Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 421 - Cinnamon Rolls and Toilet Seats

The other night I made cinnamon rolls. I still haven't decided if it was worth all of the fuss. I got the dough to rise and I had fun making them. But, my taste expectations were higher. Maybe it was the frosting. (I only used powered sugar and milk, even though I had a whole box of cream cheese in the fridge begging to be a part of it all.)

But, it was a good first try. And cost wise, it was pretty cheap. I got 3 pans made for about $2.50. However, the kids didn't eat them up like they do the Pillsbury ones...and those take only 15 minutes start to finish...hmmm...

In other news, this seems to be the year of the toilet. You already know that I am close to being certified as a professional plunger. Well, now I can add "toilet seat changer" to my list of reluctant accomplishments. It took me longer than expected, because "lefty loosy, righty tighty means crazy things when you are upside down hugging a toilet. Oh well, I did it. We are now, for the moment, up to 3 working toilets.

And we are also in the final countdown.

6 days until Chris gets home.
7 days until we leave for vacation.

That means I only have to take out the trash one more time!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 417 - My Day Off

Today is Monday! No kids! Did I sit around watching soap operas and eating bon-bons. Ha!

I kicked butt today though.

After doing a sort through all of the baby's clothes and Maria's old clothes (which meant emptying numerous bins and drawers) I ended up with a huge pile of clothes tagged and boxed for the garage sale, a huge pile for the donation center, and nice organized drawers full of size 18 - 24 month clothes. I rewarded myself with a nice uninterrupted shower. (I get one a week.)

Then I went to Walmart (grrr) to order some cheap prescription sunglasses.
Then I went to Panera Bread - bean soup.
Then I went to Kohl's. How does that place make any $? I spent $25 and saved $50. Weird.
Then I went to Target and found a fun white flowing skirt...perfect for a tropical cruise!
Then I went to Payless to take back a pair of shoes for the baby's (fat) feet.
Then I went to the grocery store and the pharmacy. Gotta have food and pills!
Then I mowed (most of) the grass. I didn't have time for the back yard, but the front looks good.
Then I picked up the kids from the bus stop and day care.
Then I cooked steak and rice for dinner. (The kids ate it all up!)
Then I took everyone out for a mile walk.
Then I did the dishes, cleaned up the toys, gave the baby a bath, read everyone's library books and reading homework, made sure everyone brushed their teeth, sang lullabies, read bedtime stories, gave back scratches, and tucked everyone in.
Then for some crazy reason...I decided to start making cinnamon rolls from scratch.

So, that was my day off. I think I might have worn myself out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 412 - I Love Mondays

I love Mondays. All of the kids are at daycare/school and I get to have some free time. This week I went on Luke's field trip with his class. After that I had lunch and got a pedicure with my friend Melissa.

I love Tuesdays. Most of all because L O S T is on. What am I going to do without that show?

I love Wednesdays. The cleaning lady comes and helps my house become sanitary again. But the best thing is being able to pound tennis balls for an hour at the gym.

The rest of the days are just so-so.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 408 - The Last Visit

Chris flew in yesterday morning for his last visit. We went out for breakfast, worked around the house, went grocery shopping, and then decided we wanted to go out to a fancy dinner.

We took Luke and Maria to the gym for a Kid's Night Out, and had our neighbor come over to watch the baby.

Table for 2 please.

Candle on the table, river flowing right outside the window - a perfect setting.

2 glasses of wine for me - $14... I could buy at least 2 bottles of wine for that...

The food was yummy - I ate it all. Creme brulee for dessert - one of my favs.

Our next fancy 2 weeks at DisneyWorld. We are THAT close!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 406 - Cloud Lifting

The countdown is in motion. The light is at the end of the tunnel. Some of the funk that surrounded me has left, but there are still anxieties that I need to work out (i.e. moving.)

I think the weather has been helping. We are getting outside more and maybe the Vitamin D I missed out on all winter is perking me up. The sunless tanning lotion is erasing that pasty, "I've been locked away with 3 kids for 13 months" kind of look.

Chris is coming home tomorrow for his last visit. The next time he comes home, it will be for good.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 400 - 400 Already?

I hate to admit this, but today was a wonderful day. I'll tell you why in a minute. But, first I need to try to explain why this whole Marine thing is ending up longer than 400 days. Last year during March and April, Chris was on a different set of orders from the Marine Corps. His real activation started May 1, which is why we have a little ways to go yet. I just wanted everyone to know that in case I get accused of not being able to count or something.

OK, back to the good day.

It started with a miracle. Last night I was blessed with 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. (First time in nearly 2 years!) How can you not wake up happy when that is so rare??

Next, I got a good workout in and discovered that another pound had left my body. I'm getting there.

I got a lot of little things done today that I had been putting off, like making an eye appointment, ordering the swimsuit I wanted, and washing the juice dribbles of the dining room wall.

I made a dinner that everyone ate - meatloaf, beer bread, green beans, and strawberries. Maria cleared her plate - unbelievable.

In the evening our favorite neighbor girl came over to play with the kids which occupied them while I cleaned up after dinner. Not too long after that her mom came along with a bottle of wine. We played some fierce rounds of Bananagrams, cause we're cool like that.

2 more days of spring break. I'm almost sad that it is ending.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 399 - Spring Break

Spring break this year is 12 days. I think "they" are trying to kill me! These kids need to be in school learning (i.e. out of my hair!)

We killed many days at Grandma's and Grandpa's where we met up with Chris. We kept them busy with fishing, wii time, a (short) trip to a museum, playing outside, eating out, and all of the fun Easter stuff like the egg hunt and decorating eggs.

sick Elise

lego addict Luke

fancy girl Maria

Today, Elise went to day care so I took Luke and Maria to a place for big kid fun. For $25 bucks each we got 5 hours of go-karts, bumper cars, laser tag, frog hopper rides, and got to eat as much food as we could at an awesome buffet.

The kids and I had the most fun with the laser tag. For the first round, we were all on the same team and slowly figured out how to play. Eventually we got the hang of it. In later rounds the kids and I were on different teams making it a fierce competition. It is 5 minutes of total adrenaline.

The best thing about today was seeing Luke smile. Those are few and far between, but he had an awesome time today, even though it was just with mom.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 398 - Anti-Climatic?

Last time Chris was deployed (in 2003), there was a distinct beginning, middle, and end. The beginning was the worst, because we never knew when the last goodbye was going to be, so each goodbye was heartbreaking. The middle was OK. After the scary stuff (the whole march to Baghdad thing) it became nice. We had a once a week phone call and daily e-mails. The end (8 months later) was fun - a big welcome home bash with signs, balloons, and jubilation. A few days later, we had a party for him here, and a few weeks later his parents had a big party for him in his hometown.

This activation/deployment has been so different. First off, we eased into it. Chris came back to visit a few times before going to California. He had a long visit in September before going overseas. The overseas part was shorter this time, but the communication was a pain. Then more California time which gave him a couple of short visits. For the last 2 months he's only been 8 hours away, so visits have been more plentiful.

So, it all seems very anti-climatic to me. Kind of blah. No fan-fare. No welcome home parties. No big tears/hugs/kisses kind of thing you see on TV.

30 days from now everything will go back to the way it was 14 months prior. It feels like a time warp - almost like we've been living in a coma for the last year. We'll see if we can pick up where we left off.