Friday, December 18, 2009
There is a popular saying amongst military wives, and it goes something like:
"As soon as your spouse leaves? The whole house falls apart. Appliances break and vehicles fall apart."
I've heard it modified for the submarine wives in that, "When they pull up the anchor, all things breakable tune in to that sound and break."
I can vouch for this. It's happened to me a few times. A few times too many for my liking.
Now, my husband isn't out to sea (Thank You, Lord!), but he's not here. He's been 300 miles away during the week since the end of September.
I've taken the Tahoe in to the dealership THREE TIMES (for regular maintenance and such) and done all running around concerning family members.
The other night, I guess God had to get one more thing in.
My washing machine quit working. Are you kidding me? I had mountains of laundry and no one had clean jeans for the next day.
Are you kidding me? I even looked up and asked the Big Guy this...but didn't really expect an answer back.
I was just done, Internets. I was beyond huffy and put out with the whole shabang. I just did NOT have time to mess with this. Sure, we got the warranty and such, but I did not have time to call for repairs, for the repairman to take his sweet time...like A WEEK....to get it fixed. Just DANGIT.
I got my trusty little stool and I sat down in front of that washing machine to study that bad boy. Surely, there was something I could do to make that hunk of metal start washing my clothes again. Surely.
I got the book out that I made sure I saved when we bought the washer. There was a troubleshooting section. How about that? I started reading and mentally crossing off what I knew for a fact wasn't the issue. Then I saw it...the section that might be my issue. A clogged water line. Hmmmmm......
Well, I decided to see what that was all about. I have a front loading washer so I was all bunked over the top of it trying to get to the back. The younger ones were already in bed, but that Paige? Was laughing so hard at my big butt up in the air, she could hardly stand up. Little did I know she had a squirt bottle and was wetting my butt. Teenagers. I sent her on her merry way because I had work to do.
I got the water line off and lo and behold, it was clogged with sand. Gotta love living so close to the coast. It looked like beach sand to me. I put that sucker back on and tried a cycle. No go. Argh. I took the line off again and there was another clot (for lack of a better term) of sand. I had to clean that line four times before I got water in that machine!!!
But, guess what? It's working. A few skinned knuckles later and two broken nails, and I had a machine washing some clothes.
Now, I know why guys drop by the bar and drink a beer. There's something really cool about fixing something that wasn't working. If I had had a cigar and a beer? I probably would have had to go outside and bask in my accomplishment. I'm just saying.
I'm still feeling ten feet tall and bulletproof over the whole deal a few days later. Men may read this and scoff at me because it was a simple fix. Kiss my butt. I analyzed the problem, used REAL tools, and got that bad boy fixed. All by myself.
While I'm somewhat grateful over the life lessons I've had to learn in the past ten years with being a single parent and Navy wife.....can I just say I'm graduated and not have to do any of that anymore?
Friday, December 04, 2009
Where to start?
Oh, I know.
We got a house!!!
We got us a BIG house. That's not bragging, either. That's me sitting here with my eyes wide open wondering how in the heck I'm going to keep that bad boy clean. All I can say is God was all over this. Shoot, He's been all over the whole entire deal as far as I'm concerned.
The kids and I have been to the Augusta (Georgia) area a couple of times to house hunt with The Man. Now, one thing you need to understand about my husband. That man has been all over the blessed world and he just adapts to where ever he is. Nothing really fazes him and he goes with the flow. Paige was my co-pilot as we drove to meet him the first weekend. Did you know Augusta is a hilly place??? Lawd. I know there are those of you who live near or in the mountains and you're laughing and thinking, "Sister? You ain't SEEN a hill yet!" I've been to the mountains, thank you very much. You have to realize that this girl has lived near the East Coast all my entire life. What I personally didn't realize is this is apparently the Flat Lands..with lots of trees. Imagine my huffiness when we finally reached our destination and I confronted that husband of mine about why on earth didn't he tell me about the HILLS?!?! Yes, he had a confused look on his face and couldn't understand my angst.
Can I pause a minute to say, "Thank you, Lord, for a GPS navigation system." ? If I hadn't had that bad boy leading me.....my kids and I would be wandering back streets starving by now. The first time we arrived at night. Paige and I were thrilled and then a little scared. Of the hills, man. My learning driver gasped and fretted as we followed Mr. Tom's directions to our destination. She asked me in a panic, "How will I tell my friends how to get to our house? Go over six hills and take a left????" It was a new experience to be sure and it wasn't until the next week that I realized that HOLY SMOKES! I have to learn how to drive in that place and soon!
I have to admit that house hunting got old quick. You look at so many in such a short time and they all start running together. Curse you, HGTV, for making it look so simple and all 30 minutes long. We didn't find "The House" on my first trip and I was just disgusted. The Man persevered and kept looking after work until he found a few he liked. It was time to head that way again. We headed out the Sunday before Thanksgiving to spend a day or two with him before we all headed to SC for Thanksgiving (separate post with cute pictures on that subject). I thought I had found a house that I really really liked. To where I dramatically leaned against the stairs in true Scarlett fashion and declared, "I LOVE THIS HOUSE!"
Then we saw it. It was fabulous. It was in our price range. It was The House. I walked and looked and walked and looked. I just knew there was no way we could do this amazing house. (that was before money was discussed.) I kept looking at my husband and giving him the How-dare-you-show-me-this-when-I-know-we-can't-afford-it look. We played it cool since the broker was there. Our amazing realtor got the low-down for us as we waited outside and discussed what was sitting before us.
We headed back to the hotel to discuss this and just decided to put on some floaties and jump right in. Monday after work, we took the kids with us and went to talk business. The kids were beyond thrilled and after I gave the camera to The Boy and he learned how to video? We had no problems out of them.
Our offer was accepted and a bidding war with another family was avoided (whew!). We walked away anxious and excited and ready for the builder (this is new construction!) to accept the contract.
We haven't looked back.
We headed to South Carolina for Thanksgiving and that Wednesday we got word that the builder signed! What a moment.
Yesterday, we got word that all things financial are a go. The only thing we're waiting on now is the appraisal to go through. Closing is set for December 21st. DECEMBER 21ST, INTERNETS!
Hold on whilst I panic for a moment, please.
We are moving. Into a house. Before the end of the month. I am just giddy, scared, excited, and dreading the packing, unpacking part. At least the Navy will move us and I won't have to pack up on my own like I did before we moved down here.
Want to hear something funny? My husband has already called the power company about putting the power in our names on the 21st (the builder has it now). He intends to sign papers and sleep there that night because he got himself an aerobed on Black Friday. The Man is serious, Internets. I have asked this question to a few friends and they all got it right the first time. What else would a man take care of...that would have high priority?
He's got the cable and internet lined up, too. I told Neighbor Debbie he'll have a bed, laptop, and a roll of toilet paper. We might not see him again!
I am busy here getting school stuff taken care of for the kids. The Boy has been to Dr. M a few extra times so we can get him as straight as we can before leaving. I'm going to miss Dr. M. We have a good thing going concerning my son and I hope I can find someone in the new town that really works with me to insure the well being of The Boy.
I have moments where I am very overwhelmed with what has to be done and I'm not so sure I will be able to get it all taken care of on time. We all know I will...but I still worry and I don't care how big of a nerve pill you take, those things can only help so much.
I think one of the hardest things is not decorating for Christmas. Oh, how I love to decorate for Christmas. I have some fabulous decorations (because I am old and have had time to collect) that I always look forward to putting up. We tried to explain to The Boy why we're not able to put a tree up, but I don't think he gets it. I'm an inch away from going to W-mart to get a small pre-lit tree and some balls to put up for him. Something that will only take a few minutes to take down.
My husband is just a wonderful man, Internets. I am a simple girl. Sure, I like nice things and I have a couple of nice things, but I truly am not a materialistic person. I made the comment a couple of times that I'm not sure I'm good enough to live in a house this nice. I'm not putting myself down, it's just that I've dreamed and figured that's all it would be...just nice dreams. My husband has worked his butt off for twenty years in service to this country and because he chose a good rate (or it chose him?), he's able to find a good job in this economy we got going on right now. I am blessed that he loves his family as much as he does and wants to provide for us the best he can. I can't wait to hang all his Navy stuff up on the walls so that others will know what he's done. I thank God for the mate He has provided for me every day.
Yes, I do have pictures, but I hope you'll be patient and let me put my stamp on this home before putting some up. I only took a few so I would have something to look at to remind me this is a dream that's becoming a reality (as long as the appraisal goes well!).
Don't forget you have to let me be sad that I'm leaving this wonderful place that has been our home for three and half years. I will miss it so much and the people that have become so special to me. One good thing about a military family, though. They'll go visit! I hope and pray they will come visit me so we can continue to share our lives.
Look for the Thanksgiving post. I got a few cute pictures I want to share with you and I know you'll like them, too. Now, I'm off to start my mountains of laundry and wait for my husband to get here for the weekend.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Today is my one day this week. Sort of. The Boy has to go back to Dr. M. today because we're tweaking meds again. ~sigh~ I sure wish that kid would settle into one or two or three medications for a while and give his Mama a break. I have a free morning and, yes, I am still in my pajamas at 10:43 a.m.
Before The Man went on to his next life adventure, I had the pleasure of accompanying him to the galley on base for a lovely lunch. Every once in a while, the sailors and such get treated to some amazing food. This day was going to be crab legs and T-bone steaks. This was to cost around four bucks and some change. When we found out about this, we knew we were going to be enjoying some good eating. Also, we knew this would be the last time we would do this, so it made it kind of bittersweet.
I am not addicted to my cell phone, but I am addicted to the alarms I set on it to remind me of appointments. I have three kids doing various things with doctor appointments added in for good measure. Using the calendar to helps me remember has been the best feature on that phone yet. Even better than the camera!
I always set my alarms to remind the day before and the day of anything I have going on. I happened to look and guess what? I had a dentist appointment set for the day of good eating. Oh no. I debated for all of five minutes and I called the dentist office to reschedule. I kid you not. Internets, you just can't get this deal out in the "real world"! Did I tell them why I had to reschedule? Of course, not! Suffice it to say, I got my teeth cleaned in a timely manner AND crab legs with steak. Life was good.
Still on the subject of cell phones so go with me. Paige came across one of her old cell phones and was able to turn it on. She found a treasure for us on it. There were some pictures she had taken that we couldn't get off at the time because technology wasn't there for us. God bless that child of mine because she can figure out anything she wants to do when it comes to computers and cell phones. This is what she found and was able to preserve.Those cheeks! Those sweet plump baby cheeks! His face is so thin now and he's a little boy...no longer a baby. The quality of picture isn't the greatest , but I sure am tempted to print and frame this for the sheer sweetness of it.
I'm not sure if my son remembers his pacifiers or is too ashamed to claim it, but I'm so glad we have this picture. That baby did love that paci with all his heart. In fact, we still find them around the house and I'm sure there's plenty more to be found when we go to move.
By the way....do any of you have an obsession going on? Mine right now is finding new things for my new house. Makenna and I have visions of how we want to decorate and I love looking for steals and deals. I've been searching around for a small table that I can paint. I thought I had one last week at a thrift-like type store here, but the green paint on it was a tad too much for me to consider fighting. I would love to know if any of you have any good home projects going on!
Monday, November 09, 2009
We all know my son is a major PITA to get dressed for school in the mornings. His system has dumped his medication and it takes a good hour for the day's dose to kick in. Therefore, we endure a lot of screaming, running, and ill acting from him. I literally break a sweat getting his teeth brushed every now and then. (Who am I kidding? Practically every morning.) One morning I was calling him from the bathroom to hurry up and bring his butt in there. Finally, he decided to bless me with his presence. He got to the bathroom door and with a huge sparkly smile on his face exclaimed, "MAMA! LET'S DANCE!" He then proceeded to dance. I could have done this two ways. I could have huffed and puffed and scolded and killed his mood....or I could dance. I decided to dance. We wiggled and jiggled (that would me) and shook our boo-tays for a minute or two. I sang and made up a brushing teeth song on the fly and we were out of that bathroom in record time. It made me laugh. It made him laugh. That was a good day.
While The Man is gone during the week working the new job, The Boy deems it necessary to sleep with me because he doesn't want me to be alone. (Isn't he the sweetest?) I surely don't mind. I've always believed that Mama's bed is the best place in the world and if my kids need it bad enough? They can have it. To this day, my own Mama's bed is the best bed in the world and I always try to find a minute to lay across it when I'm visiting. So, time changed on us and I, for one, truly love the winter hours much better. About a week into the change of time, I was awoken at 5 a.m. to a sweet pat on my cheek and a little voice saying, "Mama, let's start the day!" I cracked an eye to glance at the clock and told him to go back to sleep for an hour. Ten minutes later, that little hand was patting my cheek again with the same request. Again, I told him we weren't getting up until the alarm clock went off. This continued until the alarm clock sounded at 6 a.m. sharp. When I swung my feet off of the bed, he exclaimed, "FINALLY!" and bounded into the living room. I asked him why he didn't just get up and watch television, to which he replied, "I just didn't want to be alone." Mercy, I love that kid. Bless him, the help making coffee and getting breakfast started was right interesting that morning. I sent him to wake up his sisters with a smile on my face. Later, Paige would inquire as to what pot of crack he got into. That's my boy...never a dull moment.
Yesterday, at church, The Boy's class made turkey projects for Thanksgiving. The glue was still wet so we set it to the side to dry. Later on, I heard the following conversation:
The Boy: (wailing and whining voice) Ohhh nooooooooooooo, my chicken is all messed up!!!
Sissy (Paige): Uh, Boy? That's a turkey.
The Boy: Oh.
(pauses for a second)
The Boy: Ohhhh noooooooooooo, my turkey is all messed up!!!!
That middle kid of mine? She's an original for sure. I don't know of another like her and I want to be like her when I grow up. She has her own mind and is right comfortable with it. Every morning she has a bowl of cereal and watches Headline News with Miss Robyn Meade. We all love that Robyn and enjoy getting our news on. Yes, even the ten year old. This morning we were watching it together (rare occasion) when they showed sports highlights. A golfer made a hole in one. Of course, she had to rewind it (love that DVR) and watch it again. She, being the novice golfer, was in awe. I asked her what she would do if she made a shot like that. Her response? "Knowing my luck? I'd be playing by myself and no one would believe me!" That girl has a good head on her shoulders.
How about teaching a teenager to drive? If nothing else will put you on a nerve pill, that will for sure. My girl Paige is getting better the more she drives, but she has a way to go yet. I am not my father, that's for sure. I try so hard to be patient but do you blame me for losing my mind when she pulls my Tahoe out in front of an incoming car? ~shudder~ We have discovered something, though, in this learning experience. She drives better at night. I believe that's because she can't see the world around her to get distracted. She also drives better when she's laughing her butt off. I kid you not. When we get tickled over something while she's driving, she does a fantastic job. Go figure. Her goal is drive her Nana around when we go to South Carolina for a visit. I can't think of a better goal to have.
So, while I am doing the single parenting gig during the week....it's not all bad. I'm so busy my days fly by and at least one of my kids will give me a good laugh by the end of the day. I do treasure my moments with them as instructed by those with kids grown and gone have told me to do. If you're not treasuring a good moment every day? Dance a little bit. You'll be surprised how good it feels.
Friday, October 23, 2009
I love the fact that he put this table together and I hear an "Oh shoot". Apparently, the first line in the manual was "Read manual thoroughly before assembly." Is that right? He, being the man, did not consult and had to take it apart and start over. So goes life with a man, right?
Some times, I wish I had a manual for other things. I am in constant need of direction, help, and advice...and I get right irate if I can't find what I need to help me. Here are some examples of some of the manuals I wish I had:
1. How to Raise a Drama Queen Teenage Girl. (Need I say more? I know what I was like and I see similarities of a sort, but times have changed some and I need to know a better way of raising this girl child of mine so she will embrace life and be a productive citizen in the near future.)
2. How to Reason with an ADHD Kid in the Mornings Who is not Medicated. (This one is important, too. You can't reason with him. I lose my temper because GET DRESSED ALREADY. It's the same fight every.single.morning. I just don't get it and I'm developing high blood pressure from it. Seriously, a nerve pill can only help Mama so much, Son.)
3. How to Cook like My Mama so My Kids Will Say My Cooking is Just As Good. (~sigh~ I know I'll never cook as good as my Mama. I remember telling her as a young child that my Grandma's stew beef was better than hers. I'm sorry, Mama. Just know that your cooking beats mine hands down in your grandchildren's eyes any day of the week.)
4. How to Buy a House That is Perfect for My Family. (Yeah yeah yeah..I know there are thousands of books out there to help the first time home buyer. I don't have time to read thousands of books. I need someone that knows their stuff who will sincerely help me and I won't end up feeling like I've been molested when it's all over. I'm ten kinds of nervous over this and I feel queasy about the paperwork in front of us.)
5. How to Keep Food from Being My Drug of Choice. (Shaddup. I don't need any assvice (advice not asked for) on this. I don't do drugs (ok, I do an allergy pill, purple pill, and nerve pill at night, but they're LEGAL, man) of an illegal nature. I don't drink. Chocolate soothes my savage beast inside but it's killing me weight wise. I just wish I could eat to live instead of live to eat. It's a mental thing and I'll work on it soon. A manual on this would be pretty handy, though. )
6. How to Keep Kids Motivated to Help Around the House. (If I could write this, I'd made trillions! Right now, it's hard to motivate them when I can't find the motivation my own self. I'm mentally tired from single parenting during the week and when you're mentally tired? It's hard to find the physical stamina to get done what needs to be done.)
7. How to a Good Supportive Wife Every Moment of the Day. (My wonderful husband. You might want to pray for him. I do support him and encourage him, but every now and again, I slip up and vent a little too much or take out my frustrations on him. He is a rock and takes my storms without blinking. We are both doing our best right now and I know as hard as it is for me to do this on my own? It's just as hard on him being away from his family. In case you all are wondering...this is kind of a public apology to him *blush*.)
8. How to Accept that Parents do Age and Nothing You Can Do Will Stop It. (I can't stand the thought of my parents aging. Don't they realize they aren't allowed to do this?!? I am just beside myself with worry over my parents and their health, and I just get so anxiety ridden being far away from them when I know they need me.)
As you can see, I need a library full of information goodness. There are rare moments during the day (like now) where I have a second to think. Thinking can be good...or it can bad. I am going to work on making those moments of thinking a good thing. Make my plans of attack on these situations I have going on. Plans are good things, you know.
Right now, I plan on enjoying my moments to myself and maybe find some motivation to get a thing or two done around here. That Man of Mine will be home this evening and I will be able to breathe and find a mental break of sorts. You go on and have a good weekend. Make it count.
Friday, October 16, 2009
My husband is working at his new job and I am just so proud of him, I can't hardly stand it. This means that temporarily, we are separated during the week as he has to go three hours away to work this new job. We both decided that we would let him get started working before tackling the job of finding a home in our new town. I also want to let my oldest finish this semester of high school if at all possible. Research shows that the new school district does classes by the year where this school goes by semester. This is all good, but if we let her finish this semester, she can finish four credits to take with her. It's not a sacrifice, but what needs to be done.
This does make it a tad tough all the way around. My son is a fragile being. He adores his Dad and I am told all the time, "That's not how my Dad does it." I am patient and show complete understanding but gently remind him that I am not Dad...I am Mama and this is how I do it. There have been a couple of rough days at school and one day he didn't get his medication. Suffice it to say, he was home with me by noon.
It has bonded me with my girls in that we fell back into the teamwork we had going on when it was just the three of us. They are older and much better at helping and for that, I am so appreciative.
One reason I'm blogging this morning is about taking a breath. We were so rushed this morning. Makenna had to be at school early because she's working with the broadcast club that does the school morning news. She loves being in front of the camera and I want to make sure she's there to do her part. This makes it tough on the little boy who has O.C.D. and has no medication in his system that early. He has to get up a little earlier and it just throws his routine off. It's a crap shoot as to if he will cooperate or not.
I find myself getting all bent out of shape and my voice goes up a few octaves as I try to get his lunch made and us out the door. I am hot and irate and just ready to drop them off and come home for a quiet cup of coffee by the time all is said and done.
This morning as we left, it was still dark. My son was not happy with this because he felt he was going to school at night. I assured him that the sun would be up before his class started in 25 minutes. As I was driving back home from dropping them off, the sun was coming up. We live on the coast so I kind of feel our sunrises are special. The color of the sky was just different, but in a good way. As I drove the five minutes back to my home, I told God how beautiful His work is and how I am blessed to have seen such a beautiful sunrise. My spirits lifted as I had a small quiet talk with my Lord and thanked Him for reminding people just how magnificent He truly is.
I parked my vehicle in front of my home and when I stepped out, I turned and saw something that took my breath away. It was a rainbow. Not just an ordinary rainbow. A vibrant awe-inspiring rainbow. I had to pause a moment just to look and then I snapped together and ran inside to get my camera. I took a picture with my regular camera and one with my cell phone. I won't put the pictures on here because they simply do not do this gift justice.
I could see each band of color separate and precise. From the deep rich violet to the bright red. As I walked back out, I was shocked to see that it was a full complete round left to right rainbow. Even better? It was a double rainbow. Above it in a lighter shade, was another rainbow.
I was so blessed in that moment, I can't even tell you. I was instantly assured that no matter what is going on in my life, He is there. He is still large and in charge and we are all blessed with this gift He has given us called life.
My mother is in the hospital having suffered two mini strokes this week. My husband is away from home during the week and I am running this ship the best I can. We are stressed over buying a home, moving eventually, and how life will be.
I may stress over this stuff tomorrow, but today I choose to embrace the gift God has given me this fine Friday morning. I will thank Him for His blessings that I tend to overlook because all my problems haven't been solved. I will, with joy, accept this unexpected blessing.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
This summer found us with a tight budget. What else is new in this economy, right? Can I get an "amen"? I am nothing if not determined. Summer as a child passes too quickly. You wake up one morning and you're ten, the next morning you're 23, grown, with bills, and having to go to work. Summer is a special time and I want my children to remember growing up fondly with smiles as they do something special with their own children.
We discovered the public library for starters. Oh, Internets, Makenna do love her a library. It's like a drug to her and she begs to go get books on a daily basis. Once she hits the door, we lose her until it's time to go. You'll find her in a corner in a chair with 5-10 books beside her. She will already be immersed in a story and won't hear you call her name. I have that child that if we want to punish her (which is rare) or get her to do chores (which is ALL the time), we have to take her books. I love it!!! The Boy loves a good book, he just doesn't want to find them. Therefore, he goes to the children's section to play while I get the pleasure of picking out five books for bedtime reading. He loves for his Dad to read to him and I love to hear them during their night time routine. I've always read to my children....it's just a precious gift you can give them that doesn't cost a dime.
When I found out our base chapel was going to do a morning Vacation Bible School, I had The Man go sign them up. The church we attend was going to do an evening session and that just wouldn't work for my son. Evening time is when he comes off of his medication and how bad would it be for him to get kicked out of Bible School? (I am totally not joking.) Mornings are his prime time and this was a great opportunity to get some Jesus going on for Makenna and The Boy while Paige was working. They had a blast and I'm so glad they got to go. I volunteered and helped a day or two and it was just a pleasure. There were service members who were volunteering and working with the kids. (Volunteering is encouraged in the military and there are medals and such that can be earned. The military is a great supporter of their local communities.) We were sad to see VBS end, but I am so glad to have found such a great morning session for my baby to attend!
I think we also moved to Florida when I wasn't paying attention. This has been the Summer of Storms. It seems we've had thunderstorms every single blessed day. Okay, so maybe it hasn't been every single day, but I can promise you we've had way more stormy days than sunny days this summer. I told my Daddy that it's to the point that when I hear thunder? I know it's time to cook supper. It cut down on outside activities drastically. If it wasn't raining, the humidity was so thick you felt like you were breathing water. No lie.
I also started delegating household chores more. No longer do I stand guard over the laundry and dare anyone to touch it. Both of the girls are able to wash and dry loads now because, dangit, I need help around here! I feel confident with Paige's cooking skills. No, she's not a gourmet chef, but she can follow directions with the best of them. Not to mention, she can cook a mean omelet. I've never been able to master the omelet but she has it perfected. It was time for Makenna to take her turn in the kitchen. I've had her helping me with simple things right now and her specialty dish is Shepherd's Pie. I keep telling Paige she will have many friends in college because she knows how to cook and do laundry.
Something else happened that was really special to me. My husband came into our relationship with a tattoo. For those of you who know him, I know you're probably shocked because he doesn't seem the type to have a tattoo. What can I say, I calmed him down but good! This tattoo had the initials of his ex-wife. Uh oh. It's not all bad, though. This is how my son got his name and there is no other name in the world more perfect for him. So there were three initials. Many times I studied that tattoo on my husband's arm. Finally, it was decided that because the initials were V. P. T., all we needed was an "M" in there for Makenna. We have been together eight years, married for almost six. It took a while for him to come around to the thought of needles. He is not very strong when it comes to the needle. How he managed to get the tattoo in the first place is beyond me. I'm thinking he may have had some liquid courage at the time....and that's something he doesn't do anymore. The perfect opportunity presented itself this summer and he bit the bullet and got it fixed. I am so very proud of that symbol of love on his arm. These children are our world and they know it without a doubt.
This your first installment of how the summer went. We did a few more fun things I'm going to share in future posts. I may have neglected the blog for a month or two, but I had you in the back of my mind because pictures were always taken!
Since blogger is still acting all wonky, the pictures are out of order according to how I talked about them. Sorry, but I can't switch them around for some reason. Enjoy and I'll be back sooner rather than later!
Baby Girl thought making biscuits was awesome!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
You see, school started back but that didn't slow me down. Different types of appointments took the place of the summer appointments and running around took a whole new frantic meaning.
I've had thoughts I've wanted to share with you all. Ohhhhhhh, the thoughts I've had. So many that I'm afraid I may have lost some in the recesses of my brain and they'll never have a chance to be shared with you. Moving on now because that just makes me sad.
Tomorrow my Makenna has surgery on her sinuses. I have watched this sweet child of mine very closely the past month or so and I've noticed a few things. The bridge of her nose always looks bruised. She has dark circles under her eyes from waking up constantly to nose bleeds, therefore getting no real rest. She sleeps when she gets home from school and she has never been a child to do that...unless sick. Her skin is so very pale. Middle of winter pale. She doesn't look like she had an amazing summer full of fun and sun (she's felt too badly to go outside much). Her beautiful white blonde hair has lost it's luster. It has a dull blonde look to it now. I know part of it is from aging, puberty, and etc. Her sister went through this. It just doesn't look healthy. She doesn't look healthy. I've got to do what I can to get her well.
I have sweet pictures of my Boy's first day of school. He has such a love for Kindergarten. My focus has been fully on him for long. Now, he's doing great and thriving. I'm doing my best to step back and let him breathe, find his way in Big Boy School, and just be five. I am just in constant awe of this little guy who has just blossomed before our eyes. He has become a wonderful source of entertainment around our home.
That Miss Paige. Whew. Girlfriend had herself a hard summer but I think she's going to be okay. She started off her Sophomore (Sophomore? When did I get a kid that old??) on a strong foot with studying and being on top of her work. Because of some not so good summer decisions, her cell phone now no longer works between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Smartest thing we ever could have done. Being fifteen is hard. If you had it easy at fifteen? Then hush. You are rare and the rest of us don't want to have to beat you up over it. I love my Baby Girl and I know she's going to come out shining and better for having learned the hard way.
I know I have to do a Summer 2009 post. Finances didn't let us take a nice fancy vacation. I scrounged around and was able to find us a few fun things to do that didn't break the bank. We were together as a family and made some amazing memories. Yes, I have pictures and will share with you soon.
Have I mentioned my husband retires in a little less than a month? Have I mentioned that I have never been so stressed in my entire flippin' life? I have this sense of urgency overcoming me all the time. This is why Makenna is having surgery tomorrow. This HAS to be done before retirement. I want to get taken care of what I can before having to learn to deal with a whole new insurance. Dentist appointments have taken on a whole new meaning. It's just crazy, I tell you. We've had eyes checked and new glasses bought (yep, got a picture of those, too!).
I have become very dependant on my cell phone. I have alarms for any and all appointments. It goes off constantly, Internets. If I lose my phone? I am so up a creek without a paddle. What's even worse is that I make Paige and The Man put the alarms in their phones...just in case I lose mine. Oh, what have I become???
I have become "that weird woman". I called today to make a doctor's appointment for some time in the next week. When asked why I needed to see the doctor, I replied, "Because I'm crazy." Appointment Lady laughs and says she really doesn't want to put that down as the reason. She said..."What about a med check?" I said, "Oh yeah, that's perfect, because we're gonna be CHECKING some meds OUT!" Bless her, she was a good sport. I believe she knew I wasn't joking but was keeping it lite so I didn't flip out on the phone with her.
I also want to say I've done this post today because my very good friend Girlfriend Down the Street was fussing about my poor blogging skills. G.D.S. keeps me tickled on face*of*books all the time. She no longer lives close to me, but I'm keeping her close to my heart. We Southern Gals tend to do that, you know.
Tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m., I'll be handing over my child in the care of strangers. I'll sit and worry until I touch her face again. I'll pray and text and probably snap at The Man because he's sitting there and he loves me enough to take it. If you are so inclined? Prayers that all goes well will be truly appreciated.
Next week should be my time to truly catch up. I will be here at The Edge keeping Makenna company as she recovers some. Not sure how many days she'll get off...it all depends on the surgery and how extensive it ends up being when he gets up in those sinuses of hers.
You all keep playing nice....I'll be back shortly!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
For example, we really don't know where we're going to be in a few months. The Man has gotten a very sweet job offer here in the state of Georgia. It's not back in South Carolina where my heart wants to be. I am having such a hard time with that. I told God what I wanted. Isn't that how it works?
Humble has become my middle name.
What I want may not be what He has planned. It's very hard for me to accept that. What's wrong with wanting to go home? I want to be near family and friends. I want to go visit them when I feel like it. I want to live close enough that they might even come see me! This is has just about broken my heart.
There's nothing wrong with where the job offer is. It's 100 miles closer to my family than where I am now. That'll make it easier on us to go visit them. It's not close enough for them to come visit us, but I guess I can deal with that or keep getting my feelings hurt over it. I'll let you know when I'm done being hurt....right now, I'm just not there.
Carla-Girl and her family are supposed to be heading to the same area as her husband got a job offer at this place first. I have surely neglected mentioning her lately. They, too, are heading into retirement and dealing with most of the same issues we are. There's a slight difference, though. That woman is amazing. She is a planner, researcher, decorator....just all around good at this stuff. She is the daughter of a retired Marine, so she knows how to move on to the next area. I am in constant awe of her abilities (and right jealous, too!) to make situations work and she's looking out for me, too. I am so blessed to have her guiding me with things like house hunting, Realtors, schools, and etc. I would honestly be lost without her help and patience.
I can't tell you how many hours we've sat on the computers looking at houses online. I've never bought a house before, so this is exciting and thrilling to this ol' girl. Lists are being made of the "must haves", the "no ways", the "wish it had this", and the "pinch me I'm dreaming if I get this" items. I am discovering what's the harm in dreaming if you can keep it realistic in the end?
I'm causing confusion with my family members here because one minute? I'm declaring we're moving in September. The next minute? The kids and I are staying here until end of November. I am so passionate and firmly believe whatever I'm talking about at that moment. It's wearing us all out.
In my Perfect World, everything will fall into place and I'll have perfect hair and eyebrows when it happens. Realistically? We'll be flying by the seat of our pants and I'll have a first aid kit clutched in my hands full of bandages and antibiotic ointment for the bumps and bruises we're bound to get during the ride.
Did I mention my husband accepted that job offer? Yeah, he did. I just can't breathe good until I know he's signed, sealed, and delivered. When he goes to that first day on the new job, I'll be able to shake off a bunch of stress.....I think.
Just promise me I'll have a place to put my gorgeous Christmas tree this December and I'll probably make it.
Yeah, I'm wondering why I'm not on nerve medication, too.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I didn't lie.
Dear Joseph and the Baby Lambs, have I been busy. My cell phone has become my life-line the past couple months. I put alarms in all the time. I have to in order to keep it all straight and flowing. The Man does the same in case my phone wanks out on me. It's a crazy system we have working and I almost expect it to tumble like a deck of cards at any given moment.
Take for instance the past couple of weeks.
Back in the Spring, Makenna started having nosebleeds. Alot. Out of nowhere, her nose would just start pouring. We truly chalked it up to allergies, dry sinuses, etc. etc. I was getting calls from the school nurse for a while there about 3-4 times a week. "Hi Ms. Hope, Makenna has a nosebleed again..." was what I would hear. One day we had to go get her because it wouldn't stop. A trip to the doctor's office and our Doctor decided to refer on out to an ENT because, as she put it, "they have better equipment to see up there than I do". Hey, there were no arguments from us!
Of course, I then had to do some referral dancing. The doctor they were going to send her to didn't have an opening until September. That didn't sit too well with me. I don't know what our future plans hold and I wanted whatever wrong fixed or taken care of. I did some calling and begging and Southern Charming and we got that straightened out quick.
Two weeks ago we saw the ENT. I was seriously thinking she was going to get a blood vessel cauterized. You know, something simple.
He decided to put her on a ten day round of antibiotics followed by a CAT scan. Something wasn't right up there in her head.
*pauses and waits for you to laugh with me over that last remark*
We went this past week for the CAT scan and diagnosis. My child has a "Deviated Septum" . Of the highest order. Quick-like, in our terms? The cartilage and all going down the middle of her nose separating one side from the other is all messed up. Apparently, in the past ten years of her life, she has had a broken nose. A BAD broken nose. I have no idea when or where. I have a vague memory of this past school year where she was bumped on the nose during P.E. and had a little bruise there. Maybe it happened then? The doctor wasn't concerned about all of that at all. According to him, it's very common and most people think they have allergies and are prone to chronic sinusitis, when it's a deviated septum and fixable with surgery. I fully admit that we had the scan in hand to take to the doctor's office and as we sat in the truck waiting to go in, I might have slipped them out to see. I don't have a medical degree, but when I saw that deviated line? I said, "HOLY COW!" It was that bad. Even our untrained eyes could see it and we discovered we were right when the doctor showed us during the office visit on the proper lit up machine.
We were given options. We could leave it alone and she could suffer with the sinusitis from here on out or we could let her have a surgery to fix all these nasal problems (a couple other problems have arisen due to this). I immediately told him to let's fix this!
First available surgery was the day before The Man's retirement ceremony. No thanks. No can do. I would end up in the nut house, for sure. Next available date was October. Oh noooooo. I don't even know if we'll be here then! Crap. We went ahead and took the October date.
I received a call the next morning. There's a cancellation for August 20th. You know I snatched it right on up! That was just perfect. I had already started trying to figure out how to handle being on my own (The Man plans to head out to start new job end of September) with three kids and one of them having a 24 hour hospital stay. I told the nurse I owed her big time. I swear I'm going to send her flowers or chocolate. She really worked hard to get Makenna worked in at an earlier date.
Ya know.....I'm so ready for things to slow down around here. Instead? It's moving faster and faster and faster. Some times, I feel like I'm on this wild ride I just can't get off of.
It's sad when the high light of your day is sitting in your chair looking at real estate online. Just typing that made me take a deep breath. I'm so excited about hopefully getting a new home to call my own....to paint walls.....have counter space in the kitchen.
The Man and I also get to upgrade our cell phones soon. If that's not enough to tickle a gadget lover, I don't know what is!
Now I'm off to try and get a few more things done on a big Saturday afternoon. I promise the blogging is going to pick up now. If I don't? I may miss out some memories for my family!
P.S. I got to try and remember to show you how we rigged my computer cord. It has shamed Paige to no end.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
There are many of us who have given our little darlings a cell phone. The cell phone has personally kept my oldest, Paige, off of nerve medication. The Man and I purchased the phone when she was ten because when she would go visit her biological father, he would refuse to let her call me or contact me. Then came the panic attacks. It had potential to get massively ugly, but all worked out in the end.
I have recently discovered "special" rings for phones. These rings are high pitched in nature and can not be heard by the average adult. I guess cranking up the radio as teenager and going to concerts did our poor ears in.
They use these rings in school and around parents to notify them of text messages and phone calls.
I know the ring sounds work in this fashion because we have played the sound behind my son without him being aware. He immediately covers his ears and screams to turn it off. This has been tested a few times with the same results.
The Man and I never heard the first sound. Nothing. Nada.
My beautiful daughter Paige has lost use of her cell phone for a while and it's in my possession. I have no problem going through and reading her text messages and looking at her call history. Is it invading her privacy? Uh...no. She is not grown, educated, got a J.O.B., and living in her own home. Therefore, as payer of the MINOR's bill, I have full authority to see what my child is doing.
I kept hearing a faint noise from her phone. It was the sound of a missed call. I recognized it as it sounds like the one on my own cell phone. I'd check and lo and behold, a text message or missed call. I had forgotten about that special ringer until, out of curiosity, I checked what ringer she was using. It's called "Mosquito" something or another. Ah ha. It is no longer set on that ringer. I got a nice generic ringer going on that Mama is sure to hear loud and clear. Far be it from me to miss one of her phone calls or text messages.
We need to keep our eye on this generation of teenagers. They are smart with technology......way smarter than we are. It worries me to no end what my son will be capable of when he reaches this age. How will I even begin to keep up with him?
As my facebook status says right this minute:
Miss Hope figures that if I can get my husband transitioned to civilian life, do another major move, keep my ADHD kid smooth, refrain from kicking my teenager's butt, and not start smoking again? Then I am going to throw myself the biggest party EVAH. I kid you not.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Makenna grows impatient waiting and hollers towards The Boy's bedroom, "Hurry up and finish reading that book! We're missing the show!"
To which I told her to hush because when she was that age, I would have to read book after book after book to her in order to get her to sleep.
"Well, there wasn't television shows back then that you watched."
Excuse me? Back then???
She is only ten years old. I HAD SHOWS THEN, MAN.
Smart alecky kid.
By the way, I don't want you to think I'm sitting here around The Edge moping and being all depressed. We've actually been quite busy as it is summertime. Not just with counseling (boy, that's a whole 'nother post there), but with all kinds of stuff. We're unable to take a vacation this year because: 1. The upcoming retirement. 2. We are broke as a joke. I have searched and found things for us to do as a family that are fun and memorable. Of course I've taken pictures. You'll get my "What We Did This Summer" blog post when the kids head back to school....the first week of August! I know!!! I am counting down and excited and READY. So ready. Mama's nerves need those precious hours back in order to find some sanity.
I've even stepped further out of my comfort zone and tried new recipes. And no one made me!!! Yeah, we're stepping it up a notch around The Edge. I'm surprising my own self here.
I know I'm not the only blogger in Blog Land who hasn't stayed on top of the blog love these summer months. I was guilty until I realized I wasn't alone. It's all good. We'll meet up when the kids go back to school and sip on beverages while we play catch up.
In the mean time? Congrats to Ally on the birth of the sweetest looking baby EVAH. Pikes Pickles is loving the new addition and I hope I get to meet that precious little darling one day. Also, please keep The Edge and Pikes Pickles in your prayers as we leave the military behind and venture into the civilian world. Jobs are being searched for and nerves are stretched. All the two families want is to do God's will and be where He wants us to be. This is stuff that will probably be blogged about eventually....it's just is buncha buncha plus a lotta and all that to deal with right now in the present. (I promise that makes sense if you think about it.) I just know continued prayers surely are appreciated!
Just think of the blog posts when we get a house for me to decorate and PAINT! It's gonna be ON then, Internets!
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Outlet stores won hands down.
The main reason for going was to get The Man and his son some new shoes. They are both huge fans of those ever so attractive croc-o-dile clogs. I bought The Man some on a whim over a year ago and really didn't know if he would even wear them. Those shoes are now worn completely out. We bought The Boy some cheap off brand version to see how he would handle it. He loved them. We upgraded to the brand for school and he's worn them til they can not be passed down. The straps are gone and the soles are worn almost all the way down.
My boys are funny about some things and shoes are one of them. I have seen my overly sensitive child fall on the floor and literally melt into a puddle over being made to wear a pair of shoes he deems horrible. I know a lot of kids do this, my kid isn't breaking new ground. He despised wearing cleats for T-ball but, God bless his heart, he bucked it up and wore them for the game. Some times there are battles worth fighting and some times it's really not a bad idea to get the kid a comfy shoe to wear on a regular basis.
We hit that Croc-o-dile outlet with high hopes and expectations. We were not disappointed. Upon finding out that they offer a military discount, we were glad to give them our meager business. What a crowded store this was, with both people and all types of shoes. It was pretty overwhelming to be honest.
Paige was able to find a really cute pair of dress shoes she could wear to work. It's been really hard on her feet and ankles not being able to wear tennis shoes and being on her feet the full work day. The shoes she found are silver (score for neutral color!) and are almost like ballet flat sling backs. She has deemed them the best shoes ever and I'm glad we were able to find something dressy and workable for her.
What did that boy of mine find? Every single solitary pair of green shoes in the joint. We all know how much he adores the color green. He's not particular to any shade of green, it's all just magical and perfect for him. He gravitated to a pair of neon/lime green shoes that had potential to blind a person from fifty feet away and was insistent he needed that pair.
Did I mention the tape measure? Before we left the house, he got his Dad's tape measure out of the tool box. He measured his foot and he measured his old pair of shoes. He did the math in his head and decided how long a new pair would have to be. He put that big tape measure up in his pocket (cargo shorts) and was fully prepared to shoe shop.
In the midst of that busy store, people milling all around, my son would whip that tape measure out and measure a shoe before trying it on. God, how I love him and how his amazing mind works. Paige was on the embarrassed side because her little brother had a tape measure in public. I told her it just showed how incredible his mind is at being able to figure out measurement and apply it to every day life. I had not one problem with my child carrying that tape measure to measure and compare. I looked at it as an awesome learning experience. Shoot, you only live once.
In the end, we bought The Boy two pair of shoes. One pair for now, and one pair to start school with. The school pair are a good sturdy brown, guaranteed to match just about anything I put on that kid.
(Did I mention that I finished school clothes shopping for him while there? Every kid's store had amazing sales going on. I bought shirts from .99- 3.99. I bought shorts for 1.99-3.99. I am thrilled to pieces he is ready for kindergarten!)
What about the shoes he gets to wear now, you ask? Oh, what an amazing magical pair of shoes we have, Internets.
The Boy now owns his very own pair of kelly green croc-o-dile shoes that Mama happened to find in the clearance bin for $9.99.
Yes, sir, having your child come kiss you goodnight wearing nothing but a pair of Power Ranger underwear and green shoes? Priceless.
Monday, June 29, 2009
The Man took The Boy to speech around 4ish today. I started supper when I knew they were heading home. By the time 5:15 p.m. rolled around, the weather went from a decent day to wild.
We were eating supper while warily looking out the windows at the rain that was so heavy, we couldn't see the street in front of our home. The winds were blowing so hard the faint shadows of the trees outside looked like they were bending in half.
I might have mentioned to The Man a time or two that maybe we should head to the bathroom with all it's windowless glory. You could say I was just a tiny bit on the nervous side.
Paige was sitting to my right at the supper table and on the other side of her was my cell phone. I asked her to hand it to me.
I proceeded to put it in my bra, nestled ever so nicely.
Paige raised an eyebrow and asked me why did I just do that?
"Well, if I get blown to Oz? I need a way to call you to come pick me up."
The storm has passed for the moment, and the cell phone is on the table beside me. I think Paige thinks I have finally gone around the bend. It's good to keep your kids guessing.
Monday, June 22, 2009
On to current thoughts and such, my will power was surely tested this weekend. Since The Man and I decided that he should retire this upcoming November, we've been put on a roller coaster ride of MASSIVE proportions. I love a good roller coaster, mind you, but it's been a while since I've ridden one. I've gone along with the ride for the most part. I've planned the reception for his ceremony and got that taken care of. I'm not stressing a bit over that part.
This weekend, out of nowhere, I got hit with a sucker punch.
It hit me that I may have to uproot my family and take them to yet another new place to live. I don't want to do that. I'll be honest and up front with you.
These are things I CAN do but DON'T want to do:
1. Find a decent school district and put my children in different schools where I know no person that works there.
2. Find new doctors(family doc, psychiatrist, psychologist) that will provide quality care for my family.
3. Find another OB/GYN for my personal needs.
4. Find a new dentist for all of us.
5. Find a new church that will fill my family's spiritual needs. (This should really be first.)
6. Find my way around a new town.
7. Map another route back to South Carolina to my parents house.
8. Realize that if I am over 35 miles away from my family, they won't come visit. Ever.
I just about melted on the floor. I got so angry and mad about the whole entire deal. For once, I want it to be easy. It's nothing but work work work all the fricken time. While I know my husband would be there with us and not out to sea this time, I still have to do this crap because he's going to be starting a new job. I know it's my job as The Wife and The Mama to make all this stuff magically happen, but I just want a durn break, ya know?
I feel so old. I'm not some starry eyed new military wife looking for the next adventure. That's not how I roll. I love stability. I love knowing my place where I am. This just isn't me.
But, I have no choice. Thanks to a plummeting economy, we will have to go where my husband can find a decent job to take care of a family of five. Trust me, you can't live off a retirement check.
Right this moment, I'm just depressed/upset/sad/mad/tired over what I'm going to have to deal with in the next six months. Whatever and where ever God sends us, I'll make do because that's just what I do.
I just need a little bit of time to wallow in the pool of crap I'm in so I can get it over with, put my big girl panties on, and deal with it.
......and I quit smoking???
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Paige reached the fine age of 15 back in April of this year. That, of course, qualifies her to go get her learner's permit and start driving. Sister was not able to go get that piece of coveted plastic because her grades just weren't up to par. The Man and I laid down the law and told her all classes had to be passed with an 85 or greater at the end of year in order for her to drive. She wasn't too thrilled with that edict, but she prevailed and had the grades in the end.
It didn't happen.
She aced the signs and was told she wouldn't have to take that again. My poor kid. She was so stressed from those last two weeks of school and anxiety reared it's ugly head when she sat down at the computer to take the test. I told her many people have to take it again and that I knew she would ace it because now she knew what to expect. She was bummed and I can't say I blame her.
I decided that she would wait a week or so before trying again. She was starting a new job that really needed her focus. Plus, she needed to study the book a little more. Ya know, making decisions like this...the ones that upset your kids...is tough. She didn't like it as she wanted to go right back and try again, but Mama won and she waited until things settled down a little bit.
Yesterday was the day! I picked her up from work so we could head to see Rose (I told you the whole family is partaking of the counseling). Afterwards, we made our way to the DMV. This time The Boy was with us. He was as good as he could be while Sissy took her test. She really took her time and when she needed help, the lady working there was more than happy to help. Apparently, if people have a hard time comprehending what the question is, the ladies who work there can offer assistance. Good deal.
I remembered when I got mine....oh, around 23 years ago. Wow. I knew exactly how she was feeling. It's like your first real step to independence is in your hands. It is something you accomplish all on your own. Your parents can only stand in the background offering support. Although, I had to take my test on a paper and wait for them to grade it and she immediately knew as the computer flashed up the "You Passed!" on the screen.
Of course, I took some pictures. You didn't think I would let you down, did you?
Why, yes I did go right on up to the counter and take a picture of my child. The lady looked at me and I replied, "It's for the blog." She said it was no problem and that led me to believe that I'm not the first parent to do this.
I just wanted to cry! I was about to bust wide open because she was just so incredibly happy in this moment.