Sunday, December 30, 2007
One of the MANY bathroom stops that we made was at a McDonald's where we all tossed back a cheeseburger and were back on the road. Junior slept through it poor kid.
In Oklahoma we stopped at a gas station that had a casino attached to it. We pottied and then since I didn't have my purse, I asked my husband for some money to try my luck. So while my husband stood outside the gas station feeding the children chocolate chip cookies my mom and I ducked in the casino. I tripled my money! My mom lost. I walked out and my husband asked me if I lost it all and I handed him back $6. Yeah, we aren't big gamblers, I started with $2.
We finally hit Texas and got within 30 minutes of home, so we pulled over so Em could potty....again....and Abs and I switched back to our car so my mom could head on home in peace and quiet. (Miss us yet mom?) Junior had pooped and spilled water all over himself when he opened his sippy cup, so I took him inside to change him. I always change Junior in the car or before I leave home or in the stroller. I'm not a big fan of public bathrooms or changing tables, especially in gas stations, but he was a mess and the car was packed. I put him on the changing table and he freaked out! I quickly changed his diaper and couldn't even attempt to change his clothes, so I took him outside to change him standing up. It was so strange for him to throw such a fit like that, that I mentioned it to Gunner. He told me that Junior doesn't like changing tables and he always does that. I laughed and laughed--not that he was scared, but that I had not had to change him while out in public the entire trip till the end, so I didn't even know this.
Okay Gunner, I think you have paid your dues, you win "Father of the Year" but I still hold the longest running title to "Employee of the Month!".
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
We got a few quick pictures of Junior in his Christmas outfit before we went to breakfast. He spilled juice down the front, which wasn't too bad, but then he pulled Gunner's cold coffee down and it spilled all over. Tried to wash it out and dry it with a hairdryer so that he could wear it since there is only one day he could, to no avail. Oh well, he looked cute in it the 45 minutes that it took him to get it dirty!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
We wanted to get an early start and meet my mom and her sleigh at the outlet mall in Hillsboro. I called to tell her that we were leaving and she was madly rushing around to get things ready. We arrived a little after 9 and since she was delayed a little I of course began to shop! Since there are have been bigger and better outlet malls built close by, this little one is slowly going under. I hit a couple of store closing sales and got a few good deals along the way. The car was already packed to the gills so when I got back to the car I found all my purchases sitting in my seat. I guess my husband was trying to nicely tell me that if I kept shopping I would have to hold it all! He did manage to find someplace to store them.
After noon my mom showed up. By then we were hungry and picnicked on the tables in front of the stores. There was a lady who was selling tamales to customers that were meeting her up at the outlet mall and we mentioned that looked good and she offered to sell us a dozen extra she had. They were excellent! We demolished those, added some german potato salad from our german Christmas, fed the children some sandwiches and then hit the road.
250 miles later we were on the border of Texas and Oklahoma and we needed a rest stop! We exited at the sign but didn't realize that we needed to backtrack on the other side of the freeway to get to the rest stop. We had entered Oklahoma, but went back to Texas once we turned around towards the rest stop. Realizing that we were doing this, we opted to turn around again and get back on the freeway and stop in OK. We left Texas, entered OK, and then entered TX again as we got back to the other side of the freeway. Once we finally found a place to turn around, we got back on the freeway and left Texas and finally entered OK for good. Yeah, okay, that makes no sense when you write it down.
We continued driving, grabbed a hotdog at a convenience store in Tulsa for dinner and then hit the road again where after 11 last night we finally arrived at the hotel. We had called ahead to find a place that was reasonably priced and served breakfast as feeding this hungry bunch can cost a bundle. My mom refuses to stay in any one star hotel, but I think we should up the standards to nothing less than three stars! We pulled up in front of the Lamplighter Inn in Springfield, and it looked okay. We got in there and the front desk clerks were pleasant but quirky. Em had to use the bathroom and one of the clerks ran around the corner and started yelling at the drunk man coming out of the women's restroom. we got Em situated after checking the bathroom and then went to our rooms. We had adjoining rooms...on the third floor....
Going up in the smelly elevator I was getting kind of nervous, but it was almost midnight and we were tired! I opened the room and expected to see mirrors over the ceiling. My mom's heater/ac was broken, so at midnight we are taking a tired Em, a wildly awake Abs and an energetic Junior down the hall to the new set of rooms. These were actually better than the first set, although I am glad we are staying just one night! The girls wanted to stay at the nice hotel that our windows looked out to, but we tucked them into bed and eventually we all fell asleep. Junior didn't get the message on sleeping through the night, but what's more fun than having a baby kick you and sleep on top of you all night as they try to get comfortable?
We are about to go to breakfast and then hit the road.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I signed up to be a sub, and am being stalked by the sub center. I did sub in a music class yesterday and in a kindergarten class the other day. I can't take the calls because I have to coordinate the girls getting picked up from school and Junior going to daycare. I have to do it online and plan ahead. I am hoping in January to pick up more jobs though since Junior loves going to daycare and he would be happy being there every day. He'll have to start going anyway when I go back to school this summer, so I might as well get him used to it.
Since we are leaving tomorrow....you guessed it.....I have nothing packed. My mom is going along with us, and after checking in with her, she's not ready either. At least I know where I get it from! I was kind of worried about the whole trip since until about 10 pm last night we didn't even have a place to stay! We finally found what we were looking for--my only request was an indoor heated pool so that we could tired the kids out at night.
I have the roomba and the scooba going and have to wash and fold mountains of laundry. At least I work well under pressure...
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Em and Abs talked about it the rest of the day and Em wrote it down and told me to blog it. Her Grandma would be proud that she is documenting everything.
Today was the worst day of my life. The school was filled with carbon
monoxide. Mrs. M passed out on the floor and had to be rushed to the
hospital. It was so major that 2 fire trucks, 8 ambulances and 21 school
buses were there to take all the kids to the gym. But the good things are
Mrs. M is okay, there will be school tomorrow and everyone is still alive.
Today, Gunner and I have been married for 13 years. We were married about 7 months after I graduated from college and he had received orders for Germany. During those 13 years we have lived in 7 houses, three different duty stations (Hood twice, Germany and Lewis), had three children in three different locations (one at each duty station....hmmmm.....maybe that is why the Army isn't moving us anymore?) and suffered through three year long deployments with a 4th one on the way. My husband's hair has started to gray...a lot (mine too--not good!). We've gained a few pounds. We've lost three grandparents, my dad and muddled through life together although we are almost always apart. Even though his dirty socks can never find the hamper, his shoes are scattered around the house and his army gear breeds in the closets overnight—I wouldn’t trade a thing (ummmm....but if someone reading this can help us out, I would like to move again!). Thanks Gunner for the last 13 years and many more to come.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Today my mom told us that we needed to be at her house at 11:30. We arrived well before then and she would give no clue as to what her surprise was. We fixed lunch, ate and were still waiting. Someone knocked at the door and my mom made us wait at the table while she whispered to the girl. A few seconds later she told us that our surprise was on the way. The doorbell rang and Em ran to get it.
"There's a band out there!" she exclaimed.
A band???? As a surprise and in honor of our anniversary my mom had gotten the marching band from the local high school to come play songs for us in front of her house. The neighbors came out, we sang, the look of delight on my children's faces, it was good. Now how the heck do we top that?
When they had the posting of the colors and all those Soldiers looking sharp in their uniforms, standing at attention, and turning and following the flag as it made its way across the room, I was filled with pride. Pride to be in a room with so many men (infantry/armor unit) that wore the uniform and did their job. Pride at the friends and family members that stood by their sides and supported them. Pride. Love. Admiration.
During the toasts they gave a silent one to the Fallen Soldiers from the last deployment after giving the history of the table setup for them.
They read the names of those that were lost in the past year and it was emotional hearing their names again and also hearing their buddies and fellow Soldiers call out a response/reaction/nickname. Each part of the table had some symbolism. The slice of lemon was to remind us of their bitter fate. The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families. The chair is empty, they are not here. The inverted glass--they cannot toast with us this night. This part of the ceremony was extremely hard for everyone.
Bob Babcock was the guest speaker of the night. For the last two deployments of 4th ID, he has put out an email update containing news articles, stories, what others are hearing from their Soldiers, and providing support for the families left behind. The first deployment he put out an update every day and was a wealth of information to a new situation for many. The second deployment he put out updates three times a week and continued to be a source of information to those left behind. This time, as we begin our third rotation to Iraq, he has started the updates again. With three small children I don't often have the time every day to read the paper or dig through the news reports to find information that pertains to Gunner and others that he serves with.
Mr. Babcock also founded Americans Remembered, Inc. This organization "focuses on preserving memories of America's veterans via videotaped interviews" as part of the Library of Congress, Veterans History Project. If you go to the Veterans History Project page, you can listen to interviews of Soldiers--take the time to listen, help, whatever you can do.
After the toasts, the grog, dinner, the video, the speaker and a few dances (not us, we weren't born with any rhythm), we headed out the door. What should every couple do at 11 at night all dressed up??? We had to go to Walmart and get diapers for Junior because we were down to grabbing them out of the diaper bag so my mom would be covered while we were gone. We definitely stood out in Walmart, but got lots of compliments on our attire.
We returned home to a house still standing, children all nestled in bed and a tired Grandma ready to return home. Thanks mom for the babysitting and thanks Gunner for the memories.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Mom is coming to watch the kiddos. (And it's been less than a month since she kept them while we were in Hawaii, so this is a good sign that she is coming back so soon!)
Of course I am sitting here in sweats addressing Christmas cards. Gunner is putting the final touches on his uniform (takes him longer to get ready than it does me!). About to go get the kids from school, Junior is taking a nap, it is raining and I have naturally curly hair that will be frizzy no matter what I do tonight.
Life is good--well minus the frizzy hair.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
BTW, I need everyone's addresses, because I of course am not organized enough to have them written down anywhere!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Anyway, it's quiet here and I get the lucky task of folding laundry, laundry and more laundry. I took a break for a few days so I have enough to clothe a small army waiting on me. Thankfully I will be able to watch Amazing Race while I sort and fold. It's the small things in life.
I have a meeting tomorrow and I put together a gift basket for the silent auction. The girls want me to keep it because they want everything in it. My mom donated some great things to put in it and Gunner spent the afternoon making eggnog bread, zucchini bread and banana bread for the basket, while Em and I went to a friend's son's Baptism and luncheon. I'm meeting my friend for coffee tomorrow and to catch up. When our girls went to the same school we used to have coffee every morning together and it was a huge comfort to me to have someone to talk to while Gunner was deployed, my dad was sick, I was pregnant....yeah I was needy during that time! Now she has a new husband, a new baby and our girls go to different schools so it makes it harder to meet up and find the time to talk.
Abs seems to be doing better as she is talking more and even went to the commissary with me today. While I was out shopping with my mom yesterday--I found a dress for the ball, well actually two dresses--I got Abs a package of 10 dinosaurs at the dollar store. She had them out to play with today and she had the dinos talking and making noises albeit quiet ones. A step in the right direction. She still is refusing to take any pain medication because she doesn't like the taste of it, so I guess she would rather tough it out. She didn't get that trait from me. I was always crying for an epidural during my 6 month of pregnancy!
We have tentative dates for Gunner to deploy so I am hoping that time goes by slowly until then. I know it will come all too soon.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
I went looking for a recent picture of her, but couldn't find one that she wouldn't be mad about me posting.
Mom, this next year I will be taking more pictures of you, so smile!
Friday, December 7, 2007
I have more pictures that I wanted to put up, and maybe my computer will cooperate later.
My friend Jessica is at the memorial today. Today is also the day that they will be dedicating the USS Oklahoma memorial. I have pictures of that somewhere too.
Now after having three kids that are programmed for "Loud Only", I understand where they were coming from. When I am alone in the car I don't listen to any music. I never watch tv during the day or usually until late evening (thank goodness for DVR). My husband noticed the other day that he had started turning off the radio as well. I guess we are getting old.
Since Abs came home yesterday, it is quiet. Her throat is too sore to argue with anyone. Her usual singing and talking voice is on mute. She has resorted to sign language and writing things down.....who knew she could come up with so many ways to communicate "ice cream" to us. I went to wake her up this morning and she moaned a little and went back to sleep.
Even with two kids home today, it might be a quiet day after all.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
She loved the wagon ride to the operating room. They even gave her something to drink to put her to sleep before they gave her an iv. She went from fast forward....to slow motion....to out. The surgery went off without a hitch and she woke up.....she was upset because she saw two of everyone.
Ice cream makes it all better.
She is now watching cartoons--which she never gets to do--and is doing okay. She was kind of whiny about taking the tylenol with codeine, but she managed and is doing well.
Junior went to the doctor and he has a perforated eardrum. Poor kiddo is on ear drops and antibiotics. Hopefully he will start feeling better.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tomorrow is Ab's big exciting day--it will probably be the only day other than Christmas, her birthday and the last day of school that I will be able to get her up with no problems. We have ice cream and fruit and yogurt and milk for smoothies as someone suggested. Em wants her tonsils out now.
I have no dress for the ball, but I still have 8 days, so I shouldn't stress, right?
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Keep under budget?
I shop all year to find the best deals and this year I came in wayyyyyyyyyy under budget.
I'm still in shock that I did so well! I know that the girls and Junior will love everything that I got and I will be pleased watching them open the gifts and knowing that I scored such good deals. I should be a professional shopper!
Abs is getting her tonsils and adenoids out on Thursday. The girl is so excited about this, she can hardly contain herself. I tried to tell her she would have an IV and her throat would be really sore, but it hasn't dampened her spirits at all. She wants it done, and she wants it done now! Must be the promise of ice cream afterwards.