Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

Gunner called from Iraq, where he was already celebrating the new year. Unfortunately he was celebrating it by working all night. He didn't foresee any black eyed peas on the horizon, so he asked me to eat his share. Since he hates them and just eats them to appease me, I am sure he is devastated.

I was supposed to spend the day with my mom and sisters, but one sister had a barfy kid and wasn't feeling so hot herself, so this germaphobic passed. Instead I spent most of the day nursing a migraine. I guess I finally drank enough caffeine and took enough medicine to make it go away.

"The Great Place" has all these motorcycle safety signs all over the post. I liked this one in particular:
Gunner wants a motorcycle, and I don't mind him having one, but I just worry about the other idiots on the road. He had wrecked one and was going to buy another one, but instead bought me an engagement ring. I think that has turned out to be a far better investment, don't you?

I hung out with my friend Abbey tonight. So nice to not have to worry about anything--she's a down-to-earth, mom of three, and is absolutely hilarious so I always know I will laugh. Even though Em wouldn't talk, Abs just made herself at home, and Junior bullied her 4 year old, they invited us back.

Tomorrow the outlaws invited us out to lunch. I'll just put my black eyes peas and collards on to cook before I leave.

Ran while I was at the gym yesterday, and got a good workout in--now I can barely move.

Update on the pottery wheel--Abs was excited to do it after daycare today, but we left the batteries at my mom's house, so we are going to get some tomorrow morning so that we can give it a shot. Pictures to follow. Oh and did I mention that she also got a stamper set with like a bazillion stamps and inkpads? Last time I let her near an inkpad she used it to paint her body. I am hoping for better results this time.

If things don't go according to plan with her new art supplies, I anticipate auctioning off her one-of-a-kind masterpieces for big bucks to help pay for repairs. It's probably a good thing we still live in housing.

Happy New Year! Resolutions to follow, once I can think of more than one....

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in the Hood

I went in to work today, worked for 4 hours and still didn't get half the stuff done that I needed to, so I am going back tomorrow. I could spend all day, every day there, and still think of more things to do. Em was a big help, although she was redoing my library and read every single book there.

I did squeeze in a nap today though, which was very much needed. We met my friend Melinda for dinner at a local taqueria. A real hole in the wall, but the food is good.

On Gunner's ASK (Assignment Satisfaction key) we signed up as a volunteer for a 2 year accompanied tour in Korea. Did I mention we are looking for any change? Did I mention that I will get an email from Gunner asking me what I volunteered him for? Doubt we will get it, but we are trying.

I had a great time at my mom's last night for our other Christmas. My siblings went above and beyond for the kiddos, and they are still enjoying their presents. My mom got Abs a bisque porcelain doll, and Abs ripped open the doll and said "Look a Bisquick doll!". She's still calling it her "bisquick doll". On the way home we were talking about how Grandma and Grandpa picked it out, and she got all excited thinking that Grandpa helped pick out a special bisquick doll for her.

My sister made me some beautiful earrings. She also beaded my mom a necklace that I've got my eye on. More pictures to come of those. I wonder if she would make me some cool earrings to wear for Chris' homecoming. Hey, we are down to weeks, we have to start planning in order to make it through. Well plan for the homecoming, clean the house, finish my to-do list, and lose weight!

An open letter to my brother and Tia:

Dear Dave & Tia,

Abs face lit up when she saw that you got her a deluxe pottery wheel, with batteries. This beautiful pottery wheel comes with a wheel (of course), 3 modeling tools, sponge, EIGHT PAINTS, a 2lb bag of CLAY, and a paint brush. How thoughtful! Abs is very eager to get started. She originally wanted to get started in the living room or her room, but I have convinced her that the kitchen table or outside is a better area, so we will be doing that in the next day or so. She also mentioned that maybe you would like to make pottery with her and she should take it to your house! What a great idea! Think of the things you could create with her! While I envision Abs covered in clay from head to toe, and her putting her baby brother on the wheel to spin around while she paints him, it is a great gift, and I know we will have fun using it together.

Does this also mean that you would like to receive a pot to display? Maybe we could send it along with Egg-bert?

We love you!

Love ABW, et al.

P.S. Seriously, it was a great gift, and she is super excited about using it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

No orders

Looks like we bypassed orders for Carson. I was rereading all the information that they sent out and they were to notify everyone in December. Somehow I doubt someone is waiting till December 31st to cut us orders to escape from the Hood. I always told Gunner I could do anything or go anywhere for 3 years--we've been here over 6, it's time for a change!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

German Breakfast

I mentioned before that the outlaws bring us a German breakfast each Saturday--brotchen, bierschinken, German pastries, and pretzels for the kids. Junior knows as soon as the box and bags arrive that there is a pretzel and he runs and asks for it. I can never get it to him fast enough! This morning the pretzels were larger than normal and reminded me of Germany.

45 minutes later and Junior has given up on eating the pretzel. He brought back a pretzel in shreds and tole me it was "tooooo big".
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Friday, December 26, 2008

I *heart* FLY

Em's new pen is great. I am half tempted to get one for Abs for her birthday. Abbie has a fine motor skill delay and attends OT after her PT each week (and I can't find the address of the girl that asked me about that, but Abs is what they consider a "low tone kid". She just didn't develop her muscles, although you could never tell from looking). Anyway, she has to practice her handwriting which she hates since it is difficult for her. Em let her try out her FLY pen and Abs is now penning a letter to her dad. We can hook the pen up to the computer, it will gather the info, we can select to change it into type or send it in her handwriting, and email it off!

Oh, and the only reason that Em loaned out her FLY pen is because she wanted to get her hands on Abbie's Diji. Junior is in the crib protesting having to take a nap, and I am on a tossing rampage still. I just finished a bowl of Oma's german potato salad for lunch. She made me a huge bowl of it for Christmas--maybe she's not so bad after all. I would love for her to learn to say my name correctly though, I mean I did marry her son 14 years ago.

This morning we had to go get Ab's prescriptions and take them to get filled. I love to go to Sam's because their pharmacy is fast, but they were out of one of her medications. We did peruse the aisles looking for Christmas deals, but I controlled myself and didn't go overboard. I am seriously working on the 1,000 of white tissue paper for $2.50 that I got there almost three years ago.

We were walking by the meat aisle and I was looking for lamb chops. Em chose to remind me that she had decided to become a vegetarian--she hasn't had meat since yesterday. Then Abs decided she wanted to be a vegetarian and so I had them name off vegetables that they would eat. My food budget should drop dramatically for one or two days until they start eating meat again. I guess at least this would prevent Abs from having access to bones that she could save...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Scrooge & Bones

Yes, our Christmas tree is down, loaded into the garage, and all I need to do is vacuum. Our neighbor, Megan at Fort Lewis, used to call me Scrooge because I wouldn't leave the tree up. I love Christmas, but our house is so small and it takes up so much room. We still have one more Christmas celebration at my mom's house on Sunday.

Since I was cleaning up the Christmas stuff, I got on a roll and while the kids were playing with their new toys. I am a stacker by nature, and come by it honestly on my mother's side. It's bad. I decided it was time to file and sort and toss. I found Ab's backpack from last school year hidden in the corner behind some boxes.

I started to clean out her backpack (the nice one we got her in Hawaii before Gunner deployed) and found all of her missing socks...dirty of course. I found tons of scraps of paper, broken pencils, hair pretties, rocks, and then I reached in a pocket and pulled out a bone. I kind of freaked out for a bit, and then sat there looking at it.

It's a bone from a t-bone steak. One that is dried out. I'm sure she found it outside at BLORA this summer, and that's what I get for not cleaning out her backpack sooner. I'm totally disgusted. I might need to clean her room tomorrow and make sure she isn't hiding anything else out in there. I guess at least it wasn't a human bone....

Merry Christmas!

Looks like a lot of presents, but I bought a tree that you can't put much underneath, so it all sticks out.
Probably the only year he will be excited about toothpaste.
Ab's big present. I found a great deal on these, for half the price at the px, plus a game and $20 off! Woohoo!
Em didn't pose for any pictures, but she was happy with her Fly Pen. (Another great deal I found--woohoo!)

My mom came over for presents, and we were waiting for the outlaws to bring over dinner like they said, but so far it has been an hour and they haven't called or anything, so I guess we will eat Christmas dinner here. Not a big deal, and less drama that way!

....They showed up. It wasn't so bad. They stayed about 45 minutes to an hour and then left. Gunner called last night and today and will call again tonight when we don't have all the hoopla to interrupt our conversation. His Christmas was uneventful, but he did talk to the kids and so that made him smile.

I'm ready for a nap......
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Look What I found...

I finally uploaded some pictures and videos that I had on my camera. I found this video that I shot of Abs right after I found half the house flooded. I wanted her to explain to her dad why everything was wet. She looks kind of homeless since she hadn't brushed her hair yet, and she was sleeping in one of Gunner's brown t-shirts.

And this my friends, is my daughter can you not love this face?
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Christmas Eve

I cleaned today. The maid hasn't been able to come in three weeks and it is killing me!

I wrapped presents. Still have Santa ones to do, but we are halfway there.

Junior and I ventured out to the mall with 25 million other people. I checked out kaybee toys, since they are going out of business, but didn't see anything my kids needed. I look at everything now with the idea of "do I really want to pick this up when it is all over the floor?" and then I put it back.

We hit Steve and Barry's since it is going out of business. They had tons of stuff for cheap, cheap, cheap. I got a pair of shorts for Junior, two tank tops for Em, two pajama pants for Em, a shirt for Abs, a shirt for me, and I think another shirt, for $10. You have to sort through all the stuff, so I didn't have time to look since Junior wasn't cooperating. There was a lot of stuff that wasn't very nice--as in I don't need to have a shirt advertising pot, or one that says "I have big nuts" or anything crazy like that. People were buying carts of stuff and so I anticipate that all of Killeen will be dressing the same and wearing the same 84 cent baseball caps. One of the guys told me that they were closing on Saturday so things would be even cheaper on Friday and Saturday. I think I'll pass.

I tried to go in a few more stores, but the lines were so outrageous that I just couldn't do it. Now I know why I do most of my shopping online except for the small stuff or a few specific items. I am not one to go peruse the mall looking for a gift, unless I know exactly what it is that I want.

We are watching The Chronicles of Narnia right now, and I am about to tuck Em, Abs and Junior into bed. More later.....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

Apparently in Em's book, this should be a holiday as well.

I took Junior and Abs to daycare today so Em and I could get some shopping done. While dropping off Abs, she heard that 5th grade was going to see a movie tomorrow and she wanted to go. I signed her up to go, which required three wild goose chases, and 2 phone calls. If you travel down Battallion here at Hood, rest assured that the numbers are not in order....ANY ORDER--Expect to go from building 125 to 190 to 368 all within two blocks.

I did get Em's respite care updated so she can go for free tomorrow. I planned to spend Christmas Eve with all the kiddos, all day, and now two want to go to daycare so Junior jumped on that bandwagon as well. Hmmmm....a day to myself? I'll take it, and I think I will go play catch up at school or something. I'll get Junior early and then we can do a few last minute purchases.

Em and I took Junior for a haircut today since he was starting to look really woolly. I got a high and tight, and it's just as cute as can be. Pictures to follow once I find my battery charger for my camera. The guy tried for about 5 minutes to get his cowlick under control and finally told me it was hopeless. Gives him personality.

I had dinner tonight with my FIL and BIL. I think Tom is overwhelmed when he spends time with the kids. Junior adores him, and he's really good with them. Tom got a strawberry on his dessert so he was going to divide it between Abs and Junior. He put it up to Junior and told him to take a bite. Junior inhaled the entire thing, stem and all.

I just realized that I started this yesterday, so it's a day late...probably a dollar short too!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Here we go again....

Abs was sitting on her bed playing her leappad and came out of her room and told me "I barfed".


I went to checkout the damage and she got her leapad, her bed, the floor. Not very much.

While I was cleaning up the mess she returned with the biggest barf bucket she could find. She could probably give her brother a bath in it.

She is now in the tub singing opera, feeling better. I wonder if it was her deworming medicine?

Is the sick diet around the corner for all of us?

We got the Christmas tree put up, and it looks nice. It's a pre-lit tree, but I can't figure out how to get the top colored lights on. Who wants a tree that's totally lit anyway. It gives it personality.

No presents yet underneath it, but that's probably a good thing since Junior is way into presents now and thinks that they should all be for him. We have a Fisher Price little people nativity set under the tree and he thinks the baby is his cousin Wyatt. We put the tree up while Junior was napping and he didn't know what to think when he got up.

I finally watched Front of the Class, the Hallmark movie from several weeks ago. It was really good and made me want to teach 2nd grade--wait, I do, but my kids, well, are my kids. Great story though. I would like to think that I would be able to go forward and dream anything if I had that much negativity towards me, but who knows.

....several hours later and Abs is fine. We'll just chalk this up as one of those random times that she barfs. She actually does it quite a bit. My mom is coming over to get all three kids, I just need to feed them and dress them for bed. Done. Thank goodness they like oatmeal! I'll spend an exciting Saturday evening cleaning, sorting, folding laundry, and sleeping. You know, I used to be a more exciting person!

Gunner called the other night, but was hard at work after running missions. He sounded tired. He had gotten several Christmas boxes from some friends in Washington and my uncle in CA, and even one from his parents. During his first deployment, on clearance, I bought 24 stockings at Michael's for cheap, cheap, cheap. They are still sitting in my closet waiting to be used. Maybe the next deployment?

Abs tonight--she was upset because I told her she needed to go to her room until she was calm. She threw a fit, then as she was storming to her room we had this conversation:

Abs: Mommy?
Me: Yes?
Abs: Crown is spelled c-r-o-w-n.
Me: Okay, go to your room.
Abs: Remove the c and you have r-o-w-n.
Abs: Then add a f and you have f-r-o-w-n frown.
Me: Where are you going with this
Abs: Add an -ing and that's what I am doing right now. F-r-o-w-n-i-n-g. Frowning.

She then went to her room.

And how come the minute you run out of trash bags you manage to find millions of things to throw away? Probably the same reason that I was trying to be energy efficient and buy those super expensive lightbulbs that are so dangerous when they are broken. I discovered that they really don't fit in any of my light fixtures because they are too long.

Missing Gunner...

Friday, December 19, 2008


Luckily Abs still goes to a civilian doctor, so my mom was able to convince them to call in a prescription for Ab's worm problem. I talked to the pharmacist and the doc put in a refill. Thank goodness. She said the worms probably didn't clear up from the first time since they only gave Abs one dose. Time will tell. I'm so grossed out, that I hope this is the last time we have to go through this.

I got an email from Ab's teacher today:

I’m sorry to inform you that I had to write Abs up this morning. While I was testing another student at my U table my students should have been finishing up their writing from Wednesday morning. During this time Abs chose to exclaim “Prepare for war!” She proceeded to throw a pencil at another student. The pencil hit the other student’s arm. Thankfully the other student is un-harmed.
I’m sorry that we had to start the morning this way. Expect a phone call from the office.

I shouldn't laugh, but I imagined it being totally quite, everyone hard at work, and "Prepare for war!" being yelled out by my daughter. She ended up getting D-hall during lunch. Maybe they should make that permanent since she wasn't there to cause a riot at the lunch table or ask people if certain words are part of the English language.

Remember the cupcakes that I went out for late at night? Well Em brought 9 of the 12 back. I told her she should have stood over her friends and made them eat all of them!

And Junior??? He thinks he is a cat--he meows and everything. I used to think I needed to breed like crazy to make sure the world is full of sane people--now I am thinking it is a good thing we stopped because maybe we are contributing to the problem?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gunner's Children & the Poop Patrol

Junior is doing great with no binky. He did find one last night and sucked on it for a few minutes before Abs pried it from his mouth and gave it to me. He cried, but tonight there were no tears. He still says every once in a while that he needs one.

Em has been reminding me that she needed cupcakes for tonight. We had PT and OT tonight too, plus we were meeting the outlaws for dinner. So of course I forgot. Em came out at almost 9, after I just gotten Junior to bed. We loaded up everyone and ran to the store.

It's 9:30 at night and Abs comes out because her bottom itches. So I take a look, like every good mother would. The girl has freaking worms AGAIN. Are you kidding me???? Can this really be happening???? So I think since my first day off of school is on Monday, I will add going to the doctor to the list of things to do. I could go to the er, but sitting in the er and catching the flu or something before Christmas doesn't sound like much fun. Until then, the poop patrol is back in business.

Ab's teacher emailed me on Tuesday to tell me that my daughter almost got a referral. Apparently at lunch she wanted to know if bi&$^ was a word. None of her friends would answer so she asked the aide. The aide replied that it was, but not a word she should be using. So Abs was content with that answer, and luckily the aide likes her and my daughter's teacher and the entire class, so she didn't write her up. Great.

We miss you Gunner!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary Gunner!

Thanks for 14 years of love, children (well they started coming around year 3), chaos, PCSes, TDYs, togetherness, loneliness, laughter, tears, deployments, and reunions. I think we have covered all the emotions! I should have known when you were deployed for our FIRST anniversary, that it was a sign of things to come.

We have had 7 addresses in those 14 years, three kids, 3 big moves, 4 year long deployments, two trips to NTC (yeah, we lucked out the first 10 years we were married!), an endless number of field problems, and thousands of nights aparts.

It was by chance that we met, but by hard work, determination, and love that we are still together. No one can say marriage is easy, and I think it is twice as hard when you maintain it with one phone call a week.

I wouldn't trade Gunner for anything (remind me of that after he has been home for about 3 months and is leaving his dirty laundry everywhere!), and I can't wait to see what the next 20 years hold.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Why I hate

I have to teach about Hanukkah tomorrow and do a craft, etc. On the 12th I ordered some Hannukah books and paid $3o to have them sent two day express. I was supposed to have them yesterday, but when I checked the status, it showed that it wasn't even going to ship till Wednesday. I had to teach Wednesday morning, so that wasn't going to work.

I called B&N and told them that I selected for my items to ship as they were available, and that wasn't happening, so I wouldn't be able to use them and I wanted to cancel my order that wasn't going out till Wednesday (this was Monday).

Me: I want to cancel my order
Lisa: You can't, because it is too far along in the shipping process.
Me: Are you kidding me? It's not shipping for two more days.
Lisa: That's how it works.
Me: It's not a very efficient system.
Lisa: You are the one that signed up for all items to be held until they were ready for shipment.
Me: No I didn't, I wanted them shipped as soon as each item became available.
Lisa: Oh yeah, you're right.
Me: So I want to cancel my order.
Lisa: You can't, but you can refuse the shipment.
Me: I can't refuse the shipment because I will be teaching a unit on Hanukkah without books.
Lisa: Well you can ship it back to us and receive credit minus shipping.
Me: So you want me to pay to ship something back to you, after I paid $30 to have it shipped to me.
Lisa: Right.
Me: Well, I won't do it. You can credit my credit card for the shipping and then I will keep the books.
Lisa: I can't do that because you requested two day air and it cost $30.
Me: Well are they coming in two days?
Lisa: No
Me: Can I speak to your supervisor

Joelynn the supervisor: This is part of the management team how can I help you.
Me: I want my books, a refund, or my order cancelled today.
Joelynn: We can't cancel the order it is too far along in the shipping process.

This went on for a while, going around in circles and circles.

Me: How come you can't cancel my order?
Joelynn: Oh, I can do that, but I thought you wanted the books.
Me: Are you kidding me, I don't want anything from B&N.
Joelynn: I can cancel the order, it will ship and come back.
Me: Will I get a total refund including shipping. I can ship a package to my husband in Iraq for less and it will get there faster.
Joelynn: Yes.
Me: Including shipping?
Joelynn: I said yes.
Me: Can you put that in writing?
Joelynn: No, I can't do that.
Me: So how do I know you will do that.
Joelynn: Because I said I would.
Me: You and Lisa also told me over the course of an hour that I couldn't cancel my order.

This went on forever, and so supposedly my order will be cancelled and I will get a refund including my outrageous shipping charges. And this is why I will stick with ordering from I'm sure this will be a battle, but I shouldn't be penalized for their mistake!

Houston, we have a problem...

I was down to two binkies. Somehow when Junior got up this morning he binky was missing and I couldn't find the other one stashed away. He cried this morning but didn't ask for it after daycare today, so I forgot....until now. My sweet baby boy is crying himself to sleep over a binky. I went in there to calm him down, covered him up with his fuffy, and then he asked me to please look for his binky. I told him they were all gone, and he started up again. I reminded him that he was a big boy, and he told me no "I a baby and I want my binky!". If you can use that many words, it's time for it to go! This is the same little tot that for the first 5 months of his life while Gunner was deployed, I rocked him in his carseat with my foot while one arm dangled off the bed and held his binky in because he couldn't figure it out. I was too tired then to fight him.

We had to run to Office Depot tonight in the freezing cold to get a toner cartridge for my copier. We get in there and Abs has to go to the bathroom. I send Emily along to monitor and I am working with the sales clerk to find the right cartridge while chasing Junior who has managed to poop. I am saddled with everyone's jackets and hats, my 500-lb purse and my list. Abs comes running out, so I get her to hold Junior's hand so I can pay for the cartridge. We are still waiting on Em to come back from the bathroom at this point, so I start to look at construction paper.

I'm perusing the construction paper and Abs is on the same aisle with Junior in tow. Twenty seconds later it is quiet and Abs is sitting on the floor alone reading a book. I couldn't find Junior anywhere. I round the corner after calling his name and hear all this giggling. The boy has put himself inside a backpack and is trying to hide. I drag him out, grab my cartridge, all the coats, hats and gloves, and then go back to get Abs who has decided that she wants to help again, but this time she wants to carry the construction paper.

By this point I am wondering why I didn't get a cart. I load Abs up with construction paper, grab Junior's hand, the coats, hats, gloves and my purse. Abs decides that the paper is too heavy and she would rather checkout the m&m display.

Thankfully Em appeared around this time, and I got her to take over Junior, and I wrestled Abs and my purchases up to the front. Em decides that this is the time to tell me that Abs found a bottle of air freshener in the bathroom. Apparently Abs got done before Em and washed her hands. Around that time Em heard all this noise and asked Abs what she was doing. According to Em the conversation went something like this:

Em: What are you doing?
Abs: Oh just freshening up the place a bit
Em: Do you have air freshener?
Abs: Duh
Em: You better put it down, mommy will be mad
Abs: She likes things to smell nice
Em: Not in a public bathroom
Abs: Whatever
Em: I'm telling
Abs: I stopped
Abs: The bottle is empty now
Abs exits the scene.

Em said the place smelled like a giant flower. Great. I apologized to the salesclerk, and headed out with everyone and everything.

I asked Abs about what happened once we hit the car.

Me: Abs, what happened in the bathroom
Abs: Did something happen in there?
Em: She's talking about the air freshener
Me: Em, let her talk
Abs: I don't recall anything special happening in there.
Em: You're lying Abs.
Me: Let me handle it Em.
Abs: Oh, you mean the bottle of air freshener that Em sprayed all over the bathroom even the mirrors?
Em: I did not
Abs: Well it wouldn't be me, I was trying to wash my hands. You know how those pre-teens can be mommy.

I then reminded everyone of proper bathroom etiquette and decided that I will not venture out in public again for the rest of this deployment.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I got my delivery from Gunner today and I was totally surprised. Someone knocked at the door and Em peeked out and when I asked her who it was she told me "someone with flowers". I opened the door and received a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a sweet card for Gunner. He knows after almost 14 years how to melt my heart. Our anniversary is the 17th, and I can still say after 14 years that it just gets better and better, even if he is not here all the time. Who the heck am I kidding, he's not here most of the time. I still love him though.

I went to school today with my mom and the kids to decorate my bulletin board. We pieced something together, and I am just hoping that it will make it through the week. It's cute though, and very, very busy. I noticed when we went in that the door was open, so when we left I checked it and it was unlocked. I called a friend who told me she would track someone down. Two hours later someone was supposedly on the way when a MP pulled up. I went over to him and explained the situation and he said he would stay there until someone arrived. Junior was tired and the wind had about worn all of us out, plus we had no food. The last thing I wanted to do was to leave the school unsecured and be blamed if something happened, so I did my part.

Had dinner with my mom and the kids and then my mom took all three kids back to her house. I have to go over there and work before I pick them up and then run them to Girl Scouts tomorrow afternoon.

I still have a million 3-dimensional shapes to make, supplies to separate for my lesson and my big appraisal by the principal too. I'm nervous, but figure I have nothing to lose, plus it is the last week of classes before the Christmas holidays, so I am super excited about having two weeks off from school.

Off to bed after working on my lesson for my appraisal. I hope I did it right, and I hope I don't get too nervous! Wish me luck!!!

9 months

We've made it 9 months.

All three kids are still alive.

I still haven't given up diet coke. I also live on having a monster each afternoon. I don't hit the gym as much as I would like--okay honestly it hasn't been much at all since I started working, but I am hoping to change that over the Christmas holidays.

I still haven't cleaned out the garage or sorted through the piles of stuff that I said I was going to, but I didn't want to be an overachiever and do it all the first 9 months of the deployment, right?

I haven't lost any weight, but there's still time.

I'm just glad that whether the deployment is 12 or 15 months, we are over halfway there.

Abs is up and so far has made a mess, spilled cheerios, broken the remote and spread legos out all over her room. Good thing she has only been up for half an hour and an even better thing that she is spending the night with Grandma tonight so I can have a break!

Friday, December 12, 2008

My stars...

I taped Enews last night and sure enough there were my sweeties! Here's the pic my friend sent.
I took the girls to Hobby Lobby tonight. Abs rounded the corner away from me, and I was madly running to catch up with her, I heard a crash. I called out her name, knowing what was coming, and sure enough a lady at the end of the aisle said "Yep, it's Abs!". I really think I am ready to retire from this parenting business. It exhausts me.

Yesterday in my class......they found......lice! I'm still itching, although I was given the all clear. Can you imagine the wordless Wednesday pics I could have had though with the 4 of us with mayonnaise on our heads and plastic bags?

I want to tell you that I am sleeping in tomorrow, but I would never utter those words for fear it will come back to bite me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Check this out....

My friend Mel called to tell me that Gunner and Junior were on tv. Apparently E! did a segment on gifts and they profiled a digital picture frame and there was Gunner and Junior. She had to do a double take and sent me a pic on her cell. Too funny. So check it out at 10 pm tonight! It was on Enews or something like that. Channel 53 if you are in the Hood.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More tales from the other side....

Read here about my menagerie....I laughed and laughed.

I'm thinking about what I want for Christmas.

I think the germaphobic side of me wants one of those light wands that kills germs.

The practical side of me wants things for my classroom.

The non-practical side of me wants a day at the spa.

The realistic side of me just wants a day with a minimal level of catastrophes for me to clean up.

What's on your list?

Lock up your valuables

Abs is in her "I can't sleep" phase again.

I remember having a conversation with her early this morning, but that's the extent of it--never a good thing.

When my alarm got up this morning I heard someone stirring.

I went and found Abs sitting quietly on the couch--a sign of trouble.

I sent her to go potty, and then went to check my email on my laptop. I found 5 games open and going. I checked to see how far along she was in Virtual Villagers, and luckily it didn't look like she had been playing more than an hour.

When I sent Abs back to go potty and get dressed, she danced all the way down the hallway...loudly. Some days I wish she had a mute button. I checked email and went back to her room to check on her and she was sitting naked on the floor playing legos. She also decided it was time for Em to wake up and she had flipped on her light.

I got her to get dressed and now she is brushing her hair and singing opera.

On Sunday, the girls made an advent calendar in Girl Scouts. They each glued a hershey's kiss to the calendar to open each day. Em walked out and asked where all her chocolate went. Abs of course has no idea what happened to them, so now Abs has lost her calendar to Em. Ab's response was "I just don't see the rationale in that." Ummmm....yeah....I don't see the rationale in half the stuff she does, but it doesn't stop her!

Em just came out in shorts. Apparently I am out to get her because her jeans are not clean. She claims that she only has one pair, not the 4 pairs that I have bought her. Considering that is is freezing outside, I vetoed the shorts and she is sulking in her room. I can hardly contain my excitement when I think of Em being a teenager and Gunner gone for a year and I have to figure her out on my own!

Junior is still asleep amazingly, but it is 5:40 am and now time to wake him up. He hates to have his pajamas taken off (I still put them on backwards), so morning time is always an adventure while I try to convince him that there is more in life than footie pajamas. Maybe that is what is missing from mine....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Only in Texas

Can it be a balmy 70 degrees and then it dropped and now is sleeting outside. At least ice is hitting the back door and it's cold and wet outside. Too bad I can't just lie in bed tomorrow and relax.

And here are the updates on the kids:

Em--she cracks me up. She has a book report due in two days and has switched books numerous times. Does she get an easier book each time? Nope, she keeps moving up. I told her this was her last change because she was running out of time. Tomorrow will be filled with homework for both girls.

Abs--I was on the phone with my friend Mel and Abs was in the shower. I was checking on her and all was well so I continued my conversation while I cleaned up a little for dinner. I heard a lot of noise from the bathroom and so I figured I better check it out. What I found was the entire bathroom drenched. Abs was taking a cup, filling it with water, and throwing it up on the ceiling. It was all over the ceiling and was raining down. Her rationale was that she was in a tropical rainforest. How can someone so smart not think things through?

Junior--He woke up screaming Sunday morning "I'm stuck, I'm stuck, I'm stuck" and screamed some more. I jumped up and ran in there. There was my baby boy with huge tears in his eyes and running down his face. Where was he stuck? He was stuck in the crib and couldn't get out. I told him it was 5 am and he needed to go to sleep but then he smiled and told me thank you for getting him unstuck as well as saying "I waked up Mommy". I couldn't resist so we got up bright and early. Little stinker! He still hasn't had a haircut, so his cCheck Spellingowlick is out of control.

I'm hanging in there and counting down the days till Christmas vacation. 8 more school days!!! Woohoo!

Monday, December 8, 2008


I had to order some books for a lesson, and so while I was at it I sorted through the 5 pages of books that I saved in my amazon cart for later.

I settled on these:

The Soldiers' Night Before Christmas--"'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the base
Only sentries were stirring--they guarded the place.
The soldiers were sleeping and snoring away
As they dreamed of 'back home' on good Christmas Day..."

One Christmas Eve at a military barracks in the Middle East, some homesick soldiers are paid a visit by Sergeant McClaus, the Santa of Soldiers. This lively and poignant tale is inspired by Clement C. Moore's classic yuletide poem.

The Night Before Christmas in the Military--Santa receives thousands of letters from children who have parents in the military. He decides this year he'll do something extra special for the troops that are away from home.

The Soldier's Tree--In a world where bigger is often better, a tiny tree realizes that its extra small size can make an extra big difference. This book is a wonderful deployment tool designed to help military children enjoy the Christmas holiday while separated from a loved one overseas. Military families will be inspired to create their own Soldier's Tree which can be sent to their special service member serving abroad. With a poetic storyline and perfectly imperfect illustrations, The Soldier's Tree is sure to be loved by children who wear the stars and stripes of America.

Oh yeah, I am sure these will make me upbeat and happy about the Christmas season.

Have you heard of the Impossible Patriotism Project? It is a great book for kids. It's about a class that is doing a project on patriotism and one little boy can't think of anything to do. He tries to come up with an idea and wishes that his dad was there to help him, but he is deployed. So at the end of the story he does a picture of his dad and talks about him. I read it to my class and could barely make it through the book. The girls really like it though.

So those are my picks of the weeks. I spend way too much money at Amazon.

I should get a book on howtogetyourchildrentopickthingsupinsteadofwalkingonthem.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh crap!

Another depressing post, so skip it if you don't want to hear it!

I am still miserable, but trying to keep moving. It's hard, but I know things could be worse, although at times I don't feel like they can be. Everything kind of happened at once, and all I wanted was Gunner home to tell me everything will be alright. Although he tried while thousands of miles away, it just wasn't the same. Thanks for all the emails, messages of support, etc. They all made me cry even more.

I got my first Christmas card today. My friend is a journalist and has time to write a card complete with the letter--guys, I love the letters, so keep them coming! I was excited to get my first one and thought about how I should think about getting one out in about 3 weeks. Then the "oh crap!" hit me when I realized that Christmas is a mere 3 weeks away.

I have no tree up. Very few presents bought. No Christmas picture of the kids for a card, and I haven't sent a box to Gunner yet. So the "oh crap!" feeling hit again.

Want to know how I got to feeling even worse? Gunner called Thursday night--11 missed calls. He never calls that much. He asked me if I would be home on the 13th. I told him I didn't know, but I could be--I was starting to think he was going to come home, which was way too early and is not a good sign. I started to feel sick, and he assured me everything was okay, but that he couldn't get his item to arrive the following Wednesday.

The following Wed? Why? What was it? Keep talking Gunner. What am I not getting here.

Oh crap! It's our anniversary on the 17th! I thought he was supposed to be the one who forgets. Score 1 for Gunner. To my defense he is usually gone on our anniversary. He missed the first one deployed to Bosnia for a year, and now will miss our 14th one this year. He's probably been around for a handful in between. I don't remember him getting me anything any other anniversary either, so this was a shock. The boy must be saving his $40 a MONTH allowance--you read that husband gets $40 a month while deployed. On the bright side, he is up from the $25 he got the first two deployments. I don't get the guys who spend hundreds of dollars while deployed, every.single.month. Crazy I tell you.

Em really wants a nintendo ds, but I just don't see that happening--way out of my price range. Abs is undecided on what she wants, but I am sure it will include dinosaurs. Junior would be happy with a nintendo ds box, a new supply of binkies and a gallon of pedialyte, his favorite drink. He's still way into barney and my friend Abbey has more than filled our lives with that singing and dancing purple dinosaur. (I really don't mind Barney, although I would prefer Amazing Race or something a little more exciting!)

I have decided that I am not a strong person. Even when I try to get everything for everyone done, someone will focus on the one thing that I have to let slide and make a point of saying how important it is. I spend more time crying than not. This is not the type of person I used to be.

I feel like I have spent so much time trying to get things better for me, for Gunner, and our little family. Instead I always seem to fall short. It's not a good feeling. But I know that what is most important is Gunner and the kids, so I'll try to focus on that. So if you don't get a Christmas card, if the kids don't get exactly what they want for Christmas, if the tree isn't put up until we are on Christmas break, hopefully everyone will at least remember that I tried my best and that I poured my heart into everything that I did.

So Gunner, I am sorry that you won't have a Christmas box on time, but know that we love you with all of our hearts, and we are counting down the days till you are home again!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What tomorrow holds

is not pretty.  The Mrs told me I shouldn't wonder what it would really hold, and I wish I could go back in time.  I can't even get into it because I am all cried out...well not really since I am in my dark classroom during lunch, crying as I type this.  The kids are okay.  Chris is okay.  And eventually I will be okay.  Other than that I just don't give a damn at this point about much else. How's that for a ray of sunshine?

Monday, December 1, 2008

The benadryl escapades

So I go into daycare this morning to drop off Junior and his brand new bottle of benadryl. They take it and ask if I want them to throw away the old bottle. Blame it on my mom, but I hate to throw away anything--well except for expired food, that I toss willingly as soon as the date reaches the one on the package. Anyway, I take my bottle of benadryl out to the car and I wait for the call.

The nurse calls. I need a new bottle of benadryl with a prescription label. But, she tells me that I have till Dec 30th to get it, so if I have the old bottle then I can return it and be good to go.

So I returned it this afternoon, and will make an appointment over Christmas to get a new prescription for it, as well as the new pile of forms that they gave me. After they fed Junior eggs at daycare, his picture is now plastered all over the tables like a "Wanted" poster to make sure it doesn't happen. They have also taught him that eggs are "yucky".

Tonight we watched the Shrek Christmas special. I just can't get into the whole Shrek thing. I don't particularly like crude humor, so I graded papers while we watched it. Family bonding at its best.

Super busy day tomorrow. If I wasn't teaching, this deployment would last forever, but I would have time for the gym and probably have less gray hair!

Off to get ready for tomorrow. I remember that my uncle used to set out the cereal and the bowls and spoons for the next day. I can't be that organized.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I got pulled over tonight with all three kids in the car. I was going not even 5 miles over the speed limit. He was really nice and asked for my license while I sat searching through piles of papers for my proof of insurance. (Mental note to clean that out and put the new one in--luckily I had one that expired in 30 days.)

Abs offered to talk to the police officer for me, but I vetoed that. Junior was excited to see a police officer. Em was scared.

During Gunner's first deployment I got pulled over, when Em was 5 and Abs was 2. They proceeded to make siren noises and then kept asking the MP if he was going to arrest all of us. I saw him laughing every time he went back to his squad car.

I wonder what tomorrow holds....

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Things heard around the Hood...

Abs is still grounded from the tv. She came out while the other kids were watching tv, and I told her she needed to find something else to do.
Abs: I found something else to do.
Me: What's that?
Abs: I'm just going to sit out here and look at you because you are so beautiful. I won't even need to watch tv, because of your beauty.
Me: Thanks, now go find something to do.
Abs: It was worth a shot, but you are pretty.

A quick kiss and she was on her way.

The Day After

My friend Mel showed up at my house bright and early on Thanksgiving Day (6:30 am) while I was trying to hook up the DVD player in the car. I think I was missing a wire, so I abandoned that plan. The kids were up, dressed, and packed. We loaded the car and off we went...down the street. I forgot to feed the kids breakfast, so we stopped off at Jack in the box.

So now are headed off to my mom's house, with 2 adults and 3 kiddos. We end up in Georgetown where my sisters and mom are running around getting last minute things together. They load up their car and then all 12 of us head down the road. We were going my aunt and uncle's house for Thanksgiving dinner. We arrive just in time to eat, and spend time talking. My brother and his wife and son met us there, along with a bunch of other people I ad never laid eyes on, but somehow was related to in one way or another. My mom has a huge family.

Lunch was great, but I got tired of chasing Junior so Mel and I and three kids headed to the hotel. We stayed at the Drury Inn, and the staff was so nice! They had happy hour from 5:30-7 with three free drinks, so we made plans to go down there. My mom and sisters and kiddos arrive shortly after and we all headed down to happy hour.

My mom pulled out some leftover turkey and ham, but I couldn't bring myself to eat it since I knew it had not been refrigerated and it had been out of the oven for hours. My mom was less than pleased with us not eating. Luckily happy hour and food and we feasted.

After happy hour we decided to head down to the Christmas tree lighting in Post Oak. We got into our pajamas and started walking. We saw the fireworks and kept going even after we saw crowds or people returning to their cars and houses. We were quite a spectacle with all of us in pajamas moving along the busy streets. We wandered around for a little while and then headed back to the hotel. And then the fun began....

My mom kept my girls and Mel and I just had Junior. We were just about to go to sleep and then he puked. I went down stairs and the staff got me sheets, towels and blankets. I came back to find Mel changing Junior's clothes since he puked again. This went on all night, with many visits to the front desk for more supplies. We both got little to no sleep. At one point, Junior was hurling and my weak stomach couldn't take it anymore and I started to join him. Mel kicked me out to the bathroom and took care of Junior. Talk about a friend!

The next morning, Junior was fine, and so far so good, so are the rest of us. We spent yesterday at my brother's house eating leftovers and talking and talking and talking. Throw in 8 grandchildren and the house was busy.

The drive back was uneventful and today I am cleaning, organizing and getting ready to head over to my mom's to celebrate my sister's birthday. I have so much to do to get ready for school on Monday. Three more weeks till Christmas vacation!!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

We're outnumbered by two

5 adults. 7 children.

Mel gets awarded friend of the year since she spent last night with me in a small hotel room and a barfy kid. Yep, leave it to Junior to get sick on this trip.

More later, but in true Gunner family style, we have left our mark.

More to follow....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving!

We are off on the road to head to Houston for two days of togetherness. That might be all I can handle.

Dinner wasn't anything special. It was thrown together, and last minute. The time with my BIL was nice, he's a nice guy. Junior was wanting juice and strawberries and his Oma was catering to his every whim. I just let him fuss and eat my dinner, and he tried to tell her the same thing, but it fell on deaf ears. Welcome to my world.

Tom did say that Junior is the spitting image of Gunner and acts just like him too. Now if only Gunner were around to enjoy this time too. He missed the age from 2-3 with Abs too. Good thing we quit while we were ahead or I would be doing this again and again and again and he would strategically arrange it so he wasn't around for the terrible two's with each of them.

Anyway, my inlaws have a long way to go with the house, but my MIL admitted to me that she doesn't like having so many dogs. Ya think? I told her that when she said she was going to keep 4 of the puppies. Insane.

Anyway here are some of the things I am thankful for:

Em, Abs and Junior
My family
My friends
And this crazy life that is my own. Who could ask for anything more?

And the hits just keep coming

So my inlaws never showed up. Big surprise. So I loaded the kids up to take to the gym with me.

Stopped to get gas. Pumped gas all over me and the car. Leave there and go back by the house to get cleaned up and leave the check for the maid, which I had carried out of the house.

Had a great workout--I am way too competitive.

Took the kids to Blimpie because the maid was still cleaning. Had a nice lunch with no fighting.

Came home and put Junior down for a nap.

I just sat down to relax and I get a call from daycare. Junior's not even there today, but they want to let me know that his benadryl for his egg allergy is expired and I need to get him a new prescription in order for him to go to daycare. ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? It is Wednesday afternoon, I am getting ready to go out of town, I am a teacher and work from sunup till sundown, have three kids and a husband who is deployed and you are telling me now that my son will be denied care on Monday????

So of course I can't relax now. I called the daycare back to talk to the director, who is out on vacation, I hope she is able to relax. I asked for the assistant who told me that he wouldn't be able to come if he didn't have a prescription benadryl. I reminded her that it is an OTC medication and the only reason that one had the information on there was because I got it from a military doctor and all OTC medications are free. I told her I was upset because I am being notified at 2 o'clock on a Wednesday before a holiday about this and being told that my son can't receive care. She said sometimes they make extensions so I might be able to take him in Monday morning and then it would be okay. I told her again that I was a teacher and didn't have the luxury of just taking off whenever I wanted (especially with the rate we get sick around here). I told her that I needed more notice than this, etc. She gave me the number of the community health nurse.

So I call her, get her voice mail, and leave a message. Then I called back to the main number, explained my predicament and how I needed to know if I could take a bottle from the store and swap them out because if he was with a civilian doctor that is what I would have to do. They aren't sure, but they think so. They said that they will track down an answer for me. Let's hope so, because if I show up Monday morning and Junior is denied care I am going to lose it.

The girl called back and everyone is gone, enjoying their holidays. My MIL works on Mondays so that option is out. Since one virus can knock out 4 sick days alone, I can't really justify taking time off and then not being there when I am needed. I'll buy a bottle of benadryl and hope for the best.

I think I prefer overflowing toilets and exploding diapers over dealing with incompetent daycare people and crap like this.

And to think now I get to go have Turkey Day with the outlaws that stood my kids up earlier. They texted me to tell me to bring dessert if my kids wanted any. They don't, we'll have our Turkey Day tomorrow with all the trimmings. I am just hoping that they cleaned and I won't get sick!


I was just telling my mom that I have had nothing to blog about because my life is so boring.

I spoke too soon.

Junior exploded all over himself, the floor, the world. How can one little boy make so much poop? It was awful. Gunner owes me.

The outlaws are coming to get the kids, so I decided I better make sure that my hooptie was cleaned out. I went out there, and it looked good minus a few odds and ends. I opened up the trunk to get a few things out and there it was. In the little recessed area in the trunk, a gigantic bottle of antifreeze had come open and filled it. Of course there was stuff in there. So I got my favorite cleaning supply next to towels--papertowels. I can now say I know how many paper towels it takes to clean up a mess like that. And bounty is not a very quick picker upper.

So I finally get all of that cleaned up and throw it away, but then the bag I dragged out to the car was heavy, so I decided to continue dragging it. Yep, trash all over the yard. I buy the ones that never seem to break, till now. So I clean up all the trash, come in, and notice a rash all over my arms from the antifreeze.

I did what any normal person would do and called my mom. She told me to read the bottle, but that seemed like more trouble to go back out through the trash, not to mention gross, so I declined and took a shower. So much for the gym. So the rash seems to be doing better once I got out of the shower, thank goodness as a trip to the er doesn't fit into my plans. I am getting dressed and decide to clean my ears. I do the first one with no problems, then lose the qtip part of the second one in my ear. (Yes, I know you shouldn't put qtips in your ears, but I like clean ears!) So now what do I do? Abs just took a look and didn't see anything. Em didn't see anything, and Junior was searching in the wrong ear but wanted to get in on the action. It kind of hurts now. I don't know if it is from the qtip or the kids smushing my "ear knob" to get a better view.

It's only 9:30 am.

Update: Abs was eating breakfast and came out of the kitchen with her shirt stuffed. I hated to ask, but I had to. She spilled applesauce on her shirt and didn't want it to get her sticky or wet, so she unrolled papertowels and folded them nicely to stuff up her shirt. I asked her why she didn't just change her shirt. Her response "I just didn't think of that".

Yesterday she was telling me about how much faster it was to travel in a straight line vs a curvy line. She showed me a real life example, then thought about it a while and declared "But a curvy line is much more fun". That it is Abs.

It never fails....

...the one day I can sleep in and Junior wakes up at 5. He didn't cry but played for about half an hour till he fell asleep again. I am wide awake.

...the one day I want to go to the gym and I can't find any of my sports bras. Is this a sign?

...the one day a week that the housekeeper comes and I am cleaning like a crazy woman.

...the one day I have off and I am going to go into school to work on stuff...maybe....

My friend Mel came over last night to hang out for a while and decompress. Her husband is deployed and she has no kids. I am not sure how hanging out at my house with three kids is decompressing. Junior loved her and climbed up in her lap to be read to with a bicycle helmet on. She just went with the flow and pretended that kids everywhere wear bicycle helmets for fun.

We are going to the outlaws tonight for Thanksgiving dinner. I am hoping that the dogs aren't around. Call me cold, but I have no desire for a pet of any kind. I have children that slobber on me, cough on me, barf on me, and poop on me. I clean up shampoo poured on the floor, flooded bathrooms and the dining room after the girls have been "creating". I've dealt with overflowing toilets, messy rooms, and hundreds of trips to the er. Who wants to add to the craziness?

Gunner called the other day--two days in a row, I almost died from the shock of it--and I asked him to send me 20 pictures of himself or something since it had been a while. The boy sent me a couple pictures of himself and then.......flies? I have a great shot of a flystrip with a 24 hour catch and a closeup of it all. I HATE flies, so I am still trying to figure out what he thinks I need with this. There were a couple of other things, but this meals looks great. Much better than the microwave meal I scrounged up and the ramen and leftovers I fed the kids!

I think I hear the rumblings from a certain Abs which means once she is up the whole house is up within seconds.....

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Around the Hood

Em had her xylophone concert at school. She did a great job, especially from the hallway where I spent most of the time watching through a window. Junior was especially cranky and was trying to get on the stage to his sister. My mom was there, but she had to leave when during the last number Abs was unscrewing lightbulbs on the stage. Mental note to find a babysitter next time.

Abs has been especially whiny and after the concert incident, I asked her what her punishment should be. She thought about it for a while and she decided that she should lose tv until the 30th of December. I gave her till the 1st of January. She is able to earn back one day by behaving--so far she has only earned back one day, but at least she can start off 2009 on the right foot. Hopefully this will make an impression on her. Not much seems to have an effect on her. She's Gunner's kid.

Gunner's other kid believes that she is not loved because I make her do her homework, clean her room, go to bed at a decent hour, and I won't let her wear nail polish. Rough life.

Gunner's son has discovered fruit chews and is in heaven. I didn't realize that every time he asked for a set of "gummies" that Gunner's girls were giving him some. He polished off a gigantic box of 48 in a week. No wonder I have to change so many dirty diapers.

Only two days of school next week, I can't wait!

Are you ready for this???? The donut of misery is at 56% done, 44% to go if we stick with the 15 month deployment. If it goes to a year, then we are 70% done, 30% to go, which means the number of trash days I will have left is manageable--well sort of manageable.

My inlaws asked me weeks ago what I was doing for Thanksgiving. I told them that I was going to Houston. Today I had 5 missed calls from them and several texts wanting to make plans. Maybe I will tell them that we can do it Wednesday? Maybe I will spend Christmas with them or something.

Junior got the memo and slept in this morning. 9 hours of sleep. Perfect.

I am hitting the gym this week. Maybe today. Maybe Wednesday. Maybe after Thanksgiving? The donut of misery has motivated me to get moving because I don't have long to get it all together! I think I need a personal trainer.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Can I quit?

What was I thinking trying to have three kids and start a new career with no husband? At least single parents get every other weekend off or more if they don't have a deadbeat ex. I've had three nights off with no children, for which I am very thankful for, but I think I need a week. Greedy I know.

Had an observation today--mental note: shaving cream and children do not mix. I felt like crap today, and my day just seemed to go downhill. Went to a meeting with nothing that I needed. Went to PT where I found out that the OT authorization wasn't there--and don't even get me started on how it has taken TWO YEARS to get her in there! So I called and finally got it and an authorization number, so Abs had an OT eval. She wasn't terribly behind like she is in PT, but it's still a significant difference, so we now go from 5-6 on Tuesday and Thursday.

I was supposed to go to a math class tomorrow, but Em has xylophone practice till 4, which is when my class starts, so that's out. That would mean my inlaws would have to drive three places to get all the kids, which would be pushing my luck.

Junior screamed almost the entire time at PT and OT. It got worse when Abs stole his goldfish. Went to grab chinese food for me and I ordered the wrong meal. It's okay, but I had my heart set on something else. Got the kids whataburger since it was late. Junior's still screaming by this point.

Is someone out to get me and push me over the edge? Someone in my class said that if she was interviewed to see if she qualified as insane, she would pass with flying colors----I would qualify to be her roommate.

So here I sit watching Biggest Loser while I feel like one. I know my life could be worse, I know. I try to keep it all in perspective. Tomorrow is a new day......

Monday, November 17, 2008

Top Chef look out

I finally watched the first episode, and the military spouse didn't make the cut. I was disappointed. Not because I particularly liked her, but just for the connection.

Wonder if they will take me, I made a mean hotdog for dinner, complete with bun and ketchup. I even had sides of olives and pineapple. Doesn't get much better than that! (or at least in our house lately it doesn't!)

Not much happening here. Had class Saturday--only one more to go this semester.

Tons going on with school. Never a dull moment. I am observing one day this week at another school, and I am looking forward to sitting down (I hope!)

My mom kept all three kids all weekend long this past weekend. One night I studied and the other night I slept. I think she needs to do that once a month, right? Now to sell her on the idea! Any ideas on how to do that?

Not much from Gunner these days. My friend Mel's husband left 3 months after Gunner, and even though we still have 7 months left out of a 15 month deployment, she considers him coming home next week since it is so soon. It's all about perspective. Shoot, if I can make it through this first year of teaching, then it is right around the corner.

I asked daycare if Junior was interested in potty training there, and they told me he wasn't even close. His initial response when you ask him where you pee or poop, "the bathrub". Guess he is waiting on Gunner.

Abs has kept things interesting by emptying a bottle of shampoo outside of her sister's door. I asked her why she did it and her response was "I thought about it, and I can't recall having done it, so you might want to check with Em to see if she did it to herself." Geez.....

On a side note, I don't ever post recipes, but this is a great dip. I had to type it up for my sister to take to her book club (if there is a book club for people reading The Rainbow Fish, 5 million times a day, sign me up for that one) so you get to try it out. You'll love it.

Cranberry Salsa Dip with cream cheese
1-12 oz bag or 3 cups fresh cranberries rinsed and drained
1/4 c. minced green onions
2 small (approx 2 tbsp) jalapenos
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, minced
2 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2-8 oz packages cream cheese

Rinse, drain and pick over cranberries. Place them in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped, but not mushy. Place crushed cranberries in a bowl. Mix together with onions, jalapeno peppers, sugar, cilantro leaves, ginger and lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Put over cream cheese and serve with crackers.

Just call me Betty Crocker.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tonight's Festivities

No one liked dinner........check.
Abs flooded the bathroom......check.
House is a wreck......check.
Tons of homework to do for Saturday's class......check.

Baby with fever.......check.

Doctor tomorrow.....let's hope that they are open!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Junior's reaction to all the political crap going on right now. Or the stock market......or maybe he just was tired....
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

World's Biggest Cowlick

My sweet baby boy. If I don't keep up with haircuts, then his gigantic cowlick sticks straight up. There's no taming this thing.....he sure is cute though!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Another Wife

My husband works closely with the IA (Iraqi Army). Most of them have more than wife, and tell him that he should have more wives and more children. He just looks at them and tells them that he is done having kids and one wife is more than enough. If he does change his mind, I'd love for him to get one that would cook and clean for us. Hopefully she rubs feet too, and loves to fold laundry.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Can I wear all black tomorrow to show my disgust?

Monday, November 3, 2008

A good thing....

It's a good thing Gunner didn't call today.

I got the kids up this morning and Abs decided that her underwear just wasn't working for her, so she would play legos instead.

Finally got the underwear issued straightened out, kids dropped off, and headed to school.

Got situated in school when the phone rings. Junior has fallen and busted open his head. My inlaws have been called and are on the way to get him and take him to the er.

A million phone calls follow as I try to make sure he is okay and they can get treatment for him. They could, although my school was more than willing to provide coverage for me so I could go take care of him if I needed to.

His head glued back together, he headed back to daycare.

School continues. Is there a full moon? Oh the stories I could tell about school.

Grab Em, leave school, grab Junior. Rush home to get things ready for my mom and brother and nephew who are going to babysit while I attend a class. Junior looks good and never skipped a beat till he told me about his owie and all of the sudden was so sad and upset about it...then he raced off.

I came home and found a citation for not having mowed my lawn. Went to my class and called to check on the kids when I was on the way home and heard Abs upset that she couldn't eat a can of olives for dinner. There had been a hassle trying to find Abs after school today too. I seriously contemplated driving around while my mom put them to bed, but thought better of it since I have class next week too, and a test this Friday.

Came home and mowed my lawn while my brother weedeated. No telling what it will look like in the morning since I couldn't see a thing.

Had a beer. The grading will have to wait, I think I need another.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

How to eat chocolate cake

Happy Halloween!

The girls didn't stay still long enough to snap too many pictures. It didn't take long for Junior to get the hang of trick-or-treating and we have an obscene amount of candy. We walked by one house that had Obama/Biden signs up and my children refused to go up there to get any candy. The next day, Abs mentioned that the reason she didn't go up there was because there was the possibility of them poisoning their candy since they obviously were voting the wrong way. I did explain to her that they wouldn't poison their candy just because they were democrats, that they were just stupid.
Speaking of elections, I never did make it over to early vote, so I will be out at the polls on Tuesday with all three children in tow. I think I can fit it in after school, after physical therapy and before bath time. I hope the lines aren't too long. Gunner got his absentee ballot and mailed it off immediately. What a good Soldier he he called, which always scores points.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hanging out in the Hood

I got this email from Ab's teacher today:

hey, I think one of my girls had static cling on Tuesday morning. I found underwear on the floor of the room. I had a sneaky suspicion that it might be Ab's because of the look on her face. So if she's missing a pair... I threw it away... :-)

Poor kid can't catch a break! To her defense, I send a change of clothes in her backpack each day, so I assured the teacher that she wasn't going "commando". On the subject of Abs, she did her own hair this morning. It was interesting to say the least. It's been a while since she had done one of her infamous hairstyles. Pictures of that to come.

Em is 11 going on 21 now. She knows everything. I can hardly wait till she is officially a teenager. Every morning when we get in my classroom she wants the tv on, the radio going, and to be hooked up to the internet. It's my calm before the storm, so I can't handle all the noise. She is a big help with getting everything ready though most days. My students love her, and she pretends like they don't exist, but waves at her fan club every once in a while to maintain the attention.

Junior has learned to take off his pajamas. I found him wrapped in a blanket the other morning. The first words out of my mouth were....."thank goodness you kept your diaper on". I tucked him in tonight, and went in to check on him because he was laughing so hard. He had undressed himself again. Never a dull moment.

Not a lot of news from Gunner. He sent a short email saying that they had access to the internet briefly and would call in a bit. That was a few days ago. I know, I know, military wives from other wars waited months for letters. Still wish he would call though....I've given up on the letters.

I'm thankful that tomorrow is Friday. Never mind my lesson plans, preparing for my pedagogy test the following weekend, a birthday party, taking care of three kids, projects for school, getting back to the gym, and organizing my "important piles" that have taken over my piano....I do plan on sleeping in till at least 6 both days too.....I'm sure there's more, but that's a few things to keep my mind off of everything else I need to do!


Bouncing baby boy fell asleep naked. Got him dressed and now I hear him fussing. He's probably undressing himself again. Gunner's boy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Flu shots

I get a flu shot every year, and I make the kids get them too. This year they were offering the flumist at our school, so Em and I got it. I feel like crap. I never have any side effects from the shot, I should have stuck with what I knew. They say that the flumist is better, so we will see. I get sneezed on, snotted on, coughed on and spit on all day long between my students and my kids. I still need to hook Junior and Abs up.

Em and Abs have decided that if they win the lottery they want to buy the Blue Hanger. Geez.

Had mexican food with the kids, my mom and my sister tonight.

I have a ton of work to do for my graduate classes, but not even sure where to start. Anyone know of any good children's literature that I can use to write social studies lessons?

I spent the morning with Ab's teacher going over the finer points of guided reading, ARI & AMI. Still so much to learn.

Abs is doing GREAT in PT. Thank goodness.

Em is headed with my mom to go to my nephew's baptism. I was going to go, but it would be a hard trip on Junior.

Haven't heard from Gunner since Thursday. I miss him.

I'm off to bed and I hope the kids sleep in tomorrow before we start our day of errands, girl scouts and cleaning...oh my!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Once upon a time....

there was a young girl who had stars in her eyes and fell in love with a man in uniform. They wed and moved to Germany. The man in uniform deployed for 12 months to Bosnia. Said Soldier returned to happy wife and they had a beautiful bouncing baby girl. The happy couple moved to Fort Lewis, Washington. There they spent their days hiking, biking, and being happy. The joyful couple decided that baby girl #1 was almost 4, it was time to add to their happiness. After a JRTC adventure, the happy couple added another bouncing baby girl. The now happy family of 4 continues the army adventure. The happy family moves to "The Great Place" (anyone currently stationed here probably knows where I hear that every day) and the cute Soldier deploys to Iraq for 12 months. During this lonely time, bouncing baby girl #2 manages to wipe poop on the wall, empty a 2 gallon bottle of olive oil and mix it with a Sam's size box of detergent, coat herself and the couch in desitin, and wreak havoc everywhere. Soldier returns to his happy, but tired family. The once young girl decides two is such fun, why not add to the excitement and shortly before Soldier deploys, she finds out she is expecting baby #3.

With stars still in her eyes, she sends her Soldier off to Iraq again for 12 months on tour #2. Bouncing baby boy arrives while he is home on R&R. 5 months later he returns home for good. With no stars in her eyes, said now old girl, races Soldier to nearest hospital to be fixed. So now fixed Soldier heads off to Iraq for the third time. Life is plugging along...

Beautiful bouncing baby girl #2 has managed to flood the house. Her brothers room had water all in it, the carpet is soaked, the hallway is flooded......and amazingly the bathroom is dry. Now tired old wife has three children nestled into bed, 25 soggy towels--yes, I have that many on hand for reasons such as this--and what once would have made her cry, now makes her laugh.

And through her tears of laughter she is checking out in the hopes that she can deploy when her Soldier returns home.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Section 60

I got a copy of the show to screen, and it was hard to watch. I shed more than a tear or two. Lots of tears. I actually watched it with my mom, but I need to watch it again by myself.

The story showed section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, a sad, somber place in itself. To watch these families come and mourn their loved ones was heartbreaking. From the man who comes to sleep on his son's grave, to the baby taking her first steps, the the little girls singing happy birthday to their dad on what would have been his 30th birthday.....

As families come to visit their fallen Soldier, they comfort one another knowing exactly what the other is going through. Small rocks are left on the headstone to let the families know that someone was there to visit their Hero. Abs has always collected rocks wherever she goes and the last time we went to visit my dad, she out a few of her treasured rocks on my dad's headstone.

While Gunner was still here, we have talked on several occasions about where he wanted to be buried in case something happened. Not a conversation I thought I would ever have so young, but one that has been necessary.

The show airs tonight on HBO.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery

After Chris returned from Iraq the second time, we took a family vacation to Washington DC. Our first stop was Arlington National Cemetery. I was speechless. From the changing of the guards, the sunset, the view, the don't even describe the emotions you feel when you arrive and walk around. Unfortunately we know people that are now buried in Arlington...but we are also fortunate, because we were honored to know them and my husband was honored to serve with them. I'm setting the DVR for this. It's something we all should watch.

Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery

is the third in a trilogy of Iraq-related HBO documentaries (following the Emmy-winning “Baghdad ER” and the Emmy nominated “Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq”) from Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill which provides rare, intimate glimpses of the loss, love and pride felt by the Section 60 visitors. Capturing the sights and sounds of this quiet pocket of Arlington National Cemetery, mourners ranging from young widows and family members to fianc├ęs and fellow soldiers visit Section 60 to try and connect in spiritual and physical ways with the loved ones they’ve lost. Whether it’s a father camping out at his son’s grave with a bottle of bourbon and a cigar or a widowed mother whose daughter just learned how to walk, Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery comprises vignettes of these individual stories shot from early morning to sundown (when the site officially closes).

Since the Civil War, Arlington National Cemetery has been the nation’s preeminent burial ground for military personnel. Over 300,000 people are buried in an area of more than 600 acres, including veterans from all the nation’s wars. Funerals average 28 a day, with about 6,400 burials annually. Nearly four million people visit Arlington each year.

You can preview the documentary here: