Thursday, April 27, 2006

Don't trust anyone over 30

Tomorrow is the BIG day (you dig?). It's a birthday that ends in a zero, and I haven't had one of those in like, ten years! A lot of my friends have been weirded out by crossing this line. I feel like my age has finally caught up with my soul. Being an only child tends to have that effect on you. My life has been consumed with planning this party. I haven't had a birthday party since I turned sixteen. I haven't had a 'boy/girl' party since I turned six! =Þ I have major control issues and want everything to be just so. I've had so much fun shopping for themes and accessories and decorations. When I turned 29, Bill and I started discussing this birthday and the celebration that would go along with it. I've been researching for a YEAR!

My good friends will be there. Three out of four of my best friends will not. What can I say? They just don't love me.

Or they're married to those darn military men and live elsewhere. One is in Ohio, one is in the Bay Area and her husband is graduating college the next day and the other is in Colorado.

I have cleaning and decorating and shopping to do. We've ordered the food from Rubio's (since Chipotle doesn't do party trays), the cake from Costco and the liquor is waiting to be poured. I've got to buy fruit today to make this:

This thing costs $65 for the small one if you order it. I can make it for under $20. Thank you God, for allowing me to live in California where produce is local and cheap!!

Fortunately, I have today off from work so I can try and be productive, depending on how the kids are. I have to go in tomorrow. How much you wanna bet my boss has no clue it's my birthday even though it's been announced, like, fifteen times by others around the building? I have to give him credit. He IS taking me to lunch on Tuesday for Secretaries Day (or admin day or helpmate day or whatever PC thing we're calling it now) that was yesterday. That's not bad, right?

Pictures to follow!

Friday, April 21, 2006

A B C Don'tcha be messin with me

Trey informed me this morning as I was packing his lunch for school that "Mrs. Johnson" wouldn't open his fruit snacks the last time he was at school because, and I quote, "that we should only eat healthy food."



True, fruit snacks are not included in the food pyramid. Does every bite count when you're four years old? Yes. Have I watched every morsel that's crossed my child's lips since the day he entered this world? Yes. I labored at nursing because I didn't want any man-made formula near my child. My dreams didn't go as planned. He nursed until he was ten months old but had to be supplemented, against my wishes. I did everything I could but it just wasn't enough. I fed him organic baby food. Whole grain. Wheat germ. No junk. Ever. Trey is one of those kids who did not transition well to table food. He was on stage 2 baby food well past his first birthday. Cheerios? No way. Pasta? Disgusting. Zwiebach toast. Right. He drank lots of Pediasure to make up for the difference. I gave him vitamin supplements. I pick and choose his foods very carefully to this day. Protein, fat, vegetables, dairy, fruit. All accounted for. Some items are still organic. He may only have a cookie if he's had two or three servings of fruit or if he's tried a new food item which was like trying to force the earth's rotation up until he hit this age. Fruit snacks.


Do I buy the cheapest? No. The ones I have a coupon for? No. The best deal? No. I get the stinkin' fruit snacks that have 100% vitamin C and are enriched with calcium and the VERY first ingredient is fruit juice.

This is me, sticking out my tongue and being very immature because how dare you tell me what is "healthy" when I've seen the other kids at the lunch table pounding back cheetos and chocolate pudding.

Should I send him to school with a Pepsi and a pack of Marlboro's and see what they say? I could tell them that he needs to get started on stunting his growth since the quizzes state he'll be between 6'4" and 6'7". Hmm.

Food for thought.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Falling Down

Every time Bill and I try to give one another a hug in the presense of Trey, Trey tries to squeeze in between us. I'm sure it's genetic, as Bill tells stories of doing the exact same thing to his parents. Yesterday, we decided to have some fun with Trey and "lock" him out of our embrace. We squeezed each other tight as Trey tried to wedge himself in. Then, we intertwined our legs, really making sure that the boy would not come in the middle of us. Our intertwined legs added to Trey's persistence made a bad combination with gravity and the next thing I knew, we were all falling over. Bill was trying to make sure I wouldn't crack my skull on the edge of the entertainment center, I tried to keep myself from capturing my son underneath my falling body while avoiding Bill coming crashing down on me. We were partially successful. Trey broke my fall. After we made sure he didn't have any broken bones or broken skin we hugged him and laughed quietly to ourselves while Trey cried his pain away. After he settled down, he looked at me with his teary big blue eyes and said, "Mommy, I just wanted a hug too-ooo."

Now if that isn't child guilt, I don't know what is.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


"Leah, go make mommy some coffee."

She hops off my bed and proceeds downstairs.

"Hey, can you do a load of laundry while you're down there?"

Why yes, I am related to Eeyore.

Huge sigh. Beware, complaining starts.......



I've tried to be positive, taking one thing at a time. "That's ok." "We'll make it work." Whenever our life is going great, I know something big is coming our way. Our life was going too smoothly. I felt it. Then it hit. And it kept coming.

First, Bill was relieved from the academy he tried so hard to get into, one week prior to graduation. Not because of grades (he's got an annoying knack for remembering everything he's ever read) but because of an injury he received while at the academy which snowballed and therefore deemed him "not within Marine Corps standards" physically. Since he wasn't in school he went back to work. EVERYone else in his unit was in 29 Palms (a desert training area about three hours thataway) so he just caught up on paperwork. His graduation was supposed to be today. I was supposed to have today off. Instead, he went to work, I went to work and I continued scrambling for a huge outreach thing we have going on this weekend. He came home for about an hour before heading off to church to participate in a Good Friday service. He came home and announced that there was a voicemail left notifying him that because he was one of a handful of guys that didn't go to 29 Palms, he would have to stand duty not once, but TWICE on what would have been a four day weekend. So, he will be gone all day Saturday, foregoing our family day, foregoing his obligations at church Saturday night and he'll be gone Monday, yet another day where the family will be home. Three of us resume normal schedules on Tuesday. Bill will be home. Gripe gripe gripe. Yep, that's what I'm doing.

My mom is taking Trey to the movies tomorrow morning.

Leah and I will be home alone.

The kids and I will be alone Saturday from noonish until I have to go to work at 3. Now they'll have to come with me and hopefully I can find someone to watch them there until I get off work about 6:30. We'll come home to an empty house while I fight with them to eat dinner, bathe them by myself and press their Easter clothes.

Sunday, Bill will go straight to church zombified after standing a 24 hour post, and showing up for a 6:45am call time. He'll sing at three services, I'll work at the 11:00 service and then we'll come home so everyone can nap while I prepare my sides to take to my mom's where my children are sure to do what they do best (fight) and Bill falls asleep in the recliner.

Monday morning he'll go back into work around 7:30am and come home Tuesday morning after we're gone for the day and yet another great holiday will happen in the "B" household.

Oh, and the reason I complain so much? He's missed five previous Easters due to work. This will be number six. I'm getting ready to have him miss a slew of things this coming summer and fall during another deployment, two in two years.

I covet civilian work standards.

Ok, I'm done. If you've made it this far, I applaud you.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Ok, so here's the big news

Don't be too disappointed when you read this. It's not a big deal to most, but it's huge for us.

When I was pregnant with Trey and had no other friends with kids, was going to school full time, working part time and basically miserable, this blonde lightening bolt appeared out of nowhere and took over my life. Shea was a God send. She blessed me with bags and bags (like three huge yard garbage bags) full of cute maternity clothes. All I had were maternity clothes that we could afford. Some...not so cute. She cheered with me as I graduated college, dragged me out of the house to do fun things and became solely responsibe for my addiction to shopping. This is what happens when someone who used to work for The Limited befriends you. Girls like Shea were not friends with girls like me. She was the cheerleader, dancer, surfer, "rich girl", popular one, a little wild and crazy and modeled in her youth. I was the introvert, fiduciary challenged, small circle of friends, very conservative, balanced and too shy to try out for anything. Why did this girl decide to befriend me? I tell ya, she's got this weird thing for pregnant women. Don't ask me why. I don't get it. Round bellies are like a magnet to her. I was four months pregnant when we were introduced at church. I thought she was about five years older than I was, turns out she was actually three years younger. She had perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect one year old daughter and I later found out she lived in the PERFECT house. In fact, it was the house Bill and I longed for when we toured the models right after we were married. There was no way that this would ever develop into a friendship. I came off cold to her and that drove her even more to get me to like her. She later told me this thought ran through her head, "That girl does NOT like me. I'm going to use my Shea charm on her!" Well, it wasn't that I didn't like her. Apparently I come off this way to a lot of people. I'm reserved. I'm figuring you out. I guess I don't do this with a big smile on my face.

We spent at least half of our weeks with each other for the next two years. She was the only friend I had in the hospital with me when Trey was being born. She was with me when I didn't know if I really liked this whole mom thing and assured me that I was normal and not a horrible mother. She encouraged me. She went to Jazzercise with me. We were inseparable.

Then we got the news that her husband, who is in the Navy, was being transferred to the Bay Area. I was devastated. The next logical step? Well, let's rent their house while they're gone! Of course, this was perfect. We were living in base housing at the time. Our house was old. Built in 1975. Had the original cabinetry and countertops. Take this fact plus the fact that average turnaround for families in housing is about every three years and you can imagine the wear and tear on these places. I don't know how the drywall stood up to 25 years of families hanging photos and decorations on the walls. We had plumbing problems. BIG plumbing problems, as in it rained in our kitchen one afternoon while Bill was upstairs taking a shower. Not good. Our water was brown...a lot. And that was with a filter! My infant son's perfect white and light blue clothes took on a beige and grey hue. We had one shower out of three bathrooms. We had a one car garage. We shared a wall with a very noisy family. Now, it wasn't all bad. We were one aerial mile from the beach. We had a cute little yard that Trey could play in and it was the biggest place we'd ever lived in at 1300 square feet. Plus, it was free. Can't beat that! However, She's house was our dream house. Four bedrooms, three baths (three showers), garden window in the kitchen, garden tub in the master, fireplace, huge yard with no one behind us, quiet neighborhood, single family residence, 2200 square feet. They would rent it to us for the mortgatge. We get "x" amount of money for rent from the military. Houses are usually x+$600 to rent, plus utilities, etc. Base housing: totally free including utilities but very depressing. Shea's house: Uber cheap and perfect. Which would you pick?

So we've been here, enjoying the house for three years. Her husband was due to get his next set of orders at the end of February. We readied ourselves by getting on the base housing list (which has improved greatly, might I add) and hoping that the timing would work out so that we wouldn't have to worry about interim housing between this place and a place on base. February came and went without orders. Beginning of March, gone. Finally we were told they'd get orders March 29th. I get a phone call March 29th. I was still at work. Shea left a message at home. They got their orders. To Virginia.




Are you sure?

San Diego closed out as an option for them an hour before her husband got the opportunity to pick a base. They're in shock. We're in shock. She was supposed to come back and live in her beautiful house and we were excited to move into much better housing on base.

I'm disappointed that I don't get Shea back.

I'm really ok with staying in the house.

I'd rather have her back.

However, if Bill gets stationed to another base in San Diego, we'd have to forfeit our base housing and move again. We don't have to worry about that here.

Shea. House. Shea. House. See my mix of emotions? Home is a big thing for us girls.

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

This is my old kitchen. Notice the groovy dark brown, high quality cabinetry and the pickle green countertops. It's far out. That's right folks, my sink is right next to that, with NO window! Such a joy when doing dishes.
(oh, and the flowers were a day early) ;)

LIGHT cabinetry, white tile countertops....muuuuuuch better.

Our "quaint" little dining room on base.

View from our dining room into the formal living room (la de da dee)

Our little yard on base, backed up and next to lots of other families.

View of our yard from our room. Those hills in the background belong to the government in the form of the military base. That area at the bottom of the hill is protected wetlands so we go to sleep listening to the frogs talking at night.

Of course I'll greatly miss having Shea here, but not moving is a huge blessing as well.