Wednesday, May 31, 2006

If you're gonna "pleasure" your boyfriend in the parking lot at work, bad puns are the least of your worries.

During a meeting with some friends today (yes, it was really a "meeting." We discussed official business. It was NOT an excuse to get together and chat while we let our kids blow off some steam. Nope, it wasn't that at all), I heard about how one friend's husband told her a co-worker was caught her boyfriend in her car in the parking lot AT WORK.

I used to work outside the home and let me tell you, I never once considered starting my day that way--especially not in the parking lot outside my office. Part of that could be because my last job was for a Catholic organization where the grounds were decorated accordingly. It doesn't matter that we're Jewish. When you've got a giant praying statue of Mary staring at you, no one's getting turned on.

Well, anyway, this just fascinated us today during our meeting. A dear friend of mine (who will remain nameless unless she wants to out herself in comments) came up with some fabulous jokes/puns. Here is what I remember:

Things are coming to a head at work.

He's up for the challenge.

Honey, something came up at work today.

Hey, what's up?

So, they called me at work, and I called back "I'm coming.

There you go. Now we can all cringe and secretly giggle to ourselves at the same time.

What could be better then my fabulous friends?
My fabulous friends with alcohol.

Just when I think my friends can't possibly get any cooler, they do just that.

I got a call from one of the aforementioned fabulous friends this evening. She had a favor to ask of me. Her husband bought her a lot of beer and she has asked for my help. I'm not normally a fan of beer at all, but I heard the phrase, "Chocolate undertones," and I'm all about that.

We need to work out the plans (her dh is probably going to drop her off and pick her up), but some time in the near future, I'll just have to take one for the team and help her out. :-)

Parties, gifts, and now alcohol. Do friends get any better than this?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Danger, Will Robinson

Have you all seen these commercials for sleeping pills?

I can't remember if it's Lunesta or Ambien, but one of them has a warning that absolutely baffles me.

Here's the gist of the warning from the t.v. ad:
"Until you know how you will respond, you should not drive or operate machinery after taking (whatever sleeping pill it is)."

Wait just one minute. When is it EVER appropriate to do those things after taking a sleeping pill?

If you take the pill and it makes you drowsy like it's supposed to do, then you sure as hell shouldn't be driving/working a forklift. If you take the pill and it doesn't make you drowsy (aka: do what it's supposed to do), then you stop taking the pill.

So who on earth is that warning for? Does this make sense to anyone? Anyone at all?

Stars shining bright above you.
Night breezes seem to whisper, "I love you."

When you're alone as blue as can be,
Dream a little dream of me.

I don't know if I was influenced more by that audio clip than I realized, but I dreamed about dh last night. He was home. It was SO REAL. At one point, I even asked, "Is this a dream?" He assured me it was not. I believed him.

My father tells a story about how he once had a dream that his roommate rearranged the furniture. It was so real. When he woke up, everything was back to the way it had been before he went to sleep. His roommate thought he was nuts when he kept asking, "Why is this back here?" It was exactly where it had always been. The dream seemed so real to him, though.

That doesn't happen often at all with me. My dreams are usually so far fetched that I know they're not real. Either that or during the dream, I have the conscious thought, "This is a dream."

I don't remember much about the dream. I remember being in his arms and I remember the kids bouncing around us. I remember dh's presence was so strong.

When I woke up, it took me a moment to realize it had all been a dream. When I did, I was left thinking, "Sonofabitch!"

Too little too late.

Did anyone else notice the GM commercials yesterday? They're promising to give $100 from every new car sold to the VFW's National Home.

If you missed it, here's the information:
GM Rallies Around Families of Servicemen

Notice this part:

"In honor of Memorial Day, General Motors (GM) is honoring America's heroes by supporting the families at the VFW National Home. Buick, Pontiac and GMC will donate $100 for every car sold to the VFW National Home between May 22 and May 31. GM expects to donate several million dollars. "

Problem is, they didn't start airing the ads until YESTERDAY. Those ads proudly proclaimed, "From now until May 31st." Well, yesterday (aka the "now" referenced in the commercial) was the 29th. So basically, you have 2 days if you want to take them up on that offer.

So GM gets lots of glory without actually having to DO much.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day: pools, barbecues, sales and dead soldiers

Remember, Memorial Day is a day dedicated to honoring those who have died in war.

It has come to be a day of sales at the mall, backyard barbecues and the day the local pool officially opens. That is NOT, however, what it's all about.

I hope you all got to go out and enjoy your family in whatever way you like. I hope you got to swim. I hope you enjoyed a burger from the grill. I hope you took time to remember those who have died. I hope you said a prayer for the families they left behind.

This is the first time I've had dh deployed during Memorial Day. So I found this particularly difficult, but very necessary:

CNN: Coming Home

Scroll down. Look on the left. Under Military Families, look for Audio slide show: Wife to Widow with Knock at Door

Even listening to it again, I'm a mess. She just got to the part about seeing him in her dreams and I'm in tears.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Times like this, I doubt the existence of a higher power.

I believe in G-d, really, I do. I just think He hates me.

I drove around for nearly an hour to get the kids to sleep. We met a friend at the park. The girls proved how tired they were by being very obnoxious. The boy fell asleep on our way to the car. So I figured I'd get myself a drink and then drive around for a little while until they fell asleep. Girl1 went out fairly quickly. Girl2, however, just wouldn't give up. Finally, I figured, "Screw it. I'm going home."

Girl2 toyed with my emotions by starting to fall asleep just blocks from home, but she thought better of it. When we pulled in, she pretended to be asleep. It was obvious she was awake, though, so I told her, "Get down. Get your shoes. Go in and go to bed."

She freaked out big time. Much screaming ensued. This wasn't just whining. These were screams of torture (in the sense that she sounded as though she was being tortured and in the sense that I was tortured by the sound). So I got Girl1 out quickly while her sister screamed. She did eventually get down and walk to the door, though, screaming the whole time.

I got them in bed (Girl2 still screaming) and went back to get the boy. I found him staring up at me wide awake. It was at that point that I put my head down on his car seat and cried.

G-d hates me!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Must bite tongue.
Must not rant.
Must not refer to Bush as a "douche bag."

As a liberal military wife, I'm an oddity. I'm not quite as odd now as I was 5 years ago, though. As we get more wives, especially the younger wives of enlisted men, we tend to get more liberal folks. I almost fell over when the new group of moms (You get folks in waves. A group of your old friends will leave and then another group of new ones appears. It's a cycle) at playgroup passed around something Michael Moore had written. And they weren't doing it in an attempt to paint him as the anti-christ. They actually agreed with him.

Anyway, I have a number of friends who are neither military members/spouses nor liberals. We tend to stick to not discussing politics. Religion is an open topic, but politics is just a glaring blinking beeping hot button of disaster.

When people find out my husband is deployed, though, they're more likely to make political comments. In those cases, I have to try so hard to bite my tongue. Dh and I have VERY strong feelings on politics. For us, political debates are about a life or death situation. We're not just discussing lofty ideals like most people. This is our life. This is about the lives of our friends. We make no attempt to hide the fact that we believe Bush is a douche bag. My kids will tell you, "Bush sucks." At the same time, though, there's a time and a place for everything. I will never lie about my beliefs, but I'm not going to beat anyone over the head with them either.

And so I must refine the art of tongue biting and remind myself that while I find "asshat" and "douche bag" to be acceptable and accurate, they're probably words best left unsaid when in the presence of conservatives (and children because you know full-well they'll pick up those words in an instant and use them repeatedly and LOUDLY).

Slumber party

I'm regressing.

Tomorrow night, I'm going to a slumber party. A group of which I'm a part is having an adult slumber party (No, I don't mean "adult" in THAT way. There will be no funny stuff. Well, I'm sure they'll be funny stuff, but there won't be any sex). It's a bunch of grown women, leaving the kids at home (in my case, they're all coming with me since dh is away), bringing some wine, and taking over a hotel.

It promises to be lots of fun and I can't wait! I so need this right now.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sexually Deprived For Your Freedom

Oh my word! This is far too perfect!
I MUST have this shirt.

Found at Cafe Press

I also adore these shirts:

Do not confuse your rank with my authority.

Out of uniform (are you sensing a theme?)

Hug a military wife or buy her liquor.

The Dixie Chicks and half-wits

A local radio station played the new Dixie Chicks single today. I can't stand Country music. I'm not really a fan of the Dixie Chicks. I am, however, a fan of free speech. For that reason, I'm going to buy their newest album.

Apparently the radio station (not a Country station) has been getting hate mail telling them not to play the new Dixie Chicks. Today, the lovely DJs played the single (they are not owned by Clear Channel which, in a Bill O'Reilly type fit of intolerance has announced it will not play the Dixie Chicks at all) and asked for responses. The vast majority were positive (luckily). There were a few that were insanely bigoted, though.

One military man who refused to give his real name, but gave only his rank (which actually speaks volumes), went off on a tirade about how the Dixie Chicks were Nazis. Um...not at all. One could argue that there are those within our government who fit the definition (real or implied) of "Nazi" more so than any of the Dixie Chicks. This man went on to insist the Dixie Chicks had attacked the soldiers and that they need to take it up with the president because the decision was his, not the soldiers.

Um...what? With his obvious lack of information and insistence on attacks (and complete lack of a grasp on reality), I really have to wonder if this guy IS Bill O'Reilly. The Dixie Chicks NEVER attacked the soldiers. They said they were ashamed they were from the same state as Bush.

I tried desperately to call into the station to tell them that a military wife (whose husband is actually over there right now) completely disagreed with that guy as does my husband. I couldn't get through, though. I am planning to send them an e-mail.

Another caller insisted that claiming this is about free speech is "asinine." Yet again, we have a WTF moment. That's EXACTLY what this is about. He ranted and raved a bit and really sounded like an idiot. At one point, the DJs asked him if he even knew what the Dixie Chicks said that started the boycott. He had no idea. They had to tell him. He insisted we shouldn't support any artists who don't support the president. So the DJs listed a few other artists and asked him if he owned their albums. He answered, "Yes," for a few. They pointed out that those artists actively campaigned AGAINST Bush. He had no real answer.

I could rant forever here, but I'll resist that urge. I'm all for free speech from either side of the aisle. If someone doesn't agree with me, I want an open forum to discuss with them. I want to understand their side. I want to help them understand mine. Recently, there have been so many issues where I was firmly on one side, but I've really come to grasp the view of the other side. In most cases, my views haven't changed, but I'm more understanding. It's difficult to vilify people once you get to know them.

I want there to be an open discourse on all issues. The fact that we can have that is one of the reasons I love this country. Yet when we have people getting up in arms and even boycotting when they don't even fully understand why, then that discourse cannot occur. That is simply un-American.

Monday, May 22, 2006

In your arms

Last night, for the first time, I let myself miss dh--really miss him. I miss his presence every day, but it hasn't been as blatant and painful as in years past. Part of it is that I just don't have time to dwell.

Late last night, though, for no known reason (well, I guess the reason is because we just found out my soon-to-be former brother-in-law is an asshole which makes me appreciate how very much my husband is NOT), I let myself think about dh and miss him.

Yeah, I would love a co-parent around the house to help out with the kids (and give me a few more hours of sleep), but what I really miss about dh are his arms. My favorite place in the world to be is in his arms. I miss that.


15 days

That's how long I lasted before my first breakdown.

The boy is teething something awful, so he hardly slept over the past few days. That, of course, means I get even less sleep than him.

It's been annoying, but not that bad. Then last night, he actually slept a decent span, so I did as well. I got about 5 consecutive hours of sleep which has been unheard of around here with the erupting of the teeth. That combined with the fact that those consecutive hours were the ONLY sleep I got left me feeling completely exhausted.

The boy woke up earlier than usual and refused to go back to sleep.

Then I changed a diaper and broke down.

The boy cried. I picked him up and he stopped. I put him back down to change him and he screamed again. I started changing his diaper and as part of Screamapalooza 2006, he slammed his feet into his dirty diaper.

Breakdown ensued. I finished changing him, grabbed him, and headed to the bedroom where I screamed and cried for a few minutes.

All I want is a few more hours of sleep, but no one will help me. I went through the mental list of friends praying I could find SOMEONE who would be willing/able to pop over to just watch my kids so I could go back to bed for a few more hours. This one is too busy. That one is too far away. Another one is too far away AND too busy. That one won't come.

I know I'm bad about asking for help, but at the same time, I know full-well that I'm not the only one in the world with problems. So I don't want to go asking people who I know are busy thereby making them feel guilty. It's not their fault they have their own lives/families/issues/etc. And no, for once, I'm NOT being sarcastic.

And now the baby's crying again. I'm SO FREAKING EXHAUSTED.

Friday, May 19, 2006

What NOT to do.

  • Rule #1. If your brother and sister-in-law are expecting and they find out the sex of the baby, don't guess. You will probably be wrong.
Everyone else has a 50/50 chance. I have 100% chance OF BEING WRONG. I have never once been right, not even with my own kids.
  • Rule #2. When they do find out, tell them not to tell you. It may seem like a good idea, but then you have free reign to buy every single item you come across for that particular sex.
  • Rule #3. Stay away from craft stores. This is particularly important if you have ignored rule #2. It's even more important if you ignored rule #2 AND you have 3 kids and a deployed husband therefore giving you no free time at all to make the things you had planned when you bought all those supplies.
  • Rule #4: Even if you managed to escape the Babies-R-Us-You-Must-Buy-This-Crap-Or-You're-A-Bad-Parent monster when you had your own kids, you will still get the urge to buy EVERY SINGLE THING YOU SEE for the impending niece/nephew (nephew in my case). There's much less gender-neutral stuff out there than there is specific boy/girl stuff.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead

The title is also the title of a one-act play I saw many moons ago when I was in college. I thought it was appropriate.

Dh has been gone for 10 days and today is the first "One of those days." I was doing so well, too. Then my kid ate the DVD box.

Girl2 drives me insane. She constantly has her fingers/toys/anything she can get her hands on in her mouth. As a baby, she ate THROUGH her board books. I kid you not. Those thick board books are missing pages and/or chunks of pages because she literally ate through them. I just figured that's what babies do, they put things in their mouths. Well, she's a big kid now and today, I found she ATE the box for a brand new DVD we just bought. There is a hole in the front from where she ate through the plastic. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Then I go to make dinner and find the chicken is bad. That was all I had planned for dinner. And I really wanted it too. AHHHHHHHHHHH

Then I get 4 letters from our insurance company telling me we've all been assigned to new doctors (aside from dh). After jumping through all the insurance company's hoops, I find our doctor is no longer an approved PCM (and hasn't been since March, but I just got the notice now). The rep from the insurance tells me to call them because maybe they just haven't updated their paperwork. So I do that and yep, it's something like that. I'm told it should be straightened out in about 2 weeks.

In the meantime, our doctors have been changed. I've been assigned to a military doctor. I busted my butt to get to a civilian one in the first place. Now that I've been assigned a military one again, I may not be able to get back to a civilian. The kids shouldn't be a problem, but in order to switch them, I'm gonna have to haul them all in to the office and fill out a ton of paperwork. Yeah, that's an easy feat for the one whose husband is deployed. And JSYK, I will never go back to another military doctor. Long story, but they're awful.

I try calling my mom to bitch to her about this. No answer. I try calling my sister, no answer. I get fed up and decide we're going out to eat. Then I realize that's not an easy task with the boy. He'll want to be held. Usually not a problem when dh is home. We can pass him back and forth. Now, though, it makes eating out nearly impossible if he's awake and trust me, he's going to be awake for a while.

So I think maybe I can have my sister bring my niece over and we'll all order Chinese. So I try calling again and again. No answer.

Then I figure I'll go out on a limb and try another friend. She lives pretty far away and I figured she'd have other plans, but hey, I've gotta do something. So I tried her and got her voicemail too.

I'm assuming everyone else is busy at home with their husbands.


This is the part where I slam my head into the wall. Excuse me. I'll go do that now.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Heigh Ho. Heigh Ho. It's off to work we go.

Today is dh's first day of work at his new home in the sand box. He got there a few days ago (after finding out they had waited all that time for a plane to the WRONG PLACE). We shall see what it's like.

I can't say I envy him. I rather enjoy not sweltering in heavy gear as the temperature tops 120 degrees.

Although I can say I'm very curious to hear how the day went.

It kills me to not be able to just pick up the phone, call and ask. I'll e-mail him, but there's no telling when he'll be able to check his e-mail again. When you're as talkative as I am, this whole situation is nerve-wrecking.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Does this make me a bad mom?

On the way home from the aforementioned picnic, the girls were exhausted, but refused to JUST FALL THE HELL ASLEEP ALREADY. When we were nearly home, we passed some trucks working on the side of the road. They had those blinking yellow lights. These caught the girls' eyes.

Girl2 asked, "What are they doing?"

I replied in a rather harsh tone, "They're waiting for you to fall asleep."

Was that evil of me?

How did I exist all these years without these things?

Today, for the first time in my life, I had smores. And it was only today that I really started living. :-)

We went to a picnic for Lag B'Omar. While there, they had a fire and all the supplies for smores. I made one (with much difficulty since the boy was in the sling) and ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Why has no one ever told me that marshmellows taste SO MUCH BETTER when heated?

I was never a camping type person (I've actually never been camping and never had any desire to do so). That left me with no opportunity to try these lovely little morsels.

And I have been in a smores drunk stupor ever since.

Did you say "30," or "13?"

I just found out a huge number of our old friends have accounts on Um...What?

Now I can kinda see it for those who are single and/or artists. I understand it can be a good networking tool (and apparently was created for bands to use to promote themselves). What I don't get are those who are married or committed and have these elaborate accounts on there.

Didn't you leave that teen angst stuff behind long ago?

Dh's friends drink, like you may expect of someone 10 years younger than they actually are. At his high school reunion, they had to close the bar early because their tab had run up OVER the maximum allowed amount. There were maybe 30 of them there. This was NOT a huge affair.

And what did they do after the reunion? They hit the bars. Even the folks with kids did. We didn't. We walked walked away baffled by how much people can NOT change.

Last time we went to visit, I asked dh if he wanted to call up some of the old. He said he didn't because all they ever want to do is hit the bars and that's just not him anymore. Mind you, he still drinks. We both do. But I was never into the bar scene and he's been over it for a long time. It's what they do, though--all the time.

Maybe I'm out of it, but that's so foreign to me. For us, that's something you do when you're much younger. If you're in your 30s and still hitting the bars, it just looks awfully desperate.

And now we stumble across these Myspace accounts. I just wrote to dh and asked, "Are they 30 or 13?"

I've been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they're real
I've been living so long with my pictures of you

That I almost believe that the pictures are
All I can feel

Title from "Pictures of You," G-d bless the Cure! If that looks familiar and you're not a Cure fan, that's probably because Hewlet Packard used the song in a commercial a few years ago.

I've been thinking a lot about photographs. I LOVE photography. I grew up with a dark room in the basement. It had been my grandfather's back in the day. My dad never used it, but I was always fascinated by it. I got my first camera when I was 6 and I never looked back.

I don't know if some of my personality traits are why I love photography or if they didn't exist before I discovered photography. Did they lead me to the camera or did the camera lead me to them?

I was listening to Vienna Teng today and this bit from "Say Uncle" really caught my attention:

"I retrieve the memories quickly as I can
add them to the portrait
we all draw in our minds
your body gone, we shall keep the man."

Some people paint portraits in their mind. They piece together fragments of different memories in order to form a whole. Me? I've always taken photographs long before I first held a camera. To this day, I can still see exactly what I was wearing on my third birthday. The picture of my aunt's face as she walked through the front door is frozen in time. She passed away when I was 2, so I must have been very young when that happened. Still, her face at that moment is forever frozen in my memory. I've photographed these moments in time all my life.

My only knowledge of most of my relatives is through their pictures. There are the distant cousins who died long ago, but at the same time, there are my grandfather's pictures. I knew him briefly, but through the photographs he left behind, I learned so much more about him. He had such a wicked sense of humor. I love it. The man who never made it past the sixth grade was able to do such amazing things with his pictures. Through lighting, posing and techniques done while he printed the photos, I can see his brilliance. My grandmother died long before I was born, but through his pictures of her (that range from their courtship through the year she passed away), I got to know her and how much he loved her.

Sometimes I wonder what fuels me. Am I drawn to the camera or is the camera drawn to me?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Just a day, just an ordinary day. Just trying to get by.

Yes, I just quoted Vanessa Carlton for my title. I'm hanging my head in shame.

Well, Mothers' Day actually turned out to be a pretty decent day.

The girls made me cards in Sunday School (I HATE calling it that. Sounds far too Christian) that said, "I love you Eema." Although the girls kept insisting it said, "Emma," because they know how to read Emma (their friend's name) and it is awfully close. Plus, "Eema" is Hebrew for "Mom," and they don't call me that, so they were really baffled.

FYI: "Abba" is Hebrew for Daddy.

Their teacher asked them why they love me and she wrote their responses in the cards. Girl1 loves me just because she loves me. Girl2 loves me because she misses me when I'm gone (hmmm... Do you think she has Daddy on the brain?).

After that, we rushed off to lunch with a friend. I got there late and she had already put our names in, so I only had to wait about 5 minutes to be seated. Yay.

Now lunch was a harsh mistress. Or more precisely, the boy was a cranky baby. I got to eat very little and had to deal with a screaming baby. That meant I was not the most sympathetic or in-tune person when it came to the girls. I felt bad about that. They're the ones who initiated me into this club called "Motherhood," but I think the nicest thing I said to them during the whole meal was, "Please just sit down and be quiet."

I got to eat very little and the waitress wouldn't come back to give me more water. I would chalk it up to being busy, but another super cool waiter (not ours) kept coming over to play with our kids. If he can find time to tickle a baby, then the waitress who is relying on us for a tip can certainly take the 2 seconds to pour me a glass of water. Of course the boy fell asleep in the sling when I had already lost my appetite and started packing food in boxes.

Stopped on the way home and got myself some iced coffee. For a few brief moments, all was right with the world.

Got home and found dh had called. Why he didn't try the cell phone after he realized I wasn't home I'll never understand. I also found he had called his mother which made me happy. I felt bad because I forgot to remind him today was Mothers' Day last time I talked to him. So I'm glad he not only realized it, but thought to call her as well.

On my way to grab the phone to call a friend, I tripped over a box while holding the boy. I lost my grip on him and wound up holding him only by one arm. I was terrified that I had broken his arm. When I asked if he was okay, he laughed. I'll take that as a "Yes." After I was certain he was okay, I noticed my ankle really hurt. Funny how that works.

I finally got to the phone and called that friend. She invited us over for dinner. We went and fun was had by all. The bigger kids fell asleep in the car on the way home. Well, the baby did too, but in his usual fashion, he woke up when I tried to bring him in the house. Never fails. Dh is the only one the baby will stay asleep for. Lots of good that does me.

It wound up being a really good day (minus the "No more water for you," thing and the sore ankle). And so I say, "Yay," to friends. Give me some pom poms and I'll make up a whole freaking cheer about them. Just don't ask me to don one of those tiny skirts. I haven't gotten my body back yet after having the boy and trust me, one of those teeny tiny cheerleader skirts on me would make you cry.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Frankie says "Relax."

My MIL sent me a Mothers' Day card. That was actually a very nice gesture. The choice of cards, though, makes me scratch my head.

See, I've been bummed about Mothers' Day. It's just going to be another day. The kids are too young to realize (without prompting) that they should do/say/make something special. So basically, the day won't exist for me.

Let me go off on a brief tangent: for that reason, I was really excited to see my friends had thrown a surprise Mothers' Day party for me earlier in the week. I figured something was up because someone had mentioned wanting to do something, but I had no idea they were going with the Mothers' Day theme. So I was thrilled to have that for the occasion.

In all honesty, that was probably the nicest Mothers' Day gift I've ever gotten . Well, wait, second nicest. When the girls were just a few days old and in the NICU, one of the nurses gave all the moms a Mothers' Day poem with each baby's foot prints on it. But this was a very close second. I may even consider it a tie (hey, the party came with coffee. That's something the NICU nurses overlooked).

But now the actual day is coming up and on that day, we may wind up not doing anything special at all (and I've had a rotten day, so something special would be very welcome).

Getting back to that card. It had a picture of a woman lounging on the front and said something like, "Enjoy a day that's all about you." Then inside it had a message about how I'll get to relax.

WHAT ON EARTH? Relax? How am I supposed to relax? I can't even get much sleep. Trying to take a shower in the morning with these three kids is like juggling 12 rubber balls each coated with oil while standing under a water fall. I'd love to add "Relax" to my list of things to do, but I'm afraid that after things like "Keep all three children alive," "Buy more Tylenol," "Clean out litter boxes," and "Search for a gas station with prices that won't make me cry," there simply won't be enough room for "Relax." Even if I could manage to shove it on my list, I highly doubt I could get all three children (and both cats) to add, "Let mom relax," to their lists too. And let's face it, I could have "Clean house until it's sparkling, make gourmet dinner, and spend two hours leisurely window shopping" on my list, but if it's not on the kids' lists too, there's no way in hell (Sorry, D) it's gonna happen.

That card wound up making me mad because it reminded me that there will be no relaxing at all. It won't be a day dedicated to mothers. It will be a day dedicated to keeping the girls from stealing each other's Polly Pockets and trying to cook a meal without the boy busting into screams the minute I put him down.

I really do appreciate the fact that they thought of me. I'm just a bit baffled by their choice of sentiments.

My deep thought for the day

I think G-d does a little happy dance every time someone figures out how to combine the yummy goodness of chocolate and coffee. I know I do.

This post is brought to you by friends--most especially, those friends who come bearing baskets full not only of coffee, but also chocolate-covered espresso beans and mocha cappuccino-flavored cream wafer rolls (5 servings my ass! I just finished most of the can in one sitting. These things are FANTASTIC. Well, at least they were. :-) ).

Thursday, May 11, 2006

"My friends are my estate."

I do so adore Emily Dickinson.

I simply must have an entire entry about how much my friends rock

Today, I had a surprise Mothers' Day party. I got to see lots of friends, eat very good food (I'm still drooling. It was SO good), and relax. It was great.

It's a huge relief knowing that I have such wonderful friends. The time "alone" (I'm using quotes because come on, with three kids, I'm never really alone) can be scary, monotonous, boring, and so very very long. Friends make all the difference. Dh hasn't even been gone a full week yet and they've already started on their way to sainthood. :-)

Ring ring ring. Will someone get the telephone?

Title courtesy of the Telephone Song from For the Kids Too (a really cool CD for kids that they like well enough, but I absolutely adore).

Dh called this morning. He's stuck. In the military's usual "Hurry up and wait," fashion, they rushed his team to an earlier leave date only to have them stuck in Kuwait (not their final destination). No one knows when they (or the other 3 groups stuck waiting for flights) will get to hop a plane out of there. Dh is currently living in a tent and the high yesterday was 105 degrees. Oh happy day!

Hey, I'll live with my "emotional floating" as long as I get air conditioning.

He sounds like he's in good spirits which is a wonderful thing because when he's away, he tends to fall pretty hard. This deployment is particularly dificult for him because the boy is so young. He's going to be a completely different little boy when dh comes home.

Dh was TDY for a few weeks last month. He couldn't get over how much the boy had changed in that short amount of time (of course the baby chose that time to hit a few new milestones--never fails).

I have some news of my own about what a great day I had, but I'll post that in another entry.

Now I've heard from the husband, so slap a big grin on my face.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year...Wish you were here.

I'm just floating here right now (not literally, although now THAT would be fun).

I don't have anything to do. I'm tired, but I want to put off going to bed as long as possible since I have to do so without dh. There's nothing on t.v. I want to watch. I'm not feeling particularly creative, so I have nothing to make. I'm just left hanging here not knowing what to do or where to go (although when you're the sole care-giver for 3 kids, there really aren't many destination options at this hour).

Haven't heard from dh. I desperately want to know where he is and what he's doing. I feel so far removed from his life when we get stuck in these no contact situations. You can prepare yourself (to some extend) for the physical distance, but it's this emotional distance that kills me. I can't e-mail him. I can't speak to him on the phone. I can't tell him about our day. I can't ask about his. On a particularly bad day, it's not all too uncommon to wonder if this elusive spouse even exists.

It hasn't been a horrid day nor has it been long at all since we last spoke. Don't worry. I'm not kicking into warp speed on my way to Freakoutville.

I'm not upset. I'm not worried. I'm just trying to figure out what to do with myself inside this abyss without my husband.

the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night

Last night was awful. The girls would not go to sleep. The baby wouldn't stay asleep. And all I wanted was desperately to fall (and stay) asleep.

Sleep just would not come to my tired mind. Nothing I tried worked. All I wanted was to get some sleep, so I was particularly ticked by this turn of events.

The boy was up every hour. He wasn't hungry. He wouldn't even nurse when I tried to shove a breast in his mouth in the desperate attempt to just MAKE THE CRYING STOP. I occassionally got him to nurse, but on most occasions, he refused the breast and just screamed louder. I tried putting him in the swing, but that didn't even help. At 2 am, he stayed awake for a full hour. He repeated that performance from 5 until 6 am.

Girl 2 woke up and proclaimed once again, "I'm afraid of the dark." That's code for, "I miss daddy. May I sleep with you?" She NEVER comes into our room. We've always wondered why that is, but we just figured she felt safe with her sister. Lately, however, I guess the sister's just not cutting it. So I had Girl2 in our bed (she insisted on sleeping on daddy's pillow. If that's not a glaring sign, nothing is) from about 3 am. She did that last night too.

Then at 7:30, Girl1 woke up and couldn't find her sister. Does she peak her head in my room to see if the sister is there? Does she come in to ask me if I've seen her? No. She stays in her room and repeatedly yells her sister's name for a good 10 minutes before I yell, "She's in here. Go back to sleep."

I was not a happy camper today. The girls have activities tonight which is going to keep me running around when that's the last thing I want to do.

The bright spot, though, is that we have a play date at a friend's house tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to that. If nothing else, it'll get us out of the house and keep the kids occupied. Although, getting to see not only adults, but adults I really like is a huge added bonus.

And just because I'm keeping track, it has been over 1 full day since I last heard from my husband. He e-mailed me from Germany yesterday morning. That's the last contact we had. And so I go back into "military wife" mode with one eye on the phone and another on the news (CNN, not FOXNews. I don't trust those morons).

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I put the girls to bed nearly 2 hours ago. They're still awake. Not only are they awake, they're climbing all over (and under) things. It seems pretty slight when I write about it, but it's frustrating as hell. I don't know what the hell to do with them. I plan on going to bed soon and I'm pretty sure they'll be awake when I do. When they're awake, they're not just up. When they're awake and I'm not with them, they're in destruction mode. If it's in their reach (and often even if it's not), I will find it in pieces in the morning.

I tried to put us all to bed early yesterday to make up for getting up at 3 am. I fell asleep pretty easily, but I had to get up SO MANY times to deal with the girls who were doing everything but sleep. I was absolutely furious at them.

I'm not the queen of patience to begin with and when you add lack of sleep, a deployed husband, and kids who insist on staying awake (and being destructive at the same time) to the mix; don't be shocked if I start breathing fire.

Kids say the darnest things

To anyone else, this is a helmet. To a 4-year-old, however, it's something entirely different.

Girl1 came to me today with this strapped around her waist and announced, "This is my big bum."

Who are you? Do do do do (I really wanna know)

I suppose I should have started here rather than smack in the middle of my life.

I have a song caught in my head with which I must torture you all (all 3 of you):

Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. When you read you begin with ABC...

When you blog, you apparently start right in the middle of your story/life/issues. Maybe that's just me. :-)

Anyway, here's my brief introduction. I'll probably add a link to this post in the sidebar for any new folks who wander their way into my blog.

I'm a military wife and a mother of 3. I'm kinda quirky. I can go from long drawn out fits of melancholy to uncontrollable giggling. I'm odd like that. And I'm lots of fun when drunk. I just don't do that all that often.

Because I'm not stupid and don't wish to subject my children to this romp through my conscious mind, I'll refer to the kids as the oh so creative: Girl1 (oldest), Girl 2 (middle) and the Boy. Since I'm on this completely uncreative streak, my husband will be simply "dh."

And well, that's us in a nutshell.

No one's picking up the phone. Guess it's clear, he's gone.

Title from Tori Amos' "Hey Jupiter."

Well, he's gone.

He left May 8 around 5:30 am. We got up at 3 am. Got the bigger kids up at 3:30. Had them sleep in their clothes because the last thing I wanted was to fight the two of them on what they were going to wear. That's obnoxious enough any day, but at G-dforsaken hours of the morning on the day he was leaving us, it wasn't something I wanted to even think about much less be caught in the middle of.

I slept. Part of me didn't want to. I wanted to stay awake so as not to miss anything. If he stayed up with me, great. If not, I still wanted the chance to sit there and watch him as he slept. As it was, I fell asleep much later than him because I spent so much time just lying there, my hand on the baby as he slept between us, watching my husband in bed with us.

I vividly remember how his absence in bed haunted me last time. I remember the discussions that went on in my head before I opened my eyes each morning. While working my way out of sleep, I would remind myself of his absence. Still, that little masochist in my mind who would whisper, "Maybe it's all a dream. Maybe I'll open my eyes and find him right there beside me." When my eyes finally did open, an empty space and heartbreak was all I found.

So for the last time, I slept that night, him on the left, me on the right and the baby between us. It was so normal--such an everyday thing. To see us all sleeping there, you'd have no idea what lurked just a few hours away.

I tried to soak in all the mundane little things before he left. I kissed him goodbye when he ran to the store knowing that it was the last time in a long while that he would come home to me. I lay in his arms in bed after we said our own goodbyes; before we brought the baby in with us. I breathed my husband in knowing his scent will not last in his absence. It will only be a matter of days before I lay my head on his pillow searching desperately for that scent, and find it long gone. While he slept, I reached over--my elbow resting gently on the baby and my hand holding my husband's. I stayed there for a while thinking to myself, "When I move, this moment will be lost forever." Eventually, I did and it was.


I've known he was leaving for months. We knew he was leaving earlier than expected for a few days. So why is it then when I walked into the room the night before and saw his bags out and his clothing lying in piles waiting to be packed, it took my breath away? For the first time, it was very real and a sense of impending doom set in. Before I even grabbed the camera, I knew I was going to title this shot "Heartbreak."

"Is it really that much stuff," he asked me when he saw me taking a picture. I couldn't or wouldn't answer him. The amount of stuff had nothing to do with the strong urge that made me capture that moment in time. The significance of that "stuff"--bits and pieces of his life--our life, sprawled all over our floor, ready to be packed up and taken far away for so very long; that's what spurred me to take that photo.

Without knowing the story behind it, it's just a few bags and piles of clothing. To those who know our tale, and even more, to those who live it, this is what hearbreak looks like.