Friday, January 22, 2010

Good Idea?

I have to admit that I have entered a whole new world raising a little boy. I tell people all the time that when the girls were little, I could pretty much put them in one place and they would be there or nearby when I got back! This boy of mine? A totally different story. Since he was five months old and got mobile, he has been wide open.

Shopping for a boy is different world also. I like it, though. Going from pink to green was an adjustment at first, but I managed. The Man has always loved shopping for the kids, but now? He gets to shop for his inner kid.

Then you have relatives who enjoy shopping for kids. All of them seem to think that little boys should have at least one gun. When both sides of the family believe this....the results are crazy. This past Christmas, my son received what he believes to be an "awesome" present. The Man's sister decided it was time he got a nerf gun to enjoy. Nerf is good, right? All soft and you can shoot in the house?

She went the extra mile, she did. She got The Man one, too! It is her belief that the two of them could have a massive good time and epic nerf battles.

Unless they band together against the world.

This is what happens when the two males in your home decide that a certain 10 year old female has slept long enough on a Saturday and it's time to get up. No prisoners were taken and after the dust settled, they felt victorious.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Family Member and Such

Let me just start this with one statement. I am not an animal person. I don't hate animals. Well, I don't like cats, but that's because I'm deathly allergic to them and they have the power to about kill me. Growing up, we had outside pets. That was no problem. All my life, my mother has ranted and raved about how she would NEVAH have an inside dog. Now? My Sister-in-Law's poodle, Percie, loves nothing more than to sit in my Mama's lap all day long. In her house. And she surely lets him. She's even been known to cook him a special pot of butter beans because he loves them dearly. Amazing how things change the older we get.

Before now, the kids have begged and begged for a puppy to love and cherish. Over and over again I have refused this request because we all know where the responsibility will fall. On me. Plus, we were military enlisted folk and vet bills were nowhere in my monthly budget. When I would get fussed at by others for "not letting those babies of mine have a pet", I was quick to respond "I already have three to take care of...why add more?!?"

Paige has stated many arguments in the past years on why she and her siblings need an animal. There have been many pros listed and very few cons. (I swear that girl is going to be a lawyer one day.) This past Christmas she asked for two things: Ipod Touch and a puppy.

*The following paragraph is about MY personal feelings and thoughts. I'm only speaking for me. Okay? Okay.*

The Ipod Touch was out of the question. My child is fifteen and I *personally* am not comfortable with giving a teenager unlimited access to the internet with practically no supervision. To me, that's asking for trouble and I don't know about you out there in Internet Land, but if I can avoid trouble? Then I'll do my level best to do so. Maybe we'll change our minds in the future, but today's society is a scary thing and I am responsible for my children.

That left a puppy. Dangit. That was another thing I didn't want to get. I called an old friend I consider an "older sister" to have a talk. She listed pros AND cons to having a family member added to our home. By the end of the conversation, I stated that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea, but it would take a Christmas miracle to find a puppy we could afford that would make my teenager proud. We got off the phone with her promising to keep her ears open.

Five minutes later she called back and told me "I've found you a puppy!"

It was definitely a Christmas miracle. An old acquaintance from high school had a cherished Shih Tzu that she decided to breed one time. A lovely litter of 6 puppies resulted. I called her and we talked for over an hour about this breed and how her own Zoey saved her life. She had suffered from depression and this sweet puppy walked in and saved her. I have to believe this was all a "God Thing" because she lived near my parents. Here we were in Georgia and there was this litter of puppies right down the road from my parents. Wow. So began Operation: Shock the Mess Out of Paige Christmas 2009.

The Man reluctantly agreed that this might just be the thing for us to do. We were moving into our own home. Finances would allow proper care of a family pet. It was time.

It was on then. Miss Hope figured that if we were going to do this? We were going to do this right! I started shopping.

Talks with the owner had us realizing that this sweet puppy wouldn't be ready for a big red bow on Christmas Eve. The litter was born on Thanksgiving weekend and needed time to grow and be weaned. Really, this worked out perfectly overall as we were moving right after Christmas and needed time to get all that worked out.

What could we do to make this amazing?

I figured it out quick like. It was decided that we would be getting a girl. They had a better temperament and all I heard about was how Paige wanted a girl so she could "name her Prissy and put bows in her hair...make her the ultimate Diva Dog". I found the cutest tiniest pink leather collar with a heart of rhinestones on it. I wrapped it up in a jewelry box all pretty and fancy.

My father is very strict about how things are done. He has a schedule of events on Christmas Eve and Day that must be followed. We all go along with it because it makes him happy and works for us. I had to buck tradition and be the Rebel.

Gift opening starts at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Because the owner of the litter had her own plans, we went over to my parent's around noon. (Paige stays there when we visit because she has to be up her Nana's butt.) I asked everyone to come in because something was going on. I made this lovely speech about how Daddy has his way of doing things, but this time Hope had to change things up a bit. Everyone was clueless as we hadn't told anyone about this particular present.

We made Paige open her present and she was right confused and a little scared. She saw that collar and started shaking. She asked what it was. I asked her what did it look like. She asked what it was. I asked her again what it looked like. The Man and I then told her Merry Christmas and to get dressed...she was going to pick out her baby.

It was an amazing afternoon. The owner, Carissa, was so sweet and considerate. We went to her house where Paige was able to pick out the one she wanted. Then we spent a good hour or so letting her hold her and love her. Zoey was unsure of all of this because someone was holding her baby. The collar went on this tiny puppy and she was named from that moment on.

A couple of weeks then passed with lots of text messages between Carissa and Paige. Paige received almost daily updates on how Prissy was doing. Paige anxiously awaited her baby's arrival and faithfully studied the book Santa brought her on the care and loving of a Shih Tzu. She could recite facts left and right on this breed and had a plan in mind on how to train and raise her "baby". Did I mention that Santa brought Prissy a starter goody box full of things to get her started. He's so cool like that.

Then, it was time. Aunt Lu was coming to visit and she was bringing that baby with her. Friday night when she got here, we accepted a new member into our family. I thought it was perfect timing with a three day weekend, so Paige could really get into training and bonding.

She is now in school with a lot less sleep and a whole new appreciation for parents who potty train. Heh heh.

The Boy has found a partner to chase him all over the house and he is thrilled. Prissy isn't tall enough to climb stairs at a whopping 2 1/2 pounds yet, heck she has trouble getting into the back door that is 3 inches off the ground. She is all decked out with all a puppy should need (curse you Petsmart!).

It really is like having an infant in the house. Since I've started this post, we've been outside to potty (and she did!), a used band-aid has been rescued from her mouth, and we're going to head back outside because around 9 is "poop time". Whew. What have I gotten myself in to????

Really, though? How can you NOT love a face like this?
Yeah, we've all been suckered in by this sweet face. Any dog raising advice you might have? Please share! We're a clueless bunch finding our way here. I see a whole new family portrait in our future.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Life is about routines. The older we get, the more we tend to settle into comfortable routines that help us get through each day. This isn't a bad thing. No, not at all. It's almost...soothing, for lack of a better term. I think routines mostly happen when we have children. Children need routines to function. Structure is the key to keeping a kid on the smooth side. If a kid is smooth? Our lives are much easier.

That was the most terrifying part of moving to a new place for me. Disrupting The Boy's routine just isn't the best idea anyone has ever had. I haven't talked about his ADHD lately, but it's still there. Trust me. It's there. I look at him now and remember him in October of 2008 and the difference will make you speechless. That sweet baby of mine craves a routine like an addict craves their drug of choice. From the moment he wakes up to the moment he lays his head down at night, routine and structure are the key for his survival (and sometimes ours!)

I'm not saying we don't ever do spontaneous things because we do. We also have to realize that there may be a price to pay for spontaneity. We all know for a fact that under no circumstances is he allowed in a place like Super W*lm*rt in the evenings. There is an abundance of fluorescent lights and if you didn't know already, fluorescent lights are the WRONG thing to expose an ADD or ADHD kid to unless heavily medicated. Fluorescent lights flicker constantly. People normally don't notice it but a certain part of the ADD and ADHD brain will see those flickers and it will drive that person crazy. And they won't know why. It will inspire meltdowns and behaviour problems of high magnitude. It is a given that after 4-5 p.m., someone will sit outside in the vehicle with The Boy to keep him from going in a place such as this. How about pay attention the next time you are in a store like this. I'm willing to bet that the more towards evening you get, the more kiddie meltdowns you will see because they are tired and can't understand what the flip is causing them to act on the crazy side.

Thanksgiving to Christmas saw such a roller coaster for my baby. He knew he was getting a new house and a new school. He had to say good bye to his teacher and friends. I don't think he really grasped it because a big vacation happened right after that with a visit from Santa thrown in for good measure. We had days with meltdowns. We had perfect days where we marveled at how well he was doing.

When I went to register him for his new school, I was all excited and chatty about how great this place was and how many friends he was going to make. (I make myself sick now just thinking about how "happy" I was.) Inside? I was a nervous wreck and almost about to throw up over being so anxious about how he was going to deal with yet another new loop in his life. He sat in the office while I filled out paperwork and watched the people walking by outside. Next thing I know? He's getting all rowdy and jumping and hitting his sister. Seriously, he was just being a flat out froot loop.

The lady who would take kids to meet their new teacher asked him if he was ready to meet his new teacher. Immediately, he was still and solemnly shook his head no. Nope, not interested. Again, I turned into Muffy Cheerleader, injecting enthusiasm into my voice over how wonderful this all was! (ugh) I went with him to meet his new class and teacher in the cafeteria.

This was so hard. So very hard. He did end up going somewhat willingly with his new class...with one last wave over his shoulder. It took all I had not to bawl right there in the hallway watching him walk away holding his coat in his arms. It reminded me of when I had to drop Makenna off for her first day of 2nd grade in a new school and drive away. She told me her knees were shaking she was so nervous. Yet, she got out of that van and walked right in. I cried the whole way home that day.

Not surprisingly, The Boy didn't have good behaviour at first. I cringed when I opened his folder to see where he hit AT a person that day, which is a no-no. ~sigh~ It makes me want to rush to his teacher and talk in very fast sentences about how special and wonderful he is...he just has a few issues. I will refrain right now. He has to find his way in this wonderful world of Kindergarten. He has to establish his relationship with his teacher and understand her classroom rules. He has to develop social skills with his peers. Yes, he does have issues. Yes, he has to fight that monster in his head on a minute by minute basis. Life is full of issues, though. If it's not ADHD a person is fighting? I'm pretty positive there's going to some other kind of issue in their lives. It's like asthma or diabetes. You learn to live with it and you learn how to deal with it.

It's just so hard when it's your baby.

Have I mentioned the Alpha Male deal we got going on? Oh, yeah. The Man being gone during the week left The Boy as the man of the house. Now, Dad is around on a full-time basis and there is, what I call the "Alpha Male Pissing Contest" going on. I know that's not a pretty term, but it is what it is. They've gone head to head more times than I care to count. I don't interfere either. I let the two of them have it out. I'm just the Mama. I'm the soft one that is still allowed to kiss a certain five year old and say, "That's my baby!" I will tell you this...that kid got a dose of stubborn from me AND his Dad. You tell me how you think things go down when they start barking at each other?

I also had a revelation of sorts last night. I'm kind of glad I don't have any friends here yet...or people I do things with. I have got to get this house straight before I go doing that kind of stuff. Back in Saint Marys (which is where we lived before...I can say it out loud now because we no longer live there), I was one busy butt gal. There was always something to do, lunches to go to, appointments all the time. It's kind of nice to be able to take it easy and not have to run somewhere every single day. I'm not saying it won't eventually happen, but I'm enjoying the break while it lasts. I didn't realize just how much I stayed busy until just a couple of days ago. I miss lunches with my friends and spur of the moment shopping, but it'll happen again.

Now I'm off to unpack yet another few boxes. Lu is coming to visit this weekend with her girls and I'm so excited. She'll be our first overnight visitor and I'm excited to share my new town with her. It's also a bonus that instead of five hours away...we're only three hours apart. I can live with that MUCH better. Makes me feel like I'm almost home.

I apologize for the cold weather that is happening. Me blogging twice in one week might have something to do with that. Stay warm!

Monday, January 11, 2010

New All Around

Hi there! Can you believe we're already starting the second full week in January? I personally feel like it was just Thanksgiving last week!

The Edge has now officially relocated to a new place! The time period between Thanksgiving and New Year's was like a hurricane, tornado, and tidal wave all rolled into one. Once we got the new house deal rolling, life took on a new gear that I didn't even know existed!

I'm going to stop a second now to ask you out there in Internet Land: Do you ever just wish that real life would stop so you can catch your breath and take care of a few things?

That's where I was and where I am today. Christmas was still going to happen no matter what was going on in my life at the moment. The Man closed on the new Edge on the 21st of December. I packed the kids up and all our Christmas goodness and headed here to spend a night before heading to South Carolina for the holiday. We had a short short stay there before heading back to "old" Edge to pack it all up.

The 28th found us greeting packers into our home to start wrapping it all up. I was so grateful The Man had the time off to be there to help out. Apparently, all the running and going tried to catch up with me and I honestly thought I was fighting the flu. Neighbor Debbie (God Bless her!!) came out to keep us company whilst the packers packed it all up. She is a veteran mover in the military world and I trusted that she would keep a sharp eye on things and help a sister out if it didn't look right. Tuesday was a hard day. I was literally in a stupor I was so sick. I got to the point that they packed up my bedroom (left the bed). I found my way between boxes to that glorious bed where I passed clean out until the next morning.

Wednesday, the movers showed up to load us up and carry us away. Whew. They worked like dogs to get that truck loaded with our worldly possessions and we were right behind them cleaning since we wanted to check out of base housing that day. Neighbor Debbie is a beast at working and I tried like heck to keep up with her but I just didn't have it in me. I was fighting like crazy just to keep upright and focused. USS Retired and her family stopped by on their way to an afternoon movie and we were just all teary and junk because dangit, leaving friends just isn't right.

Neighbor Debbie kept swearing up and down we weren't going to be able to check out that day. I just shrugged and said it was worth a shot. She finally had to get home to her family but we were kind of almost but not sure we might would make it with checking out. The movers kicked it into 6th gear and so did we. It was a race against the clock.

USS Retired and family showed back up to pick up where Neighbor Debbie left off. There was mopping going on, hauling stuff to vehicles, and lots of kid's giggles going around. The movers had packed my cooler on the truck and were gone by this time. Uh oh. That meant Mizz Retired got to take alot of food home with her!

We scored. Check out happened without incident and we were cleared from living there ever again. I walked through each room one more time and just thanked the Lord for providing us with a happy home in that place...if only for a short time.

I have to pause a second here to make sure you all understand how much I appreciate what Neighbor Debbie and Mizz Retired did for me and my family. There is no way we would have been able to do what we did without their help. They brush me off when I keep thanking them but I just love those gals and am so very proud to call them my friends!

It was decided that we would eat a hot meal at the Barrel of Crackers before hitting the road for a 4-5 hour drive to our new home. We all just needed to sit down a minute and catch our breath. Miss Retired and her family joined us and it was a festive laughing occasion. We had to regret one more time that we didn't find each other sooner.

That drive took every bit I had left in me, Internets. Paige tried her best to keep me company but had to doze off now and again. Makenna was riding shotgun with The Man and the poor thing had worked harder that day than in her whole entire life so she was out like a light. My husband and I kept calling each other to check in and make sure the other was functioning. The Boy was watching a favorite movie when he finally gave in and fell asleep.

We arrived at our new home at 2 a.m. I don't hardly remember coming in and falling into a deep sleep on the aerobed we had left here. It wasn't a long sleep as the movers were showing up at 7 a.m. They wanted to unload so they could be with family as it was New Year's Eve.

Tired of reading yet? I lived this and I'm tired of reading it all!!

Suffice it to say that our New Year's Eve was spent in our new home surrounded by mountains of boxes. We slept in our own beds that night and decided to just take the next day off and try to recover.

I am sick of boxes. I feel like I unpack at least ten a day and there's no end in sight! The kitchen is the heart of the home to me and I feel like it is mostly done. I don't feel like this is home because there are none of my pictures on the walls as of yet. I need to get a feel for things first. I don't want to go putting holes in a wall and the next day change my mind and move whatever is hanging there. The wall colors are a neutral selling color and I really really want to paint and make this place my own. I have been scouring sites for ideas for paint and decorating . If you were to call and ask me what I think of a decorating/paint idea? I can picture it and tell you what I think. But, for my house? Eh, not so much. Crazy, I know.

About this place where we live. It. Is. Cold. Dear Joseph and the baby lambs is it cold. I feel like I've moved to this whole new region of the country instead of higher up in the state of Georgia. I miss smelling the sea air and birds that hang out at the coast. I have never been this chilled in my entire life. Truly, I haven't. Some locals have informed me that this is NOT the normal temps for this area. I'm going to take their word for it and pray this is a fluke that happens every five years or so.

I got the kids registered in their new schools and started. The Boy is having some issues adjusting, but we anticipated that happening. He's riding the bus for the first time and is totally enjoying the freedom of no seat belt. Makenna is going along like she always does and enjoying her new busy schedule. She's had an issue with some little snotty girl making comments and Paige and I keep offering advice. Makes me want to go to the school and snatch this kid up and cut her butt. Paige is rolling right along in her new high school. She's got a vacation semester taking half credits. She may have to hit up summer school to get back on track with how their credit system works, but that's no biggie. She'll just end up with way more credits than needed when graduation time hits.

I am glad to say, though, that some things never change. The past week, I have cooked supper every night because we were just flat out tired of eating out. (Plus, that gets right pricey after a while!) Same table, new house, our usual Dinner Theater! By night two of our family supper, the kids were back in form and entertaining us. Paige discovered a plastic wine glass while unpacking and has taken to drinking "bubbly" Ginger Ale out of it with her meal. It makes her happy and fancy, so who am I to crush easy happiness?

We are adjusting to this new life. I shall be asking opinions and such in the upcoming weeks because I'm ready to put my stamp on this place and make it my own. Err...our own?

You all try to keep warm and know that no one will judge you if you have to wear socks to bed. I'm just saying.