Friday, September 5, 2014

this is my life...

Mom. Mom. Moooooom. I need breakfast.
Mom. I can’t find my red shirt. I need my red shirt!

Wipe my bum!

Mom. Let’s play trains! I’ll be the engine, you be the caboose!

Mom. Will you get me my paints?

Will you paint with me?

Mom! I know! Let's play with my blocks!

Help me build a castle, please, mom?

Mom. Will you make me a peanut-butter sandwich?

No, Mom! Don't cut it! I didn't want it cut!!
Mom. Let’s play hide and seek. I’ll hide first!
Mom watch this! I can jump like a frog! Ribbit!

Mom! Watch this! I can dance like a penguin!

Mom! Let’s dance!

Can we play with bubbles?

Wipe my bum!

Mom! I know! Let’s build a fort! Build me a fort! Build me a fort, pleeeeeease!?

Where’s my flashlight? Mom! My flashlight needs more batteries! Can you get batteries?

I need a snack! Can I have a banana?

Can I have another banana? Can I have some cheese?

Mom, look, I’m a race car! Vrrrrooooom! Oh-ho! Mom! Look! I crashed!

Mom, I need a kiss. Right here. NO! Right here!

Mom, can I watch a show? Can we make popcorn?

Mom. I don’t really love peas.

Look, Mom! I put my sock on my hand and now it’s a jumpy squirrel!

Look, Mom! Jumpy squirrel is brushing my teeth for me!

Will you read me this book?

Now this one!

And this one!
Just one more?

Mom. Can I have my train blanket?

It was a good, good day, huh Mom!

I love you, Mom! Have sweet dreams, okay?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

labor day just happened



I blinked and August was over. It was only a blink!

I didn't make popsicles. I didn't run through sprinklers. There's still time. There's still time! Right? A few last, fading minutes?

I went on a bike ride today. I sat in the grass. I watched the sunset.

During the day I can always think of 42 things to blog about, then when the kids are sleeping and I have time to sit, without 50987938742958 interruptions, I find all of those ideas have disappeared.



Sunday, August 24, 2014

the summer of cucmbers

As I've mentioned before, we over-planted cucumbers.
This pile here (a couple days of picking) resulted in 12 pint sized jars and 20 quart sized jars of pickles, plus at least as many that are in that bowl, frozen in my freezer, and that many again just tossed out. I hate wasting them, but... Really. We're out of ideas. And jars. And freezer space.
We've given so many away, that people from church are now sending me texts, "Hey, can I get some more cucumbers?" and our neighbors say, "You're not trying to give us more cucumbers are you? Because we had to give the last ones you gave us away."
I've learned how to make a decent hummus, because cucumbers and hummus pair nicely and hummus is pricey.
As time moves us forward we might not remember all the fabulous things we did together this summer o' '14, but we will remember the cucumbers "coming out our ears" I'm sure of it.
We'll probably also remember the week of Tanner's wedding, because that was a great day! And long waited for!
That week we had opportunity to catch-up with old friends, and such. On Friday morning my mom and dad, and Blake and Brittany, and Tanner, and Hubs and I got to go to the Gilbert, AZ temple together. It was an experience that will be cherished forever. Then there was the wedding the next day, which also was wonderful. Such happy, happy things! All crammed into a week.
Other things we've done this summer: Blueberry picking, Raspberry picking, a trip or two to the park to go on nature walks and to play, we've had picnics, and playdates with friends. We've visited the library, the train museum, the county fair, and the Amish Festival. I took up Crossfit, and finally self-published a book I've spent a lot of time working on. (More on the book later.)
Last week the Baby and I were watching Hubs trying to teach Pirate how to skip rocks on the river. I was thinking how glorious summer time is, and in the middle of my happy, summer thoughts a yellowed leaf floated down from high above me and landed at my feet. *Sigh*
We went to the meet the teacher night at Pirate's new preschool, which begins tomorrow. I'll probably cry all the way home, and then happy dance in the kitchen.
Leaves are starting to change, there's a night-time nip in the air, schools are starting, and I'm still not ready to embrace fall. Even if it does mean everything pumpkin is in my near future.
I think I'll make it a point to run through some sprinklers this week.
And make popsicles.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

humming along

Life is humming along.

The last few days have been gloriously rainy. Today we ventured out into it to get groceries and some art-stuff because I am needing to revert to the child-within and bust out that new box of Crayolas and glue and scissors...

Generally I love this back-to-school time of year. I'm the kind of person who is downright giddy when crayons are super cheap and displayed in large bins in the center of aisles. But this year, I'm not feeling so giddy. Even if I do have two new boxes of crayons and a composition notebook, I'm not thrilled by the fall d├ęcor and Halloween things I encountered today out on my adventures. This girl has NOT had her fill of summer.

In other things:

I'm going to try to make pickles tomorrow. We overplanted cucumbers. Way overplanted cucumbers. At the start of the season our neighbors were thrilled to take a few off our hands, but now even they are tired of cucumbers. So I'm going to try to pickle some. We don't even particularly like pickles, but I feel terrible letting good homegrown food go to waste.


Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

these days are numbered


Yesterday this little boy danced on my last nerves all the day long. It was the kind of day that I felt tired of being a mom. The kind of day when I sentimentally reflected on the days when I could do all my grocery shopping in a hand basket in 10 minutes flat. When I could shower and pee alone. When I could have a phone conversation without having to use the words, "Let me call you right back" 12 times, and when mine was the only bum I had to wipe.

This morning, in the three consecutive seconds of peace and quiet I got today, I realized I shouldn't be wishing these days over. My Pirate goes to preschool this year, in a few weeks even. He's growing up and quick and these days won't be back. Soon, from now until he's grown we'll have a school schedule. We won't be free to spend whole days in our jammies, making "cookies" and watching shows. I need to live up these last few days. I need to embrace his sweetness, his energy, his silliness, his little boy-ness.

So today I closed the computer, I put the phone away (mostly), and I spent time with my boys. We didn't do anything especially fun. But this afternoon when he said, "Mom, dance with me!" I snatched him up and we spun around the kitchen. He laughed and I kissed his face and thought I hope I can remember these moments forever.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

to the green-eyed bride,

I cannot believe how the time has gone! It feels like just a few weeks ago we were talking about books and photography and your Jr. High things. You were such a beautiful girl and now you're a beautiful woman -all grown up and taking on the world -literally. And that's what I want to write to you about.

I know I've said this to you already, but I'll say it again for the sake of the other people reading this letter: Welcome to the Sisterhood of Military Wives. You've probably figured this out by now, but this military life isn't always an easy road to travel. The sacrifices are heavy, and you'll be out with your man and people will thank him for his service, but people tend to forget that you make a sacrifice as well. In other words, it's kind of a thankless job. And I do mean job. It is a position, it has specific requirements that many are just not "cut out" for, you don't own yourself nor your future, and your interests often have to take a back-seat to Uncle Sam's agenda. It's your life, but it isn't your life. If that doesn't make complete sense now, it will later. Which is why I say Sisterhood. I've always kind of thought of you as a little sister anyhow, so in that spirit I'd like to impart some of the things I've learned along the way...

First, and this is very important, you need to not need your husband. I know how that might sound especially to a starry-eyed bride. The romantic notions of "I can't live without you" are just that -'romantic notions'. You literally need to not need having a man around. For example, running a sticky jar lid under warm water and banging the lid on the edge of the counter, and flipping it over and slapping the bottom of the jar is usually enough to get it open. Learn how to do the things that your dad used to do for you, like mowing the lawn and changing the bulbs. Unlike your friends with civilian husbands, your "Honey-Do" list is, at least when your husband is gone, just your own "To-Do" list. Of course, these are just the practical things, but the whole "need to not need" extends to the emotional part of yourself too. Because the occasional Skype session from half the world away isn't exactly emotionally fulfilling. This is where two things become very, very important.

The very first thing is this: Get good with God. However that works for you. Whether its church and Bible Studies, or just meditation and prayer... Get good with God because you're going to need Him. Especially when your Hubs is deployed and you happen across a news report. (When your Hubs is deployed avoid the news. Just do. Unless you love mental torment and sleepless nights, then by all means... CNN it up!)

The second thing is this: I know you are a bit introverted, but you're going to have to shed that. At least a little because those other women whose husbands are off sharing living space with your husband are your best support system, and everyone needs a support system. Again, this may not be quite as big of a deal now, but when the kids come... It really, really will be. This also brings me to friendship dating. It's a real thing with us military wives. You'll see. One day you'll find yourself sitting with another woman and within your two-hour dinner date sharing with her all your personal, life-story things that took months to reveal to your spouse when you were dating. This is because time is too short anywhere you go and you'll need at the very least one good friend. You don't have the luxury of taking your time with finding and nurturing friendships. You just have to dive right in.

Also, keep a journal. They're great for emotional dumping.

Something else, when your Hubs is gone for an extended period of time write down a list of things you want to do while he's away. My lists always include chick-flicks and Indian restaurants, because my Hubs hates chick-flicks and Indian food. Some women I know get ambitious and write things like: complete a half-marathon. Then they spend 90% of their free time in a gym, and that's what works for them. My best advice: Don't compare yourself to these women. ;)

Know that some of the most difficult times in marriages are immediately following deployments.

Know that you're not alone. Not really.

About the military lingo. Urgh! All. Those. Acronyms. This is just one little thing in a whole new culture you now belong to. Go to the on-post, on-base, on-(what does the Navy call them?) and check out a book or two on "How-To-Be-A-[military branch]-Wife." Yes books like that exist, and they are incredibly helpful. You didn't just marry a man, you also married the military and now there are cultural things you need to know. Like how to read rank. And what may or may not be expected of you at certain functions. And Oh! The functions! The functions... Find a stand-out recipe (or two) and get really good at making it.

While your at the library, befriend the librarians -chances are good they're fellow military-spouses. Again, you need friends and at least you know you share a common love for reading with them.

Anyway, this is getting long and I'm out of time. (My kid is getting more and more desperate for my attention.) Congratulations of your marriage! I wish I could have been there! You've always been a favorite of mine. Please know that I love this life, and I hope you will too! You now share in a heritage with strong, courageous women who make quiet sacrifices for this wonderful country of ours. The sacrifices are worth it because freedom is worth it. So, thank you for what you do.

Wishing you all the best!

With Love,