Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 368 - Care Packages

{I think my days are off. It's not been a year yet, but my number says 368. Hmmm...I messed up somewhere along the way. Although, I can testify that this past year really does feel longer than usual.}'s soap box has to do with care packages. I'm sure when you think of care packages, you can easily think of the standard list of goodies to send to the troops. Beef jerky, phone cards, baby wipes, hard know the drill, right?

Well, I am here to start a new trend: Care packages for the wives! (Why, oh why, didn't I think of this earlier??) We are the ones who fight the war of keeping the family and home in tact while the the husband is away. I think we are most deserving of a little treat once in a while, um...for moral...and sanity. And don't forget your freedom. (Is that too far of a stretch?)

Here are some things I think military wives would most appreciate in their care packages:

*lots and lots of alcohol...specifically a 12 pack of Smirnoff Ice (hear me neighbor gals?)
*invitations to play dates for the kids...ones where the military wife doesn't need to show up for at least 4 hours
*someone to come over and haul away my recycling that is taking up the entire garage
*a pedicure or some form of foot rub
*do you plunge toilets? my son has a problem
*a chance to take a shower longer than 30 seconds before some emergency arises in the other room
*food. cooked food.
*a diaper genie...and i'm not talking about the thing you stick dirty diapers's a guy who changes them
*a self cleaning house
*ear plugs
*more alcohol
*shock collars? (they might come in handy for something, right?)
*a gift card to the Bahamas
*did I say chocolate?
*a nap - although most of us don't really know what that is

Ok, that about takes care of the general list. So get on that everyone! Do your country a favor by supporting the (poor/lonely) people who support our fighting guys the most. Thank you.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 367 - Fun in the Kitchen

It seems as if I live in the kitchen. I am constantly cooking, feeding someone, cleaning up spills, doing dishes, putting away groceries. I've accepted it. {However, I am in the market for a self-cleaning house if anyone knows of one.}

Sometimes wonderful things come out of that room these no bake cookies I was craving yesterday. That was my breakfast this morning.

I also get to put my creativity to the test there. Today I had canned carrots (gag) on the counter for the baby as I was making some mac & cheese. **lightbulb** Oh, yes I did...I mashed up those carrots so fine and plopped them right into the pan. No one even suspected. Score.

Most the time the kids are in the kitchen while I'm working. Luke and Maria keep busy cutting, folding, coloring, and painting while Elise does whatever it is she does...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 366 - I Work Alone

I stewed for 24 hours about yesterday's tennis fiasco. But it only took a 10 minute walk with my friend Sarah today to give me a major revelation:

I am a single's player.

That's it! That is my life wrapped up perfectly.

I don't like depending on others. I don't like letting other people down. I like things my way. I like to be in control.

Even looking back on my sports of choice - swimming and track - I realize that I prefer to work alone.

But this is more about tennis or sports really. It is about how I tick. I think that is why I don't feel so vulnerable or lost without Chris around - because I am hyper-independent.

Despite all of that, I love it that Chris and I can both do our own thing, (run our own races so to speak), and yet still be a part of the team. Now, where's my trophy?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 365 - Learn to Say "No"

Today I had the unexpected misfortune of seeing my future Wimbledon hopes go down the drain. I know, a 38 year old novice at Wimbledon is laughable, but a girl can dream right?

Thursdays are usually "boot camp" day at the gym. After dropping off Luke at school, I drop the girls off at the play center and walk the track until my torture begins at 9.

While walking this morning, one of the tennis instructors caught me and said, "I left you a message this morning."


"We need a sub for the woman's double league today at 9. Can you do it?"


"Jason (my tennis instructor) said that you'd be fine."

"Um...Ok...I'll go get my racket."

And that is when my day went to the crapper.

First of all, I can't serve. I ended up with only 2 or 3 double faults, but still - my serves are weak compared to the Venus Williams wannabes on the other side of the net trying to take my head off with theirs.

Second of all, my racket shrunk today. Well, the part with the strings did. The rim on the other hand grew incredibly thick and the ball continuously thumped off the edge of it.

Lastly, the net would not allow many of my balls over it. It was being nice to everyone else though...stupid net.

Did I say lastly? Because I could really keep going...I felt like a fish out of water for sure.

But maybe it's good that I got that first stressful experience out of my system. I won't be so easy to convince the next time I'm heading off to boot camp.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Days 361 - 364 - Time Well Spent

Chris just left after his "96". That's a 96 hour leave for all you non-military types. He will now be within reach (an 8 hour drive) and out of harm's way. We are getting close.

So what did we do all weekend?

Cleaning and throwing away stuff
Tax prep
More laundry
Went to the mall
Went out to lunch
Grocery shopping
More laundry
Watched "Up"
Watched "LOST" and some Olympics
Folded and put away laundry

(And after all of that work, I still have a bed full of laundry to fold and put away.)

The kids are loving all of the time with their Dad. Elise seems like she's never been without him. In fact today she blew right by me when we picked her up from the gym's day care. Instead, she ran over to Chris and grabbed his legs.

Luke and Maria loved having him home so they could wrestle with him and do crazy science experiments together. (Right now we have an egg sitting in vinegar in our kitchen windowsill. *Shivers with disgust.*)

I don't think there is any long term damage. Kids are so resilient aren't they? Chris and I need to iron out some parenting/discipline/management nuances, but that will come with time. It will all work out.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 360 - Looking Back

Looking back, having one child was pretty easy. Luke was a pretty good baby and was easy to cart along on errands. That was so long ago I can hardly remember.

Maria came along 21 months later and I felt a little more challenged to go out into the world successfully.

Then we had number 3, and I thought I'd never be able to leave the house again. To run out for groceries seemed impossible. I tried to avoid taking all 3 kids with me anywhere. Anywhere!

But, in the last year, the only choice I've had is to cart all of these little people with me everywhere. I finally think all of this reluctant practice is paying off.

The kids had an extra long winter break this weekend, and a few months ago I would have completely dreaded it. But we conquered this weekend. I took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese, Target, a church fish fry, and the grocery store all by myself.

{We also went to the bowling alley, but because Luke had a meltdown about not getting a strike or spare I can not include this experience in the success story.} more day until the kids go back to school. Thank goodness Chris will be flying in later tonight and will be able to share the rest of the weekend with us. I think I deserve a nap.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 359 - Naughty

Elise, who has been a very easy baby, is entering a new phase. The Naughty Phase.

Problem #1 - The climbing.

She suddenly wants to climb on everything and do dare-devil moves like standing on one foot on top of her 3-wheeled bike. She constantly crawls up on the couch and then goes behind to stand on the windowsill (and then gets stuck and cries.) She's even been caught on top of the kitchen table.

Problem #2 - Her nose.

This is not only a big problem, but it is incredibly gross. At every meal, Elise tries to shove her food up her nose. Many times, depending on what we are eating, she is successful. So when she has mac & cheese, rice, or anything else small, I have to watch her like a hawk. Today she had the chance to get 2 pieces of corn up there. They came out when she sneezed. Disgusting.

I am bracing for the terrible twos.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 358 - Giving Up

It's Lent. A footstep away from spring, and summer, and therefore bathing suit season. Gah!

After much consideration I came up with this list of things I am giving up until Easter:

1) Fast food (Oh, how I will miss you Arby's...but this will be a good thing, really.)
2) Donuts (These having been creeping into the house more frequently and it needs to stop!)
3) Coke (I am switching to Diet Coke instead - gag. This one will kill me the most, but I'll love the calories saved.)
4) MafiaWars (I am not going to whack anyone for a whole month.)

Things that were considered but didn't make the final cut were sweets and Bejeweled. I figured my kids would not want to live with a monster, so they had to be eliminated from the running.

The kids on the other hand are giving up video games on Thursdays. I think Luke is going to have some serious withdrawal issues with that...but so far so good.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Days 356 & 357 - Wild

Yes, I am that parent that does not care what my children wear to school. I am happy that they get dressed themselves, despite what the final outcome may be.

Maria was about 2 minutes away from being dragged to school in her Sleeping Beauty pajamas, but she whipped up this outfit that got her off the hook.

Is that a fashion statement or what??

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Days 353 - 355 - 55 Hours

We had a wonderful 55 hours together.

It started with donuts and a surprise at the airport.
It was speckled with snuggly naps on the couch.
It was filled with activities like wrestling, sledding, swimming, and giggling.
It was busy with errands and the typical mundane.

It was a wonderful weekend.

Can't wait to do it again next weekend.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 352 - Sayings

Today was the first day Elise said "Mama." Awwww...

But my favorite thing today was Luke saying, "Be quiet! I'm trying to look at the constellations."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Days 350 & 351 - Still Counting

We are about 24 hours away from seeing Chris. I think everyone in the world knows except for the kids. I decided not to tell them until we are on our way to the airport. Can you imagine the huge disappointment if something were to change?

We don't have any plans made for the weekend. I'm sure Chris will just want to hang out and play with the kids.

I've been so good at not over-planning (my usual way of doing things) that I've not planned a single thing. Not even a meal. Heck, I don't even have any groceries really. I thought about making bread pudding (the one that he says is better than his mom's), but that would mean I'd have to go shopping. And really, I don't have time!

Tomorrow, I have to be the room mom for Luke's Valentine's Party. I hope it goes smoothly. The girls are coming with me so it could get hectic. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the kids have a fun time and that the time goes by quickly!

Then tomorrow night, I am taking the three kids to Luke's wrestling tournament. Am I cRaZy??

The one thing I've learned about myself from all of these months is that, yes - I am crazy. Completely.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 349 - Bracing

We are having a pretty good snowstorm right now. By the end of it all we should see another 3-100 inches of snow.

So, in preparation of being snowed in for a couple of days, I took the girls to the grocery store to stock up on...donuts, cereal, and fried chicken. It doesn't get better than that!! We are set!

I really do hope we have a snow day tomorrow. The biggest reason is that I am the room mom for Maria's class and her Valentine's party is tomorrow. I think Monday would work out better for me. Pretty much it boils down to me not being done with the game for the party. It's just a candy walk (like a cake walk), so it won't take much time...but I am the queen of last-minute. Also, Chris can come to the party if it is on it's not me being too selfish there.

Also, if there is no school tomorrow, I won't have to haul everyone to wrestling.

So come on snow...we are ready for you! We are ready for junk food and being lazy!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 348 - Excited

5 more nights until Chris comes for a visit. I was so happy to go to the store and buy him a couple of things for his short visit home. (Bars of soap and roasted red peppers...a weird combination!)

89 more nights until we leave for Disney. (That's exactly 3 months away.) Although everything is set, I couldn't resist buying 2 Disney guide books today. The one for the cruise is sort-of necessary since it is our first time. We don't want to miss out on something important! (I spent all day reading it, so I didn't have time to get the blog done on time!)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Days 344 - 347 - Random Weekend

I'm trying to catch up here.

It's official - I'm sick. Sore throat, coughing, headache, running stuffy nose. I am furiously taking Tylenol and Zicam, but I think I just have to live this one out.

The good news came the other night - Chris is not going to Haiti. His activation is remaining as planned. This means he'll be coming home next weekend and the weekend after! Plus, our Disney trip is no longer in any jeopardy, so that makes for a happy me.

The in-laws were here this weekend. It was perfect timing since they could help out while I was sick.

Now for the big news! It's done! All of the grandparents have contributed to the building of this:

It's ready to store lots of crafty goodness, and maybe some of Chris' stuff too. My craft store moratorium is now over!! (Not that I need anything, really!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Days 342 & 343 - Big Mistake

Yesterday was my first day of having a one on one personal trainer. For months a friend and I had done it together, but her love of running (and keeping money in her pocket), forced her to stop.

Last week in preparation for my session I told my evil trainer, Elaine, to "go hard on me."

Now, as I hobble around like someone in their 3rd trimester, I am thinking that might have been a mistake.

Today I am having to carefully consider each urge to sit down knowing how painful it's going to be. Walking is sheer torture, and I don't want to even think about stairs.

I think a nap is going to be the best medicine for this one.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 341 - Sleep

Last night was the first night in at least 18 months that I got a FULL NIGHT'S SLEEP. I didn't wake up once. I didn't have to pee or take a Tums (like when I was pregnant.) I didn't have to feed the baby or change a diaper. I didn't have to get anyone a glass of water. The baby didn't stir or fuss at all. I didn't leave my bed for 8 whole hours!! Amazing.

In other news, Maria lost that second tooth. Looks like the tooth fairy will be joining us again tonight. (That reminds me that I need to hit the ATM tomorrow. These people are breaking the bank with their teeth and their job charts.)

We spent the evening at Chuck E. Cheese tonight for a school fundraiser. It was 2 hours of pizza eating, token spending, kid chasing fun. And that leaves me just plain tired. Please, please, please keep your fingers crossed that the baby puts in another solid night of sleep!