Thursday, June 28, 2012

Virtual Crop Tour

Dear Hubby,

I promised I would try harder to get you pictures of your fields.  This week I followed through on that promise.  Feast your eyes on your wheat and barely fields...I did take pictures of the peas, but they didn't look so those ones are on facebook.

 After work, and picking up the boys from daycare, we went to the farm and had supper with your mom. Once it cooled down in the evening we decided it was the perfect time to go take some pictures.  The Big D was not a fan of the 4-wheeler so he ended up staying at the house with your sister.  Of course the Toddler was all about the ATVs.  I didn't get pictures of all the fields, just the ones at the farm.  I also didn't get a picture of the wheat field along the highway, if I am not running late tomorrow I will pull over and get a picture after dropping the kiddos off in the morning. I believe your parents are planning on getting pictures of the safflower and other fields this weekend.   If not, I will pack a little lunch and head out and snap some pictures myself.

For reference: The Toddler is 38.25 inches wearing his shoes.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Grass is Always Greener

...when you actually have grass that is. Although weeds can give your lawn that nice green look and fool people from a just isn't the same.  Our backyard is gloriously green...but only with weeds.  After the dirt work the Hubby did before leaving,  our yard is nice, level, and sloped away from the house to prevent water in our basement.  However it only has a few patches of actual lawn now.  I didn't get around to seeding it.  So it is what it is...and what it is - is weeds.

Our front yard actually has grass!  Don't worry though, we didn't discriminate and segregate (No 'grass in the front,  weeds in the back' policy) weeds are represented in plenty in both areas. I may be planning a little plant genocide, but shhhh...they don't know yet.  The front yard grass really is coming in pretty least in my humble opinion. It beats the brown mud puddle we had before. Plus its easy to enjoy a lawn when  you  are spoiled, I have nice neighbors that check in on me mow it for me!

My Hubby really only has a few requests for while he is gone.  Pictures of his lawn, his crops, and his kids.  So far I'm batting 1 out of 3.  I tried to pawn off the crop pictures on his little sister as she is actually living out at the farm...but apparently 17 year old girls have a pretty busy summer schedule, especially when the big brothers are gone and have jobs.  I have sent a few pictures of the lawn, but nothing on a  regular basis....but from my weekly photo bomb posts you can see I am nailing pictures of the kidlets!

My promise to you dear Husband: I will make the effort to get you your weekly crop pictures...for now though here is our lawn.

The Back Forty:


The North Twenty 

 The Up Close and Personal Shot (yes I am spraying the weeds tonight babe)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Care Packages 5, 6 & 7

I am horrible at actually taking pictures of the care packages...I remember that step after I have already taped the boxes up.  My Hubby asked me to hold off on care packages for awhile because of concern over space restraints and the availability of many supplies. So I tried to hold out as long as I least while he was stateside.

If I am sending him something, I feel like I am supporting him, taking care of him, and comforting him.  I know it is supposed to be about him not me, but I feel helpless when a long time passes and I don't hear from him and writing emails and letters don't seem to cut it for me.  So there you have the truth, sending him packages is as much for me as it is for him.

Anywho...I noticed a lot of the other wives posting about sending packages, what they were sending, and a few even shared what their soldier was requesting.  After pestering inquiring the Hubby about what his needs might be, I ended up with one request...which somehow equates to 3 packages from me.  I'm gonna say something gets lost in the translation or the Walls of Restraint Broke. He would say I tend to overdo things.

Care Package 5: Home Away From Home
My original plan for this one was to send a spray bottle of Febreeze, updated picture of the boys and me, a journal, and mattress pad, and an extra sheet set (with the pillow case in a ziplock bag with a squirt of my perfume).  The idea behind the Home Away From Home Package was to give him some comforts of home and in my mind, make home feel a little closer for him.  Then when he said a mattress pad wouldn't be a bad idea because the mattresses were pretty thin and uncomfy,  it meant to me that it was completely necessary for me to do a comfort bed makeover. So I decided the cheap orginal mattress pad would need returned and upgraded. He also said do not send the extra sheet set, he didn't need it. (Totally keeping the pillowcase idea for down the road though...either that or the old trick of spritzing the handwritten letters)

What ended up in the Package: 4" Memory Foam Mattress topper(here is where the Hubby would accuse me of overdoing things again, but I think he will appreciate it...he usually does). It came in a large box and I decided to tape the heck out of it and send it as I didn't have room for the other non-requested items.

Care Package 6: Red, White & Blue...sort of 
With the 4th of July coming up I wanted to give a themed package another shot.  He hadn't requested anything, he is a very low-maintence-make-due-with-what-you-have guy...with a weird combination of picky thrown in.  So he is a hard person to "wing it" with.  I picked out some snack food that I knew he liked and would be a good source of protein/energy if any missions meant messing the chow hall and some stuff to satisfy his sweet tooth. Where I could I looked for red, white, or blue food and/or packaging.

What ended up in the package: Red licorice, Trail mix granola bars, Ritz cracker stacks with EZCheese (in a Ziplock bag), jerkey, and oreos stuffed with blue frosting.  I also threw in a filled out address book and envelopes, in case he may want to write letters (also for a future Care Package Plan - more on that later), a written letter from me with the Toddler's drawings on back...and front...he got a bit carried away with the pen.

Care Package 7: For Your Family
The recordable Hallmark books have been great for us.  The boys love hearing Daddy's voice and hearing him read to them...and I actually appreciate being able to hear his voice as well.  Phone calls are a such luxury. With the time difference, the internet being great or reliable his voice is something that is treasured in our household.  The last time I was at WalMart I noticed they had four books that we didn't already have, so I picked them up. I think the boys will love getting something in the mail from Dad. I also threw in a Mattress pad thing to go under the flat sheet that is water proof...I don't know how hot the living quarters are, or how good the a/c is...but if he sweats a ton I thought it would serve as some protection for the spendy Memory Foam Mattress Topper I sent, and add a little bit more cushion.

What ended up in the package: The recordable books that he can send back home to the boys whenever he gets a chance and the mattress pad...which also worked well as package cushioning to protect the books.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ups and Downs

Embarrassing confession...I stepped on a scale and currently weigh 65 pounds more than when the Hubby and I started dating!  Definite goal for this deployment is to get my pre-baby body back. I want to look better for myself and my husband. I want to be a healthy role model for my children, and have the energy to keep up with them...but I am struggling with adding more activity and healthier eating.

  • I have upped my water intake, cut back on other drinks expect my Lo-carb Monster energy drink and coffee.  I guess that is the next step...goodbye caffeine, or at least no more than one cup a day! (Sorry co-workers, I might be crabby going through the withdrawal)

  • I have been trying to play with the kids more in the backyard and seems like only talking about taking walks.  Time to get serious and actually take walks after work and dust off my Pilate's DVDs.  Once I finish cleaning out the garage I will also have the elliptical available.  What is a reasonable starting goal - 20 to 30 minutes a exercise/activity a night?

  • Bountiful Baskets have added to the fruits and veggies available in the house, but I tend to mainly feed that to the boys.  I know the kids are eating healthier than me...I guess portion control and bad choices when eating out are getting me.  I need to get back to lo-carb eating like I did while pregnant with the Big D and controlling gestational diabetes...which means eating breakfast and  5-6 mini meals rather than snacking for lunch and a supper.

  • My motivators, I would like to run a 5K when the Hubby gets home, to do something for myself all for myself, and  proving I can do it.  Also one of my best friends from High School is getting married and having a destination wedding in St. Lucia next fall...I want to wear a bikini on the beach without feeling self-conscious...okay, I am more comfortable being modest, so I probably won't, but I want to have the option.

I am full of excuses, after work I am exhausted, in the morning I am exhausted and getting the kids ready for daycare and myself presentable for work seems like more than I can manage some days.  Lately it feels like there isn't anything that I can manage.  Getting healthy gets pushed to the back burner and I have a feeling that is what contributes to a cycle of blah and wishful thinking without action.

I can clearly see my mood reflected in my housekeeping. 

When I am feeling good: everything is neat, tidy, airy and happy feeling. Toys and books are put away before bed time. Dishes are done as soon as the table is cleared.  The kids and I cuddle and read books before bed, we stretch out on the floor and have tickle wars.  When I feel good I make time for playing outside in the backyard, being mentally present for one-on-one time with each of the kids.  Conversations with the Toddler, and being lead on an adventure guided by only his imagination.  Cuddling with the Big D and pointing out each other's noses, and practicing new words. Clearing off the table and getting out the finger paint or crayons...making sure no one eats the art supplies.  I let the boys 'help' unload the dishwasher, we make homemade 'ice cream' in the food processor using frozen bananas and peanut butter.  We vacuum every evening after supper and make sure to brush teeth before heading off to bed. I have a schedule and adhere to it, when my head hits the pillow it feels like an accomplished day that I wish my husband was home to enjoy.  I say a quick prayer that he is well and make a mental note for another care package idea. I smile and laugh freely and have a positive spin on everything. We are managing.

When I get down: the dishwasher is full dishes waiting to be put away, the table and highchair need wiped down, laundry is piling in the utility room & bedrooms, and neglected baskets of folded clothes are laying around for weeks asking to get put away instead of rummaged through.  The mirror in the bathroom has smudge marks and hand do all of the windows.  Clutter is taking over the counter tops, and dust is finding a home in all the nooks and crannies.  The biggest housekeeping achievement I can find is that the garbage is taken out on a regular basis.  Projects and cleaning are started, but the putting things away follow through is missing. Toys litter the entire house, books are strewn throughout, and mushed cheerios are left under the highchair. I find a sippy cup that has long been rolled under the couch and brace myself as I open it to find out if it is full of soured milk or stale water.  I pop in a movie or let the boys watch a few episodes of Super Why on Netflix. I feel too exhausted for anything else.  They will have to be content with fresh diapers, food in their tummies, and a mother than is only physically present. I am only going through the motions. I can feel depression trying to creep in, but hasn't quite caught a foothold. I feel embarrassed if anyone were to stop by and see the state of my house, enough that I wish I could pretend we weren't even home when someone does stop by.  Why don't visitors ever come after I have tidied up?

I feel overwhelmed,  and I feel stressed.  I make plans to go somewhere on the weekend because the walls of my house begin to close in and feel like a prison.  This only makes the housekeeping fall behind more. I don't want to cook, I don't want to pickup messes all day...all I can do is count down the minutes until I can send the boys to bed and think of when I can crawl in bed and dream of somewhere happier...yet nighttime comes and I can't sleep.  I miss my husband and stare at a computer screen until the wee hours hoping for an email, or his name to pop up on Skype...anything.  I mindlessly look for something to snack on...I take a shower and pour Irish Spring gel under the water so its smells like he is home, I finally give up and cry myself to sleep and hate the lonely. I drag myself out of bed and survive until lunch time on caffeine and energy drinks.  I begin to feel shaky and remember I haven't eaten and my blood sugar is dropping=bad nutrition choices. I just have to eat something at this point and always overdo it. I feel guilty for not keeping up on anything, can I get out of this rut? I fake a smile and hope that is enough to turn everything around again. In my mind I tell myself everything will be better when he comes home from the deployment...but in my heart I know I have to make the changes now, especially if I am going to meet my goals.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Photo Bomb 8

Dear Hubby,

The boys were getting to be past the need of haircuts.  The Toddler was looking like a hippy with sideburns long enough to be mutton chops...and the Big D had a self grown mullet going on.  I wrangled your mom into coming along to help me with the boys for their hair appointment.

The Toddler traditionaly isn't a big fan of haircuts.  He wasn't sure about sitting up by himself and did his best to convince the stylist that the Zebra needed a haircut more than he did.  Luckily she is a pro.  She was armed with a cup full of M&Ms, an extra comb and 2 spray bottles of water...soon he was having too much fun to remember he was even getting his haircut! (Everyone else ended up wet and in need of a towel)

The Big D wasn't too sure what to think.  It kind of tickled, he was more interested in checking himself in the mirror...and holding still isn't very high up on his to do list. But brother fed him some M&Ms and he got to smack me around in the face with a comb, so all in all he tolerated his very first haircut pretty well.

Stay safe baby, we love and miss you.

 Zebra needs haircut!

  Looking pretty handsome (at least this Momma thinks so)

Hahahaha...that tickles! 

Doesn't he look devious?

 Lock and Load Boys! 

Before: the Big D rocking his mullet and eating the candy Grandma is sneaking him....I'm on to you lady!
(sidenote: I love my MIL's nails, she always has them done so neat)

  Business up front...Party in the Back!

 What is she doing?

I'm not sure about this

Ooooo...candy!  Thank you brother!

How do you like it Mom?
Take that....and that!

Hey what do you have?

 Being a nice big brother and sharing his candy.

 Much too busy to pose for good pictures of post haircuts.

But you get the point.