Friday, March 30, 2012

Hi my name is Worry

Something has been eating away at me.  One of the remarks made repeatedly by the keynote speaker at the yellow ribbon ceremony is that after the deployment don't be surprised if you outgrow some of your friends, because they may simply no longer be able to relate to you. They can't understand what you have been through. I am not oblivious to the increased rate of divorce after deployment, and its bugging me because...I hope our relationship can't be outgrown.

I am a worrier by nature, anyone that knows me can tell you that.  But I already had been worrying about if the man I am about "stand beside" for a year without seeing him, will be the same man that comes home.  I have seen first hand some pretty impressive changes in personalities, and its hard because its something I can't prepare for. It is also something I don't know what the end result will be.  I know that I love my husband and that when we said our "I Do's", we meant forever. What if he comes home and I can't be there for him the way he wants/needs me to be?  I won't be able to understand or relate to what he has been through...I have no idea what he is in store for.  What if he "outgrows" me? All I have is a plan to send a care package every week he is gone from home...which seems weak at the moment.

Okay, I got that off my chest...from here on out positive thinking and happy countdowns until we are reunited. (Reunited...he isn't even gone yet...yeesh)

For the boys and some care package plans, I am going to order a Flat Daddy (like a fat head, but of the Hubby).  For holidays, birthdays, and other celebrations "the Hubby" can be in the pictures.  Also as it sounds like Skype will be limited, it will help the boys see daddy everyday.  We are also going to record him reading favorite books and stories, and do a few recordable books and a recordable photo album (which I am most excited about)  Daddy's voice will tell them about each picture

So far I am thinking of including:
Mommy & Daddy's wedding day
First time Daddy holding the Toddler
First time Daddy holding the Big D
5 Generation Pictures
Driving tractor with Daddy
Hanging out with Grandpa
Any of the Hubby's favorite pictures/memories he wants to share with the boys

Anywho - that's the plan to keep daddy's image and voice in their everyday lives while he is gone.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fun with Family

 This past weekend the boys and I traveled to the "Big City" and had supper with my sister's fam, my mom, and some family friends.

On the way in the Toddler said "I love Grandma" and he proved it as soon as he saw her.
Little brother also was anxious to show Grandma some love.

The boys had fun playing with their cousins.

The Big D struck some  poses

Cars were raced

Fun was had

Monday, March 26, 2012

Children in Church Suck the Jesus out of Me

1) My son's behavior, especially during church, brings out some pretty unChristian feelings.  Yes it is my responsibility as a parent to model behavior and use discipline when necessary to mold him into something other than a hellacious brat.  And I'll be honest, I suck at it.  Hubby is much better at it than I am.  I am a cuddler, I can kiss the owies away, I can show the mushy gushy love...but really I am probably the enabler.  I want my boys to enjoy being children, to have positive memories associated with places (like church) so that they won't fight going later on.

Unrealistic?  People around/under 3 feet holding still-ish and quiet-ish for an hour. 
When I take the boys by myself...I have arguments with the toddler that Jesus on the crucifix up above the altar is in fact not a dragon.  Or the joys of hearing - at the top of his lungs, the Toddler repeatedly telling the Big D (aka Baby Brodder) "BE QUIET BABY!" because he coo'd. "SHHHH NO TALKING, QUIET BABY!"...long after brother stopped making a peep.

If Toddler goes alone with Hubby I hear he was an angel. Maybe there is something to the Hubby's theory of "They won't ever behave any better than you expect them to".

Do you ever find yourself wishing it was socially acceptable and a proven method of great parenting to duct tape toddlers' mouths shut? either.

2) My other son's behavior.  At 10 months he really is too little to know better.  But its a constant battle to keep his little paws from tapping and tugging on the people who sit in front of us...and keeping those same precious little fingers from latching a death like grip onto to some poor woman's unsuspecting pony tail.  Or trying to eat the missalette.  Is it my imagination or is my pew getting a larger berth of vacant space around it?

3) I honestly can barely remember anything said in mass and seldom ever even hear the sermon...but I keep telling myself this is important.  I am setting an example.  The boys are learning. I have to be getting something at least from osmosis...right? Can it at least count as penance?

***In the end though I know some things are sinking in.  The Toddler is starting to recite the Our Father with me, he is avid on saying grace (or at least Father, Son, Holy Spirit) before eating, and during a little road trip I heard him say "Thank you Father for blessing me"***

Friday, March 23, 2012

Time to Panic?

The hubby's deployment is set for this Spring, and well with the 70+ degree weather outside its sinking in that Spring is coming. Well technically as of this week its here. WOW! the time is creeping up on us faster than I would like.  He keeps telling me, the faster it gets here the faster its over.  With the training he has left, I have realized time at home with my whole family is getting limited.

Next moment of panic, I started remembering all kinds of projects we need to get done around the house. But mostly I am in planning mode! Hubby agreed to let me throw him a pre-deployment party.
Send-Off Party (what I have planned so far):
  • I would like to get a bunch of his friends and family together a before he goes to they can tell him how proud they are of him and give him the support he deserves.  Problem, I only know his more immediate family and don't know who else to invite because we live in the small town he grew up in...he knows everybody...and I don't.  Word of mouth, open invite in the paper? Tacky, yes or no?
  • I ordered invites from to send out also.  Love them!
  • I'm thinking a patriotic theme. has some americana bunting ($6 each); bundle of american flags ($4.25 for 144); support out troops flags ($5.99 for 72) ;Tin centerpieces ($13/dozen).  I think the prices are pretty good. I already have garland, my MIL has 4th of July plates and napkins.  I also ordered some Americana table runners ($4.99 each, but I had coupons) from Hobby Lobby. So for decorations I will spend under $70.00. (Bonus: down the road the extras can be used for 4th of July decorations...and of course the Welcome Home Party!!)
  • Red, White, and Blue Balloons.. I'll probably tie them to the tin centerpieces. Easy decoration and kid entertainment.
  • Apothecary jars filled with red, white, & blue candy...or sand?
  • I have most everything on hand for the food. I'm thinking simple, just sloppy joes w/salads. 
  • My awesome and talented cake making Aunt is making the cake.  I am super excited to see what she comes up with.  I will definitely post pictures (with her approval of course).
  • My boss said I could use the safety room at work (very large room already set up with table and chairs, also setup for a buffet with outlets accessible)
  • I want to get letters and notes from all the people in his life to incorporate into care packages.  So he can have words of encouragement that will keep on coming throughout his deployment. 
  • On the invites I asked guests to come prepared to share their favorite memories of/with the Hubby.  I will have them write those memories down, or possibly record them, and will be putting together a special little scrapbook to send to him.  Whenever he feels homesick, he can see that we are missing him too!
  • I am also planning on having an address book/notebook for people to write down their name and email addresses if they would like me to share updates.

***I deal with stress by getting wrapped up in something and planning.  I am aware the little details don't ultimately matter, but it's one of my ways of showing I care. With so much out of my control, I like planning for what I can.***

Anyone have any ideas or tips they would be willing to share?

I will be using the blog with my ideas for weekly care packages.  I am actually going to start putting some together before he leaves, and once he is over there and has requests I will add in the necessary items to the sentimental/novelty ones.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Swan Lake

I have got to be the most uncoordinated person on this planet.  I have always been klutzy, my dear sweet grandma used to tell me "When you grow up you will be as graceful as a swan, clumsy is just a stage" referencing some ugly duckling premise I'm sure.  Well I am here to tell you...grandma got it wrong.

In Jr High I was told by a boy (the one I happened to have a crush on) that he loved being around me...because it made him look less clumsy. There is a confidence boost.

I have very seldom met a set of stairs/steps I haven't fallen up or down.

I am quite possibly the only person to have ever bitten their bottom lip while sneezing (seriously just happened...I have no idea how)
Speaking of no idea how.  Last weekend I was wearing my favorite pair of mules and managed to step in gum with the heel of my  foot...thus sticking my sock to the inside of my shoe. Made for an awkward predicament. Honestly how in the heck does one step on gum INSIDE of their shoe?
In the morning after waking up, I have trouble walking through doorways...okay, okay really it can be at anytime.  I also constantly have a bruise on my thigh from catching the corners of desks I happen to be walking by at work.
I also once gave myself a fat lip with the bottom of my snowboard.  1st and last attempt at snowboarding. Some friends from  high school made it sound fun when we were in college.  I ended up hiking down the last part of the mountain and sitting in front of the fireplace at the lodge until everyone else finished having 'fun'.  After making it down the bunny slope without falling a false sense of security lead me to believe my good friend (who is now has a PhD - though I question her smarts) when she said I was a natural, took me up the ski lift and ditched my sorry butt. No one showed me how to slow down, and the only advice I could remember was given to me by my uncle before the trip.  If you want to stop just fall down (that I was good at)

My poor kids are lucky they haven't been trampled.  Okay throw me a bone here, is anyone else still waiting to grow into the graceful swan stage?  Please share so I don't feel so alone....and that there is hope for my poor son who seems to be following in his mother's footsteps.  I guess he is 50% hubby, so he has that going for him...right?

***PS - I just totally knocked over my drink all over my desk.***

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kids really AREN'T the same thing as dogs

I get funny looks when I tell people this...which a normal person might take a sign to stop saying it.  Myself, not being normal, I blog it.  Are you like me, you like kids, but kinda in the way you like dogs? You love your own, but aren't always sure what to think of other people's? 

Actually I love love love the idea of dogs...but well I don't like getting slobbered on, my crotch sniffed, or drool and hair on my clean clothes...but the pictures with kids and dogs together. Awhh, heartwarming. Plus I have fond memories of playing with puppies at Grandpa & Grandma's house, and our own sweet childhood pet, who I shared turns licking ice cream cones, who we had the fun game of don't let the dog bite your feet, who liked my sister better than me....though that is a whole 'nother story. I digress. RIP Bandit.

This post is supposed to be about how your kiddos can give you both highs and lows.  Whether you are a full fledged kid lover and always have been, can't imagine loving any other kid(s) than your own, didn't know you liked/wanted kids until you had your own, or anywhere in between.  The little buggers make you reflect on yourself.

10 Ways Kiddos are Good for Your Self-Esteem

1. That million dollar smile they flash when you walk into their line of sight. It is only compariable to the excitement a dog has when welcoming home its owner. (though I'm not a dog person per say...moving on, I keep comparing kids to dogs...I really have got to stop doing that)

2. Waking up to a little boy who wants to crawl into bed with you first thing in the morning to jabber, steal your pillow, watch a video on your phone, get your lazy butt out of bed cuddle.

3. "Mommy, need my hug and kiss" followed by a "oh, thank you mommy"

4. The cheering for accomplishing even the smallest feats! "Great job mommy" (closing a plastic Easter egg)

5. When getting ready in the morning and doing your hair you hear "oooh, mommy looks pretty"

6. Does it count that I consider having a baby a good excuse for the extra weight?

7. When they use 'please'; 'thank you'; 'no thank you'; 'you're welcome'; remind you to pray before eating...etc.  Makes you feel like you must be doing something right and setting a good example.

8. Baby cuddles, the way you can make the scary, sad, or hurt disappear by gently rocking them in your arms.  Rock on Super Mom!

9. Intuitively knowing when Mom is having a rough day, saying "Mommy sad" and trying to make it all better.  Or crawling over, grabbing a fist full of hair bringing you face to face with a droolly little smile, that really does make it all better.

10. Getting to hear all the comments about how "cute" your kids are, especially when followed by "they look so much like you".  Does that make me a bit shallow...of course, but back me up mom's(and dad's) you like it too.

10 Ways Kiddos are Bad for Your Self-Esteem

1. They remind you to be humble with the most innocent comments.  Example:
Me: We are going to go home and eat some yummy yummy food!
Toddler: Yummy yummy food.....Yay we going to Grandma's house!
2. When they poke your belly and giggle....Awesomeness, jiggly mom belly is funny, if that isn't inspiration  to get more active. Note to self, remember the 28 goals...get on that running one.

3. They parrot everything you say.  That may bite you in the butt, depending on where they choose to repeat it.  I deem embarrassment as bad for one's self-esteem.

4. They snub you after an absence...or show favoritism to the other parent at any point in time.  You KNOW it shouldn't matter, because its perfectly normal...but really what hurts worse than your own flesh and blood ditching you?

5. More humble reminders with innocent comments. Example:
Toddler: playing quietly then saying "Mommy need to clean house"
 6. Asking a question and answering it "Mommy too busy" before you even have a chance to respond. That one hurts, and reminds me to evaluate my priorities (which by that way after trying to make up for that leads to #5 - You can't have it both ways kid!)

7. Hearing a thud from the other room and immediately hearing your baby cry..and subsequently horrifying yourself with the following thought "If he can cry it probably wasn't that serious of a fall".  Not the greatest justification for wanting to use the bathroom in peace.

8. Realizing that with the baby being out of the womb longer than he was no longer have the "its takes as long to take off as it did to put on excuse"

9. Even more humbling innocent comments:  Child seeing an old picture of you and remarking "Mommy was pretty" did'ya catch that? 'WAS'

10. The look.  You know the one I am talking about.  It follows a request to do something that you can't...and you get that look that says "But Daddy/Grandma/Grandpa/the Neighbor's 2nd Cousin's Boyfriend's Dog could do it!"

All you can do is cherish it all, and call your mom to reminisce and verify "It's all normal."  Children are wonderful, no matter which way their grimy little chubby paws are pulling at your heartstrings at any given moment. I know I wouldn't trade mine for the world.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hubby made the News!

The hubby is off for 3 weeks of training, and I got to see on the news what part of his training pertained to.  Well he had already told me he was taking a Pashto language class, but the Toddler and I both still thought it was pretty cool to see Daddy on TV! (the soldier on the right is pretty popular in our house)

If you are interested here is the link to the story:!prettyPhoto[gallery]/0/

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


In the mail today I (well my 2 1/2 year old son) received a survey from the Hospital:

Dear (Toddler)

Our mission at (Local Hospital) is to provide this community with excellent, compassionate health care in an atmosphere that respects the uniqueness of each of our patients and their loved ones.  To accomplish this consistently, we need to know what went well with your care and what we can do better. We depend on our patients and their families to keep us informed.  By sharing your thoughts and feelings about your health care experience, you can help continuously improve our care and make the experience better for others.  You can also help us recognize any caregivers and departments who made your experience special.

Please take a few minutes to complete the enclosed patient satisfaction survey and return it in the postage-paid envelope.  We welcome written comments, and your response will be kept confidential unless you request that we share your feedback with staff.

Thank you and please accept my best wishes for your good health.
(stamped signature)
President & CEO

So I think I am going to let the Toddler have at his survey with crayons and possibly finger paints.  That should effectively let him express himself.  Though I don't know how much useful information they will gleam from his rendition of 'circles' and 'outer space', the President himself apparently felt Toddler had the necessary information.

**I will post a picture, when the Toddler has finished his masterpiece survey.**

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Yellow Ribbon

I spent a long (in every sense of the word) weekend in Billings for my 1st Pre-Deployment Yellow Ribbon Workshop.  Much of it made me feel like livestock being prodded around and moved from pen to pen without much rhyme or reason.  Some of the breakout sessions I was disappointed in, some I was surprised by.  All in all I gathered much more information than I realized I wanted needed to know.

I won't say much about the topics I actually was interested in, and cared about. As they pertained to more specific details of the Deployment. Like dates and what a possible typical day for the Hubby will be like.  Thank you OPSEC for making me paranoid.

I also spent the weekend listening to acronyms, and though I held back, I did  feel compelled to yell out random letters from the alphabet and see how they like to be left out on code talk. But alas, my random letters would probably mean something and it would defeat the purpose.  So I did what I always do when I am with the Hubby and other soldiers....lean in and say "What does fill in the blank mean?"  After I have done this about 3 times per sentence for a couple minutes, they start to get the hint and talk in English...for a little while.

One of the best things about the weekend is that one of the Hubby's best friends was there. He is deploying with a different unit, but missed his Yellow Ribbon due to training and had to make it up.  I really wish they were going together, I would feel much better knowing they had each others back.  Wives's don't get to have their way with everything though, and I was happy they got to hang out. It had been too long.  In the Hubby and my early dating days this particular buddy was described by my future husband as "attached to his hip"

To be completely honest I actually think I owe my marriage to him.  If he hadn't approved of me, I don't know how things would have ended up.  He saw my ring before I did, and had dates worked out better, he would have been the best man in our wedding.  So naturally I spent some of my free time quizzing him down about what he likes, because he is on my care package mailing list also.

Another cool thing to come from the Yellow Ribbon dealio.  All the children that were there and attended the provided daycare made a big flag with their handprints.

A Big, Big flag!  With white handprints for the stars and the red stripes made by assorted sized handprints.  The kids walked it in (sans the napping toddlers and babies) and presented it to the Captain with a request for him to take it overseas, and to bring it back when the deployment is over. He promised to display it with pride and they folded it up all official like. It was one of the moments that actually got to me.  I had quite a few walls up trying to block out emotion throughout the weekend.

I wish I had my camera and could have gotten a picture, it really was an awesome flag.

I wish I would have brought my camera along period, and gotten pictures of anything.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ever Wonder Why?

1) You all know the poem we were taught as children to remember how many days each month has?
30 days has September, April, June, and November all the rest have
31 (January, March, May, July, August, October, December)
save for February which has 28
and 29 on leap year.
Here is my beef.  Why the heck doesn't February borrow a day from two months that have 31? Then more months would have 30 days, and every 4 years February would have 31 days and we would be dealing with less variables.

Here is what I propose:

J 31
F 30 ( 31 during Leap Year)
M 30 (March is madness, it can spare a day)
A 30
M 31
J 30
J 30 (take a day off...makes my birthday seem sooner!)
A 31
S 30
O 31
N 30
D 31
*** Also notice how the number of days in each season are more uniform***

2)  What is up with the letter 'C'?  It brings nothing unique to the alphabet.  Seriously 'K' and 'S' have it covered.  And don't give me that, "combine 'C' + 'H' spiel, 'K' is totally up to taking on that duty. Afterall, 'S' does it just fine. Really it makes more sense for 'K' to do the same.

Here is what I propose, do away with 'C' altogether:

A B D E F / G H I J K / L M N O P / Q R S T U / V W X Y Z

25 letters of the alphabet, easily divided by 5, which I think splits things up quite nicely. Tidy and even for pre-school teachers to introduce the letters in groups.

In order for these changes to really have a shot though...we need a new 'Days of the Month Poem' and new "Alphabet Song Tune"

Like shouting out each group of 5 letters like a cheer!
A--B--D-E-F ! (double time on the last 3 in the group)
G--H--I-J-K !
L--M--N-O-P !
Q--R--S-T-U !
V--W--X-Y-Z !
And then ending the whole shebang with "GOOOO ALPHABET! YAAY!"

(I'll give you a minute to try it out yourself, I know you want to)


Thirty Days Hath February, March, April, June, July, September, and November.  All the rest have Thirty-One; even February when its Leap Year. The End.
Catchy, No?

So remember how you vote in 2012, we can change the WORLD...mwahhahaha. Oh Yeah, and I hate Daylight Savings Time, so lets do away with that too.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hack, Hack, Hacking on Heaven's Door

Okay, I may be prone to exaggeration. (Though not about the hacking, there is plenty of that going on) Our whole house is sick and crabby.  The Toddler has a double ear infection and they gave him a Z-Pack and Cough Syrup with Codeine in it!  Really Codeine for a two year old?  My Doctor did tell me that we parents should feel free to take a teaspoon of it also if our coughs get worse.

In other news, the toddler went to bed early and so far is sleeping quite well.

The Big D was deemed healthy, apparently his reason for crabbiness is getting 6 teeth this week.  Which I kinda figured, but she wasn't worried about his cough and just thought there was a lot of pressure from the new toof-ers.  He is in the 75% for noggin size and height, and 30% for weight.  He is 20 pounds of chunky monkey and 29 inches tall.  He just went through a growth spurt so his weight will likely catch up soon, although I would have  never known it would need to catch up.  Seriously the little fella has more rolls than I can count.

My dear sweet sister let me drop the kids off at her office while I went to my chiropractor appointment.  Which went very well, likely because I didn't have 2 crying babies along.  Then we went home, got the prescriptions filled and drugged up.

Hubby stayed at the farm for calving, and I didn't have the patience to wait in the waiting room with two crying kids long enough for an opening in the walk-in-clinic for myself, so I am hoping over the counter meds can cure whats ailing me.   (I did try out the recommended adult dose of the Rx Strength Cough Syrup...and now I also feel like sleeping.)

Top 10 Things that Suck about being sick
1) You have no energy and don't feel like doing anything = You don't do anything and the house falls to shambles.

2) You can only imagine what menopause will be like, You can't decide if you are freezing or cooking.  The family doesn't seem impressed when you touch the thermostat.

3) Hubby doesn't take the Toddler with him to do chores = less rest and more sick crabby people.  It's really quite amazing the Hubby comes home at night.

4) You have a glorious excuse to pull the sympathy card to get whatever you want....but you can't enjoy any of the fruits of aforementioned card because you are miserable sick.

5) If you do think you may enjoy the results of the sympathy card, your kidlets are much better at it than you so you will defer to fulfilling their whims...and somehow  they do manage to enjoy it.

6) Who really wants to use a sick day off work, by suffering and actually being sick?

7) Being sick throws off your entire schedule, so the effects last longer than the disease.

8) Nothing ruins the fun game of kissy face with the kidlets more than everyone having runny & snotty noses.  You suddenly regret teaching them any game that requires your being in close proximity.

9) If you do get a chance to nap, there is a greater than 79% chance the phone will ring...and 100% chance said phone ringing will wake up any napping kidlets in the vicinity. (Even though typically they could sleep through a hail storm on a tin roof)

10) You start putting your symptoms in WebMD and discover you only have days, possibly hours to live. (It's been nice knowing you.  In Lieu of flowers please send wine...if I do kick the bucket I have always been fascinated with the idea of wakes and would like you all to throw me one)

Seriously I can't get over the fact my 2 year old is on codeine!