fresca on my nightstand. My mom shared her love of Fresca with me and now it makes me smile every time I see the can. Another little mercy. 

I have (EMPTY) stool sample cups in my purse. 4, to be exact. You just go ahead and be jealous now and get it over with. -Okay, that just made me think......I should do a group post about what is in my bag, and my girls' bags. I think I have seen those in a magazine (though I am not sure I totally buy what those celebrities tote around because they seem more like advertisements for products than a true peek into their pocketbook- I should get bonus points for saying pocketbook). I remember a while back, when my friend Billie Jo went to find something in her purse and she pulled out a tire gauge, and as we were laughing at her, I pulled out a pregnancy test out of mine (unused). Oh, women are a funny lot. 

I wish mosquitos were extinct. 

I have a thing for turquoise and mustard yellow, sun-tanned feet, afternoons at the beach, the sound of a Bravo, sundresses, bronze jewelry, sweet baby giggles, oranges, Pinterest, free sewing tutorials and patterns, the idea of August, the trifle concoction I was introduced to last weekend, clean smelling candles, the Phase 10 app on my phone, air-drying my hair,  Korres Guava Body Butter, the movie Leap Year, and emails from my husband. 

I am missing two someones intensely. 

I feel like making deviled eggs. But it is after midnight and I don't have eggs. Darn it.

I need to sleep. 

for every picture I get, there are 43 outtakes. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

bags, and burps, and baby 'bands, OH MY!

I interrupt my regularly scheduled blogging to bring you this important announcement!

The Vintage Clothespin is having a BIG SALE!!! 

Do you remember me sharing about The Vintage Clothespin? I raved about them a couple times: here and here!

I don't leave home without the adorable diaper bag she created for me! I love, love, love it! And you can be sure I will find a purpose for it once I have outgrown the diaper bag case that ever happens.

So check out her etsy shop and fill your cart with her lovely things! This sale is too good to pass up!

....and proof that I take my favorite diaper bag everywhere: the beach

....on hay rides al & wendy's husbandless valentine's celebrations (notice the champagne) dinosaur watching

......and to the Arabian Sea. If you look really hard, on your top will not see the diaper bag. But it was funny for a second, right?

life is a highway

I've heard

people say

"Before you know it

your baby girl

will be



that day






* For the safety patrol, she totally signaled before merging, and ALWAYS kept her hands at 10 and 2!

Friday, April 22, 2011

lies. and truths.

I posted something on my twittertwitter yesterday and got some responses from friends so I thought I could make this an entire post. So here I am. Posting. Or pasting. Which is really what I did, so this falls under the 'lazy lady' category. Also in that category, laundry couch, hot dogs for dinner, and 'the binkie was only on the floor for 3 seconds'.

-Oh, before I forget- do you tweet? You-- back there. Yes, you. Lady in the glasses with the pretty smile? (in case no one else is reading this, that description will at least apply to my sister, so it's legit- cause I make her read me.) You should, you definitely should, tweet. If you are into making bird noises (you're supposed to make a bird noise every time you post a tweet- it's just what I was told) and enjoy condensed thoughts, and making friends with other fun people with condensed thoughts. It's just 140 characters of fun, silly, interesting, thought provoking awesomeness.

Lies I Tell Myself, a collaborated effort:

  • Deployments are easy
  • The elliptical is sOOOO fun
  • Chocolate tastes like poo
  • Sleep is for sissies
  • Spit-up stains are hot
  • Getting paid sucks (thanks Annette)
  • Ponytails look gooooooooooood
  • Fat free cheese tastes the same
  • Teething babies are super
  • I'm done having babies
  • Wine is overrated
  • Cellulite is sexy (thanks sarajoy)
  • Round stomachs are better than flat (thanks sarajoy)
  • Dog smell is yummy (thanks sarajoy)
  • Litter box cleaning is a laugh riot (thanks sarajoy)
  • Crowds make me happy (thanks jen)
  • I'm not scared of the dark 
  • My gray roots blend right in
  • Co-sleeping is a blast (thanks kelley)
  • Hairy legs are a turn on (thanks kelley)
  • Parenting is so relaxing (thanks kelley)
  • I think my husband really likes my granny panties
  • Target's slurpy and popcorn combo is a well-rounded dinner for kids (thanks kelley)
  • It's okay that I ate the entire chocolate pie- it's because of PMS (thanks sherri)
  • I will make time to workout tomorrow (thanks sherri)
  • My pants are tight, but only because I am bloated (thanks sherri)
  • I did NOT act like my kids when I was their age (thanks sherri)
  • Wal Mart is just as good as Target (thanks Stacy)
  • No one will know this is store bought and not homemade (thanks Stacy)

And because I don't want my pants catching on fire (liar liar), here are some truths I know:

  • My friends rock my socks off
  • My husband rocks the rest of my stuff off
  • Deployments are HARDHARDHARD. But I will make it through
  • Love sees the heart and it disregards the gray roots, round belly, spit up stains and eternal ponytail (the unshaved legs might be pushing it though..... :)
  • Parenting....whew. It's a doozy. Raising happy, considerate, loving people is......whew. But the pull-my-hair-out moments pale in comparison to the make-my-heart-swell ones. And that is more than enough for me.
  • Ugliness is like fire- it needs to be snuffed out at once.
  • Pizza is good. Wine is good. Naps are good. Music & laughter make {almost} everything better

Care to add to the list? Hearing my friends 'lies' had me laughing pretty matter how different some of us are, deep down, our thoughts and weaknesses and silliness binds us to one another. Have any you want to share with me? Jack and Evie are waiting to hear some more........

The screaming that led to her crashing on my chest was nothing compared heavy baby breath on my neck and the cuddle time I clocked that night. 

Can you see the gray roots? And a quick confession- I actually pulled my hair free from the ponytail before I took this for my husband, and 2 seconds later, guess what I did? 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

hey shannon! snap out of it!

This past weekend, my husband was in port. It had been a month since we spoke, so it was wonderful to hear his voice, and even better to see his face on skype. Man, I tell you what, I love skype more than chocolate and naps combined. Not only do I love seeing my man's cute little face, but watching it light up when he saw his baby girl crawl for the first time across our living room floor- nothing in this world like it.

It's also so reassuring to know that he is right there, smiling and safe, and it bridges the distance between us, at least for 30 minutes.

We usually talk about mundane stuff.....things I want to tell him at night, but since he's not here, I save it up. I tell him what the kids are up to, the kids chat with their daddy, show him some of their tricks, but most of the time Jeremiah just soaks in the craziness that is our home. When it's just he and I, though, I get to talk to him about what is on my heart.

And this time, boy, did I have a lot on it. For starters, I've been worried. I try not to watch the news, but something happens, or I hear people referring to something, and it stops me. I am usually very good about keeping my worry in check, so I am not sure why this time is any different. Maybe just because he seems to be surrounded by conflict and people that see us as the enemy. Because it seems like one country after another is revolting, violently, and our country has it's hand in some of it.

But leave it to my husband to reel me back in from my worry walk. Ever so gently, he reminded me that there are always conflicts, especially in the region he is in. He asked me what specifically worried me, and I said the idea that he was in harms way, that people do NOT smile and wave when they see US Navy helicopters-- they do something else entirely. And I mentioned some of the articles I read and what they said.

His response: "Babe, if you didn't worry when I was getting shot at in Iraq then you don't need to worry about me now. I am way safer here than I was in *the desert. Way safer. There is no comparison. And stop reading those articles." 

So there you I have it. I think it really is that simple. He was in a scary place before where the worry was real and warranted, and he came home to me. I can't spend my days worrying about what may be because I will get swallowed up by fear, and that is not where He wants my focus. Fear and worry spread like a virus and will take over everything--- if you let it. 

Of course, I still am going to have my moments. But Jeremiah's reassurance has already gone a long way in pulling me back. This lifestyle does lend itself to torment. The self induced anguish causes the seconds to tick by at a snails pace. Your heart, your mind cannot go on like that for months on end. My kids need me laughing. They need me daydreaming about the homecoming, sharing my excitement about summer's approach-- not wondering through the what-if's.

This is where my heart is today. Trying to let love seep through the worry, and wash it away. I wish I was all knock-knock jokes and sarcastic quips, but this is the uglier, not-so-lovely side of me. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer. wah-wah-wahhhhhhhhhhh. Tomorrow (or the next day) I'll be back with some ridiculous anecdote that'll make you feel like the most wonderful mother alive.....I just needed to write it out today. Writing through my feelings is better on my waistline than eating through them :)

And Thursday's thought:

"So close your eyes and sleep to dream. 
I'm by your side. 
No words to speak. 
We'll set our course and make it through. 
No matter how far I go my heart remains with you."
-lyrics from If All Else Fails

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Outta the mouths of mamas

In case you didn't know......I'm a keepin' it real kind of girl. Sure, I tell you guys about my son's active imagination and his drive to make his ideas come to life, and I've shared stories about how my little guy is so attached to his older brother's bible, that he carries it along on shopping runs. But that's just one facet of our life. I have also told you about my relatively lax expectations when it comes to parenting on my own and made fun of myself and my mishaps in the *make believe* Not Me posts. It's pretty clear who I am: a flawed, but always-trying mama of 4 who tries to find the lessons AND THE HUMOR in this crazy little thing called mamahood.

Some of the things I catch myself are too ridiculous not to share......

"Kaiti, can you check Evie's head? I think I just dropped some raw meat on her."

"Please quit calling your brother 'Big Toe'. We don't call names and he doesn't want to be called that. Don't call your sister that either. Or me. Stop calling me 'Big Toe'. Jack. Cut it out."

"Well, then find a fork, because we are not leaving until your hair is brushed."

"Don't spray perfume on the baby."

"I'm not sure I get your joke. Where did you hear that? What kid on the bus? You don't ride a bus."

"Don't spray perfume on the dog."

"Take the centipede off my foot. I did NOT enjoy that."

"No, you don't need to go get help. 'You're driving me bonkers' is just an expression."

"Why are you whining that your legs hurt? We just got out of the car 5 minutes ago. No, I will not give you a piggyback ride around the grocery store- you're just gonna have to suck it up."

"Jack, please stop touching that man's back. I'm sorry, sir. Jack, stop it. Again, I'm sorry."

"Why is there a bottle of ketchup in the washing machine???"

"Well, that's nice that you bit into the apple to get it started for her, but she cannot eat a whole apple because she only has 2 teeth. No, honey, cutting it in half won't work out either."

"Just because I won't buy you a 7-Up does not mean that I do not care about you."

"Kaitlin, where are the scissors? WHAT?!?!?!?! Why are they in Jack's closet??? Kaiti!!"

"Ummm, first explain to me why you need a can opener?"

"Why are your SHOES AND SOCKS OFF??? There is NO reason for your shoes AND SOCKS to be off in here."(said while I peeked into a bathroom stall occupied by my child at Target)


some pictures from the beach Sunday afternoon/evening

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

a pie chart never looked SOOOO GOOD

Today, my friends, is HALFWAY DAY!

We (me, my kids, my husband, the Det 5 guys and their families) are half-way through this long long long deployment and from here on out, I am closer to seeing my husband than I am to saying goodbye to him.

I think Martha would agree-- THAT is a VERY good thing. Also, I think Martha would maybe pick me some lilac and primrose from her garden and give it to me as a congratulatory 'You're almost there!' gesture. I really think she would.

Every halfway point stirs up some wonderfulness in me, but this one is so much more vivid. It's like sitting in a dimly-lit, dank 10x10 room, and then someone pulls up the shades and opens a window. Just driving to the store I felt like it was so much sunnier and the sky clearer. Okay, FINE, it actually was sunnier and clearer thanks to the weather, but I am pretty sure my outlook helped, too.

I'm now closer to kisses and hugs and holding hands with my husband again. Closer to seeing his cute face, and cuddling into him when I go to sleep. Closer to hearing his voice everyday and having him tell me how he feels rather than reading it through email.

And I'm just gonna be honest here......I am also closer to having someone take over bath time duties (he does this on his own when he is home), having someone share the cooking, the laundry folding, and the mopping. And someone who rakes, mows, weeds and shovels entirely on his own. Oh, that's nice.


On a *slightly* different note, I heard the kids having an intense conversation about 'when they grow up' this afternoon and I thought I'd share:

Tyler: Kaiti, you know I am going to be a scientist so you have to pick something different. I gotta have my own time.
Kaiti: Okay.
Tyler: I just need to make dinosaurs come back alive and then when I am done, I think I am going to play some football or maybe just skate board. I haven't picked.
Kaiti: I think I'm just gonna be a Japanese childrens author when I grow up. I'm gonna have some 2 childrens and one will look like me and one will look like my hus-man.
Tyler: Wait. I don't think you can do that Kaiti.
Kaiti: Yes, I can. Mommmmmmm......Tyler's telling me I can't be a Japanese childrens author and have 2 childrensssssssssss.
Tyler: She can't though Mom, right? Cause we're already born in America.
Kaiti: Don't tell me what I can't do TYLER!!! I'm not listening to you. (she put her fingers in her ears and made her best I-don't-give-a-hoot-what-you-have-to-say face with her lips firmly pressed in a line)
Me: Tyler, just move on, bud. She's not budging.
Tyler: It doesn't even make sense. But fine. Kaiti. Whose your husband gonna be?
Kaiti: I'm not telling, but I have to wait for him to move back here from New Braska. Or maybe I'll just wait and pick a different guy. Who can juggle and who can have no hair, and maybe likes to eat just peanut butter sandwiches. You know, like daddy. But he has to sing good. And know how to read books.
.....that's right baby girl! reach for the stars and only expect the best from your future (55 years from now) hus-man!

-- and that is my oldest 2 in a nutshell, friends!

Happy Halfway day to you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

{Little Tickle]~ and a DISCOUNT CODE for you!

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before, but I'm a bit of an etsy junky. Just a little, little, little bit. From soaps, to candles, to dresses and baby shoes, to fabric and sewing patterns, to jewelry and headbands, I have bought it all on good ol' etsy. Given the amount of time I have spent browsing (you hear that, honey?? BROWSING. I'm not always buying!) I am always amazed when I find a new store that I just love. Like a 'why am I just now having the pleasure of meeting you?' kind of amazed.

That's pretty much what happened when I came across Little Tickle. The shop was listed in the 'You Might Like' shops section of my etsy front page, and boy did etsy get it right with this one!

Sweet dresses and skirts in pretty patterns and vibrant colors,

All images courtesy of Little Tickle shop

summery fabrics in styles you'll just want to snatch up!

I ordered Everleigh's 1st Birthday dress from Little Tickle. It is just adorable!! Here is the dress picture from the shop.......and as cute as it is in this photo, it's even prettier on!

But check out the other lovely dress we were graced with!

I love it!! And when she grows, she can wear it as a tunic, if her chubby little arm rolls will stop puffing up :)

And you want to hear the REALLY fun part? Laura has offered my readers and friends a special discount code! So go visit Little Tickle and enter the coupon code "partyoffive" at checkout to save 15% off your purchase! Thank you so much, Laura!!!  This shop is definitely one of my new favorites!!

I'm awake!

I have emerged from my month long blogging nap, and I feel That's about all I got right now. My blogging sabbatical was not an intentional one, and several times I thought 'well, I just need to write my feelings out', but then-- someone cried, someone pooped, someone needed milk, someone spilled milk, someone threw up, someone, something, needed me.

So, this morning, as Jack is quietly playing with Legos and Evie is crawling all around the living room, the quiet (albeit temporary) peace has afforded me some blog time.

Since I blogged last, each of my kiddos has experienced some type of sickness that was fought with antibiotics. In a couple cases, the antibiotics lost the battle and the kids had to be re-dosed-- Jack and Evie. Evie is still on medicine, but I definitely feel like we have turned a corner after over a month of worry.

We are approaching the half way point of this deployment and I have been practicing my happy dance every night. Do you want to see it? I cannot wait to be on the down hill slope of this. He's been gone 3 and a half months which equates to about 13.7832 years to this woman! The halfway slump is always a rough spot, and this time is no different. This is just so. DANG. long. Army wives who have to share their husbands for a year-- they deserve an 8 foot medal made entirely of chocolate.

And speaking of chocolate, I threw it away almost a month ago. I threw away the chocolate, the cookies, the candy, the soda. I got rid of 90% of the bad-for-you treats and snacks in an attempt to get healthier. I started watching my calories closely and making better choices about what I put in my mouth. I also started exercising daily. First, on the exercise bike, I was squeezing in an hour a day. The bike became boring a couple weeks in and not nearly as challenging as I wanted, so I got on the elliptical (that I am borrowing thanks to Al and Wendy!!), and OH MY GOODNESS. That thing is NOOOO joke. Son of a gun, at like ten minutes in I am dripping sweat from my eyeballs. Did you know that eyeballs can sweat? I'm learning so much :) Between monitoring my calories and exercising for at least 30 minutes every day, I have worked off 16.8 pounds since March 18th. That definitely puts me well on my way to achieving my 'little' goal. My big goal I'm still a ways off from. It's so hard though, because some days I feel like I should have lost 5 lbs overnight based on how hard I worked the day before. Literally, I look at the scale and think 'WHAT?!?!?! I DIDN'T LOSE 11-TEEN POUNDS SINCE YESTERDAY?!?! WHAT THE HECK!' I shared this with my husband and he suggested I hide the scale for a bit :)  I am sharing this with you because I want to be accountable. For me, if I say it out loud, I am in. So you won't be seeing pictures of me shoving cupcakes in my mouth.....(those I've burned. I kid.)

On to more exciting things.....

Jack is talking up a storm these days. He makes me laugh with the stuff he comes up with. He thinks he is so big! And Evie-- she started crawling and then standing on her own. Not ready for this sweet girl to be walking but I feel like she is getting close. Kaiti's reading has blown me away- not only does she enjoy it, but she really likes to read books a little above her level. Love to see my girl challenging herself! And Tyler continues to soak up everything he reads. It's embarrassing how often I turn to google or say 'well, let's figure that out together' to him.

And now, pictures.....

our life in photobooth. I PROMISE, I'm not a narcissist- I take these for my husband :)

Deployment pictures:

this was his '2000 hours' picture!! Yea for my husband!

The 2000 hour celebration!

boys are weird

oh boy. the stache.

not minding it here AT ALL

Det wives!

a recent picture of us together. hey, I gotta get it where I can :)

Swim Call in the Med

Looks like fun

cell phone pictures...any day now, I will use my real camera!

and that is our month in pictures!!! 

Okay, I am off to go read up on all of the other blogs I've been missing out on! Happy Tax Day to all of you! I'll be back soon!! I have some sweet little things I wanted to share with you all!

* I also thought you'd like to know that in the process of writing this, Jack grew tired of Legos, wandered into the kitchen and came out 4 different times. The first time, he shoved a box of mini pancakes and a bottle of maple syrup in my face, the second time a packet of hot dogs and the bottle of ketchup, the third time a box of cheerios and a bowl, and just now a block of cheddar cheese. I think he got the snack thing from me ;)


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