Friday, January 30, 2009

How it goes

The Boy didn't make it yesterday. I had a feeling the rainy day might mess up his good record. Miss K stepped out the room long enough to take a bathroom break and my son decided he was not happy with her stand-in. He had an issue and lost his sticker for that activity. He knew. When I picked him up, he knew that banana split was out of his reach for that day. I told him he would have to work extra hard today and see if he could get all those stickers. Hopefully, he'll be able to pull it off today.

Today is Show & Tell and Pajama Day at his school! Man, that's some living right there, isn't it? Power Ranger walkie talkies were chosen as worthy to be shown to friends. He awoke before I did and informed The Man with eyes bright and excited, "DAD! IT'S JAPAMA DAY!" Now, how could I not blog that? By the time he left for school, he was pronouncing the word right, but it was so cute when he first said it. Laundry got away from me this week. I was so relieved when The Man found the super dooper awesome Bat Man japamas in the clean clothes. Score, Mom!

Our class was successful this week. One young new wife made all those hours I've contributed to this session so worthwhile. During one break, I was speaking with someone when I saw her almost skipping up to me. She told me that she had really decided not to come to class and NOT TWO MINUTES before I called to verify her attendance, she had told her husband she doubted she would come. Then I called. (dum dum dum) She said after talking with me and how I laughed and chatted, she decided to "try it" one night. She grinned then and said, "I LOVE this class! I'm so glad I came! Thank you so much for being so nice on the phone!" She was so happy and enthusiastic. She even went so far as to sign up to volunteer where ever we needed her with future sessions. I almost cried. I jumped up from my seat and hugged her tiny self and told her, "No, THANK you for coming! You just made my night!" That's what it's all about. She has knowledge under her belt. She has power now. Now, she has the resources to help herself instead of depending on her husband to find her answers when he either: 1. doesn't know where to ask himself, 2. doesn't have time to find it because of work, 3. doesn't understand how important it is for his wife to know something, or 4. isn't home to help her in a time of need. It all came down to someone being nice on the phone. That's not hard at all to do. I enjoyed speaking with each of them when I called to verify attendance. I tried to make sure I spoke with each lady individually and look them in the face during the session. I made my presentations personal with my own experiences, which is so very important. I totally scored some new friends on Fac*book!

I might also be famous for a minute (if only in my own mind!)! The base newspaper reporter stopped by to take some pictures and get an interview or two about the session. I was chosen as the Mentor interview this time. Funny thing is, I know the reporter somewhat and we ended up chatting about other stuff around the base without doing a bona fide interview. I invited him to eat supper with us and as we were walking towards the kitchen, he stopped and said he needed a quote! Out came the recorder and Miss Hope spun a few words and all was done. We like to show him our appreciation for his time and in turn he always gives Compass a good spin, complete with pictures, in the paper. I can't wait to see how this article turns out!

Today is my day off. Seriously and literally. I intend on making no special efforts except maybe a load or two of laundry and if you don't watch out? I'll never progress further than some jogging pants and a t-shirt. I am mentally and physically exhausted. My feet are killing me and brain cramps abound. It's all worth it in the end. My house cleaning must be addressed. Tomorrow. Tomorrow sounds good. I think I'll be Scarlet O'Hara today and worry about it all tomorrow.

Stay warm, Internets, if you're up North. If you need a break, head South. We're pretty smooth this way!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mini Update

So far so good on The Boy's higher dose of medication. He's still able to be four and quite capable of throwing fits when Makenna won't share her Nint*ndo DS. He's not lethargic and so much fun to have a conversation with.

If you can today? Say a little prayer for him. Miss Rose suggested last week that we give him goals to work for. He had just been having some behaviour issues at school again (hence the higher dosage). It was decided that if he could get good reports for five days, he would be able to go to the Sonic with Dad where they would then enjoy a banana split while sitting in the back of the truck watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (I promise this is one his FAVORITE movies). In order for this to happen, he has to have ALL stickers on his behaviour chart for five days.

Yesterday was day FOUR of having all stickers.

Today is rainy so they won't get to go outside. Today is also gym and they may not get to go because they would have to walk a little ways in the rain to get there. This does not bode well for my baby. He needs that little bit of physical exertion to help him on through.

He REALLY wants that banana split, Internets.

As for my week? Tonight is the last night of Compass! YaY! I have no presentations tonight and I look forward to sitting back and enjoying the last three speakers. I think I did okay when I spoke and I hope I was able to help someone with the information I gave.

Now, I get to get my day started as The Man and I have counseling at noon. I selfishly look forward to this because it's almost like date time for us. We get to go out to lunch, just the two of us, afterwards. It's nice to chat and talk and only have to focus on each other.

I'll be sure to let you know how The Boy fares on this rainy day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Going Decently

Night one is done!

I think I did pretty good with my presentation. My only beef/thing-that-irks-me is being constantly interrupted. I've done this section quite a few times and I know how long it takes to get all my information out there. When I keep getting interrupted, it messes with my train of thought. I know there are some points that need to be made, but PLEASE don't jump ahead of me and start talking about what next on my list. Dude. Seriously. Yet, I kept it cool and as professional as I could and plugged right on.

Add in the fact that Miss Hope was not 100% due to Womanly Issues. Yeah, that can make your temper short and your tolerance level low. Very low. Super low. Insanely low. I think normally (what a cute word and how rarely it applies to me personally) it wouldn't have bothered me as much, but this time it did.

I also have issues with people talking while someone is doing a presentation. I have to really watch myself because before I know what's going on? I am shooting them a look. You know....THE LOOK. I am cursed (or blessed?) with a very expressive face and there are times I have spoken a full blown speech without opening my mouth. Look, I am going to be 38 years old this year. If I haven't gotten a handle on that by now? Chances are it won't happen. Thing is? I know you sometimes need to lean over and make a comment or such. Heck, I even do that myself. But to have a full out conversation while someone is talking up front? So not cool.

Okay, vent and rant over. I love everything about this program I'm a part of. It is totally out of my control that the class is being held while I'm having Womanly Issues. It's not their fault either so I'll just be done with it.

Can I just say I am enjoying the smack out of not cooking supper? This is like a mini vacation from my usual routine of planning meals and cooking them. I can't think of one woman out there with a family that just doesn't get worn out with trying to come up with meal ideas, only to have some picky eating kid shoot down your hard work. The Man is stepping up and doing meals for The Boy, Makenna, and himself. Paige is with me working in the nursery for our session. It's a disruption of our routine that happens once every six months.

Now, I get to go make a few phone calls and get my day started. The Boy gets to visit with Miss Rose today. He's already looking forward to it and we don't want to disappoint that kid when it comes to Miss Rose, now do we?

By the way, it's going to snow here. Right where we live. Why? Because The Man cleaned the kitchen last night to give Paige a break! Everyone needs to break out their parkas if they haven't done so. (Thanks, Honey! How does that saying go? Bravo Zulu!)

One more presentation to go and I'm done!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Speaking Clearly

I have such a busy week ahead of me. It doesn't happen but once a quarter when I have my "regular duties" with Compass added in. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy being a part of the Compass Team. May be too much at times? I get teased a lot during sessions because I'm such a "dig-it". Can I help I believe in educating one's self, especially in the spouse's part of active duty military? My team picks on me and says they're going to have buttons made to wear that say, "RUN! There's Hope and she'll make you take Compass!" It's all good and I take it with the love it's intended.

We have a FULL class this session. Fifteen new ladies are coming to participate. That's a little overwhelming if I really stop and think about it. See, I am also a Mentor. I stand in front of everyone and talk about certain subjects and share information. My first section is an hour long and I have no trouble whatsoever filling that time. I also do another section that is around 45 minutes to an hour the next day. We are in dire need of more ladies who are willing to be mentors. The team is stretched like it is and we have two who are going to be new Mom's soon. Many ladies will decline being mentors because they are afraid to get up in front of people to speak.

Ah, public speaking. Let's talk about that subject a moment, shall we?

I took a public speaking course in high school (it was a night time college credit course) that scarred me for life. I am normal and have the jitters that come with getting up in front of people. After five minutes or so, I'm comfortable and am able to carry on with little or no problem.

About that scar deal. I did a speech during the first part of my class and felt I did pretty good. Imagine my surprise when I got my grade back and it was a C (!!!) because of my articulation. Huh? As a high school senior from a small school, I really didn't know what articulation was. Add in the fact that the professor was a Yankee from Boston...we had a bit of a translation problem going on. She gladly/eagerly/meanly brought to my attention that my Southern accent was horrendous. I countered with her Boston accent wasn't any better and that I wanted to give her cold medicine she sounded so nasal. She jabbed at the paper with my grade on it and showed where I was having problems. "This", "that", and "there" were "Dis", "Dat", and "Dere".

Oh. I never really noticed because it was a natural sound that was normal in the area I was from.

Here came the paranoia. I found myself concentrating so hard on pronouncing my words correctly. She wasn't easy on me at all, but I ended up with a high "B" in that class. I can't tell you today if I ended up liking her or tolerating her. My memory seems to have shut that part down. I just know that woman may have ended up helping me, but I wish it had been in a better way.

Now, when I stand up to speak in front of people, I try very hard to make sure my articulation is as good as it can be. Sure, I slip some times when I get animated with my talking. Hopefully, my hands moving will distract those who would otherwise be offended by my ar-tick-you-lay-shun. Hopefully, my desire to educate these women will surpass my Southern accent. I sometimes find myself apologizing when I catch myself not properly pronouncing words right. I'd wager that a majority of them don't even notice when I do it, but it draws attention to anything else I might say. I can't win, can I?

Because this group is so big, I know my anxiety might be a tad higher, but after five minutes or so.....I'll be good. I hope. I am going to try very hard not to apologize when I hear myself pronounce a word wrong. It is a habit that has followed me for almost 20 years, so it may be hard to break. I am not ashamed of my Southern accent and contrary to popular belief/myth, having one doesn't automatically qualify me for redneck status. Redneck status is EARNED, Internets. That's a post for another day.

Now dis girl here is gonna ketch up on some lawndry afore she hits the week wide open. I'll be shore to check in with you because with dat many people? Dere's bound to be something funny or intrestin' to share.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Good Eatin' Stuff Here

I'm thinking I'm going to lighten things up around the Edge today before people come beating me up! (You know who you are!)

By the way, enjoy this week, because next week I'm teaching Compass and I can pretty much guarantee I'll be on the brain dead side of things for the most part. Compass is a passion of mine, but it's draining both mentally and physically. I'll be in good company, though, with some old friends and meeting new people so it's all good. I went to a meeting with mentors and volunteers last night at the coffee shop and it was really nice. We're all different ages and lifestyles, but we mesh together when it comes to this program. I just love team work.

First? I'd like to introduce you all to Neighbor Debbie! I finally convinced the woman she needed to start her own blog. She has as much craziness at her house as I do mine, plus she's so durn crafty, it would be a shame for her not to show you what she's done. She's finding her way and doing pretty good so far. How about go on over next door and tell her "Hello!" She's always good for a cup of coffee and might have a bagel hidden she'll share. Welcome to Bloggerville, Girl!

The other day I was out visiting all of you as I do daily. I'm getting better about commenting, even if it's something small. I know how much comments mean to me as a writer/blogger and I like to pass on the love.

I was over at Andrea's house at My Chihuahua Bites (this will take you a particular post so you'll need to nose around a bit to see all her good stuff) when I saw she had a recipe up. I'm truly not one to go and try a lot of new stuff. Eh, cooking? I just don't enjoy as much as my Mama and brother. That gene skipped right over me. I had already decided to fix breakfast for supper that night. The good stuff like: bacon, eggs, and grits. I don't do it often, but my people love it. I saw Andrea had what looked like an easy recipe for Grit Casserole. Hmmmmm, I thought. I knew I had the ingredients to make it (minus the sausage-we're not sausage fans here). The recipe was an open one where you could take it and make it your own. I like those kind of recipes. I figured, "Why not!" and decided to see if I could make me a Grit Casserole. I brought out that pamper*d chef stone bowl thingy I haven't really used and started getting busy. Makenna came through and when she found out what it was, proceeded to get upset. Here came the whining about how she didn't like cheese in her grits blah blah blah. I told her she knew the rule: You must try a new food one time. She sighed heavily and awaited her doom.

It turned out perfectly. I was just all a glow over that casserole, Internets. Something new, but not really new, was on my supper table and I was right proud of it. I dished it out and met a grumble or two but I was a determined soul. These people were gonna eat this casserole and they were gonna like it.

They did. A lot. There was barely a spoon full left. Success! Even Miss Whiny Pants Makenna had two helpings. I'll be making this again for sure. Thanks, Andrea, for the idea!

Head on over to Andrea's post today, too. She's having a giveaway and it looks good!

Here's my proof of good eating! I had to slip my trivet in on the side. Got to represent my home state!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Was I Wrong?

First off, I can't thank you all enough for the incredible comments in the previous post. It touches The Man and I deeply that so many out there are rooting and pulling for our baby. You have been so helpful and I just ......well, just know I appreciate each and every one of you. I really do.

He did okay yesterday. Apparently there were a couple of issues at school, but nothing super major. I *think* he might have hit a friend (still not clear as his speech still needs work) and...uh....when they took the classes to watch that big deal up in Washington on one of the computers in one of the classes, he drug his feet and didn't want to go. No comment on that. Last night at supper was great. The Boy is really getting into his Two Fun/Funny Things we are doing. He told me had 4 or 5 or 6, but only two are allowed at a time. He got to go another round after everyone finished and it seems all was fun in his world. Even the grits, eggs, and bacon on his supper plate. We thoroughly enjoyed his animated participation. His eyes were bright and he giggled and stayed in his chair. Man, I love when he's able to do that. I could seriously eat him up.

Now, for a new thought.

I have a confession to make. I *think* I might have done something wrong, but I'm not sure.

When we go to visit family in South Carolina, we stay at my Grandma's house. Since she's bedridden next door, it works out really well. No one is put out and it's a familiar place for the kids (and myself!). It's not a big house, but it's enough for us for the short stays we do. We have all the comforts of home and I'm grateful to have the blessings of everyone to stay there.

I was packing up to head back to Georgia on our last visit. I washed the few dishes we had used and after they dried, I was putting them back in the cabinet. The kitchen is a galley style kitchen and I don't care how big or little you are, only one person needs to be up in there at a time. When I opened the cabinet to put the glasses up, I stopped. There sat my Grandma's measuring cup. A simple tin cup that has seen many better days. I stood there and I looked at that cup. Memories came over me like a wave. My brother and I stayed with my grandparents during the day while my parents worked. Every single day, she cooked us a hot meal to eat as soon as The Price is Right went off. We would sit in the living room smelling good stuff and we knew as soon as the Showcase Showdown was over? We were gonna eat good. Every single day, she made a batch of home made biscuits. They were always perfect. The kind of biscuits you'd eat loaded with butter and jelly. Some days, I'd poke a hole and eat the fluffy goodness out the middle it was so good. I remember seeing that cup on her counter every day. It was a faithful companion to her and a constant in my life that I couldn't grasp at such a young age.

I stood there and looked at that cup without moving. I got sad. Tears were in my eyes as I finally realized and faced the fact that my Grandma would never use that cup again. Never would she cook up a batch of her home made biscuits. A lost recipe as she never really measured...she just made them. I was overwhelmed with a sense of grief because it finally hit me. That stupid tin cup made me cry.

I grabbed that cup and put it in one of my bags to come home with me. I was almost kind of frantic about it, to be honest. I had no way of justifying what I was doing. I just knew I wanted, NO NEEDED, that cup with me. It was a part of my child hood and it was Grandma's. I didn't think about it again until we got back to Georgia and I was unpacking the bags.

I stood in my kitchen and looked at that cup. Held it in my hands. The memories surrounded me again of my child hood, but this time I didn't cry. I was starting to feel guilty. I hadn't asked if I could take the cup. I didn't consult with Grandma or any other family member. Why would they want an old tin cup anyways? I put it on my kitchen counter and walked away.

I couldn't stand it. When I talked to my Mama later in the week, I told her I had the cup. I told her why I wanted it, NO NEEDED, it. She understood and said it was okay. I still haven't told my Daddy or brother...or even my Grandma. But, someone knows. I really don't think it's something harmful in the grand scheme of things, but I felt bad about it. I wanted that cup because I'm such a sappy sentimental person. It gave me a piece of my childhood back and I want to share that with my children and maybe pass it down to one of them when they're older and on their own. I imagine that cup was part of my Daddy's life when he was growing up and, Internets? You just can't buy history like that.

What do you think? Was I wrong to act impulsive and take Grandma's measuring cup? I don't believe it'll be a free for all when my Grandma passes. We are a small family. She has a will and all of us know what is what with no hard feelings or ugliness in our hearts. Bless her, she doesn't have a lot. Most of what she has will lean towards sentimental anyway. The only other thing that I have expressed an interest in is her cedar chest. We'll see how it goes.

Here is Grandma's Measuring Cup.

Now it sits on my stove. It's so old and beaten it can't sit flat on a surface. The measurements on it are basic and probably not true because of the wear and tear during it's life. I believe it still has a long way to go.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Try Again

I haven't talked about The Boy lately. My baby isn't having a real easy time in this ADHD world he walks in.

When a mother gives birth to a baby, the most important first thing is that cry. You listen so hard for that cry and your first thought is, "Alive! My baby is alive!" I wasn't able to immediately hold Makenna (Paige's birth was an emergency c-section and I was knocked out) because of meconium. She was checked out by NICU staff within seconds of arriving. I honestly don't remember if I held The Boy as soon as he was born. Is that bad? My main concern was that my husband didn't hit the floor. I kid you not.

After all the hoopla calms down and you are finally able to focus and truly check out that sweet baby, you open that blanket and take in every millimeter of skin. You count toes and make sure there are fingernails and toenails on the tip and you marvel that there is. You check between the toes because you have to see that perfect wrinkly skin in such an inconspicuous place. There is nothing on that baby you don't know before you're are done. Your heart swells to a bursting point and you know deep within your soul that you will do whatever it takes to take care of that baby for as long as you're allowed.

I am no different even though my baby is 4 (almost 5!). I have found myself, instead of relaxing a small degree, even ever more diligent about every millimeter of his being. Now, I watch his eyes to see inside his head because mental is just as important as physical. I know now that the mental is the most important thing at the moment. The Man and I have started "checkin' his pounds" (that's what he calls it) on a regular basis so that the mental doesn't interfere too much with the physical part of him. I find myself watching him as he plays. I pay attention to the movement of his hands. Are they jerky? Does he look shaky? I pay attention to his furrowed brows. Are they furrowed because he can't focus? When he has meltdowns. Are they because he's over stimulated or just being four?

Being his mother has honed my parenting skills until they are sharp. Not quite razor sharp...but on top of the game.

I am not afraid to tell his psychiatrist when I don't feel something is right. I meet him toe to toe.

The last two weeks, I've noticed that, for lack of a better term, the medication seems to have started slipping. The best way I can explain it is that, to me, it's like his strong-willed little body has said, "OH NO YOU WON'T!" and is fighting the medication. Where my child was enjoying a full day of results (8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.), the length grew shorter and shorter until he having issues again at school.


I went into Super Diligent mode. I watched his every move even closer. I missed that little boy who could sit at the supper table and interact. Now, he was unable to sit there and enjoy his meal. Up. Down. Jiggle. Wiggle. Jump up and run a second. Supper became torture again no matter what we did.

Fortunately, he had an appointment with his Doctor yesterday. I had Miss K, his teacher, write a note with her observations from the classroom. I was prepared to see this man.

Have I told you The Boy hates Dr. M (psychiatrist)? Yeah, with a purple passion. We don't know why, but he despises going there. To the point he had a meltdown in the waiting room when we were called back and The Man had to pick him up and physically tote him back. Good times.

I explained the past month and a half to the doctor and then added that I think we needed to up his dosage. See, this medication, when it works? Is wonderful. I don't want to switch because my baby can function with this medication and still be four.

He agreed and today we start a higher dosage.

I know. I know. The ADHD road is a hard one. I've been told over and over again that it is. A part of me can't help but wish it were easier for my child. My baby.

I will continue to be the best advocate I can be for my children. It is my honor and I can't think of anything else I'd rather do.

So, if we have to? We will try again. As many times as it takes.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Project

I started this post Friday morning and this thing called life hit and I got a little busy. It wasn't intentional, but that's how it goes. A few of you have been waiting on this post and I'm sorry I'm late with it! Sit back a minute because this turned out a tad bit more lengthy than I anticipated.

I was informed by Girlfriend Down the Street yesterday that she had been waiting on my post of the The Project for some time now. She's quite the sassy thing, that Girlfriend. We were both at the elementary school to see awards day for our children and we always have a good chat fest when we see each other.

A few months before Christmas, the Crafts and Conversation program was running at the base Chapel. As usual, Neighbor Debbie and I were constantly on the look out for an affordable project for the ladies to do on Thursday mornings. I have to hand it to Neighbor Debbie....she is the Craft Queen. When it comes to C & C, I have always said she was the brains and I was the mouth behind it all. I can't tell you how many hours we sat on the computer looking up ideas and passing links back and forth on yahoo messenger. Between us, there's probably a hundred plus sites bookmarked with ideas.

One day she asked if I had ever seen any rice bags. The kind you warm up and use as a sort of heating pad. I had, indeed seen them and always contemplated getting one but didn't want to pay the high price. She discovered in her research that rice really wasn't the best choice. It can hold moisture badly and will eventually end up getting mold in it. Dang. BUT, she continued, it had been discovered that another ingredient worked really well. Wonder what it is? Deer corn. Deer corn is the bag of corn you can buy at sporting goods, hardware, and Wal*art. It's used to bait a certain area to attract deer so they can be shot and killed. Barbaric, I know.

An idea was born to use that corn for good instead of evil. (really not evil to me, I'm from the South and used to stuff like deer hunting and such)

With the economy being so bad, we decided to make some of these for ourselves as Christmas gifts. Right at Thanksgiving, Crafts and Conversations was shut down to lack of funding and that left us with time on our hands! (a right scary thought)

We headed to one of the last Super*Wal*arts that still carry fabric down in Florida to see what our choices in fabric were. Some scraps were found at less than .75, so we grabbed those. I found some table napkins on clearance, 2 for a buck.

We were set to make some heat bags. I've never been one to use a sewing machine, but Neighbor Debbie trusted me to be careful with her baby and she patiently taught me how to sew the bags. So many mornings we spent at her house drinking coffee, sewing, putting corn in bags, and high five'ing each other when something came out looking good. We were right secretive about it, too, to all our friends. When asked what we were up to, we'd become all secret ninja and evasive. (Guess what some of our friends got for Christmas?)

What started out as simple neck bags evolved into so much more. I believe the idea was born when Neighbor Britt had need of some heat during "that time of the month". Most women who have a hard time with cramps know that a little heat can hit the spot and help so much. So, we made Aunt Flo Bags. Neighbor Debbie's son, Sean, was hurt at school when he fell face first into the bleachers in the gym. Bless his messed up nose and eyes. What he needed was a bag to conform to his face that would put blessed healing coldness there. I saw some scraps from our neck bags that looked like 4 inch squares. I asked why couldn't we sew those and make Boo Boo Bags to put in the freezer. We did. They work wonderfully! That made me think of my daughter and mother in law who get migraines and have to have something cool over their eyes. Why couldn't we make Migraine Bags? We did. Neighbor Greg was our willing subject. He was sitting on the couch playing some Tiger Woods and I would ask him to lay back so I could check width and length of the material as we were flying blind on measurements. I must have done this a half dozen times and he never once complained (to my face! ha ha) I thought of my brother in law who has very severe back issues. Why couldn't we make a bag large to cover a larger area to provide more heat relief? We did.

My biggest question was......this is warm in the microwave. Wouldn't it pop? More research showed that it was not prone to popping. Jordy let us know quick like when her daughter put hers in the microwave that 3 minutes was not a good idea. Apparently, they're not prone to popping at the 2- 2 1/2 minute range. Hit three minutes and you got trouble. Good to know!

Neighbor Debbie decided to go the extra mile. The bags for the corn is made of muslin. We made pillow cases to go over the bags so they can be washed. Think about it, would you? You warm it over and over and put it on your neck or back. Those places sweat. And stink eventually. Having a protective bag you can remove to wash makes life a little better. This also applies to the Boo Boo Bags if they get a little bit of blood on them. The bags are 100% cotton (very important detail so they won't melt in microwave) and very low maintenance.

This is the bag of deer corn you can buy at the store. We were always sure to sift it and make sure any trash was removed. sure not to get scented. The apple flavor/scented ended up feeding a huge family of deer in my back yard. I never really smelled it, but Neighbor Debbie said it smelled like "butt". The deer surely enjoyed it and I spent a couple of days at my kitchen window in the early hours of the morning sipping coffee and watching them eat.

To the right are the many bags we made. This would be the plain bags with muslin material. They are sealed/stitched closed and waiting on cases.

As you can see, sewing the bags closed with corn was on the hard side. We would use stacks of them on the side of the machine to help us. Many cups of coffee were consumed while doing this. I find it funny, too, that we both had to take our shoes off in order to mash the pedal to sew.

Ladies and Gentlemen...this is your tax dollars being spent wisely here. Neighbor Debbie and I suffered greatly through the first dozen bags trying to get that corn in without spilling it on the floor. The household kitchen funnels we had were too small for kernels of corn. Oh, how frustrating it was for the person trying to get that corn in an itty bitty hole. Neighbor Greg was working shift work (hold one while I hum a bar or two of that Kenny Chesney and George Strait tune, would you? Thanks!) at the time The Project was going on. Mostly, he would be playing some Tiger Woods and occasionally conversating with us. (I know the word "conversating" isn't a recognized word, but it really should be.) He heard us struggle with that corn. At one time, he got up, walked over to the desk where we were working and, by golly, he whipped up a paper funnel that made our lives so much easier. I told the Chief that I now loved him and we were blessed to have The Nuclear Funnel. Why that name? Because in military speak, he's a "nuke" (like The Man). They are a rare breed, those nukes. Neighbor Greg gets FULL credit for helping his wife and neighbor keep their sanity while in the creation process. Please note that there will be no pictures of me and Neighbor Debbie. We were not dressed for the Glam Society on those mornings. It was all about comfort and work.

This is a sampling of the heat bags. The middle ones are the Aunt Flo Bags. That material would be the napkins I found on clearance. The race car material was found on clearance and we really liked the boy theme it gave. Neighbor Debbie had the flannel material in her stockpile of fabrics, so the men were able to get manly looking bags. Add in some pink flannel we found for the girls and we were on a roll!

Aren't these adorable? These are our Boo Boo Bags. They are stored in the freezer in Ziploc bags so no moisture gets in the corn. We made boy and girl themed so everyone would be happy when using them. Nothing fancy at all, but very functional.

We were very pleased with how The Project turned out. We have plans to make more and I'm contemplating on doing a give away here on the Edge (after I consult with my crafty partner). There is already another project in the works and it involves power tools! Yeah, baby!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Supper Table Tales

I've incorporated some things at the supper table this week. I read somewhere about how this family that sits down to eat at night has this thing they do. Each person has to tell two fun/funny things they saw/did that day. It helps teach conversation skills to the younger ones. With The Boy's issues, I need to do all I can to help him learn social skills- how to take turns, how not to interrupt, etc. etc.

This gives The Boy something to think about and he was ready with his two things tonight. I threw him off when I told him that Makenna got to go first. Again, another lesson to learn. Even The Man and I take part.

Tonight, Paige went last because I knew she had had the best day of all. She made a good rank with NJROTC today and she was thrilled to pieces. Oh, how it tortured The Boy to sit there until all were finished.

A while back, I started some rules. I add one at a time, usually a few weeks apart.

1. You must wear a shirt to eat at my table. Girls have to wear pants (if not wearing a skirt-long story, but Makenna needed this one).

2. You have to try something new one time (or one bite). I won't make you eat it if you gag, but you gotta give it a try.

3. *New rule established tonight* You have to wait until everyone has said their two fun things before being excused from the table.

I try not to make the rules hard, but order must be in effect at Miss Hope's table. My nerves require it.

So, we made it through another night of fun/funny things. If you need ideas, feel free to try this. It makes for some good conversations as you question each other for more details and it puts everyone in the spotlight for a few minutes. I want my kids to get to the point that they go through their days looking for that perfect thing to tell that night when we sit down to eat.

Tonight, Paige, The Man, and myself were chatting at the end of the meal and I was smiling over how she was talking about NJROTC. She was throwing out military lingo left and right without even thinking. It was like talking to a Mini Man. I made the comment that I hoped that she would give me grandchildren one day and not be too completely focused on her career. She didn't make any promises on that score. I told her I needed for her to have kids so that they could go to her and say, "My Grandma (meaning me) said if you don't treat me better, she's coming to get me!" (Yes, I've had this used against me-just insert "Nana" in there)

My child had the audacity to say...with a straight face......

"Then I would tell them to tell her to come on and get them because that's where they want to be and I would let them go."

You know I started hooting over that one!

I looked up towards the heavens and said, "Lord? Please let my child remember she said that one day when she has her own kids."

I paused....looked back up ...and said...

"Never mind, Lord, I'll just blog about it!!!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

How About This!

Good Monday Morning, Internets!! I can say it's good even though my husband slept through his alarm this morning and when I rolled over and saw it was 6:47 a.m., I still didn't panic.

I casually asked him if he was supposed to be up. Then, he looked at the clock and jumped up like the boat was on fire. No lie, he was out the door taking Makenna to school by 7:10. Amazing how fast you can move when need be, huh?

My goodness. I am watching President Bush's news conference this morning. I adore him. I firmly believe that he's the type person you could sit down to a meal with and never be intimidated because he's easy to hang with. Anyway, I paused my blog composing to give him the respect of hearing one of his last (if not his last) conferences. ~sigh~ He was addressing the press and apparently he's winging it this morning without benefit of a prompter or whatever it is that he uses. While talking to them, he talked about working with the press during his terms and he made the comment that they had, during that time, "misunderestimated" him at times. My eyebrow shot up and I immediately opened another window to go to Webster online to see if this was, indeed, a word. It's not. The man kills me. I adore him, but he just doesn't need to wing it at times! Now we've got another dude coming in who does the filler sounds when speaking off the cuff. If there's one thing that kills me about a public speaker? It's the "uhhhhh's" and the "ummmm's" and the new dude fills his talks with fillers and it drives me freaking nuts. Yay. President Bush leaves us and we no longer get to have new words added to the dictionary and now we get uhhhhhh's and ummmmm's for four years.

*Back to regular programming*

So how do you like the new Edge? Pretty cool, huh? Becca did a fabulous job and I just can't thank her enough. If you look to the left and go down a few, you'll see a button that will take you straight to her blog. Go give her a visit and if you need a blog re-vamp, contact her and see what can be done! I've encouraged her to make a business of this because she has a knack and I can't think of a soul that's been disappointed by anything she's done. When she first said she would help me out, we did many emails back and forth. The header came first. I had no clue what I wanted to do. All I knew is I wanted something related to South Carolina in it. After she played around, she sent me what she made. Makenna took a look and said, "Where's the pineapple? You always have a pineapple, Mama!" She was right! So I emailed Becca back with the pineapple idea. Then, I realized daisies are my favorite flower. Another email was sent and I tell you what, that girl has skills. She was able to make whatever came to mind! Becca is also a fellow military wife supporting her husband as he serves our great country. We wives are force to reckon with, aren't we? Be sure to tell her I sent you when you pay her a visit! Thank you again, Becca, for doing such an amazing job!

I have a few ideas for blog posts rolling around in my head. All I have to do now is settle down and get them on here for you. I have yet to do The Project post. That's going to be a good one. Simple is the key word here. Successful is a good word to use, too.

Also, for those of you who pray out there? Could you please say a prayer for my Dad? He's having some health issues right now with a pinched nerve in his neck. It's making his nervous system act all funky. I'm really worried about my parents because the past year has just been so hard on them health-wise. Today, my Dad is going to the doctor and I pray this guy will be proactive and get some results to help get this problem straightened out. Thank you all in advance for caring enough about Miss Hope's Daddy to say a prayer!

You go on and have a good one now. Mondays are very important, you know. They can just about determine what kind of week you're going to have. I don't know about you, but I prefer a good week over a bad one!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Construction Zone

There should be some re-construction going on here at The Edge...most probably today. I'm so excited about a new look and can't wait to see how it turns out. I'll give you all the details after all is said and done.

I'm heading down to Jacksonville with Carla this afternoon. She has a doctor's appointment and I firmly believe you don't need to drive down there alone. It's crazy! I guess so with it being one of the largest cities on the East Coast. If I'm not mistaken, it's like the third largest? Someone please correct if I'm wrong. It's very intimidating to me. I tell everyone that I'll drive in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina during Harley Bike Week without blinking, but I don't like JAX. She and I make a good team, too. I drive and she navigates. It's gotten us to some really good shopping places in the past.

Oh, and please tell me something if you can. Why on earth was I the one sitting at the table last night helping my brilliant 9 year old with math? And division at that??? The Man lost patience (so unlike him) early on and I had to pick up the torch. That kid can multiply in her head scary numbers. She even taught herself how to do it. Her idea of a fun car game during road trips is for you to give her a multiplication problem for her to figure out in her head. The kind of problem that I would need a piece of paper and pen or the calculator on my phone to know the answer. Long division? Her downfall. She was banging her poor head against a brick wall until I told her she would do the problems or be up to midnight. She seemed to finish up quickly after that. Poor thing. Television is her downfall. If it's on? She can't concentrate. I see her having to have quiet spaces to work- college will be hard, won't it?

You go on and enjoy your Friday. I'm on my second cup of coffee and I might even swing a 3rd if I'm feeling froggy.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Gas it up and let it go!

I truly thought that I would just ease on into 2009 nice and easy. I'd take my time and amble on into January and prepare myself for a nice good year.

Yeah. About that.

I almost fell out the chair because I didn't get buckled in on time. If I had been in a computer chair? It would be spinning like a turnstile on crack.

Tuesday, I took Paige to the doctor to have her ankles checked. That kid has had so much trouble with those ankles of hers. Add in flat feet, short hamstrings, and you got a recipe for trouble throughout her life. A few months ago after falling at school on a rainy day on the ramp outside a class, The Man took her to an urgent care where they discovered a bone spur on her ankle. Lovely. I wanted to have her regular doc check her out, put this in her record so we can go forward and get them fixed.

The doctor on base decided to send her back through some physical therapy because it truly helped her out last time she went. If that doesn't help provide some relief? We'll be heading out to see an Ortho. and get their feedback.

That means as soon as the referral letter comes, she'll be hitting physical therapy at least twice a week.

This is added onto The Boy's standing appointments of speech on Mondays and Miss Rose on Wednesdays.

I pulled a fast one while we were at the clinic. Makenna had gone with us and before we left out, I asked the doc if maybe we could get a refill on her motrin since she left hers at her Aunt's house in South Carolina. Oh, and while the doc was at it, she needed to check out the mole on Makenna's neck. She's had it a really long time. When she and I had some suspicious moles removed right before we moved to Georgia, the doctor then said to keep an eye on it and if it changed, then get it checked. It changed. The surface is different. It's wider. It worries me. It worried this doctor, too. We have a referral in progress to get her to a doctor who will remove it. These girls will appreciate my being a fanatic over sunscreen one day. Now I await that letter so I can add Makenna's appointments on with her siblings.

Yesterday, the girls went with The Boy to see Miss Rose. This was to give Rose a chance to see some family dynamics and connect with the girls. The hour flew by as they talked and played a game together (this was see how he handled taking turns and such). I'm sure we'll be doing this again...just not sure when.

The Boy is having a hard time adjusting to being back in school. Each day since Monday, he's had a hard time keeping his hands to himself. I guess using his words is hard for him to remember. Rose says this is normal and she's not surprised. She wants to give him two weeks before we get too overly concerned. I think it's easy for her to say that but hard for me and Miss K (his teacher) to deal with.

Because he's been breaking the rules, he is not allowed to play the wii or play at nickjr.c*m after school. What wonderful punishments, right? Wrong. This is as much a punishment to us as it is to him. This is one busy boy if he doesn't have that outlet open to him.

Now let's not forget that I have a Compass session coming up at the end of the month and it's hitting the fan already. I'll be busy with that off and on until we have the session. It's a night class this time so that means getting home after 9:00 p.m. Okay, maybe even later if the conversation is good.

I can't believe my month is basically getting booked right before my eyes. You know how you're supposed to learn how to say "NO" and not stress yourself?

Well, how on earth can I do that when 90% of what I'm doing concerns my children's well-being and health? These are not extracurricular activities like soccer or ballet that are time consuming. These are doctor appointments and physical therapy and what have you. Mental and physical health stuff. This is where I sigh in relief that my husband is on shore duty right now so he can help with all this running around. We some times pass each other and wave, but we know that all is being taken care of. I laugh some times because it's like we're doing different tours of duty with the different kids but it all works out in the end.

See what I mean? 2009 is here and it is wide butt open!

Gas it up and let it go!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Who Me?

Missy, that Clemson Tiger Gal, was kind enough to give me an award! I am always honored and it tickles me to no end when someone gives me something like this. If you've given me one and I didn't follow the rules and pass it on? I surely apologize. Just know that life happened to me because it sure did a lot of that last year.

I am to send this on to 7 blogs of my choice. Missy chose to do three. I think I'm going to do a happy medium and choose 5. Does that make us difficult? just keeps things interesting. Now, you got to link back to who ever gave you the award and keep passing on the love!

1. I'd love to share with Andrea over at My Chihuahua Bites! I've known her for a few years (and never met face to face!) and she has found her groove on her blog. It's adorable and I love to see what she's going to share. It's always a treat to see what new crafty idea she's doing or just to hear her thoughts. Go on over and see what she's got going on! I guarantee she's found some super bargain and she's always cool enough to share her finds with everyone. Yes, I am guilty of taking her advice and finding one (or two or three...) of her bargains. Just ask Paige...I had her on a mission to help me find something and I almost had to call Andrea to get more details but we were successful!

2. Do some Aiming High with Denise while you're at it. I love to go visit her because we're a lot alike. We're both Moms trying to keep it all straight and we try to find the humor in life and in raising kids. She has some great insight I think you'll enjoy.

3. Boy Crazy makes me laugh out loud. Andria has her hands full with baby girl Elizabeth. I love to go visit her blog and see what her kids have been into. Andria also convinced me check out Word Twist on Faceb*ok. I'm not sure if I've forgiven her yet for that. She has the two older boys where I have two older girls. Her baby is a girl and mine is boy. Yet, the similarities are crazy! If you need a good laugh? This is the place to go.

4. I just gotta share the love with Stef over at Pikes Pickles. What a partner in crime she's been! We discovered we were Navy Wives (YaY!). We discovered we were moms of teenagers (double Yay?). We discovered our husbands are on the verge of retirement (WaaHooo!). We discovered we are Facebo*k junkies and have poked each other at least a 1000 times since that discovery. She's West Coast. I'm East Coast. We have promised to meet in person one day because we have adopted each other's kids in a crazy military Internet blogging kind of way. Her blog is full of great stuff. This is one busy woman and I just don't know how she does it at times. I'm sure you'll enjoy visiting her!

5. My last piece of love goes to Miss Krys. If you haven't discovered her blog yet then you're missing out. She covers everything in my book. Crafty ideas, politics, her deep personal thoughts, her love of family, and her all around goodness. She and I have known each other a couple of years now (has it been that long?). I know if all goes according to plan, we'll definitely meet her one day so she can squeeze my son and claim him. As my Grandma would say, "She's good people."

Man, I didn't know how hard that could be! I flipped and flopped on who to choose and just wanted to pass it everyone. Then I realized I read over 100 blogs a day. Can you imagine how long that post would be?

I appreciate anyone who thinks I am deserving. I heart the blog world.

Who Knew?

My kids are normal siblings. They fight and scrap and carry on and drive me crazy on a regular basis. Some times I have to just throw my hands up and walk away. If there's no broken bones or blood, then they just have to work it out. Good or bad parenting, I don't know. I just know the nerves can't take it and they won't ever learn how to resolve issues in life if I'm constantly jumping in to save the day.

Santa left a surprise in Georgia this year. A mini-trampoline (36 inches) with the handle bar to hang onto. My research on The Boy's condition shows that physical exertion can often help with melt downs. The repetition of physical movement and just being able to get that energy out of his system is positive. Paige needed something inside she could do for fitness and Makenna just enjoys jumping. Therefore, the trampoline scored all the way around. Yesterday, I was in the other kitchen (a.k.a. laundry room) when I heard something suspicious. I walked around the corner to the kid's living room and almost had a heart attack. My son was in his SpiderMan costume with his legs hooked over the handlebar of the trampoline and Makenna was trying to help him injure himself. I said loudly, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!" They both the did the guilty jump and The Boy immediately said, "It was MuMu's idea! It was her idea!" I just started laughing and couldn't talk for a minute or two. This upset him even further because he kept exclaiming he was not in trouble because it was MuMu's idea. Finally, I was able to catch my breath and I informed him that it was dangerous to do that and I did NOT want to see it again. He went on this long explanation about how SpiderMan can flip and climb walls and such. Apparently, the dress up costume he was wearing is supposed to enable him to do such things also. Yeah. I anticipate an injury in the not so distant future from the new toy.

Got a little goodie to share with you.

Who knew the new DS could cause world peace in my home. Even if only for a short time.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

It Occurred to me.

It occurred to me I didn't do a post for a year in review. Well, I'm not going to. If you want to know how my year went, I got archives! Feel free to go back and be nosy from January 2008 to December 2008. If you read that, you'll know exactly how my year went, I can promise you that.

I want to talk of what I'm looking forward to in 2009 instead. There are 364 more days of this glorious year left and it stretches before me with unlimited possibilities.

I want to maintain my level of contentment. Funny, I used to think that word was a bad thing. The silliness of my being young warped that word in my mind. For some crazy reason, I thought it meant I was settling. Settling for what, I don't really know. It was like I had to keep searching and seeking. For what, again I don't know. Being older now has given me a tad bit more wisdom and I have raised my eyebrow at what I used to be on more than one occasion. I know now that contentment is something that comes from deep inside of you. It's the exact opposite of "settling for what you have". It's knowing that what you have makes you happy inside and out. My life makes me happy inside and out. Good thing to know that's one thing money can't buy.

I want to find a better me this year. This isn't something anyone else can do for me and I know this. It's a song and dance I've sung many times before. Heck, I'll probably be singing it the rest of my life. I think all humans are a work in progress their whole lives. We are forever changing and aging. Learning to deal with new aspects of our bodies. I am no different. I am knocking on 40 and I want to greet that magical number when it gets here with gladness. I have a little over two years to get it straight. Not a long time when you're this age as time seems to fly by on hummingbird's wings the older you get. I can do this. I've been here before. The right frame of mind can conquer even the most insurmountable foe. When I find that right frame of mind? I will be feeling ten feet tall and bulletproof.

This year will be full of decisions for my family. The Man will start preparing for retirement and life after the U.S. Navy. While most of you wonder what a big deal that is.....well, it is. My husband has given almost 20 years of his life serving this country. He came into the service in his early 20's and it has shaped him and molded him to be the man he is. When all was not right in his world, the military never changed. It has been a rock and the love this man has for his country has made his service an honor and a bearable hardship at times. He wears his uniform every single day with pride and the ribbons on his chest are a testament to what he has accomplished. To not wear that uniform day in and day out will be hard for him. To no longer be a part of "the mission" will weigh heavily on his heart. While he's really not into missions while on shore duty now, he supports missions. Going back into the civilian world won't be hard for me. It will be life changing for him. I will be revisiting this subject from time to time because I love him and will be figuring out how I can support him to the best of my abilities to make sure the civilian world isn't as different as he thinks. We're going to get this man through to the world of golf shirts and khaki pants.

My children are another priority this year. I wish to get to know them better and love them even more (if that's possible). Each one of them is unique and so incredible and I sit in constant awe that God let me give birth to the three of them. I pray for them on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis as they go through their days and nights. It's my pleasure and honor to do so. I know my Mama still prays for me and I want to be praying for my three until I take my last breath on this Earth.

I want to strengthen the bonds of friendship with the amazing ladies I've met both on here and here in Georgia while maintaining the bonds with those I have back in South Carolina. While being a wife and mother are two things I love with all my heart.....I love being able to be Miss Hope, too. A whole new world has opened up to me as I venture out and discover sides of myself that were either undiscovered or dormant. I am so excited to see what I can learn this year about myself.

So, would you call this a year in "Preview"? Is there really any correct way I can word it so that my English O.C.D. friends will accept it? (Girls, you know I love you!)

364 days. Wow. The possibilities!