Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

May tomorrow be a day of celebration, magic and wonderment.

See you all next week.

Friday, December 23, 2005

I Have a Legitimate Reason This Time

I've talked about my perfectionism and procrastination on here before. I'm the master procrastinator, followed closely by my husband. This is probably the only thing in our marriage that doesn't balance out between the two of us. If I can't get something done exactly how and when I want, it's difficult for me to do it. This reallllly bugs my family. However, if you're genetically related to me, then this is partially your fault. If you're not and you chose to be a part of my family, you were forewarned. If you're family through marriage, hey, sorry. I'm reading on other blogs about the lack of the Christmas spirit. I don't know what it is this year. I'm STILL not done shopping. What?! I'm usually done no later than November. My decorating didn't get completed the way I wanted it to, but it's good enough which is a dirty little phrase in my head. No cookies yet. No gingerbread house. No Christmas dinner groceries. However, here's pictures of my little setback:

You wanna know what happened? Do ya? Leah and I were sitting at a stale red light, minding our own business when I hear tires screeching. As I'm looking around, trying to figure out where they are coming from, I see this newer model, full size pick up truck headed right toward us. As I realize that he's going to hit us, I hold on to the steering wheel for dear life and brace myself.


Leah instantly cries. I slam the car into park, pull up the brake and race around the other side to whisk her out of her seat. She's got shards of glass everywhere. The side of her head is bleeding but other than that, she's ok. Instantly, people huddle around us telling us it's ok, no one is hurt and that there are angels around us. The police show up instantly and I have people left and right giving their information and pointing their finger at the jerk who hit us.

This guy was driving along at freeway speeds and at the last second decided he was going to turn right onto the street we were on. He was going so fast he lost control of his car and slammed into us. You can still see the skidmarks from the straight lane, turning onto the side road, over the cement island and stopping at the left turn lane...where we were (76 and Rancho Del Oro).

I was hit so hard on the driver's side that the impact cracked the passenger's side taillight and busted the tire.

Here's the driver's side door in the back...Trey's door.

This is my son's seat. Praise GOD he was not in the car. We were on our way to get him from school.

When Bill was gone, we made up this song:
Angels are watching over Trey
All the night and day.
Angels are watching over Trey
All the night and day.

Here's my proof.

We're waiting to see if the insurance company is going to call my car a total loss or see if it's repairable. Does this look like it can be fixed to you?? I can see the inside of my car from the outside, without looking through the windows.

It bent the roof of my car!!

As I tried to retrieve some items out of the car before they hauled it off to the tow yard, my door would not open...the same one I got out of with no problem. When we went back to take pictures, I tried to open Leah's door to get some more shots and it was stuck. Think I had a little devine help in the safety of my daughter and I?

Psalm 91: 11, 14-15:
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. "

Saturday, December 17, 2005

This was NOT in my agenda

Leah and I were in a pretty scary car accident last Wednesday. Right now, my days are consumed with my children, Christmas, insurance, more insurance, car research and budgeting. We're all ok, but my car that I really loved and only had 18 months left to pay on is not. I will give a more detailed account when my brain works again.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dear Leah...

The shiny gold balls upon the Christmas tree do not bounce, especially on the tile floor. I know it's tempting but restrain yourself, woman!!

Love, Mommy

Friday, December 09, 2005

My Job Rocks

There are countless benefits to working for a church, especially if the church is one that you're a member of. It's non-profit so Uncle Sam doesn't take away my millions, just Social Security and Medicare. I get to work with and for people I've known for awhile and have befriended most of them. My schedule is extremely flexible which is good when you have wee ones. And the most totally awesomest, coolest, bodacious reason to work for a church, especially mine?


That's right. Instead of being at work at 9am I was at the theater with my friends/coworkers on the pastors dime, waiting to see the best movie of the year on opening day. We shared the theater with a bajillion sixth graders who were there on a school fieldtrip, but they were all good kids and we didn't have to shoot spitwads at them once.

The movie was beautiful. It's on my must buy list and when my children are older and have experienced the book, they will watch it. I'm sure by then, the graphics will seem cheesy to them even though they are gorgeous today. Remember the movies with special effects from ten years ago and how they looked "so real"? Notice how horrible they are to us today? I can't imagine it getting to that point but didn't we think that back then?

Read the book. Watch the movie. Dissect the symbolism. Enjoy the story.

My boss is cooler than yours ;)

Oh, and those Christmas decoration pictures are coming. Perfectionism and a baby don't mix well for decorating purposes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

We're OFF...

to see the wizard! the wonderful wizard of, er, um...consumerism? We're skipping MOPS tomorrow and heading out the the mall, y'all, to see the Big Guy and get a picture. Gotta do it. It's in the mommy handbook. Gotta do it tomorrow because I'm not working and grandma can help keep the kids corralled. They be wild chillins at times!

Trey's first exposure to Santa was at 5 weeks old. How stinkin' cute is that?! We've gone every year but last year. I got an 'F' on the mommy report card, I'm sad to say, in 2004. I wasn't sure how Leah would react to the guy with all that fluffy stuff on his face so we skipped it. Leah hasn't shown any fear toward the Chick-fil-a cow, strangers or a camera lens, so I think we're good. The Chick-fil-a cow is way scarier than Santa. Besides, Santa has candy. That, and my daughter is a camera slut. Just pop one out and she'll drop whatever she's doing to pose for you. It's purely from the paternal side. Seriously.

I asked Trey who Santa was since we really haven't pushed the whole Santa issue. We didn't want to deliberately steer him toward that whole idea but if he picked up on it on his own that was fine. To him at this point in time, Santa is the guy who hands out candy canes at the mall. Works for me. Trey's way more excited about Jesus' birthday than some big guy falling down our chimney. I'm going to hold onto that for as long as I can.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I can't decide if I want to post my before and after pictures of the big Christmas set up. Are you willing to play along? I'll come visit your home and the massive decorating and maybe that will motivate me to post mine. Be sure to leave me your link in my comments...that means all of youse guys who come see me every day and don't say anything ;)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Traditioooooon, tradition!

This week marks the beginning of the Christmas season in our household. My husband is the child of a school teacher so they always put up the decorations the day after Thanksgiving, since that's the day dad was always guaranteed a four day weekend. I've been ready to decorate for a month. I would have been sick of it by now, but I can't wait. I banish everyone for at least a 50 foot radius, pop in the Home Alone DVD and bring in the red and green boxes from the garage. Yeah, it's probably not very nice that I don't let anyone help me decorate but honestly, Trey is much happier outside with his daddy while Bill puts lights on the house. I'd like to savor the control that I have for just one more year. The only problem is this: it's been 80 degrees this week. It's kinda hard to get in the Christmas decorating mood when you feel the need to prance through the sprinklers and your kid is asking for popsicles. Bah Humbug.

Trey hasn't grasped the concept of time just yet. He knows the days of the week but doesn't quite get it yet. He knows we're going to Nathan's house for Turkey Day. How many times do you think he's asked me if we're going to Nathan's today?

"Are we going?"
"It's not Thursday."
"When it's Thursday, we could go?"

2 minutes later...
"Hey mommy?"
"Yeah, Trey."
"Are we going to Nathan's now?"
"Whyyyyyyy????" Incessant crying here.

Ugh. Seriously, the kid has asked me at least a dozen times since 3pm today.

In the wise words of Mr. Lunt, "You jest doooon't git it."

So what are you doing this Thanksgiving weekend?


After two years and two months, I have joined the normal, functioning female human race. Can't say it's great to be back. At least I know why I've been so flippin tired lately. Sheesh! Now that the honeymoon is over, dd needs to stop her addiction of baby Starbucks aka yummy scrumptious mommy milk and let me stand up on two legs again and quit bein a cow.


Darn it. I really haven't missed this.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Bad Blogger, BAD!!

I've been extremely neglectful of my previous ability to share with the world the goings on in Jennieland. It was a lot easier to do so whilst I was by myself. Now that I have my hubby home, there's always a reason to NOT be on the computer. I need to soak up every minute since he's currently scheduled to leave again next summer for a six month deployment to Okinawa, Japan. Man, it sucks but I'd rather he be there than in Iraq for the third time.

We've had a week with the Ohio people, aka Bill's family. His sister decided to lie to us and tell us that she was NOT coming out and then decided to show up on our doorstep like a lost puppy. Now we're one big, huge, giant family driving around in a minivan and having to compare schedules and shoving the kids off to the grandparents so we can go about our busy schedule. I wonder how much longer they are going to lie to themselves before they just get to it and move their little tushies out here.

Today is the big prep day for the weekend. There is cleaning, laundry, packing, shopping and a manicure needing to be done before we depart for Las Vegas tomorrow morning. Wouldn'tchaknowit...I'm sporting a cold flown all the way from Ohio and gracefully shared with me. Bah Humbug. Gotta remember to pack the Sudafed. Otherwise my head will explode when we drive through the Cajon pass on our way to Nevada. (If you clicked on that link, you'll see that the roadway was created by and earthquake!!) Man, I've been on that road countless times and never knew that!! Bill's parents are going to stay here and be eaten alive by entertain, love and nurture our children while we pretend we remember what it's like to be a couple without little bodies trying to squeeze in between us whenever we steal a hug. I get to dress up! And smell good! And no one will slobber or wipe their nose on me! And when I do my hair, it will stay that way! And I don't have to hide a spare pacifier in my purse! I have an awesome top to wear with my very cute jeans for our night on the town, a chunky sweater to wear while we're hitting the outlet stores and I will be wearing a dress for the first time in over two years. Not because I'm not a dress girl, but it's kind of hard to nurse when you have to lift your entire dress up to your collar bone. Most people wouldn't be very understanding of that whole situation. I'm hoping this trip will end my daughter's ongoing need to be attached to me. Please God!! On the plus side, I'll be very voluptuous in my dress by the end of the day which is not a term commonly used for someone who is 5'11" and 140 lbs. There you have it, internet. My weight officially posted for the world to see.

And THAT my friends, is how I'll be celebrating Veteran's Day. Happy 230 years, Marines.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Time...time!! Who's got the time??!!

Halloween pictures aren't even uploaded yet. I haven't called back one of my best friends and it's overdue about two weeks (at least). I'm overdue for an eye appointment by two years. There are blogs I should have commented on or responded to, and I haven't. I need a few more hours in the day, please.

Bill's three week leave period has come to an end. We did nothing significant. Not one thing. I worked. I did the MOPS thing including leading the devotional yesterday. I've gone to my women's Bible study. Trey went to school. We started choir practice for the Hanging of the Greens program in December. We've started an artists' Bible study. Bill has a race he's running with a buddy tomorrow morning that he's been training for. Trey started speech therapy today. Too much going on.

Bill's parents fly in tomorrow morning and are here for about ten days to really sink their teeth into their grandchildren. Bill and I will both be working and doing our thang while Trey is in school, so really, they'll only get to sink their teeth into Leah. She's a sly one, that girl. Just when you think she's oozing with cuteness, she'll turn on you and scratch your face off. She's dangerous.

Bill and I and the future inlaws to our son are going to see Jarhead on Sunday. When we saw the previews at the theater a month or so ago we knew we had to see it. We're dragging our friends to it since we're also dragging them to the annual Marine Corps Birthday ball over Labor Day Veteran's Day weekend and they are military virgins. This, at least, will help them to see where Bill's coming from. Yessiree...busy life, inlaws visit, movie date and then Vegas, baby. This will be my tenth Marine Corps ball. It's like prom, but for adults and with legal alcohol. This will be my second one in Vegas. We've gone to one on the Queen Mary in Longbeach, Laughlin, Midieval Times, and a few other local spots but we are going to Sin City and bringing people with us!! Our mode of transportation for the six hour drive? A minivan. How parental is that? Hey, it has more room than our SUV and they have a DVD player and there will be no Dora or Baby Einstein playing.

And on a completely different tangent, Trey's first day of speech therapy revealed that he's at the equivalency of a six year old. Whodathunkit? I think he's behind and he's actually two years ahead. Well, slap me silly and call me crazy!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

And it's only 8:30am

Surprise surprise, even after two kids and not taking a math class in six years I did pretty darn good. Good thing it wasn't 9th grade math...that could have been a whole other story ;)

You Passed 8th Grade Math
Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Thought I'd Share My Wallpaper

Getting into the "spirit" of Halloween. You can find this one or others here.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Random Thoughts

Why, oh why, am I still nursing the baby to sleep? How is it that at four months, we could put Trey in his crib, completely awake with a bottle of water and he'd go to sleep, yet at 16 months Leah will not sleep until she's fully satisfied and had her fill of me physically and emotionally?? She awoke at 10:45 last night and after trying to get her back down for two hours, I handed her off to Bill completely frustrated. They played Madden Football on the computer until 3am when she finally decided she was ready to go to sleep. She was too tired to fight for me and fell asleep against his chest.


How is it that after only three hours of sleep the baby is ready to start the day?? Why is it that she has decided not to sleep the night before my busiest day of work? Thank God Bill has the week off.


Does turning four initiate you into the horrible knock knock jokes that we will endure for years to come?

Trey: Knock knock
Us: Who's there?
Trey: Uhh...
Bill: This is where you're supposed to say something, son.

Trey: Knock knock
Us: Who's there?
Trey: Me.
Us: Me who?
Trey: It's Me! TREY!!

Oh, boy.

How long before he learns the banana, orange knock knock joke?


Complete and total evidence that I was born and raised in southern California:
Me: Hey, the weatherman said it was supposed to be in the 60's today. Is it still cold outside? (Being completely serious when I think that 60 is freezing).


Are we strange for having pancakes for dinner? How about the fact that I am about to smother them with creamy Skippy peanut butter before dousing them with syrup? Am I possibly related to Elvis in that we are having bacon on the side? The only thing missing is the banana.

Hey, at least the kids will actually eat dinner tonight.


I have known my dad for 29 years. Why is it that I never noticed he had a northern accent? As we talked on the phone he pointed out that a client could tell that he was from Michigan by his accent.

Huh? You don't have an accent!

Yeah, he could tell by the way I said "car".

Oh...guess you do kinda say car funny, but I never noticed. Dad, it's carrrrr.


Pictures of the pumpkin patch are forthcoming.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Happy Birthday, Little Man






Sunday, October 09, 2005

Where have I been?

Bill's parents visited for a long weekend.
We went out to eat...a lot.
I went to work.
Trey went to school.
Leah went to the hospital with a bout of croup.
Bible study.
Birthday party.

Busy busy busy.

Leah is fine. Now Trey is sick. I think I'm getting something. Hmm. Never a dull moment.

Bill starts three weeks of leave after this week is over. It's not going to be an easy week for him. The memorial is on Thursday for the sixteen men that gave their all to their country and I know that's going to affect him more than he's willing to admit. Counseling should be mandatory for each and every service member who returns from the battleground...but it's not. At least it's offered now.

We are too broke to go anywhere on his vacation so we'll be doing more of the same. I've offered to unpack an acquaintances home. I'm crazy. I don't even really know this person. I talk to her at church and I know she's a military wife and I know she just moved but that's it. She asked how things were going with Bill being home so I reciprocated and asked how her husband, who is currently deployed to Iraq is doing. The floodgates burst. He called her and said he was packing his gear and couldn't tell her where he was going, that he'd call her when he got the chance. How scary is that? She's got a school age daughter who is in daycare when she's not in school because she, herself is enrolled in college fulltime and has be in fulltime in order to get her GI bill (yet another thing I didn't know. She was in the military!?!) She's living out of boxes and there's military wife/military neighborhood drama and she's had it. She's going to go postal if she doesn't get some help. I can't watch her kid. I can't tell her where her husband is. I can't do her homework for her. Bill is going to be home and I can unpack. I've done it eight times in the last ten years. "Make me a copy of your house key" I tell her. Personally, I could never give up control of my stuff for someone else to unpack. She's going to take me up on it. Even asked if I had any interior decorating skills. She's trusting me to HANG pictures and homeify her house.
I had help when Bill was gone. This is my pay it forward.

Now on a totally different note...Go here and fill her comment box with encouraging words. I've been harassing her to start a blog for months now. This is my crazy friend Amanda who I went to high school with, who survived belong side me while both of our husbands were in Iraq in 2003, who was my neighbor on base for a while and who is ironically living in my husband's home town right now.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Bill's parents fly in this morning to welcome him home. The original plan was for them to greet him as he got off the bus upon his return from the sandbox but his homecoming came earlier than expected so now it's more of a "hey, can I really touch you and see that you're not broken" kind of a thing. They'll only be here until Tuesday morning so this weekend is sure to be filled with quality family time. While they're leaving the crisp cool air and colorful foilage of Cincinnati, we'll be greeting them with hot, dry air blowing in from the desert and fires. Woohoo! Fall in So. Cal. Wouldn't have it any other way. Ok, so maybe not but at least I know what to expect.

In all my talk about Glen Ivy (I've mentioned it on my blog at least three times) I thought I'd leave you with some very glamorous pictures of our time there. There's not a whole lot since pool + camera = bad idea but here's what I've got:

Here's the entrance into the best place on earth:

This is the view we had all day

We're not quite sure what to do without little kids constantly seeking our attention at this point

Hey, do I look tan?? This might seem gross but it's so awesome. This is the natural clay mud that comes up from the earth in this part of the state.

Muddy buddies

We had such an awesome time that we're trying to figure out when we can go back. The first time I went I was eight months pregnant with Trey and I went with some girlfriends. Then I went again with my mom when Trey was about one. This was my first time with Bill. He's hooked. Of course we splurged and got him a massage but he can't wait to go back. Gotta look into season passes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Surprise! I'm still here.

Time flies when you're not trying to cope without your husband. Bill's been working half days and I've been pretty busy during the mornings so my poor blog has been abandoned.

Since Bill's been home we've gone to Glen Ivy for a wonderful day of relaxation followed by a trip to Ontario Mills where they have the BIGGEST Children's Place outlet in the world. Ok, I don't know if it's the biggest in the world but it's pretty darn big. They've got tons of racks full of $3.99, $2.99 and $1.99 items. Score!! I wish it weren't a two hour drive but it was so worth it. We had dinner at Dave and Busters and cruised the other stores (Old Navy outlet, Nordstrom Rack, Gap outlet, etc.) Love outlets. I'm so cheap. I searched all over that mall for a pair of Robeez for Leah since she absolutely refuses to wear normal shoes. You would think that I was asking the sales associates to explain E=mc2. No one there knew what I was talking about. Oh well, just another excuse to go shopping...which we did. We headed out to our own little outlet mall and got her these. Too cute.

I've been pondering employment for a while now. The only way we were able to afford to send Trey to preschool was using the extra income Bill gets for being deployed. I knew once he was home there was no way that we'd be able to rely on his paycheck to cover our expenses AND preschool and the last thing I'd want to do is rip Trey out of there. He's been doing great, the school is awesome and being a student there now reserves a spot for him in the elementary school. My awesome mother in law is helping us a bit. It covers just under half of the tuition but there was still that pesky other part. Out of the blue, our youth pastor called and said there was a new position created in the church to be his admin assistant and the first person he thought of was me. Well, I should hope so! I do some volunteer work for him every week which falls into that whole admin description. I told him I would let him know for sure, but I was interested. I could pick which days and which hours but I would have to find someone to watch Leah. He even covered that. He got a young college student to watch my little Leelee in the church nursery so I bring her with me! How awesome is that?? I'm working 10 hours a week while Trey is in school. After paying for Leah's babysitter, I don't end up with much, but it's certainly more than I was making before (big fat nothing). My first day was yesterday. Hardly anyone in the church works Mondays since they work through the weekend so there was only 3 people in the whole building and it's a very large building. I was back in the cave, or Jim's (the youth pastor) office. There's roll up doors in the back of the building (picture doors large enough to fit a semi truck's trailer through) and everytime the wind would blow they would rattle making me think someone was coming. Fortunately, the church is remodeling and I will soon be upstairs with the rest of humanity.

As I got ready to leave I noticed that the room would start to shimmy and that my eye sockets hurt. Then my neck, arms, back, legs and even my toes hurt. I dropped Leah's babysitter off at her other job, picked up Trey and came home and collapsed on the couch. Bill got home at 2 and I crawled upstairs, freezing cold even in slippers and a hooded sweatshirt. It didn't matter that it was 90 degrees outside. I had a fever of 101.9. I popped an 800mg Motrin left over from giving birth to Leah and fell asleep. By the time I woke up I was boiling hot and I was now at 102. Body aches, fever and swollen glands. Great. I can't possibly call in sick already. How lame is this??? Leah had croup last week. Did I pick something up from her?

I'm slightly better today. I skipped my Bible study today which I'm totally bummed about since I love the gals I'm in it with. Guess I'll just lay low today and get some laundry done and wreak some havoc on those dang ants that are insistent on living with us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

He's Finally Home

Start here and click next to view the homecoming pictures.

Thanks to everyone who sent a note of thanks, said a prayer or just stopped by to say hi during these last seven months. We're all happy to be together again as a family. A lot has changed to each and every one of us so we're all getting to know one another again. Bill is back to work until the rest of the unit comes home. He was part of the advanced party so only about 40 guys came home with him. The remaining 200 or so should be home within the next couple of weeks. After that they will all have about three weeks of leave.

Trey couldn't be more thrilled that his "buddy" is home. "Daddy, watch this. Daddy, come play. Daddy daddy daddy." He has so much to share with his daddy. Leah is slowly warming up to Bill, flirting cautiously but still prefers to be with me. Give it a month. She won't want anything but her daddy.

We have family coming out at the end of the month, I start work next week (another post) and Trey's birthday right around the corner. Then comes the holiday season and a whirlwind of activity. We'd planned to have a huge welcome home party but Bill's having a difficult time coping with crowds right now...a common thing when returning from war. He's making the rounds to those he wants to see and the rest will have to take a number =Þ

More to come...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Today was Ask Jennie the Same Question, but Have it Come From 50 Different People Day.

"How Many Days?!?"

Everyone is excited that Bill is finally coming home. They are excited for me, for him and some of them are excited for themselves. Yes, my husband is very personable and people really like him. They like me, because I happen to be married to him. Bwahaha. I am evil.

Ok, so not really. If you look back through my yearbooks the common message was "Stay sweet!" Yeah yeah, put a sock in it!!

Although my answer was the same for everyone (3 more days!!!) I got different responses from a few. If I have to hear, "Wow! That sure went by fast!" one more time I just may break out my list of activities that have gone on in the last seven months and ask the person to imagine going through those things sans spouse. For some, it would be better. I happen to really like my spouse and don't believe in separate vacations, bedrooms OR lives. But hey, maybe that's just me. I could even give a description to those who have never had a spouse leave due to work. When I say leave, I don't mean a day or two here or there. My honey does that almost monthly when he's home. It's just par for the course. On with my metaphor. Having a spouse gone for seven months, which by the way is the shortest amount of time America will send it's troops to the middle east, most are sent anywhere from twelve months to eighteen months, is like being in your 14th month of pregnancy. Your stretch marks have stretch marks, your intestines are threatening to move into your neck and the baby is knocking on your cervix because he really would like a bit more leg room in there. You go out to eat and instead of being able to enjoy your meal you wonder how many Tums it will take to actually keep it from making you feel like your chest is on fire at 2am and then the day finally comes for you to do the hardest work you've ever done, realizing just why it's called labor, you could care less about your fragile private parts being ripped to shreds as long as this behemoth of a baby comes out NOW and you really want some Gatorade because since you've been tapped, or given your IV, you haven't been able to have anything but ice chips and that was 18 hours ago. Then, all of your childless friends exclaim how easy pregnancy and birth must be 'cuz "gee, it sure flew by"...for them.

Let's take a trip down the past seven months, shall we? Humor me, this is good therapy.

February: Bill leaves for Ramadi, one of THE most dangerous cities in Iraq. He's an admin guy attached to a grunt unit (read: the guys whose job it is to be on the front lines) so he won't be out patrolling the streets unless things get really bad, but he's still there. It's almost as if he's a rich, white guy in the middle of East LA at sunset and the only thing he has protecting him is a refrigerator box.

March: Bill's grandma passes away. We have to decide whether or not we're going to pull him home for the funeral and if we do, is that going to make it harder on the kids since he just left. Ultimately we decide he will say his goodbyes when he comes back home and we make a trip out to Ohio.

Trey and I get the stomach flu and I have to ask my mom to take off work to help take care of us. I certainly can't nurse an ill three year old, take care of myself and a baby if I can't even sit up straight.

Two years ago Operation Iraqi Freedom began. We're in the third installment now.

Trey is finally and completely potty trained. I thought he'd be going to Kindergarten in Depends!
Leah finally learns to crawl.

We were told that Bill was highly recommended for promotion but we won't know anything until June.

April: Trey starts preschool

We have a major earthquake.

Bill's unit lost a few men. I wonder how their wives are dealing with the loss of a spouse. How will they tell their children? Were some of these women the ones who were pregnant when we saw them at the Deployment brief?

I get food poisoning.

I celebrate my 29th birthday.

I get my first day out alone since he left.

I have to pull Trey out of preschool due to some security issues and lack of supervision.

I spent a total of 45 minutes talking to my husband this month. MONTH.

May: This month starts off with a bang...literally. Ramadi is involved in a firefight and attacked by mortars.

Leah's third and fourth tooth emerge.

Leah says her first word other than Mama or Dada.

Leah is very sick and has a high fever.

Bill's mom and sister come out in preparation for the big birthday bash.

Leah turns one. We throw a huge party for her and videotape so Bill can watch when he gets home. Leah will be fifteen months when he returns.

Six men are killed in one day in Ramadi.

Bill's mom and dad come out to visit since his dad was teaching earlier in the month and couldn't make it.

Father's Day. We're saving his gifts for his return.

We find out that Bill's been passed over for promotion. We'll keep our fingers crossed for next year.

Leah walks!!

Again, another whopping 45 minutes of phone time. Much better than in 2003 where it was few and far between, and on satellite phones. Phone cards are the way now, but a 600 minute card equals 60 minutes when calling the US from Iraq.

July: Leah gets three more teeth

Trey starts preschool again, at a much better facility. I'm hoping we can stay stationed here so he can go on to elementary school here as well.

Leah begins to realize that she's pretty cute and starts to ham things up for an audience. Gee, I wonder where she gets that from?

I go on a retreat with the leadership team from MOPS. My very first getaway without both kids...ever.

Bill and I celebrate our ninth anniversary half a world apart and my dear friends take me to dinner.

One hour of phone conversation.

August: The kids are absolutely rotten, both of them. I just may send them to their Oma and Opa in Cincinnati.

My mom and I decide to take the kids to the beach and on our way out, I kick the back tire of my car, cracking my perfectly manicured toenail. Grumbling I tape it up and we proceed to the beach where Trey ingests more than his share of saltwater and gets sick. Right there. On the sand. Come home and then it's Leah's turn. She falls right into the corner of the wall and gets an immediate gooseegg on her forehead which eventually turns into a gnarly bruise. It's officially hell day.

I finally go to the reunion brief.

One phone call.

September: It's finally here.

Bill's made it to Kuwait.

Leah goes in for her doctor's appointment...three months late. The signature sheet for her shots is filled with my husband's signature. Now I have to be the one to hold her down and listen to her cry in pain.

Leah gets her one year photo done...three months late.

Tomorrow is Back to School Night for Trey which I will be attending alone.

It's been an extremely long seven months without him here. Everyone has felt it. I can't wait to see my best friend on Wednesday.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I'm So Not a Morning Person

I decided to go to bed early last night since I'd been working on the house all day and "done wored myseff out". So at midnight, I turned out the lights...yes, that's early. My alarm was set for six so I could lie comatose while half listening to the morning show before deciding I really need to get up and get going so I can get Trey to school. Yeah, that was my plan. Leah wanted to start the show an hour earlier. We sat in my room in the dark at 5 stinkin' am. I tried and tried and tried to get her to go back to sleep. I gave up at 5:45 and we came downstairs for coffee and a quick email check before going on to the other things of the day. Thirty minutes before we need to walk out the door, she passes out. I place her on the couch and Trey and I go about our morning business, doing the Morning Mambo, eating cold cereal and all other great things that belong to three year olds. I wake Leah up, put her and Trey in the car and off we go. I'm hoping at this point that she'll fall asleep on the way home and we can both take a little nap before it's time to retrieve the child from school. Power napping is not cool to a mom when it's the baby that actually got the power nap. Again, thirty minutes before we were to leave is when she finally fell asleep. I put Leah in the car again, but this time she started to cuss me out in baby speak which comes in the form of high pitched screaming and "din-din-din"ning at me.

After greeting me Trey immediately asks if we're going to the store. I don't know why this has become a Pavlovian response when I get him from school but I figured why not. "Which one do you want to go to" I ask.
"The Baby Store".
"Ok, sure." We spend a decent amount of time checking out all the baby store goodness when I decide it's time to head home. Both kids fall asleep in the car. Finally. I'll get to rest. Trey wakes up as soon as I get out.
"I'm so hungry!"
"Ok, you can have lunch but then you're taking a nap." I gently lift Leah out of her seat. Her head is heavy and so is her breathing. I'm holding the pacifier between my teeth just in case she wakes up. I carry her upstairs and lay her down oh so gently all the while holding my breath. I start to walk away...waaaahhhh! &%@#*!!! Back downstairs. Lunch to all. Kid number one is upstairs and tucked in by 3:00. Not too bad. Kid number two is...awake. She's so incredibly awake. She is not slowing down. Kid number one wakes up. No rest for the wicked.

Finally, at 6:00 Leah crashes. Hard. Only 30 minutes I promise her. An hour later I retrieve her. She wasn't easy to wake up. She wasn't easy to be around. For a solid hour she fought sleep. She looked like a character from the movie Dazed and Confused. I gave up and decided to put her back to bed at 8:00. Then the phone rang. And it rang again immediately after the last time it rang. And it woke Kid number two up.

So here I am with five hours of sleep and two awake children.

10:00 Trey is down
10:30 Leah is down
10:35 Jen is eating cereal for dinner...again.
11:15 Jen is running upstairs to see why Trey is crying and make sure he doesn't wake Leah.
11:16 Jen is running upstairs again for the same reason
11:20 Back upstairs
11:22 OH. MY. GOSH. Whatisyourproblem???

There was even hesitation at the top of the steps each time and as soon as my foot hit the bottom floor, Trey would start complaining. He's got a gift, that boy. He's inherited his father's dream/awake state and was dreaming while being audibly awake and was really pissed about something. I was trying to wake him up to get him out of it but he kept slipping back in. Finally, he realized he had to go to the bathroom.

Now I'm extra sleepy and typing this silly post about lack of sleep instead of actually doing so and in the process, have made it easy for YOU to sleep.

But wait! I have good news! I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to...oh wrong thing. I found out today that Bill is finally in Kuwait and he is due home...
(dun dun dun)

{Doing a sleep deprived happy dance}

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I'm feeling uninspired to write anything postworthy. I actually just feeling overwhelmed with the amount of things I have left to do before the arrival of my husband. I have a laundry list that goes on and on and when one thing is checked off, three more make their way onto the end of it. I know that Bill really doesn't care if the grout in the kitchen is pearly white but he hasn't been home in seven months and I don't want him to see anything needing attention other than us. Besides, the last thing I'm going to want to do is clean when he's home. We are planning a short little getaway right after he gets back and it would be nice if I could leave the house with my to-do list done.

I think Bill is now in Kuwait. I'm not positive. I haven't received the official word yet but an unexpected email that greeted me this morning from Bill stated that they were headed out this morning, my time. One step closer. The government is great at hurry up and wait. He'll be in Kuwait until they get a plane to head back to the States.

I hope he doesn't mind, but I wanted to share an exerpt from a letter I received just the other day. You never realize what you truly have until you see what others lack:

"I want to feel a cool breeze on my face--not a wind that feels like it's from the fire of Hell.
I want to hear children laughing in their play without being afraid of getting blown up.
I want to wear something red or blue or even yellow for a change.
I want to be able to NOT shave one day a week and when I do shave, I want to use hot water.
I don't want to have to check and make sure I have my pistol when I go to church.
I want to sit in a large crowd and praise God with all the media we can use.
I don't want to hang up any more pictures [referring to those lost in the war]
I want to read my children bedtime stories.
I want to drive and if I have to walk, I want to do it without wearing 50+ pounds of gear to stay alive.
I want to drink water from a glass.
I want real coffee.
I want chinese food.
I want to chase Trey and marvel at Leah."

He then goes on to say he's selfish for wanting those things. Not at all Love...not one bit.

His welcome home banner is almost complete and my shipment of patriotic decorations arrived last week from Oriental Trading. When I get the phone call that they're in the air, I'll decorate the car and make arrangements for the kids. Beware...future posts are sure to have lots of pictures.

Monday, September 05, 2005

How to Wash a Car

Set up Pack 'N Play in the garage with an assortment of toys, but not too many or the baby can get overstimulated.

Gather items such as sponges, squeegee, car wash and bucket and place in driveway.

Reel the hose out of the garage and wonder whose idea it was that a garden hose or spiggot is so darn un-aesthetic that it has to be put in the garage where it does no one any good and must have a bucket underneath the faucet in order to catch the drips.

Get mind back on idea of actually washing the car.

Go inside and pick up baby and tell preschooler that it's time to clean the car.

Listen to preschooler tell you five times in thirty seconds that he wants to use the blue sponge.

Say oKAY just when you think the vein in your head will burst from repetitive information from the small person.

Put baby in Pack 'N Play. Listen to baby cry when you walk away.

Hose car down. Repeatedly tell preschooler "no" when he repeatedly says to you, "I wanna do it!"

Do not make eye contact with baby while she is whining pathetically amongst her expensive toys which she is now throwing out of Pack 'N Play.

Begin to wash the car. Wonder what preschooler is doing on the other side of the car. Realize he is also "washing" the car, with his requested blue sponge.

Rinse off the part of the car that was just washed before moving to next section.

Exclaim loudly to preschooler to please not wash where mommy has just rinsed. Go back on the other side.

Repeat last step six times.

Pretend that you are watching preschooler every time he says, "Mommy. Watch this!" as he repeats same motion but thinks it's more interesting the next time he does it. Yes, the sponge sticking to the car with the physics of car wash is extremely interesting. Good job, honey.

Rinse off car while continuously telling preschooler he can water the grass as soon as you're done using the hose. Continue to ignore whiny baby in the garage that has absolutely no interest in the carefully selected toys for her entertainment.

Give hose to child to water the grass which doesn't need it due to the sprinkler system but realize he's occupied and try to dry the car quickly as baby is full on screaming now and it is echoing throughout the neighborhood. Hope that the nosy neighbor on the corner doesn't call CPS for neglect.

Yell at preschooler to move further onto the grass since he is getting the newly dried side of the car wet.

Give up momentarily and drag both children (one sopping wet and one finally saved from abandonment) in the house and prepare a quick dinner for them. Put in a VeggieTales video, set down plates of food and return to car to clean windows and put away car washing supplies.

Have preschooler run out of the house five mintues later asking to water the grass again and going into mini meltdown when you tell him no. Divert with promise of chocolate pretzels.

Finish putting all car washing supplies away and pull car into garage.

Start dinner for yourself and *tsk* loudly when preschooler asks what you are making for him.

Vow to just spend the $10 next time and have someone else do it.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Here's a Post I Should Have Put in Two Weeks Ago

My mom met her best friend in seventh grade. They stayed friends through adulthood, marriage, kids, divorce, the 80's and lots of other terrible things. Now the kids are grown and we have kids of our own. Our families couldn't be more different unless there were another species of human out there. Now that I think about it, that may just be it. My mom and her friend grew up in San Bernardino County (home of McDonald's and the Hell's Angels) and my mom got out of there as quickly as possible and moved to San Diego. Whew! To think, I could have grown up a desert rat. Her friend moved one county south, to Riverside about fifteen years ago. Two weekends ago another birthday party was thrown and even though gas is terribly expensive we made the 90 minute trip up north to celebrate...because we're family. And frankly, I had nothing else planned. Ha!

All RIGHT!! Paris, only 17 more miles! Oh, wrong one. Well, in this Perris you can go soak in the hot springs. That was one of my grandma's favorite things to do.

It's HOT. If you look closely, you can see Trey passed out in his carseat.

A whole lotta nothin'. That's what I like to see. Unfortunately it won't stay this way.

Would YOU pay $400,000 for one of these houses, at least an hour outside of town?? Notice how much land is in front of them, but between them, not much. That's so you can squeeeeze as many in there as possible.

This is what I'm getting ready to get on to.

Follow that Truck!!

And now, Blogger will not allow me to add any more pictures to this post, so I will have to continue on another.

Part Deux

What do you mean the presents aren't for me??!?

There should never be pot at a kids birthday party, even a little pot. Hahaha. Ok, so that was only funny to me? The pots....on the table...they're little....oh nevermind.

Hi, Leah.

Bye Leah.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Freak by Any Other Name...

Cleaning. Cleaning. Cleaning.

I have two weeks to get my house *perfect* before my hubby comes home.

I have what's called OCD, commonly referred to as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My brain gets stuck. I'm not satisfied until it's done just so. This isn't easy when you have little ones right behind you messing up what you just did. I'm changing the name to Obviously Cares Deeply.

I have gone through the bedrooms with my vacuum and attachments, my swiffer duster, my Old English and clean white rag, my lint roller, Windex, Clorox CleanUp (for the windowsills as we are a coastal city and a lovely inhabitant called mold likes to move in) and my Febreeze. The rooms still needing tending to are the office, the upstairs bathrooms, the living/dining room and the constant Family room and kitchen. I've gone through the laundry room, moving everything out to mop and dust and disinfect. The downstairs bathroom was cleaned top to bottom to include me getting on the floor with my cleaner and scrubbing. I've done the kitchen countless times but it always needs tending to. The family room is a whirlwind of primary colored plastic and no matter how many times it gets picked up in a day it looks the same at the end of the day. Oh yeah, did I mention JUST HOW MUCH LAUNDRY I have?? Both kids have just leapt out of their prior sizes so not only to I have to wash and fold and hang clothes but now I have to store clothes for two kids which includes finding a container to put said things in and a space in the garage to keep them.

Countless blog entries have gone through my head, but because I wasn't able to get them out exactly how I wanted them (to include numerous pictures hanging out in my camera) they are still with me.

Perfectionism is a curse.

Friday, August 26, 2005

STUFF Portrait Friday

Here's another fun theme for the end of the week, sponsored by Kristine.

Three things to take pictures of: The eyesore in your neighborhood, a picture taken secretly, and the most interesting/funny sign in your area.

First. Here is the eyesore in my neighborhood. This was difficult since our Home Owners Association is pretty stringent. But look! The lawn ornaments. Ack!! What? You can't see them?? There are little white bunnies along the walkway and the flowerbox along the garage window has PLASTIC flowers in it. The flag...just hanging there on the post, no pole or bracket or anything.

Second: the secret picture. I took this one on the way to Trey's school today. These guys hang out here every single day, hoping for work. They're Mexican immigrants hoping to make a buck. They stand out here for HOURS.

Third: a funny sign. This sign was on Interstate 5 for years and has even been shown on tv since it's one of those "Things that make you go hmmm".

Self Portrait Friday!

Brought to you by Katy.

Ok, so I've only played once, but here's the theme for this week: You and a friend. So many of my friends have come on gone due to the military, but this one can't leave me...I'm living in her house. BWHAHAHA!! See how tricky I am at hanging onto my friends? She's currently up in the Bay Area while her hubby is in the officer program for the Navy so we're holding down the fort while they're gone. This is Shea and I in San Francisco January 2004. I was four mos preggers with Leah and my two year old was running around the square...somewhere.

Here's our two oldest. Aren't they just beautiful? That's a clearance rack behind them, at the GAP. Not much more beautiful than that!

Here they are, waiting for us at Starbucks. These two have spent most of their childhood at the Gap and Starbucks. So sad.

Here's my honest and for true best friend:

Id'n he cute?

You should play too!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in no Particular Order

The Bad: My children were horrible, rotten beasts today...both of them. They seem to think that the words coming out of my mouth and my mom's mouth are akin to the teacher on Charlie Brown. So I asked my mom: "Were kids like this in the 50's and 60's?"
"No, they would just get smacked."
"Yeah, but I don't want to go to jail."

The Ugly: I have ants. Ugh!! I clean up these pests daily. I don't know what they are after as there is NOTHING on my counter or sink or floor for them to BE after, what, after cleaning them up every stinking day. They aren't outside. They are in the walls. They were coming through the space between the counter and the dishwasher. Sprayed. Then the space between the back of my Tupperware cabinet and the wall. Sprayed. Now my Tupperware is on my counter until I can get in there and remove any poisonous residue. They were coming in through a minute hole between the grout in the counter where it meets with the side of the cabinet. There must be ants in hell. They can find their way anywhere.

The Good. Bill is coming home even earlier than expected. When he left we were told he would be home on or about October 1st. Then he was approved to come home with the Advanced Party so that meant he'd be home around September 16th. Now I'm being told he'll be home no later than September 12th.

Thank you, God. I need to get out of my life for a day before I implode.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Class of 1994...Need We Say More?

I snagged this from High Maintenance Mama. Her post brought back so many memories so I decided to do it myself (one year difference).

First, go here. In the right hand corner type in the year you graduated high school. The first item returned should be the 100 songs from that year. Cut and paste them into your journal.

Bold the ones you like.
Underline your favorites.
Strike through the songs you loathe.
Italicize the ones you can’t remember.
Leave it untagged if you’re without an opinion.

Top 100 Hits of 1994 / Top 100 Songs of 1994.
1. The Sign, Ace Of Base
2. I Swear, All-4-One
3. I'll Make Love To You, Boyz II Men
4. The Power Of Love, Celine Dion
5. Hero, Mariah Carey
6. Stay (I Missed You), Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories
7. Breathe Again, Toni Braxton
8. All For Love, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting
9. All That She Wants, Ace Of Base
10. Don't Turn Around, Ace Of Base (ok, do we see a pattern here with Ace of Base??)
11. Bump N' Grind, R. Kelly
12. Again, Janet Jackson
13. I'll Remember, Madonna
14. Whatta Man, Salt-N-Pepa
15. Wild Night, John Mellencamp and Me'shell Ndegeocello
16. Without You / Never Forget You, Mariah Carey
17. You Mean The World To Me, Toni Braxton
18. Can You Feel The Love Tonight, Elton John
19. The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, Prince Symbol
20. Fantastic Voyage, Coolio
21. Baby I Love Your Way, Big Mountain
22. Regulate, Warren G and Nate Dogg
23. If You Go, Jon Secada
24. Back and Forth, Aaliyah
25. Now And Forever, Richard Marx
26. When Can I See You, Babyface
27. Please Forgive Me, Bryan Adams
28. So Much In Love, All-4-One (Pretty sad since they PERFORMED at our grad nite at
29. Shoop, Salt-N-Pepa
30. Any Time, Any Place / And On And On, Janet Jackson
31. Shine, Collective Soul
32. Said I Loved You...But I Lied, Michael Bolton
33. Return To Innocence, Enigma
34. All I Wanna Do, Sheryl Crow
35. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm, Crash Test Dummies
36. Can We Talk, Tevin Campbell
37. Funkdafied, Da Brat
38. I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), Meat Loaf
39. Gangsta Lean, Drs
40. Because The Night, 10,000 Maniacs
41. Cantaloop, US3
42. Whoomp! (There It Is), Tag Team (Sorry Manda, this song DOES remind me of you, a good way)
43. Come To My Window, Melissa Etheridge
44. Stroke You Up, Changing Faces
45. I'm Ready, Tevin Campbell
46. 100% Pure Love, Crystal Waters
47. Anytime You Need A Friend, Mariah Carey
48. Because Of Love, Janet Jackson
49. Linger, Cranberries
50. Loser, Beck
51. Found Out About You, Gin Blossoms
52. Gin And Juice, Snoop Doggy Dogg
53. Never Lie, Immature
54. Streets Of Philadelphia, Bruce Springsteen
55. Getto Jam, Domino
56. Endless Love, Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey
57. I Miss You w/ Aaron Hall 58, Understanding, Xscape
59. This D.J., Warren G60. Cry For You, Jodeci
61. Keep Ya Head Up, 2Pac
62. Who Am I (What's My Name?), Snoop Doggy Dogg
63. Another Night, Real McCoy
64. Your Body's Callin', R. Kelly
65. Tootsee Roll, 69 Boyz
66. I Can See Clearly Now, Jimmy Cliff
67. Never Keeping Secrets, Babyface
68. Crazy, Aerosmith
70. At Your Best (You Are Love), Aaliyah
71. Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through, Meat Loaf
72 Amazing, Aerosmith
73. Always, Erasure
74. Groove Thang, Zhane
75. Dreams, Gabrielle
76. Mr. Vain, Culture Beat
77. Mary Jane's Last Dance, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
78. Anything, SWV
79. Beautiful In My Eyes, Joshua Kadison
80. Stay, Eternal
81. Flava In Ya Ear, Craig Mack
82. U.N.I.T.Y., Queen Latifah (Who you callin' a....)
83. Prayer For The Dying, Seal
84. Secret, Madonna
85. Here Comes The Hotstepper, Ini Kamoze
86. Everyday, Phil Collins
87. Don't Take The Girl, Tim McGraw (This was my pre-Country stage)
88. Got Me Waiting, Heavy D and The Boyz
89. December 1963 (Oh, What A Night), Four Seasons
90. Indian Outlaw, Tim McGraw
91. Always, Bon Jovi
92. I'm The Only One, Melissa Etheridge
93. Back In The Day, Ahmad
94. Love Sneakin' Up On You, Bonnie Raitt
95. I'll Take You There, General Public
96. Always In My Heart, Tevin Campbell
97. What Is Love, Haddaway
98. And Our Feelings, Babyface
99. Bop Gun (One Nation), Ice Cube
100. I Wanna Be Down, Brandy

Monday, August 22, 2005

Mento(e)s, the Freshmaker

Every day I hear, " wanna play on my swingset?" And every day I say, "Yeah...hang on." Today I made him wait until Leah woke up. It's just not fair if you're sleeping and the other kid gets to do all the fun things. Plus, it bought me a few minutes before all the pushing began. Didn't I do enough pushing to get these two here in the first place??

Leah's in one of those red bucket seats while Trey is in the very big kid swing and in order to keep Leah's interest and let her know I haven't forgotten about her even though most of my attention is going to that tall blonde kid who keeps telling me "higher mommy! HIGHER!!" I'll do silly things like blow raspberries at her when she approaches or pinch her fat little calves or pinch her toes. When you do something for one, ya gotta do it for the other. I'm an only child, but I still know that rule. So what does his royal Trey-ness request? "Eat my feet, Mommy!"

"Eeeewwww!" I reply accompanied by a look of disgust on my face which makes Trey burst into a fit of giggles. Gross things are funny when you're a boy, especially when you've grossed out your mom. This goes on for five minutes. Eat my feet....eww, my feet....ewww, no....hahahah and so on and so forth. After my arms were too tired to push anymore we headed inside. Trey's bare feet were covered in grass clippings so I reminded him to wipe his feet as we entered the house.

"Mommy, they're all clean now. You wanna eat them?"

Hmm, at least he's hygenic.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

She's so Trashy

Today was the dawning of a new day. A breakthrough. No turning back. Immediately after changing Leah's wet diaper, I wrapped it up like an origami pita chip and placed it on the coffee table while I refastened Leah's onesie. After she got off the couch (yes, I changed her on the sue me) she walked over to her diaper and picked it up. The last time she picked up her triangular, squishy diaper, it went right into her mouth as a new and fascinating teething mechanism. I was prepared to yank that thing out of her tiny grasp but this time it didn't venture up towards her little rosebud lips. She walked into the kitchen with it. And then she performed the most brilliant of all tasks amongst all that is holy in babyland. She threw it in the trash...BY HERSELF!! Ok, so this really isn't a big deal to most people but this isn't a task I've been working on with her or anything. I didn't even say, "Leah, throw it away!" in that sing songy mommy voice. She did this completely on her own and I just watched her go, silently.

Now, if I can just get her to do the dishes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

No Pain No Gain

I just tried that new Microdermabrasion stuff from L'Oreal. I must say, it's quite an experience. If you've ever eaten it at the beach where you think you've just recovered from the biggest wave you've ever survived, only to surface and before you can take a breath you get knocked down and smashed on the ocean floor, your face being dragged across the course grains of sand and salt and remnants of calcified sea creatures then you've experienced what your face will feel like as you're going through the "cleansing" part.

But then there's that part where you finally surface and can breathe and the water is calm again and the water has finally left your sinus cavities. The sun is shining and your friends are waiting for you on shore with ice cream. That's what the after part feels like. My face is smooth and clean and oh so baby soft. It really does feel like I've had a professional facial (which, by the way, I have had and man, it hurt then, too) but this was for a mere $20 AND I had a coupon for $2 off.

Bonus? $3 coupon in the package that won't expire till 2008!!

If you'd like to experience the wrath that normally occurs at San Clemente State beach and pretend to be in California for a day, I highly recommend this product.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hello, I'm With Stupid

Today must have been Official Stupid Day. I woke up late which meant Trey got up late which meant he ate cold cereal in the car. Do you know what happens when you don't eat breakfast before school? You don't learn as much and therefore, you end up stupid.

I thought that I would run out to Wal-Mart after the kids' naps so we'd have something to do to break up the evening and I just so happened to need a few things anyway. On the way there, I was in the midst of two Honda hatchbacks driven by young men who were apparently owners of very small penises. They revved their engines and as the lights turned green they would lay a nice strip of rubber on the road, causing clouds of white smoke to billow from their tires. It was rush hour. How far did they get? Not very. Hands were thrown up, perhaps a gang sign or two. Did I mention that gas is around $2.75 a gallon? Do these people know what peeling out does to your gas mileage? Stupid. I pull into the zoo that is the parking lot at Wal-Mart and I'm unusually patient. I'm not sure why since I've decided to go to the ghetto Wal-Mart that's closest to my house and not the one I love which is brand new and shiny and clean and even has a place to get a pedicure. That's still an odd concept to me. "Welcome to Wal-Mart, would you like a flower on your toe today?" Regardless I wait patiently for someone to pull out of their spot so I can continue up the aisle and take the spot I've got my eye on. Guess who took it? That's right: Stupid. Does he not see that I have two small children in the car and am incapable of using my legs in the parking lot?? I ended up getting a better spot, right next to the handicapped spot so to you, Stupid, I say thanks.

Wal-Mart is always busy. I avoid it like the plague on the weekends because that's when the regular weirdos AND the weekend weirdos are there. I was hoping to only run into the regulars this time...which I did, and then some. Most of the weirdos I saw donned blue vests with a yellow smiley face button. Would someone please tell the balding guy with the shorn grey hair that a half inch braid down his back is not attractive? The gold teeth, the blonde with three inch roots, the guy who had a pinky nail longer than most women. Aaaaahhhh! Make it stop!!

Guess who won the stupid award? ME!! For going on payday. Did I really need mousse for $2.47? Maybe I could have waited a few days.

Friday, August 12, 2005

I Exchanged Four Large Bags of Maternity Clothes for Two Pairs of Robeez Shoes

Sounds like a great deal, huh? I had tons of maternity clothes taking up room in the garage. Bill, when you read this, you'll be happy to know that there's a big empty space in the rafters now. I am fortunate enough to have a best friend who LOVES to shop. I get my jollies shopping too, but I usually don't come home with the amount of merchandise that she does. For the duration of my pregnancies I was adorned with very cute, free, maternity clothes. I discovered Robeez while pregnant with Leah and haven't found a better shoe out there. So, the exchange of clothing that isn't mine, I don't wear any more, and free space for two pairs of the best shoes on the planet is a mighty fine deal to me. More little baby shoes will be on the way when Shea makes the trek through the grapevine and arrives home after allllll day in the car. I'm not too proud to accept hand me downs!

Now, if I can just sell enough candles to buy these and these I'll be a happy yuppie momma.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I'll Pencil You In

As the days get closer to Bill's return, the more on edge I am. I'm not nervous about him coming home. My nerves are on edge and any little thing that the kids or the cats or the telemarketers do can send me into fits of hysteria that only prescription drugs and good tequila can take away. I have house issues. If my house isn't exactly the way I want it, I'm tempted to stay home and get it just so. This isn't in a three year old's plans for life. He wants to GO. Anywhere. So the house must wait. If I can keep him occupied, great. If he's occupied with other kids, that's even better. So as my dear friend Shea gets ready to head back up to the strange part of the state, we are cramming in as much friend time as possible. We met at the park yesterday so the kids could blow off some steam. As you can see from the pictures, they are all insane.

Now, if we could just keep them locked up like this, we'd get so much done!!

This family is so giving. When we arrived, I had a Venti Iced Mocha waiting for me and as we left, Megan (the eldest wild child) gave us parting gifts:

Don't we look lovely, and slightly Hawaiian? Ok, we're waaaaay too white to look Hawaiian but it's somewhat tropical, no? Do you see Leah's pseudo black eye? She fell at least five times yesterday. The last one left her sprawled, face down at the park on that squishy rubbery stuff they put down so kids don't hurt themselves. It didn't work. She's a tough cookie and after being comforted, kept on going.

More kid fun today in the form of a lunch/pool date. I'm such the social butterfly!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Tiny Bubbles....Where's the Wine?

Friday was a busy day. I had to take Trey to school, come home to do some cleaning and then turn right back around to get Trey from school before running some errands. It's been hot and sticky. The hot part is normal, sticky...not so much. It's making me cranky. As I walk up to Trey's classroom, his teacher runs up to me with wide eyes and starts talking very quickly. The first thing I think is: 'you've got a piece of gold glitter in your eyebrow' and the second is, 'oh no, what did he do?'. All I hear is something about it's Trey's turn to take bubbles. What? No one sent me the memo about bringing in bubbles today. You aren't even studying bubbles. Am I in trouble? Is he in trouble? What the heck are you talking about, lady??? No, that wasn't it at all. It was our turn to take home the class pet, Bubbles. Sigh... Why couldn't they have asked me this this morning? Don't they know I have things to do? I replied with, "I'll have to come back for him, otherwise we'll have baked flounder in the car."

So after throwing my carefully scheduled Friday off track, we drove all the way back to the school, which by the way, is no where near on the way to or from anything and picked him up.

Do ya see him? He's that teeny tiny purpley-blue thing. I have no idea what kind of fish this is, but he was a great attention diverter for the entire weekend.
"Mommy, I wanna watch tv."
"Go see Bubbles"

"Mommy, I wanna snack."
"Go see if Bubbles is ok"

"Mommy, I cracked my head open on the corner of the sink."
"Well, go see if Bubbles is still swimming and then I'll look at it."

Alright, so that didn't really happen but it sure did keep Trey in the dining room for a good part of the weekend.

My main concern were these two:

Fortunately for them, they didn't even realize a yummy treat was right under their noses.

By the way, that's Trey's crib before we were even able to bring him home from the hospital.
BAD Mozart!! And Autumn is waiting to use the potty, apparently.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Don't Feel Like Blogging, Read number one...

How You Life Your Life

You seem to be straight forward, but you keep a lot inside.

You're laid back and chill, but sometimes you care too much about what others think.

You tend to have one best friend you hang with, as opposed to many aquaintences.

Some of your past dreams have disappointed you, but you don't let it get you down.