Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm...Too Sexy for my....

One of my new-found favorite websites. Suddenly, your school portraits don't seem so cringe worthy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

1st Day Jitters

Today Trey entered into the beginning of the rest of his life. He started first grade. I’ve been talking this up to him for weeks, trying to get him excited about school. I was always answered with, “I don’t wanna go to first graaaaaade—uh.” What a way to begin your academic career. I figured we’d at least get to fourth grade before he decided school wasn’t fun. To counteract any negative thoughts about the end of summer, he and I spent the whole week last week doing fun things involving milk shakes and picking out school supplies, a playdate or two and a slurpee. How fun is that? My favorite day was the shopping, and even though it all involved buying things for him, he didn’t think it was that great. Male DNA: I’ll never get it.

This morning he woke up and got out of bed right when his alarm went off. He started doing the things on his chart that need to get done before it’s time for school. He was so excited. Breakfast: check Teeth brushed: check Bed made: check Hair, shoes, backpack, lunch: check check check check. He was ready to leave a half hour before we needed to walk out the door. I had to keep reminding him it wasn’t time to go yet.

(don't mind the pink background, my camera decided to misbehave this morning. The walls are actually white)
Finally, we got in the car and drove down to his school. We walked the path we walked last year for kindergarten. He pointed out his teacher to me (after recognizing him from his yearbook from last year) and then it hit him: utter and total fear. He went from walking next to me to clinging to the back of me and hiding his face in my side. His teacher tried talking to him. No dice. We walked, connected, like some human-giraffe out to the playground to look for friends from last year. We saw a few but he wasn’t interested in leaving the comfort of my waist. I figured the one person to get him detached would be his kindergarten girlfriend, Sophia. Oh yes, girlfriend. They’ve proclaimed their love for each other and have agreed that they will be married when they grow up. I saw her first and once I caught her eye, I waved at her and she came rushing over to hug Trey. A little girlfriend of hers was with her. Trey didn’t say anything comprehensible to Sophia, just whines and grunts. Typical man. She planted a big kiss on his cheek and when Sophia’s little friend scrunched her nose and asked if she loved him, Sophia proudly said, “YES!” Well, that wasn’t enough for Trey. He still didn’t detach, Sophia got impatient and ran off to the swings and here I am, stuck, with a very tall six year old with arms wrapped around me and a little four year old who is enduring the silliness before her.

The bell rings, it’s time to line up and Trey does not want any part of it if it includes being solo. I stand in line with him. He notices some people on all four sides of him that he’s comfortable with. I step out of line and back with the other parents. His teacher tells the kids it’s time to come inside. Trey bolts out of line, tears bursting from his eyes, and completely sobbing into my shirt. I walk with him to the classroom and the teacher has to pry him off me and saying, “it’s ok mom, he’ll be fine.”

I was shocked! This child has been in new situations constantly throughout his life! Different nursery workers at church, preschool teachers, different babysitters and he’s already finished kindergarten. I felt so anxious for him, wondering how he was doing, or better yet, how the teacher was doing. To kill time, Leah and I did what all girls do best when together: we went shoe shopping! Hey, Payless is having a BOGO and she needed new ballet and tap shoes. Oh, and I got a sweet pair of American Eagle shoes for $4!!

Anyway, I noticed myself watching the clock all day, figuring out when we could leave, how much more time, is it almost a quarter to three, is it time to go yet…? I picked him up, he was smiling, he was saying goodbye to his new and old friends and had a great day. Poor thing worked himself up thinking he was going to have to solve the quadratic equation and memorize the table of elements without any familiar faces. Instead, he got to do things that were familiar, with a new teacher and realized that first grade really isn’t so scary.

Makes me wonder what junior high will be like…

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Didn't See That One Coming

Life is funny. And by funny I mean ha ha funny, weird funny, ironic funny and interesting funny. You think you know where you’re going and then BAM! the road ahead is washed away and there’s a pathway with bunnies and rainbows and music that you didn’t even notice before.

Being part of the military has its benefits. It has its downsides too. The biggest downside other than deployments are the constant changeover of friends. I figured that since we’re stationed in my hometown, that wouldn’t really be an issue. Well, I was wrong. A few friendships are able to be maintained regardless of distance. Most are not. There’s something about ‘out of sight, out of mind’ that happens with a lot of people. I’m not one of those people so when it happens to me, I take it personally. I had one awesome friend who helped drag me through my first pregnancy and post partum horror. We were inseparable. And then she moved. And now she’s got a different circle and doesn’t even communicate with anyone from the group she was with here. Another friend and I hit it off right away. She had a brand new baby and a daughter Trey’s age. I was newly pregnant with Leah. Our husbands got along great. We got together at least once a week for dinner and once a week at the park. Our older two were best friends. We all went to church together. We took them to Vegas with us for the Marine Corps ball. We had a blast. Then he got another job which moved THEM. Hey, we’re the military people. We’re supposed to leave, not the civilians. I have one girlfriend I’ve been in constant contact with since high school. Her husband is also a Marine and they’ve been out of the area since 2004 but things haven’t really changed between us. Why can’t this be the norm? To put it lightly and without dishing all the dirt on the other people, I have friend issues. I’m always looking for quality. I size people up. I’m not one to have twenty friends at all times. I have a handful that I cherish and plan on them being in my life forever. It rarely works that way and unfortunately, I mostly get along with other military wives because I don’t have to explain EVERYTHING. They just get it, they know the acronyms, they know the lifestyle, they’ve survived a deployment or four. I hate that because they end up leaving. I need stability. WHY did I fall for a guy in the military? Rather, why is the guy I fell for in the military at all? Well, that’s a rather loaded question, but it is what it is and this whole process has stretched me. Not a lot, but enough to be uncomfortable a whole lotta times.

During one of those uncomfortable times I was sitting at home, bored and not really knowing what to do with myself. I had a little baby boy and my husband had a relatively new job in the Marines. I wasn’t working. It was not too long after 9-11 had taken place. Things were crazy, unpredictable and up in the air. I got online and to bring back some peace from the past, I started googling people from high school. I have a very strange tendency to remember a lot of useless things: people’s first and last names that I wasn’t even really friends with, people’s birthdays after being told once (but I’m horrible at remembering to send a card), what someone was wearing to so and so’s 8th birthday party, a song that was being sung during a spaghetti dinner for a Girl Scout get together (Boy George’s Do You Really Want to Hurt Me being sung by some crazy older Cadettes while I was a very shy, timid Brownie. They scarred me for life). Anyway, I remember weird things. So I’m googling and not really finding a whole lot until…I come across this blog of someone I was in Spanish II with my sophomore year. Erika sat right in front of me in class and we would talk before class started (and sometimes during it). I started reading and found out all about her current life. I sent her an email saying hi and asking about others we both knew when she informed me that she hung out with someone I was best friends/worst enemies with between 1st and 12th grade. You know how it is: you meet when you’re six, you’re inseparable, you grow up, you get new friends, you hate each other, you make up and the process repeats until before you know it, you’re 18 and you’ve grown up together and apart and now you’re legal adults and how did that happen? We emailed a few times more and then I started emailing with Krista, our mutual friend. We didn’t really have a whole lot in common anymore. She and her husband didn’t have kids, she worked full time, her life was very different than mine. The last time we’d emailed was in 2003.

We moved out of our house on base in 03, changed email carriers and I lost contact with Krista. I figured it was just meant to be. I’d tried to contact her, but it just didn’t happen. Life went on, I had Leah, started my second blog (which you’re reading now) and kept reading about Erika’s life. Within the last six months I noticed that Krista would comment on Erika’s posts. I’d tried to say hi through the comments, but nothing came out of it. Again, it must have been as it was to be.

Less than three weeks ago, I noticed a link to Krista’s blog. I didn’t know it even existed! I read all about her life as a mom and left her a comment saying hello and it’s been a whirlwind ever since. We decided to meet one morning and get our kids together. In walks this person I haven’t seen in fourteen years who looks just like I remember her and it was surreal. The irony, haha, strange, interesting part is that Erika, the reason for our reconnection, showed up not ten minutes later for a separate playdate with a totally different person. Now that, my friends, is bizarre.

Krista and I met up again for dinner at her place and it wasn’t like getting together with a new friend. It wasn’t like getting together with a friend you’ve had forever, either. It was very much a combination of both. We had (and still have) so much to catch up on. Our lives and circles were so different in school even though we were in the same spot and lived less than three blocks from one another. There wasn’t an uncomfortableness (yes it’s a word, I just made it one) in her house—I felt at home, like it was normal and could just go in the fridge if I needed to, or search for a spoon in a random drawer.

We’re like, grown ups now, with responsibilities and kids and bills and real cars that have our names on the titles. We used to wear jelly bracelets and beg our moms for Cabbage Patch Kids, got excited over our first pair of Vans and Esprit bags, got in fights over rumors and hurt feelings, had sleep overs and secrets. It’s weird how people are brought back into your life when you’d never thought it would happen again.

Make new friends but keep the old,
One is silver and the other’s gold.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Who Knew

...that leaving a bottle of No More Tangles in your semi-abandoned car (due to the hubby being deployed and you don’t feel like driving that car…for a week…or two…or four) will crack under the August heat and leave a gooey, lotion-like mess on the carpet of the floorboard?


Something to remember.

(I got it cleaned up, Bill. Don’t worry.)

At least it smelled good.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I was cleaning my kitchen and somehow a card in an envelope had been forgotten, tucked in a corner. It was for me! And it had cash! Happy Birthday to me! With a $50 bill! Good thing it wasn't a check, my birthday was in April.

Back to cleaning. Maybe I'll find that pot of gold I've been searching for.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pick your title

Pick your battles. It’s the common mantra of any experienced parent. When I became a parent, I wanted to do everything by the book. I wanted to nurse the right amount of time, I wanted to make sure my baby was being mentally stimulated enough, he wouldn’t watch tv (what was I thinking?), he wouldn’t be on a bottle longer than necessary, he would eat organic, home cooked meals as often as possible, he would be home schooled, all his doctor visits would be exactly when they needed to be and he would just be the most loved, well rounded kid. Well, something happened. I gave birth. Things are so different when you’re living them versus planning for them. I’m a great planner. My follow through isn’t the best. I’m notorious for flaking out on things and it’s one of my weaknesses that drives me batty. I did pretty well on a lot of things. I failed (by my own standards) in others. One thing that my son has always been great at is sleeping. At two months old, he slept through the night and has done so ever since. I put him in his bed and he stays there. I never had a weepy toddler outside my room, begging to sleep with me. I never had a preschooler sneaking out of his bed to play with his toys. And now I have a six and a half year old that will still take a nap if I ask him to.

My daughter was born and my rules for my son didn’t fit her. She was so different. She was so easy compared to Trey. She nursed like a champ. She hardly cried. I just wanted to keep her in her present state forever. I still do. I just told her this morning that I didn’t want her to get any bigger*. However, there are some things that my son does a lot better than my daughter. One of those things is sleeping. Oh my Leah. I spent many a nights in her room trying to persuade her back to sleep. As an infant, she seemed to think party time was between 2 and 5 am most nights. It’s hard to be in party mode if you’ve only been asleep a couple of hours. As a toddler, she figured out how to get out of her crib right away so I had to install those silly childproof plastic rings on her door. She would get so frustrated and scream and cry until she wore herself out and ended up falling asleep on the floor. Once she mastered the art of opening the child proof door, she started coming into our room. I’d put her back. She’d come back a half hour later. I’d put her back again. An hour would go by and she’d be back. By 5am I would give up the fight and she’d stay in bed with me. Something I swore I’d never let happen.

When Bill deployed, bedtime for her became an even bigger battle. Her list of requests got longer and bedtime would take at least an hour and this was after putting Trey to sleep successfully within two minutes of closing the book we’d read. I got tired of fighting. I’m playing the part of two parents and this is one battle I’m going to let go for now. She comes in my room with me at night to fall asleep and then when I’m ready for bed, she’s carried (like the princess she is) back to her room. Her requests are still there before she falls asleep, but not as many. Her main request after I turn the light out is for me to rub her back. Who doesn’t love a good back rub? After I finish, it’s usually followed with, “one more time?” I give in each time. The other night, her request was a little strange. “Mommy?”
“Would you rub my back?”
“Sure. Turn over.”

“Leah, you need to lie on your stomach if you want me to rub your back.”
“Mommy? Would you rub my eyeball?” One of Leah’s favorite words of hilarity is ‘eyeball’. I’m not sure what’s so funny about eyeball, but it’s like her version of ‘smurf’. Remember how you could use ‘smurf’ in any context and it would become verb, adjective, noun, etc.? Eyeball.
“Ewwww! I’m not going to rub your eyeball!”
“What about my nose?” I begin to rub her tiny nose. “No, mommy. Inside my nose.”
“Leah, I am not sticking my finger in your nose.”
Bursts of laughter. And then she shows me how she is going to rub the inside of her nose. So dainty. “What about my teeth?” I start to rub her teeth with my finger. “Nooo, you need a tooh-brush! You want me to rub inside your nose?”
“Leah, go to sleep.”

*She was very upset at the thought of staying four forever. She asks constantly when she will be a grownup and what, exactly, she’ll be able to do once she reaches that milestone. I don’t dare mention that she won’t be living with me at that point since that makes her more upset.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Is it Possible?

My days at work have been…shall we say…lame. My church aka my place of employment has been shooting a movie all summer. Not some little dinky churchy movie, but a full feature film that will be released sometime next year. They’ve taken over everything. “Where’s the good paper cutter?”
“Oh, the production team took it.”
“Why can’t I find any tape?”
“Someone from production took it.”
“We just had thirteen pairs of scissors up here, where did they all go?”
People disappeared, too. There were only a few people here and there in the building because almost everyone was involved in some form in the movie. I was on the set when I could be, taking pictures or transporting things or actors to and from here and there. At first it was really exciting. It was so cool to see the filming taking place, the lights, the clapboard and all the other things that go along with it. Then, it just got annoying. Everyone was exhausted and the things that normally get done didn’t because the focus was on the movie. Ohhhh the moooovie.

I began working more hours the week Trey started summer camp. This coincided with the start of filming so I’d show up to work and have nothing to do because my boss happens to be the guy who wrote the script and is one of the producers. Guess where he was all summer. The movie. So at first I used that time to organize my desk and files and to get caught up on things that were on my perpetual to do list. Then I’d go to a different department and help out there. Then the work just ran out. I’d stick around for an hour but then leave because I’d be earning money for doing nothing and that just didn’t seem right, so I made myself useful. I’ve been catching up on friendships. Yay!

Yesterday, my friend CC and I got together at noon at our crack house favorite spot, Starbucks. We met up at noon and I figured since I’d been drinking coffee all morning, I’d get something decaf. Well, my drink no longer is offered in decaf. Oh, I’ll be ok, I guess. I got it anyway. We had a lot to catch up on. Inlaws, husbands, kids, friends (current and former), politics and of course The Jonas Brothers. Huh?? She has two teenagers. I didn’t have anything to contribute to that particular conversation. The most mature show we watch is Drake and Josh. We ended up staying for over two hours. Did you know that if you get a drink before noon, you can get a grande cold drink after 2:00 for $2? We love a bargain and had to take them up on it. I mean, we were already there. I felt a headache coming on, presumably from the large amount of caffeine screaming through my veins so I decided to order tea. Yes, still caffeinated but a lot nicer to your body. I love green tea. I like lattes. Green tea lattes? Yeah, not so much. Picture swamp water with a little milk thrown in for color. It didn’t help with my headache either.

After I got home I drank about a half gallon of water to try and flush my system out. It didn’t work. I went to pick up my kids, still drinking water. We came home and I made dinner. I had water. I drank water all night and STILL went to bed with a headache. My question is, is it possible to get a caffeine hangover? My answer is yes and two Starbucks for me without enough food equals an unhappy camper. I don’t know how CC does it. Every morning she stops in to Albertsons on her way to work to order her drink. The barista knows exactly what she wants since she orders the same thing every day. She has a registered card and gets her soy in her drink for free because of it. She’ll even stop on the way home and pick up another one. I’ve been in the car with her and she can’t decide what she wants as we’re going through the drive thru, so she’ll order two. Her insides must percolate when she heats up. I love coffee, but that’s too much.

I’m going scrapbooking tonight. I wonder if I should stop for a Java Chip frap?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I'm back

I have all but given up on this blog until now. Something has compelled me to pick it back up. I must admit, I was unfaithful. I opened a new blog in a new venue thinking I would be totally anonymous and post things raw and uncut, but I didn’t have anything to say, really. So here I am. I won’t really attempt to catch up since I’ve been gone for so long so I’ll just pick up where I left off. If you’re reading this, former-regular reader or lurker, would you please leave a comment so I know you stopped by? Thanks so much and I look forward to writing again.