>A thunderstorm in my living room? Very possible.

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OK, so are you ready to hear about what a dumbass I am? Yeah, I thought so, ok here’s what happened. A little background first though; we bought a new window a/c unit for the living room, big ‘ole honker of a machine. 24,500 btus’s yeah, it’s big. So, it works great, but I’ve been noticing that it short cycles, like it turns, on gets the house down to temp, and shuts off for maybe 2 minutes. So, I figured it’s just how this machine works, no problem. OK, so this morning I was trying to to wake up, but I decided I was going to hit the snooze button; but wait, I was going to make myself super comfy for those extra 5 minutes. So, I reach for my second pillow which had fallen off the head of the bed and was wedged between the wall. I pulled it out and it was warm, not what I was looking forward too. I reached out and felt the wall, warm! Hmmmmm, so I reach down and sure enough, the baseboard heater is HOT! Are you friggin’ kidding me? The heat is on???? I jump up and run to the thermostat where I check the setting and HOLY ELECTRIC BILL BATMAN it’s on 80. I have no idea how long I was forcing the heater and the a/c to fight, but it had to be a long time, I mean, at least a week. Of course, DH called this afternoon and I did manage to conveniently forget to tell him about that. But anyway, so, yeah, I’m an idiot. Sharp objects should be kept far away from me because I am a walking disaster. Anyway, that’s my story. Feel free to snicker.
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>Talk about an ego boost

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I had class today, and through almost the entire lecture I sat there thinking about what I was going to blog about when I got home. I actually had quite a bit to complain about say but when I opened up my blog I found this:
So, now, my mood is better and I won’t bore you all with the stories of the girl in class that pissed me off by complaining the entire time about the instructor, or the girl behind me who ate through the entire 3 hour class (seriously, chompin’ the whole time). Nope, none of that matters, because I have JUST WON MY FIRST BLOG AWARD. Now, this is a big deal, cuz I wouldn’t have thought anyone would actually read my posts let alone LIKE them. I mean, let’s be honest here, I don’t even like proofreading my posts, lol.
Anyway, I have to say thank you thank you thank you to Kassandra over at Financially Fit Mommy for giving me my first award, and letting me know that I have finally overcome the loser that I was in high school to become a semi-interesting adult. Or at least entertaining in an Oh-My-Goodness-Look-At-That-Trainwreck sorta way.
So, now, on to the fun part. I have to tell you 7 things about myself and then pass this award on. Here goes:
1. I have wanted to go to Med School since I was in elementary school. I have always wanted to be a doctor. Of course, college was put on hold so I could follow my husband with his military career, but once we got settled in VA, I went back to school PreMed. We then moved to New England where DH took a civilian job that had him gone more than the military ever did. In fact he’d come home for a weekend every couple months. So, I decided to go to Nursing School rather than Med School because I couldn’t do Med School with three kids and an absent husband. So, that’s where I am right now. The thing is, DH keeps telling me that when he gets back from deployment he wants me to apply to Med School, but I’m ashamed to admit, that I don’t think I can do it anymore. I really don’t. Nursing School has me stressed enough and this is a walk in the park compared to becoming a physician. Here’s the bad part, my email is MedSchoolDream and my license plate on my Suburban even makes reference to me becoming a doctor. I’m screwed, talk about failure.
2. I secretly envy couples I see at restaurants or at the store. Especially when they are doing average normal every day things like reading the newspaper together, or loading groceries into the trunk. I get this feeling, almost a dislike for them. Of course I hide it and would deny it if ever it came up, but that’s the truth.
3. I would choose to be cold rather than hot ANY day. I hate heat, I hate feeling sticky and sweaty.
4. I always remember to brush my teeth first thing in the morning, but I have a hard time remembering to do it at night, even though I am strict about my kids doing it.
5. Sometimes (a lot of the time) I prefer blog friends over real friends because you guys work around my schedule. If I don’t have time to hear about your weekend trip to Kathmandu right now, you’ll wait and tell me when I have time. Ohhhh, the convenience of reading blogs. Likewise, if I want to talk to you guys at 3am, you will listen, or at least I think you are. Another reason I like you guys better is because it’s easier to idealize internet buddies. If I’m sitting here with no makeup, hair a mess and mismatched socks on I can pretend that you guys are doing the same, making me not feel so bad.
6. Sometimes I worry that my kids are going to grow up thinking that their childhood sucked. Other times I think I spoil them. Hopefully it’s somewhere in the middle.
7. And lastly, my favorite food in the world is Asiago bread from the local grocery store.
OK, that’s me in a nutshell.
Now to pass it on to some more blogs. I know I will kick myself later while reading posts and think “how could I have forgotten this person?” But for now, the ones that come to mind are.
Bethany at Imperfect Mom
I have to run out to the hospital to pick up my clinical assignment for tomorrow, so I will leave you all comments alerting you to your award if you haven’t already seen this post by the time I get back.
Talk to you all later.

>Feeling better at my kid’s expense

> So, here’s what happened.

My boys need haircuts, bad. Another week or two and they’d start stealing my scrunchies. So, I decided that after school I would shave them all, after all it is tick season, and last summer I spent a week in the hospital with my youngest when he developed Lyme Meningitis. OK, so I searched my house today for the hair clippers, to no avail. So, rather than stress about it, I decided to make it easy on myself, I was going to take them to the mall and have it done. Now, I am not used to the prices out here in the civilian world, I mean, the base does it so cheap I wonder how they pay their electric bill. So when I walked in and saw a sign “$14.95 – kids” I was floored. So, I asked about military discounts. The girl behind the counter said they did. I was very happy, because this is not a military town, and very few places offer discounts. So, I asked, how much would the cuts be, because I didn’t want to get caught off gaurd at the end if they only took off a dollar, or something. So, she goes, oh, well, you can’t use it. Ummm, excuse me???? I asked why. And she informed me that it was only for the soldier. I wondered to myself if that meant that marines and sailors were not given the same discount but I kept my mouth shut on that one. She then told me that they would have to come in with their ID. So, I said “oh, no problem, I have ID”. That’s when she went from being an innocent cashier to being a total BITCH in my mind. She looked me up and down and said “you? You mean, you are in the military”? OK, look little Miss I-Fell-In-The-Tackle-Box-And-Can’t-Seem-To-Get-The-Fish-Hooks-Out-Of-My-Face, I may not be in the best of shape, but don’t judge me! So I said “no, I am not active duty military, I am a dependent with an ID card”. To which she replied “yes, as I said, we only give military discounts to military personnel. Sorry”. I thanked her for her time (all the while muttering under my breath) and left the store. Now, normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, so what? I couldn’t get a military discount, I fully expected her to tell me they didn’t offer them anyway, but for some reason, the fact that they offered them but not to me, really upset me. As I walked through the mall with my three kids I started to feel that thing, where, you know you are going to cry and you have about a minute and a half to find shelter. So, I literally did a ’bout face and left the mall. As we left the parking lot I started to feel better, crisis averted. I still wasn’t great, but I had avoided the tears, for now. So I decided to stop at Target on the way home, to see if they had Zumba Videos (which they do not, if any of you are wondering) and bought this awesome thing called a Shake Weight, it looks like a dumb bell but it has shocks on either end. As you shake it the weight is transferred, it is a real bicep workout.

So, we are driving home, and I’m still feeling crappy, it’s amazing how one person saying something stupid, or not even all that stupid, just telling me company policy can totally ruin my day. I mean, it wasn’t even that big of a deal, but now I’m thinking about how much I miss DH and all the things I have to do and don’t have time for, etc. Anyway, the kids started asking me why I bought a dumb bell, I explained that I didn’t want to be flabby, they asked why it had shocks on it, I tried to explain it and decided to just let them try it. So, they are passing it back and forth when I come up with this great plan to get me out of my funk. I asked them “who is the strongest person in the truck”. They all said “me” but Z said it first, so I told him that he had to prove it by shaking the weight with his left arm all the way home (about 15 minutes). If he made it I would let him stay up until 10pm AND he didn’t have to bring up the garbage cans. If he lost the bet, he’d have to go to bed at 8pm and would have to bring up all 3 garbage cans by himself one at a time. But he had to shake right up until the second I shut the truck off in the driveway. Ha! So, he starts shaking and within 3 minutes he is sweating. 5 minutes later his neck muscles are straining. We are all yelling and cheering him on. By this time I am back to normal, having a great time with my long haired, shaggy kids and not even thinking about the I-Have-More-Piercings-Than-A-Voodoo-Doll Bitch from the mall. We get a couple blocks from the house and I stop at a Stop Sign, turn around and start cheering with his bros. It took him about 2 full minutes to realize that I wasn’t driving. I wish I had a camera, cuz the look on his face was priceless. So, I started driving, and when we get to our street I decide I’m going to do the speed limit which is 25. Now, this was extremely frustrating for him because nobody does the speed limit on my street. Literally nobody. Even the Resident State Trooper does about 40-50 mph. So, I told him that I had decided that day to be a role model for everyone in town. His bros cracked up but Z almost cried. We pull into the driveway and turn off the truck. The dumb bell falls out of his hand and the poor kid can’t even lift his arm. Too friggin’ funny. Good thing I made him use his left arm or else he’d be telling me he couldn’t go to school cuz he can’t write, lol.

So, anyway, I’m feeling normal again. I hadn’t been having a bad day up to that point which makes it that much weirder that I would react like that. But I guess emotions are never steady during deployments. I should know that by now.

All right, I’ll talk with you all later.

>And that is my day….

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My yard is overgrown, really bad, I have an acre of land that is open and needs to be maintained (plus a forest area, but I don’t have to do anything with that), but there are boulders everywhere so even with my riding lawn mower there are quite a few spots that need to be done by hand. So, today, seeing as I had such bad luck with the exercise games, I decided I would start the yardwork. Whew, am I tired. After only two hours of raking and weedwhacking I decided I needed help. So, I called in the troops; C, Z and B. They were slightly less than thrilled at this idea but I tried to make it fun. I brought an old bed sheet out and had them take turns raking the dead leaves and weedwhacker trimmings along the rock wall onto the sheet. Then the other two would haul it off into the forest section of our property. They seemed pretty content with this plan. So, seeing as I was covered in grass juice from the weed whacker I was feeling really itchy and sweaty and nasty. So, I decided to go in and take a shower.
As I’m walking to the house, Z tackles B and makes him cry. (Quick rundown for those who have forgotten… C = 13y/o, Z = 12y/o and B = 8y/o). OK, so I fix that situation with half a can of soda. Then off I go to the peace and serenity of a nice hot shower.
So, I’m in the middle of the shower, soap all over my face, enjoying the peace and quiet when I start hearing ::boom boom boom:: It’s a stereo. And it’s in my house. Although, I’m pretty sure the next town over can hear it. So, I start yelling “Z”‘s name, but alas he can not hear me over the roar of techno tunes.
So, my shower is hurriedly ended and as I step out of the shower, the radio turns down. Now, granted that is a good thing, but still, couldn’t they have turned it down 10 seconds earlier so I could have finished shaving my left leg?????? I mean c’mon!
So, I sit down at the computer after checking on them and making sure they are all still working. And as I sit here in the dining room with the windows open so I can hear the kids (albeit I cannot see them) I partake in this conversation (yelled through open windows)…
C – “Moooooom, Z is taking his clothes off and cars are driving by”
Me – “Z, put your shirt back on”
C – “it’s not his shirt”
B – “ewwwwww, nice underpants”
Ummmm, seriously???? He took his pants off cuz he was hot? Really? Where did he get the idea that it was ok to do yardwork in boxers?!?!?!?!?!?
OK, yardwork time is over. Obviously, I have to be there every second or else I will regret it later. So, I will end this blog and begin bedtime rituals, I think we will all sleep soundly tonight.
See ya tomorrow.

>Whoa!!!! Me? Motivated????

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 Not exactly sure what is going on with me but I am feeling super motivated and actually in a good mood. This morning I woke up with a little cloud hanging over me and I schlepped my way through morning rituals, but then I turned on the Wii and started exercising. It is amazing, even though I had to force myself to do it, exercise really does make me feel better. I have heard it said before but never truly believed it. So, anyway, I worked out, recorded my measurements at Spark (great weight loss website, seriously, you guys should check it out if you are trying to lose weight), then I met my Mother In Law to drop off her dog. We’ve been dog-sitting for almost 2 weeks and it was terrible. Every morning I woke up to a mess; digging through garbage, peeing on the floor, etc. So after I yelled at the kids for doing that…. JUST KIDDING! Anyway, I’m thrilled to be rid of the mutt.
Just got back from B’s viola lesson where he played really well. Now I’m home and think I will clean a bit. Maybe it was the coffee that I just drank (ya ya, I know, a little late in the day for coffee, but it suppresses my appetite so all is good).
Speaking of appetite… I am doing so well, I’m so proud of myself. I have not slipped up ONCE since Monday. I have worked out at least 50 minutes every day and now I am up to 60 crunches per night. I am feeling so motivated to lose weight for Homecoming! Let’s hope I keep it up.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Talk with ya’ll soon.

>if it makes me happy; I don’t wanna do it

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 Today I was at the hospital for clinicals all day, then I had to speed home to pick up B, his viola and my bass for a dress rehearsal for our concert. I knew I was going to be late. Clinical is over at 1700, rehearsal is 30 minutes away from the house, the hospital is 15 minutes (opposite direction) and we were supposed to be there at 17:15. So, all day I’m thinking to myself that I am exhausted and I don’t want to go to rehearsal. My mind starts to wander and I debate pulling out of the concert all together. Then I start thinking that I could save a lot of money each month if I pull B from viola lessons (at least temporarily).
So, my shift ends, I jump in my Suburban, race home to pick everything up, and that’s when I realize I can’t find my music. I have B’s, but not mine. So, I’m almost in tears at this point. I’m telling myself that I’m going to this one rehearsal and than I’m dropping out. I can’t handle it. The boys trashed the house in a matter of two hours since getting off the busses, they are eating microwave dinners for dinner, and I can’t even stay organized enough to keep track of my music. I find it, I race to Springfield and set up.
It took me about 2 minutes to realize that I was enjoying it. I was smiling (and it wasn’t a fake smile) and making small talk with everyone. Halfway through I think to myself “why would I want to quit this? It’s a great opportunity to spend time with B, and I have always loved to play”.
So on the way home I began thinking about all the different things I have to do. I never want to do them but once I’m there; doing it, I enjoy it.
 – I never want to take B to lessons or go to orchestra rehearsals; but once I’m there I feel like a good Mom and I am happy.
 – I always dread soccer games/practice but once I’m there I enjoy chatting with the other Moms on the sidelines.
 – I HATE the thought of going to school but once I’m there, I feel good about it.
 – I have a friend from school who calls occasionally to invite me for coffee; I usually make an excuse but whenever I do go, I have a great time.
So, what the heck is wrong with me. If I know that I enjoy all these things, why do I dread doing them? I think I might be certifiably insane, seriously! It’s almost like I try to make myself miserable.
On the upside, I lost 4 lbs today. I think it’s probably water weight, but that puts me at a grand total of 10 lbs since Monday. HOLY CRAP! Talk about motivation to keep going! I am determined to be the Total Package when DH gets home. I already have the personality (or at least the one that DH likes) now I just need to get the body.
Anyway, I guess I’m off to read some chapters for school.
See you guys tomorrow!

>You mean, I have THAT kid????

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My oldest son had a rough time when we first moved up to New England. He was bullied pretty badly at school. At first, I knew nothing because he was too embarrassed to tell anyone, but eventually it got so bad that he became sad at home. I pried it out of him and immediately called the school who said not to worry, they would handle it. Honestly, I didn’t have much faith but I was shocked at how well they did handle it. In fact, every student in his class wrote him an apology note. The kids who had been making fun of him wrote genuine apologies and the kids who were NOT a part of it wrote apologies for allowing it to go on and not telling a teacher. It was amazing. It is now a year later, and he is happy and doing well.
That brings me to the reason for this post. Today, I am officially on the other side of this scenario. My middle son came home and notified me that he would have detention two days next week because he PUSHED A KID INTO THE LOCKER! When I asked why he did it he said that the kid had been saying mean things for weeks and he finally had enough. I explained that up until today the other kid was the “bad guy” but once my son took it to the next level it didn’t matter what the other boy had done, now Z was the “bad guy”.
I grounded him, and told him to go clean the bathroom while I think about what to do. The thing is the school never called. I would have expected them to let me know, maybe it wasn’t as big of a deal as Z made it out to be. Wishful thinking? I don’t know. Anyway, that was my day.

On the up side, I got in 30 minutes of exercise and have stuck to my diet thus far today. Now if I could just be a better mother and teach my kids that hitting is bad, all would be good.

>Deployment is so much different when the kids are older…

>OK, now, because we used to be a typical Navy family, I am not used to the rules of OPSEC that everyone talks about. DH was always on a ship and all the wives I knew had the same knowledge I did, so talking about dates didn’t matter too much. Now everything is different. So I figured, better to err on the side of caution and not talk about anything until afterwards. So, Predeployment training is over and we were lucky enough to see DH for a bit before he headed overseas. I didn’t mention this last week because I don’t know all the rules. So I have been very low profile during that time.  Anyway, I’m back and looking at a very longggggg span of time without DH. Last week and this weekend were very hard. The kids have their ups and downs and thankfully they seem to have quite a few ups. But this morning one of my boys left for school crying. He is always quiet first thing in the morning so I didn’t think anything of it when he didn’t say more than a few words to me while he was getting ready. Then when he gets up to go out the door, I said my standard “Bye C, I love you, have a good day” he replied with a teary “I love you too, Mom”. I asked what was wrong and he looked at me kinda weird and said “ummm, I miss Dad”. All I could say was “I do too” then I reminded him that I loved him and off he went. I think the kid’s pain is so much harder to deal with then my own. I can deal with the tearfilled nights, the frustrations, the loneliness of deployments, I just need to keep busy. But when it’s one of the kids having those days…. well, there is nothing I can do about it. And I HATE it. So, after he left I still had two other kids to get off to school so I put on my SUPER cheery face and attempted to make sure they didn’t leave for school in the same mood as their older brother. It worked with the middle son, but when it came time for the youngest to get on the bus, he got clingy. Wanted to be driven to school so he could “spend more time with me”. I was already dressed and ready to go, so I could have driven him, but I don’t want to start a habit. So, I juggled the idea for a couple minutes and decided that he should ride the bus. If I drive him today, it will only make it that much harder to ride the bus tomorrow.

So, after the boys went to school I started to get sad, almsot cried, then slapped myself back to reality (figuratively) and told myself that crying accomplishes nothing. I have given myself a few days worth of tears, now I need to get on track and what better day to start than a Monday. The beginning of the week. The boys need me to be strong right now. They can’t see me slacking on housework or staring off into space. I need to be a strong mom so they can be strong kids.

So, I started mentally noting things I want to do during this deployment, many of which I have already stated in previous blogs; lose weight, quit smoking, etc. But what I realized was that all my plans are for ME! Nothing to help the kids deal. All our previous deployments were years ago when the kids were young. They didn’t realize what was going on, they were too young to understand so all I needed to do was keep myself going. Now, it’s different, I have to keep all three of them going PLUS me. That’s a lot of work!

My problem is that aside from keeping a cheery face on I am not sure how to help them. I could use some advice from other moms of older children. How do you keep the kids from missing Dad too much?

>My Fairy Tale Mother’s Day

>You know how in the movies Mother’s Day is a day of breakfast in bed, homemade cards and relaxation? Yeah, well, after 13 consecutive Mother’s Days not living up to the stuff in movies I STILL am shocked at the lengths my boys will go to to make sure that I know that this really is just an ordinary day for us.

Case in point:
I’m in my garage, contemplating mowing the grass, when I see two of my boys ride by on their bikes. I notice my youngest wearing brown shorts when this morning he was wearing white shorts with a blue stripe. I make a mental note to scold him again about changing clothes halfway through the day… I am not a laundromat. Anyway,  they are giggling and laughing as they pedal up the driveway and toward the garage. Both boys SLAM on their brakes when they see me standing there. That is when I realize that it isn’t just B’s shorts that are brown, it is everything both of them are wearing, and it’s not just brown, it’s CAKED in MUD!!!!

I stand there staring at them, as they stare back with their mouths hanging open. They don’t know what to say, and neither do I. At that moment in time I didn’t have the energy to yell so I just stand there. Z finally says “ok, so, I know we are grounded now, and yes we will go take showers, but we have to put our bikes away first”. As they solemnly put their bikes down and begin to walk away I hear the ::squish squish squish:: of their sneakers full of water. That’s when I lost it. I cracked up and couldn’t stop laughing. Honestly, I’m not sure why I wasn’t mad, well, I was, but apparently the hilarity of the situation was so much stronger than the anger.

So, here are some pics for your enjoyment. I promise though, I will not be laughing when I have to clean up the bathroom when they are done. But for now, I can sit here and actually be glad that my boys refuse to give me a Fairy Tale Mother’s Day, because seriously, how boring would it be to be waited on hand and foot all day. I would go crazy with boredom! Wouldn’t you?

A face only a mother could love.
Yes, those WERE white socks.

>I have a day???? COOL!

>So, who would have thought there would be a day, nationally recognized, celebrating me???? LOL. Being a military spouse comes with so many challenges that it feels good to be recognized. I love all the attention my husband gets for serving his country. I love watching people “thank” him with a pat on the shoulder or a handshake. I feel so proud when I see that, but sometimes, every once in a while it also feels good to hear that someone recognizes all the challenges that the family has as well.

I was “thanked” by a cashier at Sam’s Club once, and it felt really good. She started off telling my husband thank you and we are so proud of you, etc. We had told her about his upcoming deployment because we were trying to get something ordered on time. Originally they had said it would be 2-4 weeks, but they got it to us in 10 days. Anyway, when we went to pick it up she shook DH’s hand and thanked him. Then as we were walking away she said “and thank YOU for allowing him to go”. I smiled and walked away and thought to myself  “well, it doesn’t matter if I give him permission or not, it’s not my decision” but later on I realized that she wasn’t talking about permission, she was talking about taking care of everything on the homefront while he is gone “allowing” him to deploy and focus on the job.

I suppose that is what we are doing…. allowing our husbands to serve our country. Not that we wear the pants or that they won’t do anything without our permission, but, if we weren’t willing/able to take care of the kids and support him throughout his career… well, maybe my ego is getting out of hand here. He is the true hero, but it is nice to here a thank you for what we (as wives) go through.

So, Happy MilSpouse Appreciation Day! Put the kids to bed early, take a bubble bath, have a glass of wine, whatever you do to relax, do it. This is our day, ladies. And thank you to all the military wives out there, I know how difficult it is, and I truly appreciate all of you.