Saturday, July 30, 2005

Yes I'm Spoiled, But I'm Still Going to Complain

A normal Saturday would go something like this: the kids wake up around 8, Bill's already downstairs so I bring them to him and I go back up and go back to sleep. Around 9 he brings me coffee, wakes me with a kiss and tells me that the muffins in the oven are almost done. Then we'd read the paper while the tv blares Nickelodeon or some other kid shows. Later, Bill takes Trey out to wash the car, or haul the recycleables to that great place that pays us money for our trash and Leah and I get ready for whatever it is we're going to do that day.

Seeing as how Bill has been gone for 22 Saturdays, I haven't had this luxury in a long time. Between the retreat last week and day to day stuff, I've been a walking zombie. So, no, I haven't been lazy in updating my mood on the side...I've been tired this whole time. I'm normally a gal in need of 9 hours a night to be functional. I've been surviving on 5 for days on end. The kids go to bed anywhere between 9 and 10 and I stay up to chat with Bill since it's bright and early in Iraq when all is quiet here. We get up early for pre-school, we get up early for church. Soon, we'll be adding MOPS and Bible study to the mix as well. I decided that I would try and go to bed early last night (before 1am) so as to be somewhat functional. That's all I need: Trey to be sitting on some psychologist's couch in fifteen years looking back and saying that all his mom ever did was clean and yell, "Quiet! Mommy needs to rest!"

I ended my conversation with Bill around 10:30 and was in bed asleep by 11.

Leah woke up at 2am. She was awake until 4am. The child has not done this in weeks. Many many weeks. Why last night? After my third and final attempt to put her back in bed I was finally able to go back to sleep myself. Trey walked in at 6:45 ready to greet the day. That left me with six broken hours of sleep.

My children better grow up to be rich so they can buy me a nice house with insulated windows and great window coverings so I can sleep till noon if so desired. By then, I'll probably suffer from insomnia. Guess I'll just call them to tell them about it when I have those 4am wake cycles!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Yesterday Bill and I celebrated nine years of marriage. " what bwings us....togevva....tooday" (That was from The Princess Bride, in case you were wondering). So what does one do when celebrating an anniversary sans spouse? Well, if she has wonderful friends like I do, she is taken out to dinner without her children and given a little adult time. Our great friends, Amy and Jerry (you know, the future inlaws) took me to Buca di Beppo's for dinner last night. We got way too much food and way too much dessert, but that's what going out is all about, right? Our waitress was a little on the annoying side. She was one of those people who thought her sarcasm was funny, but really, not so much! We strolled around the Carlsbad Forum which is a new hoity toity place out here. I came across the website today and the *average* annual income for those who live within a certain distance of the forum is a little over $100,000. HA! So not able to comprehend that one. Regardless, we had fun strolling the shops and being able to go into stores without directing the children to keep their hands to themselves and having to use bribery to get them to listen. It was just us. Doing what we wanted to do, going to the places we wanted to go. Niiiiiice. I had a whole four hours away from my children and sadly, it was great.

The kids all had a great time together. They watched movies, drank gallons of juice and got along swimmingly. Trey is such a ladies man. By the time we got home, it was well past the kiddos bedtime so off they went and then my groom called. We talked about nothing and everything for a whole thirty minutes before the phone card ran dry. A 300 minute phone card in the States is a whopping half hour between Iraq and here. Crazy. He sent me some beautiful flowers to commemorate our special day. He proposed under the stars in August of 95 and my beautiful white bouquet is here to remind me of that night.

Do ya see it? White, stars, see? Thanks, Love.

To bring me back to reality with the force of whiplash, my children have been crying, cranky, whiny and snotty all morning. It took me from 8:30am to 10:30am to get Leah to take a nap. Every time she'd finally fall asleep Trey would somehow get the signal to make all kinds of noise and wake her from dreamland and causing my blood pressure to rise. We've already had one episode of "go to your room!" and death threats and we have an hour before lunch. I'm so handing these kids over to their dad when he comes home. He's a combat vetx2. I'm sure he can handle them while I go somewhere quiet for a couple of hours.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

To My Future Employer

I am worth $2,078,248 on

Thanks Katy, for showing me what I'm really worth ;)

Momma Drama

Bill and I have been talking about moving. We found out we are going to need to be out of our home next spring. If we don't leave, the owners will be forced to turn the hose on us and maybe even call the Bounty Hunters to make sure we vacate the premises. If we get stationed where we want, our monthly income will go up pretty significantly. Just toying with a thought we decided to look into buying a place. Yes, we're insane. There's really nothing out there for under $350,000 and those aren't in the best of neighborhoods and all we're talking about here are condos and townhomes. Houses, actual all-four-walls-belong-to-you are in the upper $400's minimum. So, now I'm thinking about entering the work force. I'd say I was thinking about going back to work, but technically, I haven't worked since graduating and PartyLite doesn't really count. I've been pregnant, nursing, or showing people how to hug their candles since 2001. What do I even want to do? What would I be good at? What, really, can a business degree do for me? So, I want to know what you think. Should I help bring home the bacon or continue my life of luxury with bonbons and pedicures? How did you decide? We stay-at-home moms really should be paid something, don't you agree?? **Dr. Phil for President!!** He has stated that at home moms work the equivalent of two full time jobs. How would I have found out this wonderful news without staying home to watch! Betcha if I were earning an income I could afford a TiVo and watch it at my leisure. Oh, to dream big dreams.

Everyone Survived

Friday, my friend Teresa picked my children and I up from our place and we stopped back at her house so her step-mom could watch all five children (my two plus Teresa's three) until Teresa's husband came home from work. I said a quick goodbye to Trey with the instructions to listen to the adults, be good for grandma and have fun. I snuck out the door without Leah seeing me leave. We drove over to another house to pick up one of our passengers. She'd brought her kids and their gear to a friends house for the weekend. Her husband just left for Iraq and this friend of hers was gracious enough to agree to watch her children for the weekend. Her friend wasn't home. We waited, and called, and peeked through windows, broke into the back yard all in search for the missing babysitter. Fifteen minutes later she pulls up. Whew! We hop in the jeep and drive over to another house where an eight passenger Suburban is waiting for us. We follow the mini bus to one more house to pick up one more person before we start our weekend adventure. As we're driving to pick up our last person I remark that this is close to where our pastor lives. And yeah, this is the street you turn on to get to his house, and yeah, that's his street and hey! there's his house! Our last passenger lives two whole houses from our pastor. "Wow", I say, "I didn't realize how close you lived to Hal. So much for getting away with anything bad, huh?"
"Yeah, we can't have any more keggers!" she says.

We're on the road. Traffic. Curse you drivers being on the road at 5pm!! How dare thee!! We're finally up the mountain and stop for dinner, meeting one more person who drove alone. Yes, we are the party of ten, anywhere you have a spot for us would be fine. We are out of the house and don't have children's menus and crayons to worry about. We don't care where we sit. They seated us outside and almost everyone ordered a glass of wine or a Corona with lime. Everyone remarked how weird it was to look at the menu and order what they wanted instead of what they would have to share with a little person. We are, after all, MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) and although we love em, they are all consuming.

Back on the road. It's dark. The roads are windy and there are no street lights when you're up in the mountains. It interferes with your view of the galaxies. We cannot find the street we're supposed to turn on. We spot a park ranger at the Shell station. "Excuse me! We're lost, can you help us find this street?" She doesn't know for sure, but her guess is to go up here and turn right. By now, we've lost our other party because they turned and we didn't. The cell phones are going to voicemail and did I mention it was pitch black out? After making a few circles we think we've found our street but there's still no sign of the other two cars. We cannot, however, find the address. The see the numbers above and we see the numbers below, but we don't see the street numbers we are looking for. As we start to panic and internally laugh thinking this is going to make a great story, we see the headlights of the Suburban and the other car. Well, at least we're lost together. Lights start to come on in the cabins we're blinding with our own headlights. We make the decision to pray that we haven't arrived at a serial killers getaway and walk up and ask for directions. We are greeted by a very sweet woman and her even nicer, but extremely large dog and tell her our situation. Kathleen and Murphy the dog walk us (in the dark!) to where we should be going as we follow behind in the car. Guess what? She can't seem to find the stupid place either. After a few trips up and down the dirt road I manage to spot a very faint house number that resembles the one on our directions from Mapquest. Thanks and God Bless Kathleen and Murphy, we've finally made it.

The cabin is unlocked. There's knotty pine covering the walls, a fireplace, a wood deck, and a 1982 kitchen waiting for us. Two bedrooms and a loft with a full bathroom downstairs and a laundry room with a toilet right next to the stackable washer/dryer upstairs. Where is the jacuzzi that I'm planning to enjoy? Just outside the front door is a set of steps that lead down into the black abyss where I hear the familiar sounds of spa jets and water pipes. It's down there but we can't see a thing and the light is not working. I am one of two brave souls willing to check out the accommodations below. I'm no superhero woman and I get the heebie jeebies when I see a spider but darn it! I came up here to relax. What's the worst that could be down here. You'd think that sentence was setting up a bigger story. It wasn't. There was nothing down there but the jacuzzi. I turned the heat on and went back upstairs. We stayed up till 1 talking and laughing over what was revealed at our game of Two Truths and a Lie. The caterer showed up at 7am. Just let me know when the coffee's done.

What a treat it was to have someone else cook and clean in the kitchen the whole weekend. He wouldn't even let us scrape our plates. Our time there was jam packed with training, communications skills and more training. This was not only a retreat but a mini conference for the leadership team for MOPS. Stacie Maslyn, a big name within MOPS came to speak to us. She just happens to have connections with our coordinator, Teresa, and charged us half of her going rate. Good for the one who is charge of finance (moi). She's written a children's book and gave us all an autographed copy. It is now Trey's favorite book and he won't put it down until he finally falls asleep.

I finally got in that jacuzzi Saturday night. What is wrong with the other women that didn't get in? Only five of us got in to enjoy the bubbly goodness. We got out when we couldn't see each others faces anymore. Remember? Stupid light not working!! Another late bedtime and another early morning. I think we got a total of ten hours of sleep the whole weekend. The day we left, thunder boomed so loud it rattled the windows and then big fat raindrops spotted the ground. We took off for home around 2 and were greeted by a torrential downpour when we hit the straight and narrow through the desert. That's ok. We had four wheel drive! Stopped in the old wine country of Temecula for some Golden Spoon frozen yogurt and made it home by 4:30 where I was greeted by a very tired grandma and a very excited little boy. Both kids came down with summer colds and Trey's upper lip is chapped from wiping his little faucet. He kept hugging me and exclaiming, "You're home!" Wonder what he's going to say to his daddy when he comes back?

Unfortunately, I have no pictures to share....right now. We had a "professional" taking the shots and she has promised to email me photos. When I get them, I will surely post.

Friday, July 22, 2005

WARNING: Boring post to anyone not from my neck of the woods...

I just saw this:

Microsoft names new system Vista
Next-generation operating system aims to bring more 'clarity'; formerly was code-named Longhorn.July 22, 2005: 11:27 AM EDT

To all you fellow Panthers (um, that would just be you, Manda) isn't this weird?

For anyone else still reading and thinking what's the big deal?, I grew up in a Vista and there are two high schools. One of them is Vista High and the other one, well, who cares what the other one is but our nemesis high school's mascot is the Longhorn. Just a little coincidence in the cyber world and I felt moved to share. Ok, you can wake up now.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I'm Off to See the Wizard!

Where I'm at:

Where I'm going:

Tomorrow afternoon I'm getting in a jeep with a few other women and caravaning two hours north, to the mountains for the weekend. Lucky for us, we're supposed to be getting T-storms tomorrow! Par-tay! Nothing more fun than driving up to the San Bernadino mountains in the rain. Woohoo! My angel of a mom is going to hold down the fort while I am away fellowshipping, training, and eating with other women. Just think, I won't have to try to convince anyone to eat anything or say, "you don't know you don't like it, you've never tried it", cut chicken nuggets into tiny pieces or search for the always lost binky! No diapers, no temper tantrums (at least not from a person younger than 25), no Blue's Clues. I will miss my kiddos but I'm so glad I get the chance to do just that. Hopefully I'll get to take lots of great pics to share. I'm off to finish laundry, pack (gotta remember my pump, gotta remember my pump, when oh when is she gonna stop nursing???) and get my room in pristine condition so the Queen Mum has a place to rest her weary, royal head after spending many consecutive hours with the wee ones.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I'm Thinking About Changing Her Name from Princess Leah to Miss SassyPants

Every mom knows the terrible twos don't wait that long. For both my kids, they waltz right in the door at thirteen months. All of a sudden, my sweet lovable baby girl has become...a toddler. Oh, I can't bear the thought! She's throwing fits. She's whining. She's getting aggravated. On the way to preschool today, Trey wanted to play with one of his pinwheels. Leah grabbed hold of both of the pinwheels we keep in the car as soon as I set her in her carseat. I asked Trey which one he wanted and after he made his choice I gently took it out of Leah's hand and that pissed her off. She said to me in babyspeak, "If I can't have both of them, then I don't want this one at all!" and promptly chucked it to the floor. Well, Miss SassyPants...aren't we sporting an attitude rather early this morning? I don't do mornings, especially sassy ones.

She's my climber. Trey never scaled the dresser by pulling the drawers out and making steps, he never leapt off the arm of the couch or pretended he could fly. He's always been my bookworm and a runner. We should have named him Forest. Leah, however, thinks she's invincible. During our nightly story time she usually plays with Trey's toys or sits in my lap. That, my friend, is over. She can now climb into Trey's bed and that's loads more fun than being on the ground. Heck, it's way cooler than a crib. It's a bed that you can get in and out of at will! I'm pretty sure I will have to invest in one of those tortuous crib tents when she's tall enough to maneuver her legs over her own crib.

From Princess Leah:

To Miss SassyPants


It's hot. I have to clean my house in preparation for the weekend. That means I have to physically move. It's 90 degrees outside. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's been hot where you are since April but the city I live in says in it's own name that we are by the ocean. It's supposed to be cooler by the water. It's not. Five miles inland from here and it's close to 100. I don't want to turn on my A/C for fear of SDG&E taking my children as payment since I will not be able to pay them monetarily. At least they haven't started to threaten rolling blackouts...yet. I really shouldn't complain though. Where Bill's at, they have a high of 115 and a LOW of 99.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


I sat down to watch Discovery Health Channel's Babies: Special Delivery and I knew one of the women giving birth! Then I thought, maybe this person just looks like the person I know and happens to have the same name as the person I know. Ok, so I don't really know her, but we went to college together in Orange know, The OC. What--ever! Anyway, she gave birth down here in San Diego and after the baby made his appearance, a small stampede of my former college classmates flooded the room to welcome the baby. It was like a little reunion without the uncomfortable small talk.

Tuesdays are Cursed

Oh, today's just off to a great start. Trey decided that he'd be Mr. MerrySunshine and walk into my room at 7am and throw a fit because he wanted to turn my fan off and I didn't want him to. "Go back to bed. You're still tired and cranky." Fits of rage and stomping down the stairs follow. Fine. I try to go back to sleep. My other princess, Princess Autumn, my tortoise shell cat who believes my sole purpose on this planet is to cater to her needs decides that since my eyes were open for half a milisecond, I'm ready to pet her. NOW. Because my hands are lying comatose on the bed, she uses her teeth to try to move my hand onto her and pet her into a blissful state of purring and drooling all over my pillow. Yes, she drools when she's happy. I tried to hide my hands under my pillow but that just prompted her to meow at me and rub the side of her face over my face. Cat hair anyone? All of a sudden I hear the incessant chirping of one of the ground squirrels outside who is trying to seduce the other ground squirrels and invite them over for a morning of rolling in the hay, or dirt, whatever. So what other thing can we add to this mix? Hey I know! How about the city sends out a tree chipper. It's 7:30. The world should be awake. Who cares! Leah is now awake. Hooray! One of our days to sleep in and everyone is up before 8. Isn't that swell.

Trey's sippy cup leaks milk all over the front of his shirt. He doesn't want to eat his breakfast. He's cold. He can't put his blanket on him. "I CAN'T DOOOOOO IT!!!!" FINE. Someone promised that I'd have an email in my box by the time I woke up. Turn on the computer. Not there. Ok. Maybe later. The only one totally fine today is Leah. I'm sure that will change later on in the day, as I have to go to the grocery store. That's right my friends, my exciting life is leading me to the commissary to go through my coupons, try not to lose my list and juggle two children and a cartful of food all before naptime. I also have the awesome task of getting my house in order for the weekend. I. AM. LEAVING. I am going on a retreat with my MOPS leadership team to the mountains from Friday night till Sunday morning. No phones (well, except the cell), no computer (withdrawal!!), no children. We are having the event catered. There will be a hot tub. No cooking. No Disney Channel. I am currently doing the Cabbage Patch. My mom will be holding down the fort so I need to get everything spic and span or she'll ground me and I won't be able to go to the sock hop next Saturday.

And now, Leah is crying. Have a GREAT day!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Old and New

Yesterday was a day full of old memories, old friends and new beginnings. I started attending this brand new church when I was 16. I met Bill there, the pastor married us there, we had Trey and had him dedicated there. I met my best friend, Shea there. Bill led the junior high youth and played/sang on the praise band and I counted the offering. That was our life. Things went south. We had to leave. It was a hard decision but ultimately the best one for our family. A new pastor came into my little old church and things changed and they finally got a building. Thirteen years later, and they finally have a place to call home. Yesterday was their Grand Opening, so to speak. Current and prior members were welcomed to celebrate. Of course I went and caught up with all of our old, great friends. The little kids I used to know are on their way to college this fall. The little boys are giants and there's a slew of new people. It was kind of sad that Bill didn't get to go with me, seeing as how our life together began at this place. Some people had no idea he was even in Iraq. Some said he was the last one on their prayer list to return, as everyone else has already come home. People couldn't believe how Trey had changed from a very pudgy baby into an extremely tall and thin three year old and almost everyone met Leah for the first time. Shea and her family were there. We were all casually talking about housing arrangements and military orders.

I met Shea when I was two months pregnant with Trey. She is literally responsible for my sanity during pregnancy. I can't even begin to describe the kind of friend she has been to me. She was also responsible for my sanity after Trey was born and all of the secrets new moms keep to themselves surfaced. She spilled. Told me everything she'd been through so I would know I wasn't insane. Well, perhaps I am, but not because of this. She dragged me out of the house so that I wouldn't sit at home alone with this new person and wonder, "what did I just do?" She invited us over for dinner and would take Trey when he cried so I could eat a hot meal. She wisked me away for my birthday in a limo so that I could dress in fancy clothes and be with adults and pretend for just one night that I was one hot momma. Everyone should have a friend like Shea. We found out when Trey was eighteen months old that her husband had been accepted into the Navy Officer program. This meant they would be moving. Far. Eight hours away by car. What does a friend like Shea do? She lets us move into her house while they are gone and rents it to us, without making a profit. When Bill and I were first married, one of the things we liked to do was look at model homes and dream. We drove into the neighborhood that we're living in now and toured the houses and drooled and pined for this house. This neighborhood. These ammenities. It was perfect. Our dream house. Who would have thought that seven years later and a month we'd be living in the place we'd dreamt of? God is so good. It has been absolutely wonderful living here. Prior to moving in, we lived on the military base. All base housing for enlisted folk are duplexes or fourplexes. You always share a wall, somewhere. We had a three bedroom place and we were thrilled! The house was built in 1975 and with a three year turnover rate you can imagine what it looked like. The cabinets were a dark, peeling brown. We had pickle green counter tops and flourescent lighting in the kitchen and bathrooms. We had white linoleum flooring with pastel colored flecks in the kitchen, baths and family room and quarter inch pile carpeting with quarter inch padding in the rest of the house. We were lucky. We had carpeting. Most of the houses only had carpet on the stairs. When we moved in I had Bill take down the flourescent lighting in the bathrooms because no one should buy makeup thinking they're skin is a pale shade of green. When he took them off the wall, wallpaper was left behind by a previous tenant. Imagine the colors in the kitchen of the Brady house. Lime green, orange and gold daisy wallpaper. Yessiree. I'm sure this wallpaper had been left from the original dwellers, from 1975. Our carpet kept everything that ever touched it. We had a no shoes rule in the house. We had a baby. The carpet still required steam cleaning every two months. Dust would leave a mark. Our windows were so drafty that the vertical blinds would clack if it was windy, which it often was since we were about two aerial miles from the ocean. There was one instance where Bill was upstairs in the only shower we had and I was in the kitchen. All of a sudden, it started to rain in my cabinet. The shower was leaking through the floor and pouring down my cabinet. It took maintenance three times and six months to fix that with many complaint calls in between. The entire base runs on well water and the river that runs through the base carries a lot of manganese which makes the water a lovely shade of brown, similar to that of iced tea. Fortunately, it's filtered and we had an additional filter put on from Culligan. Well, the pumps would break and my whites would turn beige and I'd run a bath for Trey and opt to give him a baby wipe bath once again since I didn't want to lose him in the bathtub. But we were grateful. We had a house. It was free. Our child had a room and we had a place to lay our heads at night. Then we get the opportunity to move into my best friend's home while she's away. It could ease the pain of her absense. No brown water. No attached walls. Four bedrooms. Huge yard. A master bedroom that would fit our bedroom suite in it's entirety for the first time since we'd been married. A garden tub. Luxury. They're moving back in May. I get my best friend back. She gets her house back. We're moving, again. Now we need to find a new place to live, suffer from sticker shock and we'll be in our eighth home in ten years. I'm so grateful to Shea and her family for allowing us to have a little bit of heaven while we were here. Once I move out, I will plaster photos of the house all over my blog and gloat about the beautiful home that was ours for three years. There are so many memories of my family when this was Shea's home, when it was ours, and now we will make new ones when we turn the keys back over to them. Trey walked for the first time in this house. I had both baby showers in this house, once when it was Shea's, once when it was mine. Numerous birthday parties have been celebrated here. Thanks, Shea.

Anyone want to give us $500,000 so we can buy a place of our own?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Crystal Ball

This just made me laugh.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Fun-knee Jen-knee

Here's a fun little game you can try. I found this over at Robin's site.
Here are the directions:Type "(your name) is" into Google, then post your favorite results.

In the Blogger world, I go by Jen, but to everyone who really knows me, I'm Jennie. Pronounced: Jenny, not Jeannie. Man, I hate that. There's no 'A' so why do people insist on calling me Jeannie? Do I look like a harem who flew out of a pretty little bottle? Don't even get me started on my last name. Most of the sites that popped up had to do with Jennie Garth aka Kelly on 90210. Wonder if anyone mistakenly calls her Jeannie. Doubtful. Anyway, here were some of the things I found.

The Official Jennie Garth Home Page
Love her!

Member of The National TurkeyFederation © Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales
This has always been a running joke in my family.

Displays of her own unique style, working exclusively in raku and inspired bythe beauty and power of the animal world.
I am Woman, Hear me ROAR!!

Jennie['s blog] wears like my favorite pair of Levis and Lucchese boots--you wantto put them on every day...
awww, gee, thanks guys!'s not for me?

An independent writer, playwright, humorist, critic, and columnist whose workshave been published nationally, and recognized by theatrical organizations ...
critic, yes. Everything else, mmm, notsomuch.

Jennie Rayment - The Muslin Mistress. Classes, Lectures Books and Patterns forthe art of Quilting.
Can you say "kinky"? Ok, maybe just say rickrack.

This one was kinda weird. My best friend's name is Shea and she used to teach dance. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.

Check out Jennie on Petey Pablo's new track "Meet Me In The Boys Bathroom" fromthe gold ...

Jennie Finch is a California native who looks more like she belongs on the beach than in the bullpen.
Ok, yes, this is true but it's still not me.

Jennie Shortridge's novel, RIDING WITH THE QUEEN, is 'funny, sexy, smart andheartbreakingly real...a wonderful debut'-Louise Redd.
Proof! that I am royalty.

Mommy Math

6am - 1:30am = 4.5 hours of sleep
2 kids - 1 parent = outnumbered
A ton of stuff that NEEDS to get done - lethargic Jen = procrastination
2 kids eating lunch + 30 more minutes = naptime for all (please?)

4.5 hours of sleep, people! I slept more while studying for finals in college!! AND I didn't have to take care of anyone but myself back then. Where's the Dimetapp?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Has This Happened to Anyone Else, Or am I Just Going Insane, as Usual?

The other night I dreamt that I met one of my blogger buds. This was the second time this happened. Last night, I had yet another dream where I met the author behind another blog that I frequent. Is it because the brain can't decipher between a physical meeting and practically knowing everything about another person because of their writings? Pictures, descriptions, daily ins and outs can apparently screw up your brain and make you think you're actual acquaintances with people you've never met but know all about and who live hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away. So tell me, am I alone in this?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Good News

I just got an email from the person who gives all of us Marine wives the 411 on our guys. Our Banner making party is scheduled! If you've ever watched Operation Homecoming or are in an area where you can watch the news airing war homecomings then you know what I'm talking about. Take hundreds of yards of butcher paper, add some paint, a bunch of giddy women and kids hyped up on sugar and make your Marine a poster he'll be proud of, to display on the garage announcing his homecoming. We also have the Reunion Brief scheduled. Doesn't that sound so military like? Brief. So official. We all sit in a giant room while various people stand up in front of us with a PowerPoint presentation of things to expect when the guys come home. The last time I attended one of these we were told a bunch of strange things that could happen. Fighting. Elation. The men needing to sleep on the ground because they weren't sleeping in beds while over there (this has since changed, thankfully). The guys being upset that their wives don't "need" them anymore since we've basically become the mother/father/everything else to everyone else. Nightmares (war flashbacks). Violent outbursts. A bunch of fun stuff. The women don't really hear this though. They hear, "Your husband blah blah blah blah, blah is coming home blah blah blah in three weeks." We still don't have a flight date for Bill's homecoming but it's roughly around October 1st. The fact that these two events are scheduled makes me oh so very happy! Of course we'll all be keeping you in our prayers for safety and such but it looks like there's finally a light at the end of this long tunnel.

Just Another Day in Paradise

Today Trey, Leah, and I had a very lazy day. We've been caught up in the hustle and bustle of every day things, and I decided that we just needed a little time out where there were no worries and he would have an afternoon of fun. Instead of getting dressed today, we put on our "baby suits" as Trey calls them and headed outside to the inflatable pool where the wee ones splashed around and held some science experiments to determine what floats and what doesn't. I sat in my chair and tried to read a magazine but would be interrupted every few minutes with a plea to watch the next spectacle that is three year old wonderment, i.e. jumping or splashing in the water while saying, "watch this Mommy!" Leah's head is still sparse in the hair department so I wanted her to wear a hat. She didn't agree with me and promptly tossed the hat into the water. Fortunately for both of us, she was actually ok with a soggy sunhat on her head. We had popsicles and juice boxes and plenty of sun. Naps were had by all. Now the kids are watching a VeggieTales video while I take some time here on my escape route before we head on over to my mom's for dinner. Today was a good day.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Wait a Minute, Say that Again?

It's a known fact that housing has gone up across the country. Some within reason, some not. If you watch any of those shows on HGTV or TLC or watch News of the Really Stupid Amounts of Money People Will Spend to Buy a House, then you know that San Diego has one of the highest housing markets. I believe our current median price for a single family home has dropped to something in the mid $400,000's. So basically half of the homes are above that price and half are below. Apartments are being converted to "condos" left and right and selling for the economical price of $200,000. I usually don't read the Home section of the Sunday paper because it depresses me. However, this caught my eye:

Carlsbad, CA (one of the nicer communities in the northern part of San Diego)
$100,000 in upgrades to include: Marble flooring and interior drywall construction
Year Built: 1972
1300 square feet
Asking price: $695,000
Wanna see a picture of the neighborhood?

That's right, my friend. For nearly $1 million you can own yourself a mighty fine Mobile Home.

Friday, July 08, 2005

You Are 84% American
You're as American as red meat and shooting ranges.
Tough and independent, you think big.
You love everything about the US, wrong or right.
And anyone who criticizes your home better not do it in front of you!

Jump on the Bandwagon

Notice my new little green button off to the side? Click it and you shall know more useless info about me than you ever wanted to.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Trey Goes to Pre-school. Take Two

No matter what time I try to go to bed, I usually don't end up turning the lights out until 1am. It's in my genes. Even though I knew I had to get up early this morning I still went to bed at 1 last night...and got up at six this morning. Ugh. After the coffee and my shower and the initial grogginess wore off I trekked upstairs with a sippy cup of milk for my little man on his first day of school. The muffins had just come out of the oven and the whole house smelled like blueberries. Isn't that so very June Cleaver of me? It won't happen again. Friday he'll be back to cold cereal. I walked into his room and rubbed his back and he peeked at me through one half open eye and said, "Mommy. What are you doing? I'm tryin' to sleep!" Ok, I'm finally seeing the resemblance to me.

We were on the road at 7:30. I forgot how many people are actually functioning this early in the morning. The streets were packed. My drive is now about 20 minutes instead of the very convenient ten it used to be. Strangely, my son is going to school right around the corner from where I grew up. I've moved eight times since living in the house I grew up in, twice cross country and here he is back where it all started. One of the intersections I pass used to be nothing but farm land and a little produce stand (for locals wondering, it's the corner of Santa Fe and Melrose). There are illegal immigrants dotted along the corner waiting for work. As I start to head up the hill, a white guy in a beat up Ford F150 pulls into a side road and the men make a mad dash to try to be the chosen one for work that day. My heart goes out to these guys. Can someone enlighten me and tell me why they don't try to become legal, and then work legally, make more money and actually have benefits instead of picking strawberries for $2 an hour??

We arrived at Trey's new school ten minutes early. You can't even enter the preschool area without a code to get into the iron gate. He had his cubby all set and ready to hold his extra clothes and we got him signed in. He didn't want to wear his name tag at first. I'm sure he was equating name tag with church and I usually just slap his name tag on his back and take off. I told him I would stay with him this time and only then was he willing to wear his identity on his shirt. All the kids start out in one of the classrooms and head out to the playground at 8 for an hour of outdoor play. Trey was latched onto me the entire time we were inside. I'm sure hearing one of the little girls cry the entire time wasn't exactly relieving any of his anxieties. I held his hand while he walked around the room, got in line, and while we walked in a line to the playground. Only after pushing him on the swing and then realizing that he could have a bit more fun without holding onto me did he let go and release me of my duties for the morning. Leah and I did nothing spectacular during our few short hours together. I was so tired I didn't know what to do with myself. However, I was able to do something I haven't been able to do since 2001. I watched The View! That's a big no no in our house. At 10am the tv must either be on Roly Polie Olie or Caillou. Can I just say how much I hate Caillou?? That child taught my child how to whine. Trey really didn't whine before he watched that show. He also taught him how to be afraid of imaginary monsters. The thought had never crossed Trey's mind before seing it on "educational tv". Yeah, educational in what?

I picked Trey up at noon and he had a great time. His teachers said he did fantastic, just a little clingy (at least he didn't cry) and he even showed off his charm by giving one of his teachers a kiss on the hand. Ladies, watch out! Those big blue eyes and his charming moves are bound to get him in trouble one of these days.

Now the only problem I have with preschool is how to pay for it when Bill is home and not receiving imminent danger pay, hazardous duty pay and all the other pay he gets for being in a situation where people want him dead. Ain't it great?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

To Joja Boy


Bombs bursting, mosquitos biting

I guess the 4th means more to me than I thought. Not having Bill here today really, well, sucked. I was jealous that I could smell the neighbors' BBQ's thinking, "Bill would be grilling out right now if he were home." I was upset that my plans of getting together with my best friend had to be cancelled. Anyone that I would want to spend time with had plans. So here I was, with my husband in a place where he really doesn't want to see any fireworks, and two little ones on a gorgeous day and no where to go, nothing to do, no one to see.

Leah took a very long nap. She slept from 11-3 so I figured that should do it for her. If I stayed home, I would go insane. I had to get out and breathe different air and Trey needed to have a change of scenery and I needed to get a new mattress pad for the baby so why not make that an excuse to go to Babies R Us! Trey was very excited that we were going to "the baby store". I'll be sure to remind him of that when he's eleven. He'll love me even more then. After we got home, I made Trey lie down since he was being Mr. Cranky Pants and that's no way to end this wonderful day. Leah surprised me by falling asleep again. I dragged her out of bed at 8:30 since I needed her to sleep sometime tonight, while it's still dark, when I'm hopefully sleeping. No more partying at 3am young lady! Trey told me he didn't want to see fireworks. What?! No fireworks? That's all he's been talking about. I asked if he wanted to watch them on tv. "Yes." Well, that's just sad but I guess it saves me the hassle of traffic and fidgety kids. Two minutes later: "I wanna see the fireworks. Is it dark yet?" Oh man. Fine.

I packed some snacks, changed everyone into pants, packed sweatshirts and a blanket and we headed out to the car. I was planning on going the long way around the military base and parking up in one of the housing areas to watch the display at the beach. I decided to take a short cut and as I traveled up the hill I realized I could probably catch one, if not two displays if I found a place to park. One of the nice things about this base is that there's tons of unused land, a rare commodity in this part of the state. Sure enough, I found a great spot, spread the blanket on the hood of the car, parked Trey on the blanket and pulled the stroller out of the back, stuck Leah in the stroller with some goldfish crackers and we saw not one, not two but six to seven different displays. Trey loved every single one of them. As I'm leaning up against the car, Trey grabs my face from behind and says, "Look right there!" pointing my head in the general direction of the display. Gee, thanks mom. He's absolutely giddy with the pyrotechnics going on. He gives me a big squeeze and says, "You're my best friend". Awww!! Guilt guilt guilt: do more fun stuff with the kid. Guilt guilt guilt.

So not only did we get out, I regained my sanity and we saw fireworks AND we were the only ones on that hill, there was no traffic to fight and we were home ten minutes after the show was over. Not too shabby for a day that started out less than ideal.

Oh, and my little sleepy princess that slept the day away....yeah, she just went to bed.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Thanks for my Independence

I'm just trying to be a father
Raise a daughter and a son
Be a lover to their mother
Everything to everyone
Up and at 'em, bright and early
I'm all business in my suit
Yea, I'm dressed up for success
From my head down to my boots

I don't do it for the money
There's bills that I can't pay
I don't do it for the glory
I just do it anyway
Providing for our future's my responsibility
Yea I'm real good under pressure
Being all that I can be

And I can't call in sick on Mondays
when they weekend's been too strong
I just work straight through the holidays
And sometimes all night long
You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door
Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady, hey, I'm true down to the core

And I will always do my duty no matter what the price
I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice
Oh, and I dont want to die for you
but if dyin's asked of me
i'll bear that cross with honor
cause freedom don't come free

I'm an Amiercan soldier, an American
beside my brothers and my sisters i will proudly take a stand
when liberty's in jeopardy i will always do what's right
I'm out here on the front lines
sleep in peace tonight
American soldier I'm an American soldier

Yeah an American soldier, an American
beside my brothers and my sisters i will proudly take a stand
when liberty's in jeopardy i will always do what's right
I'm out here on the front lines
sleep in peace tonight
American soldier
I'm an American
An American
an American

-Toby Keith

Thanks Bill, for all you do. Thanks to all the others who are out there, working for nothing, putting everything on the line, for us to live the free life we do, taking much for granted.

Ooh-rah, Devil Dogs & Semper Fi

Friday, July 01, 2005

It's Self Portrait Friday!

Today's theme is tattoos (duh). This is all thanks to Katy. Be sure to pay her a visit. She cracks me up. Anyway, here's mine. Wasn't easy to capture seeing as how it's on my back and I don't have my handy dandy photographer nearby.

Dog Days of Summer

I had plans for yesterday. We were going to have fun, Fun, FUN! My really really good, crazy, funny friend from High School but we became better friends after we were both married and the hubby's happened to be in the Marines and then we ended up living in the same neighborhood, Amanda invited us over to her dad's place for the afternoon. She and her husband are stationed in Ohio (oh, the agony...just kidding Oma and Teresa) and she came back for a six week visit while DH is in Djibouti, Africa. Her dad's place has a pool and dad was going to cook for us. So, this may not seem like a huge deal but pool + kids = fun and exhaustion for children = happy momma. Also, I don't think I've actually cooked for myself more than maybe six times since Bill left at the end of February. What am I eating? I don't honestly know. Cereal? Frozen dinners? Ben & Jerry's? Besides, Amanda's dad is an awesome cook. Gotta love that. I'm not skinny because I don't like to eat. I'm skinny because I'm too lazy to actually prepare food. That, and because I've actually inherited my mom's high metabolism. Oh, shoot me. Can't be helped. Anyway, we didn't even get there until four since Princess Leah took an extra long nap yesterday. This, I thought, would be perfect. She should have slept long enough that she wouldn't be tired while we were out there. When she's tired, she wants to nurse. If she's not attached to me, then she has her pacifier in her mouth and her hand is stuck down my shirt. This is fine when we're at home, but in mixed company it's kind of awkward. Trey hadn't napped but it takes a good thirty minutes to get out there so I hoped he'd sleep in the car. "I don't wanna sleep in the car, Momma. I don't want to!" Ok fine. He's gone a day or two without a nap before. He should be ok.

We go to the pool almost immediately after we arrive. The last time I took the kids swimming, Trey stayed on the steps even though he donned a life vest. The only time he wasn't grounded to those cement lifesavers was when I dragged him out into the water. Even then he held on for dear life, sure that he would drown. Leah stayed in her little blow up yacht, happy as a clam. Children never repeat their actions. Unless it's one to drive you insane. Then they'll do it until they move out. I know this, because I still do things like that to my mom. Trey wanted to leap into the water. Every single time. "Watch this! Look at me!" Leah wanted nothing to do with her luxury liner and wanted to be in a horizontal position, held by either me or Amanda while she mock swam around the pool. After thirty minutes we were both tired and had to get out or our arms would fall off. Can't drive home without arms. I've tried.

Without spewing all of the nitty gritty repetitive, mind numbing details of the rest of the evening, let me just say that my children are magnets for disaster. Leah hit her head at least four times while we were there. There's not an unreasonable amount of furniture, or a gas leak in the house or anything like that. She just continued to lose her balance and happened to do so where there was furniture waiting to kiss her head. Trey would not leave the light switches alone. He will find any light switch anywhere and mess with it until he figures out what it goes to. He also talked incessantly about the fans. The ceiling fan, the standing fan, the desk fan. OH MY GOSH, enough already! Amanda's dog-sister (it's her dad's dog....get it?) didn't quite know what to make of my kids. Trey is a boy. An almost four year old boy. He's loud. He's active. He loves animals. He got the dog riled up and the dog nipped him in the leg. No blood, but lots of drama. Dog goes to the crate. Dog comes out of the crate. We eat dinner. Trey is eating corn on the cob and an avocado. Don't ask. The kid will only eat corn if it's still on the cob, not loose, and he would eat avocados every day if I let him. For one, they're too high in fat, and two, they're too dang expensive. Leah is sitting in my lap so I'm trying to eat while not dripping my food on her head. She's grabbing for the knife on my plate so my plate ends up being about 12 inches from me and I have a grabby baby, long distance eating, and the dog is under the table waiting for something to fall. Finally, Leah gets to the point where she can be put down without crying and she's hanging onto one of the chairs. The dog thinks she's in danger, grabs the end of her shirt and accidentally pokes her in the side with one of her teeth. More crying, more drama, more dog crates. No blood. Red skin and a little divot but everyone's ok. Nine pm and it's time to go. The kids crash out in the car. Unbuckle Leah from her seat and take her upstairs and put her to bed, hoping she won't wake up. Run back downstairs, outside, unbuckle Trey and w.a.l.k. upstairs with all 42 pounds of him. Don't brush his teeth, don't tell him a story, don't sing him a song. Go back downstairs and get the things out of the car and lock everything up. Leah's awake. The car ride was just long enough for her to wake up. Nurse her some more (this child is addicted to the boob) and get her back into bed.

Ten pm. I'm done. Did we have fun? I can't remember. I'm too tired.

P.S. Mom: Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit!!!