Saturday, March 31, 2012

For Jack

Changing the tune from yesterday's post...(I don't stay mad for long!)

Tomorrow is my son's second birthday, and my house will officially be out of babies :) He was born on April Fool's Day (19 hours after my first contraction...) and I think that speaks a lot about him. He is a clown, he is a joker, he is a prankster, and he wears his mommy out! But I love him every minute of every day and I am so proud of the little person he is now, and the promise of the person he is becoming.

Happy birthday, Bubba!

Rough and tumble
Sweet but wild
You surely are your father's child.

Love for music
Dancing shoes
(You've got some Mommy in there, too!)

Little monkey
You run (not walk) from place to place.

Mountain goat
Your tiny voice an angel's note.

Sister's buddy
Daddy's joy
But you are a "momma's boy." :)

Never tired
Never scared
Your mommy was not quite prepared.

For puppy's tails
And icky bugs
(But I sure do love your sticky hugs!)

Handsome rebel
Lady's man
I'll steal your kisses while I still can.

...And hold your hands
And brush the the dirt
Off of your britches, hair, and shirt.
And kiss your boo-boos
And wipe your tears
And cherish these few precious years.
'Cause the first time I heard your heartbeat
I knew our family was complete.
And every day we spend together
Is another day for me to treasure.

Mommy loves you, Stinker!

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Straw that Broke this Momma's Back

I am, by nature, a very happy person. Some might even argue that I am annoyingly optomistic at times. I like most people, I ADORE most children, I find most outings and events entertaining, and I have a God-given ability to twist most negatives into something worth being thankful for.
But even the most cheerful of spirits deserves an opportunity to rant. In fact, I feel it is my right as a blogger. (And it was promised in the subtitle!) So away we go...

I dropped my kids off at the Mother's Day Out program at church today and noticed that one of the little boys in my son's room was crazy sick. I know your argument, little boy's mom, and I'm not buying it. He didn't have a little cough, he didn't have "allergies" to the recent dust storms, he wasn't cutting teeth--he was hacking up his lungs all over a bunch of building blocks and pouring flourescent green snot onto his upper-lip. With my husband deployed, I schedule the kids into childcare for only 10 hours out of the entire week. I am almost terrified to give myself that time now, because at least once a month one of my kids catches something from a slimy peer.
Now moms, I understand that it sucks when your kid gets sick. I understand that you had plans that might not pan out if you can't drop your kid off. But I also know that it is possible to get your hair washed, cut, and styled with a 20-month-old in the stroller next to you watching The Wiggles. Keep your drippy kid at home, or I will be certain to make mine sneeze all over yours.
(Irony in this: I had to pick up my son from childcare early today because he started to run a fever. Drippy McSnotterson was still there when I went to pick him up.)

Needless to say, after only two hours of my kids being in childcare, I was not able to get everything knocked off my to-do list. Desperately in need of groceries, and having already spent over an hour and a half now driving back and forth from the church, I decided that I would stop by an Albertson's on my way home...which quickly shifted my anger from snot-face's mom to the grocery chain. I have to ask, does anyone other than me ever become infuriated while shopping in that store? Why is Albertson's so flippin' expensive? In fact, in this economy, how are they still in business? EVERYTHING in that store is overpriced--some items 50% over what I can buy them at other stores. Are we, as consumers, only continuing to go there because of the Monopoly game? Have we ever even heard of anyone winning anything other than a can of Spam from playing that Monopoly game? (I'm only slightly kidding! I really want to know!) It is outrageously over-priced and I will never think of it as anything other than a florist ever again! Oh, and by the way, the checkout lines are horrendous..."no more than three customers in the line..." Don't insult me, jerkfaces.

I am almost done here but I have to do one more...
When OH WHEN did people decide they were going to stop parenting their children? I was at an Easter activity that USO sponsored for the families in our battalion tonight, and I had to yell at a bunch of older kids for purposely collapsing a jumping balloon while a bunch of toddlers were inside. For the record, I ABSOLUTELY HATE having to raise my voice at other children. I know from blogs past it may seem as if I like to yell, but I promise I don't--not even at my own kids. So it takes a whole friggin' lot for me to yell at a child that doesn't belong to me. But I sure as heck will when there are no parents around to supervise their unruly children.
Yes, there is a luxury in that when kids get older, you are able to let them stretch their wings a little. You don't have to hover over their every move like you do when they are toddlers. But you better be able to know where your kid is, who they are with, and what they are doing at all times-- especially when you are within a hundred yards of them. I assume it must be nice to be able to sit on a bench and socialize with other adults, but that is what brunches are for. When you are at a family-focused activity, a birthday party, or wherever else you bring your children with you, your first responsibility is to be accountable for YOUR child. Quit assuming that everyone else will supervise your child for you. AND STOP getting defensive when someone else tries to correct your child's misbehavor. IT IS YOUR JOB, and if you had been there to do it in the first place, the other person wouldn't have to!
After I made sure the structure was standing back up and the younger children had made it out okay, I noticed that two of the older boys had decided to start a fight in the corner of the balloon. Another mom came upon the scene and told the boys to stop, and one of the boys told her to 'shut up.' I wonder if that one was her son...

Friday, March 23, 2012

These are a Few of my Favorite Things....

When the dog bites...
When the bee stings...
When the husband deploys again after a wonderful two weeks of R&R...

If I had to pick my favorite movie of all time, it would have to be The Sound of Music. I loved singing all the songs as a child. I love both the music and the storyline as an adult. It is just one of those classics that never, ever gets old to me. So what's a girl to do when she is all alone and missing her honey late at night? Pop in her favorite movie!
While watching the movie and caught up in song, I decided that maybe the best way to get out of my post-R&R funk was to think of a few of my favorite things. (Oh, Rodgers and simple genuises!) And the more I thought about them, the more I was motivated to do them. And the more I did them, the less boo-hooish I have become. (Funny how that works!)
But even happiness felt from the best moments can fade. Here I am alone again at night, feeling sorry for myself. And I would feel silly watching the same movie twice in a row, so I have decided to recreate my favorite-things-day here. If nothing else, I will leave this space with happy thoughts :)

-A Mission Accomplished.

Remember how I joked in the last blog that I wanted to take the perfect airport picture? Well, I got it.
Professionally speaking, it is not the perfect photo. I'm sure the lighting is wrong, and the angles are wrong, and I centered it wrong...but it is still pretty perfect to me! Please note the size of the grin on my son's face as he sees his father for the first time in 6 1/2 months. If that doesn't make your heart melt, then you are not human!!! Also, don't miss the fact that my daughter has literally leapt onto her daddy. This four-year-old is about 50 inches tall and her legs are nowhere in sight! :)

-His Smelly Sweatshirt.

What is it about boys' shirts that are so much more comfortable than girls'? Seriously?! The first day after he left I went fishing in our dirty clothes hamper just so I could smell him on me and "cuddle" up next to him. (Don't judge me! I know it's lame!) Even so, I am sorry to say, babe, you will never wear this sweatshirt again. I have officially inherited it :)

-Dirty Fingernails.

It was a GORGEOUS 80 degrees and sunny today in El Paso. I had dropped the kiddos off with the intention of heading off to the grocery store, but I was sidelined by the beckoning of my own empty garden pots. I made a sporadic decision to head to Lowes, where I spent the remainder of the morning standing in the sunshine, digging in the dirt, and planting all sorts of pretty, fragrant flowers in my pots in the front yard. And they look fantastic.
Either get jealous or get inspired ;)

-A Good Run.

Turns out I did have time to make it to the grocery store, and I even had time to squeeze in a super-quick run. (Amazing the amount of things you can do in a few hours sans-kids!) I am a runner--this is no surprise to anyone who knows me. I love kicking my own butt with a good jog. There is no way you can feel bad about it afterwards. (Though I do freely admit, that sometimes it can seem pretty sucky during!)

-A Much-Awaited E-Mail.

I hadn't heard from my husband in a while, because he was on the move! It takes a few days to get them home, but the Army sure wastes no time getting them back! But I am happy to say that I now know exactly where he is in the world, that he is safe, and that he was willing to lose some sleep in order to appease his worrisome wife with a late-night email.

-Dinner with a Friend.

People deal with sadness in different ways. Some keep to themselves. Some pile on events. I tend to rest somewhere in the middle. Though I am not exactly motivated to plan a girl's night or head out on the town, I still like to have people to socialize with. And I am so thankful to have family and friends who are willing to call and come visit at my discretion. I love each and every one of you--Truly.
Tonight, I was able to have a friend over at the last minute to cook "supper" for and keep me company, and I already have volunteers for future assignments. (lol) Help to keep the schedule packed...I promise not to be too much of a downer :)

-A Glass of Wine.

My husband is the best! I know I am biased, but I don't give a flying flip (ha!) One night when he was here, I caught him on the website for a winery back in Bryan, TX where he ordered my Christmas present from--and he decided to restock my stash. As luck would have it, my new shipment of wine arrived the same day that he left. When I emailed my husband that it had arrived, he responded, "Glad it made it babe. Trading one vice for another huh?" (See?! He's got jokes!)

-A Time to Blog.

I love this stupid blog, and about all 10 of you who consistently read it :) Of course, I love my husband more. That's why I haven't been on here for the better part of two weeks. And come the time when he is home for good, the blogging will probably not be as frequent. But I do really enjoy this, and I am SO happy I hopped back onto it today. And should there be more sad days in the future, you can expect to find me here--hoping to make sense of it all!

Monday, March 5, 2012

High Expectations

Well, if the stars and planets align I should be able to see my love tomorrow. I am so excited I could fact, I think I will. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The past several days have been spent by me running myself and my children around like crazy people trying to tie up all the loose ends before Daddy comes home. Today, I finished readying everything I needed to do in order to miss my MOPS meeting this week. Tonight, I finally finished up the last of the household chores. And tomorrow, I will take care of the last minute maintenance for my car so we don't have to waste a single second of our time together dealing with regular life junk. I feel a great sense of accomplishment. My spirits are high. And yet...

Something in me knows that reality is about to rear its ugly head in my "happy place"--we've all been there. Let me walk you through mine.

The Vision:
Nathan arrives at the airport. The children run up to the escalator to greet him and wrap him in a warm embrace. I get teary-eyed, yet am still able to catch the perfect picture of them to use as a background for our desktop. We take Daddy home, where he is welcomed into a clean and sparkling house. Dinner is waiting hot and delicious on the table. The kids are tucked nice and snuggly into bed by their father and then my husband and I are able to enjoy time together we haven't had for 5 months.

The Likely Reality:
Nathan arrives at the airport. We are not there yet because we are running fifteen minutes late, as usual. The kids run to greet their father and give him a big hug...but I realize in my rush to leave the house, I have forgotten the camera. We start to take Daddy home, but on the way our gas light comes on because I didn't have time to fill up the tank during the day. We finally make it home--the home that once was clean, but that also had preschoolers running rampant in it for an entire day and which now has toys and fingerprints strewn all about it. Supper? Crap, I burned the supper. Cheerios, darling? The kids are so excited to have Daddy home that it takes forever to get them to sleep. They finally go to bed. Ahhh. Alone time...(little footsteps)...
"Mommy, I need water."
"Sammi, go to bed."
"Mommy, I need to potty."
"Well go, then go to bed."
"Mommy, my blankets fell on the floor."
"Pick them up."
"I can't."
"Okay, but then you better stay in bed."
Meanwhile, an exhausted soldier has fallen fast asleep in a comfy bed...
I know I am making a bigger deal out of all this than it needs to be. But the truth is, I just have high expectations for happy occasions. All women do. It's why we turn into such nutcases when we plan our weddings. We found the perfect guy. But now we need the perfect dress, perfect cake, perfect venue, perfect bouquet, perfect invitation, perfect color scheme, and perfect EVERYTHING or else no one will realize how perfect we are for each other. (Yes, that was meant to be sarcastic, but isn't it also a bit true?!)

I knew there was no such thing as a "perfect day," but that didn't stop me from trying to obtain it. And from that moment forward, I have done my darndest to try to acheive the 'happily ever after' I have been promised in almost every Hollywood feature film and Disney animation ever created. I am just hopelessly idealistic like that.

My new hope is that I can see the "fairy tale" moments in my reality--
So then, even if my clean house is made dirty, I will enjoy my time with my husband inside my dirty house for two whole weeks. (Eeeeeeee!) Sammi has a cough that she caught over the weekend, and if her cough does not go away and we all end up getting sick, then we end up spending time wrapped in blankets on the sofa hacking up our lungs together. If the oil doesn't get changed in the car, then we change it together. If I burn supper and we have to eat Cheerios, then we enjoy our Cheerios together.
Because for better or for worse, every moment is made better by us being together.*

*With an exception to the bedtime part!