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:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Birthday and the girl in the dryer

11 years ago today Gunner and I became parents for the first time.

He left me alone in a hospital in Germany to race on the autobahn to get my mom from the airport. I was not happy about that, but it all worked out and he made it back in time.

Em was the perfect little baby, never crying, potty trained early, and was content to let me tell her about the finer points of strategic management as I finished up my MBA. She was only 8 lbs 6 1/2 oz when she was born, but by three months she was a butterball at 20 pounds. They talked about putting her in physical therapy because she was so fat she couldn't roll over. In the end it all worked out.

I couldn't imagine the last 11 years without her...although there are times when I really thought I was going to lose it. Isn't that how it is supposed to be though? (Of course I was a perfect child for my mom, so I am sure she never felt that way, lol)

Happy Birthday Em! Because I am late, you can see pictures here.

And want to know why at 7 years old I still lay out Ab's clothes??? Tomorrow she can wear regular clothes because she has never been tardy. I told her to find some clothes and come put them in the living room. She walked out with pink came capri pants and a white shirt that she had wrapped around in criss cross fashion across her chest and it tied in back. I vetoed it. She balked. I told her to go look in the laundry room, and she rooted around for a while in the clean clothes. (have I mentioned that I hate to fold laundry?) She then asked me if the clothes in the dryer were clean. I assured her they were and went back to what I was doing. Ten minutes later I had to go check on her.

I walked in the laundry room to find my dear Abs in the dryer.

Me: What are you doing?
Abs: I'm hanging out in the dryer.
Me: Should I ask why?
Abs: Probably not.
Me: Seriously, why are you in the dryer.
Abs: I've always wanted to hang out in here and see what it is like.
Me: Are you done?
Abs: Yeah, it's not very exciting in here.
Me: I can only imagine.

My desire to have a front loading washer has diminished. No telling what I would find in there.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


How's that for a blog title. Shows how little imagination I have right now.

Abs started PT today. I was curious as to what her age equivalency was for the different areas, and let's just say if I hadn't been in public I would have cried. My poor baby! I knew that the 7 months she was out of therapy was going to work against her, and it did.

Coordination--was actually above in this area (8.3-8.5)
Gross motor--4 year old
Balance, muscle strength--5 year old

They had a lot more categories that were all in the early 5 year old range. Doesn't look too bad until you realize that in 5 months she will be 8 years old. It's not stuff that you really notice unless you know to look for it. It still bothers me though. They are going to put in a referral for OT as well and hopefully get started on her fine motor skills. Since that hasn't been addressed at all, I wonder how far behind she is in that arena. Poor kiddo.

I finally got arrangements made for this weekend. Em and I are booked at a nice hotel in Dallas, and the other two kiddos will be spending the night with Grandma. Oh the stories she will be able to blog about, lol. Whenever I need a good laugh I go read this and this and this and this again.

Tonight is Biggest Loser. I would love to have months with a trainer. I really should use my gym membership, but I have so little time with the kids now, that I hate to waste time on myself. I need to get back in the swing of it, at least twice a week. I'm worth it, right?

And why is daycare closed when school is open? Ugh....

Monday, October 6, 2008

7 month itch

We are about to hit 7 months of this deployment.

It sucks.

I know that a lot of people hear from their spouses every day, but I don't. I'm excited that Wednesday is Em's birthday because it means that we will get a phone call. Sad but true.

We went to the grocery store tonight--HEB. Em tells me at 5:30 that she needs clay and toothpicks to make wigwams out of at school tomorrow. Of course that led to perusing the aisles of HEB and buying more than I intended. I get my food hoarding habits from my mom.

After the adventure during rush hour at the grocery store, we got into the car to head home, where the girls started fighting and next thing you know there was a sippy cup flying. I about lost it. Yeah, these are the best days of my life?

I went to Ab's parent teacher conference today. Abs was supposed to get a referral, but luckily her teacher understands her and knew that she wasn't being malicious when she found the crayon on the carpet and decided to color the floor. The principal made her scrub the floor until it came up. I made the teacher feel better when I told her about how Abs spread poop all over the principal's office at her old school. Yeah, Gunner was gone for that too.

I.miss.Gunner. Plain and simple. I know he has an important job, or so I keep telling myself. I just want him home. I'm not one to sit at home waiting on him and doing nothing. I have been productive while he's been gone.

I did 2-5k's and 1 10k.
Went to school and have 1/2 of another master's degree done
Only lost 5 pounds, and but only been in the last two weeks.
Kept 3 children alive and well for 7 months. (That's a HUGE accomplishment some days!)
Junior has tubes.
Abs is back in PT starting tomorrow.
I am headed out of town for the weekend with Em for her birthday, if I ever get a hold of the reservation line.

Life goes on, but I sure miss Gunner...