Friday, April 30, 2010

mil-spouse blog hop BIO

Thanks so much to Riding The Roller Coaster for hosting this MIL SPOUSE BLOG HOP!

If you have found me through this blog hop, thanks so much for stopping by - I hope you enjoy my writings, and if you decide to follow me, please feel free to leave a comment here with your blog address so I can follow you back.

So, a little about me:
I have been with my Marine for over 13 years, married for almost eight years.  We have only a few precious days left together before he leaves for his third deployment (this time to Afghanistan).

We have one child together, age 10, and we are expecting another in September 2010.  I also have two older children, ages 15 and 19.

I love to write/blog, and enjoy baking and crafting - especially cardmaking and scrapbooking.  I hate housework, particularly the 'endless' chores like dishes and laundry.

A few years ago we bought our first house, and I LOVE IT!  I want to do more to customize it, but of course money is always tight, especially since I lost my Preschool Director job a year ago.  Hubby's unit is actually over an hour away from our home, and the commute can take up to 3 hours with traffic - so I am REALLY grateful that he is normally only required to make that particular trip once a month for drill.  Active duty and workups, though - WHOLE different story.

I come from a large family, am the fifth of eight children. All of my siblings are married and have kids, so the baby I am carrying will be my parents' 25th grandchild.  Unless I have him a few weeks early, in which case my sister's baby will be number 25, mine would then be number 24! I love having my sister live close enough to see her at least once a week or so, and its awesome to be pregnant at the same time.   

Please feel free to read my other blog, about this pregnancy Does This Baby Make Me Look Fat?

Monday, April 26, 2010

I wanna make some MEMORIES!

OK we officially squeaked out a mini-vacation - I am on my way to DISNEYLAND with my hubby and my boys!

Lets hope this trip brings more LAUGHTER than TEARS


I will be back on here in a couple days, and in the meantime, click this LINK to see an awesome slideshow put together by our OpLove photographer, Melodee Tonti.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I've slept a grand total of 3 hours in the last 48 hours.  I've had ONE night of actual sleep out of the last ten or so nights.


I'm also DREADING my birthday next week, because it falls just a couple of days before hubby's departure for what may turn out to be our WORST deployment yet.

This is definitely our worst PREdeployment yet.

I put so much energy into pretending that I am okay with this, that I can handle is really exhausting!  And it seems now that hubby is as put off by my ACTING, as he is by the TRUTH - he doesn't want to see the tears and meltdowns, so I've tried to hide those from him. Then he accuses me of ignoring him!  So I try to include him in my crazy 'mom' routine, basketball practice and games, IEP meeting for my teenager, running errands, etc.  and now I am the evil one for planning all his free time, so he can't do anything on his own.

Hubby is supposed to meet his sisters for brunch today, and it looks like he is going to flake on this, and blame THAT on me, too.

His sisters both live about an hour and a half away from here.  We usually all get together a couple times a year for holidays, etc. and he sees them as often as once a week when he is working in that area (when he is not active duty)  But knowing he is going to be gone for 7 or 8 months, his sisters specifically planned this brunch with him today, and I really think he will regret cancelling.  They'll be mad at him, so he will tell them it is my fault.  He will be mad at himself and will ultimately blame me, even though I had NOTHING to do with this.


Maybe I can sleep tonight if I can just figure out how to stop carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders - after all, this is HIM being unable to deal with our daily dose of shit, right?  Why am I letting it effect me so much?

Oh, that's right, BECAUSE I LOVE HIM.

Friday, April 23, 2010


This award was given to me by "A Marine's Wife" at Flip Flops and Combat Boots.
THANKS SO MUCH for including me in your circle of friends!

:)  I know I have not been a very 'friendly' blogger over the past week or so, but I promise to get over my grumpies and get back to my usual POSITIVE self sometime very very soon.

The rules of the award are:

1) Post it on your page

2) List five things you looooove to do

3) Pick five friendly bloggers and pass it on!
SO, here are my five things:
1) I la-la-la-love kissing my husband.  When we first met, my friend wanted to fix us up,and I told her that I could not even PICTURE kissing him.  When I finally DID kiss him for the first time (more than two years later) I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him - and his kisses still hold that magic 13 years after that amazing first kiss.
2) I love to bake, especially for other people - and my brownies have started at least a COUPLE of brawls :)
3) I love reading, especially now that I have my Kindle (my birthday present from hubby last year). I read at the doctor's office, or even in a long line at Costco, since I ALWAYS have my entire library right there in my purse.
4) I love my GADGETS - I am not as much of a techie as I pretend to be, but I can't live without my electronic 'toys', including the Kindle I mentioned above.  And I am keeping my fingers crossed that hubby thinks I was REALLY good this year, and will give me a new iPad for my birthday next week!
5) I love BLOGGING.  I find that I am more motivated to write regularly here than I would in a private journal, since others read it and give me such supportive feedback.  And I feel so 'connected' to the bloggy friends who I follow, especially the other milspouses, even though I have never even MET most of you.  This has quickly become an amazing support network for me, just when I need it most.
And now I am passing this Circle of Friends award on to:
Laura at Diamonds and Dog Tags
Amber at Willis, Party of 6
Julie at Julie The Army Wife
Sara at When In Rome

Jessica at Learning As We Go

Thanks so much ladies, for all being such an important part of the blogosphere! (or at least my own little corner of it)

Please take a moment to check out these friendly blogs, and if you love them, FOLLOW them!  You can also check out my own 'pregnancy blog' at Does this baby make me look fat?

Bonehead update

OK so I promised to post these pictures, but our usual sunny California weather disappeared for a few days, preventing me from TAKING these pictures.  (not that I am afraid to get wet or anything, but outdoor photos don't really work well in the rain)

So, we have these lovely shrubs outside the front our house:

Once a year, we have to stain our wood fence, so the shrubs in front of that fence needed trimming last week.  My 15 year old son (AKA "Bonehead") was tasked with this, and I am pretty sure that he was trying to guarantee that he would never again be asked to do yardwork, based on this result:

Yes, there were 4 foot tall shrubs there - we are praying that they grow back!  At least it was really easy to get to the fence for the whole staining project.

I think Bonehead uses this "I can't do this job and I will prove it" strategy a should see how horrible my car looked the last time I had him wash it!  Now my husband wants Bonehead to take over doing the dishes, and in my head I'm going, "no no no no!!!"  But for now, am coaching Bonehead carefully and waiting to see if he really CAN do this.

I want him to do his own laundry, but I don't trust him not to break my expensive front-loading washing machine.  Honestly, I don't trust this kid to do much of ANYTHING except screw that horrible?  Just enjoying my blogosphere honesty.

Monday there is a meeting to determine whether or not Bonehead will be expelled from school (see my previous post for more on this nightmare)

I don't have a CLUE how I survived my teenage years, and can't imagine how I will ensure Bonehead's survival (or his younger brother "Knucklehead", who is still just a Tween, or even his much younger brother, still in utero).

Going green(er)

Yesterday was earth day, which a lot of people 'celebrate' by recycling, or carpooling, or turning off lights for an hour, or some other form of conservation.  The thing is, we already DO all that stuff, and more.  We are more motivated by the financial savings than by actually saving the earth, but I don't mind the bonus there.

We had solar panels installed on our home 2 years ago.  We own our home, and are not planning to move for 15 or 20 years, so the investment made total sense to us - and still does.  We don't pay an electric bill anymore - AT ALL.

I hate the stupid CFL (compact flourescent light) bulbs, but we use them all over the house, too.  Sometimes they flicker, or take a moment to warm up, or whatever - but they ALWAYS use about 80% less electricity than a traditional incandescent bulb.  We do have a few LED bulbs that use 95% less electricity than the incandescent ones, but I really really REALLY can't stand those - the light is just so harsh!  Anyway, I put up with the CFLs for the sake of the money we save, and it's really not THAT bad.

I love the fact that we recycle, and we only put out an average of 2 kitchen bags of actual 'trash' each week. It was hard to give up paper plates, but we decided that the extra savings in what we SPENT on paper plates would more than cover the extra water we use by washing 'real' dishes more frequently.  And so far, it has.  Oh, and technically we save money by not using as many trash bags.

We have a composter in our backyard, for food waste and lawn waste - grass cuttings, apple cores, orange peels, egg shells, etc.  Anything organic, except milk and meat pretty much.  This mixture gets stirred frequently and eventually turns into FREE fertilizer - though we won't make good use of this until I finish building up the backyard planter and fill it with rose bushes and a couple of fruit trees.

Have I mentioned that hubby and I also both drive Hybrid cars?  Mine only gets 32-40 MPG, but hubby's does an impressive 55-70 miles per gallon.  Too bad it only has two seats.  But seriously, when gas prices here in CA rose to nearly $5/gal, hubby's car had ALREADY paif for itself in fuel savings alone.  Crazy.

We changed out our front yard sprinklers from the old spray-style to 'drip irrigation' and our landscape has never looked healthier! Our already frugal water bill has gone down from about $75 to $60 a month - and yes, we all shower daily.  Ha ha ha

So, what does an ultra-conserving family like ours do to 'celebrate' earth day?  Well it was actually a coincidence that this happened ON earth day, but yesterday we had a plumber come out to install a new 'dual flush' toilet in our downstairs bathroom.  It has a button to press for a 'half flush' if you just peed...and a separate button that uses the full tank of water for solid waste.  But even with the full tank flush, this one uses about HALF the water that our old one did.  My hubby bought the toilet at Costco several weeks ago, and although I am sure he is CAPABLE of switching out a toilet, I know its a huge pain in the butt, so I had no problem with his plan to hire a plumber.  And I honestly thought it would sit there in the box for months, or maybe even until after the deployment, but I gotta tell you ladies, this man is on top of everything right now!

He even had my kitchen faucet replaced with a much nicer one - which has nothing whatsoever to do with conservation or earth day or even saving money.

I love this man.  Thanks to him we have the smallest carbon footprint of anyone I know - and those are some mighty big shoes for the Joneses to fill. 


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Moving to Australia

OK so I am not really moving to Australia.  It's a line from a children's book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

And today was really THAT crappy.  Not that the book is crappy, in fact its really a good one - one of my favorites!  It's about a kid whose day goes wrong in basically every possible way.

I'm not even going to blog about the day's minor mishaps, like forgetting my carefully packed healthy lunch, or being stranded out in the surprise rain in my flip flops about a mile from the car repair shop, or about my 10 year old being sick at school while I was busy wishing for the umbrella I had left in said car (thankfully a neighbor was available to pick up my sick little man) I won't even write about the crappy off-and-on cell signal that compounded every problem I encountered today.

Instead, this blog is dedicated to my 15 year old son, whom I will refer to as "Bonehead" for his privacy.  Bonehead has not earned many brownie points with me lately (tomorrow I will take pictures to show you what he did to the shrubs in my front yard).....but today aboslutely takes the cake.

Bonehead took his Swiss Army Knife to school today.


Automatic 5 day suspension, and recommendation for expulsion.  It's called zero-tolerance, and we have had this conversation so many times!  I didn't even want him to have the stupid knife, but he convinced hubby and me that he could be 'responsible' with it, and of course whenever I remind him that he can't take it to school, I get the teenage eye-roll with the exasperated "I know, Mom".

This knife thing has gotten honor students expelled - and my dear sweet Bonehead is NOT an honor student!  Genius, yes (normally).  Like, FREAKY genius.  He can solve a Rubik's Cube in under 30 seconds, no matter how much you mix it up.  His record is 22.6 seconds.  He's incredibly brilliant - and failing half of his classes.

To be fair, Bonehead has not had anything come easy to him in school.  He has Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the Autistic Spectrum.  It's primarily a social disorder, also often referred to as 'geek syndrome' because most kids with A.S. are pretty smart academically, but they are socially stunted.  Sort of.  Anyway, Bonehead has had MAJOR behavior problems in school, mostly due to A.S. related issues.  Among other things, he is a bully-magnet, and until recently, didn't deal very well with any type of stress or anxiety.  He's making progress, and is currently (or WAS, before today) in all mainstreamed classes.  He is still considered a 'Special Ed. Student' and we have an IEP meeting scheduled for next week.  Now the IEP will also be a sort of 'hearing' to determine whether or not he will be EXPELLED from school. 

So, adding to the problems he already faces, Bonehead had a really violent reaction when he came home to discover that all his 'toys' had magically disappeared.  My mom had to pick him up from the school when they called about the knife issue, because I was 2 hours away getting my car worked on.  He spent the rest of the day with my mom, so by the time she brought him home I had removed ALL of his 'fun stuff' from his bedroom - his guitar (which he taught himself to play 4 years ago - yes he is BRILLIANT) his dice and card games, his Nintendo DS, and yes, even his collection of Rubik's Cubes.   I disabled his computer (it was impractical to physically remove it from his room).  So, when Bonehead figured out that he was seriously grounded, he started stomping around and throwing stuff, and literally tore his bedroom door off its hinges.

This is where Bonehead calmed down, as fear took over.  When my hubby sees this, he is going to FREAK, so dear sweet little Bonehead immediately went for Dad's tool bag, thinking he could fix this.  Well, he split the wood, so he CAN'T fix it.  This knowledge set him off, and he took off on his skateboard.  I had already locked up his bike, and it did not occur to me to confiscate the skateboard, soooooooooo

Now Bonehead is technically a runaway. 

He has been gone for 3 1/2 hours, and the only reason I am calm enough to WRITE this blog is that I am good friends with the mom of Bonehead's best friend.  She called me to let me know when he showed up at her door a couple hours ago, and he was super upset.  She promised to get him home after dinner, and I am honestly grateful for everything she does for my son - but I hope she is not spoiling him, AKA rewarding his tantrum!  She knows what he did - but has never actually seen his meltdowns, and probably feels sorry for him.


Bonehead, I LOVE YOU, but seriously - what the #$%^&*(&^%$#@*@! were you THINKING?????

Monday, April 19, 2010

"homemade" three-bean chili

Tonight is hubby's last night home for the week, and when he comes home next it will *probably* be for either 48 or 72 hours (he might be able to get next week off, but I'm not holding my breath). He has to weigh-in tomorrow, and has been eating basically 'protein only' for the past several days, worried he weighs too much.  So tonight I made my version of 'homemade chili' - and thought I should share this incredibly simple recipe with you all!

Disclaimer: I don't like chopping fresh ingredients, so my recipes are all SUPER SIMPLE like this - but I usually do at least start with dry beans and simmer them all day. I cheated with canned beans for this recipe because I didn't have time to do the all-day version.


1 lb ground turkey
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon(ish) chili powder
1 tablespoon dehydrated chopped onions
dash of garlic powder
dash of powdered 'pico de gallo'
salt to taste

In large skillet, brown ground turkey until crumbly.  Add chili powder, dried onions, garlic powder, and pico de gallo.  Stir over medium heat until well blended, then add tomato sauce and reduce heat to LOW. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Empty beans into a large pot.  Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat, stirring occasionally.  When meat mixture is done simmering, add to beans and stir.  Taste at this point to determine whether or not you want to add salt.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.  Serve with grated cheese.

**I like to keep an extra can of beans handy, in case I over-season or over-salt this.  My son asked me tonight why I don't make chili with the diced (canned, of course) tomatoes any more, so I may go back to that for the next batch.  Also yummy served with cornbread muffins - I love the Marie Callender's mix, literally JUST ADD WATER!  only 20 minutes to bake if you use a muffin tin.

If you use ground beef instead of turkey, don't forget to drain off the fat after you brown the meat.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

This ride SUCKS, I demand a refund!

You know those roller coasters that you only go on ONCE?

Yesterday was one of those crappy rides.  Vomit and all.  Well, figuratively, anyway.

Started out OK.....

I had a public speaking thing to do, SMALL group of people (like 40-50) but I was still nervous.  *So this is that part where the roller coaster is 'click-click-clicking' slowly up that first hill.  Anticipation, nervousness, even outright fear.....

I did AWESOME, of course.  Everyone seemed to really listen and respond, and as usual, it really took my breath away.  *First exhilarating drop as the coaster picks up some speed.  See, that wasn't so bad, what was I so afraid of?....

And my son WON his basketball game while I was at my event!  YAY! *Quick little dip of excitement before the roller coaster makes a sudden turn, the kind that whips your head sideways.....

And hubby got to see the basketball game, even though I had to miss it. WOO HOO! *another hair-flipping turn and drop....

Then I totally SCORED by finalizing the sale of some concert tickets that we spent WAY too much money on, and now can't use because of the deployment - got our $500 back!  YEAH BABY! *that was the thrilling loop-de-loop in the middle of the ride - where you only have a second to be scared because you're upside-down, before you are 'safe' again at the other side of the loop.....

We ran some errands and FINALLY got to see a 'chick-flick' type of movie - Date Night.  I haven't been able to pick a movie to watch with these guys in a couple of years, and I just can't take any more action, sci-fi, gross blood-and-guts crap.  Or comic book movies.  Blech.  Anyway, Date Night was a really GREAT movie, and it felt so good to LAUGH, and even better, to hear my husband laughing there next to me! (Yes, I admit it, I have seen a few comedies alone since the guys never want to go to MY choice of movie....saw The Hangover by myself when it was at the cheap theater, LOVED IT - and missed hubby the whole time.) *This was that fast rip-around-blind-corners part of the roller coaster where you can't even scream or laugh because its going so fast - and its the part of the ride where you usually go, "man, I wanna do this AGAIN!"

Then hubby said he needed to talk to me about plans for the next couple of weeks (Disneyland with the kids, etc.) *Oh holy hell, did someone forget to tell me that there was another steep climb at the end of this ride?  There's that loud click-click-clicking again.....OH MY.....

And then the really crappy news came:  Hubby's pre-deployment leave is non-existent this time.  He got a 72 for this weekend, and MIGHT get either 48 or 72 off next weekend, which we will use to pack, and then that's it.  Even though he won't be leaving the country for a week or two after that, he won't be able to come back home until next year. I thought we had two full weeks together before he has to leave! **Roller coaster pauses at the top of the steep hill before plunging downward in a terrifying drop that continues into a freaking cave in the ground, like the one at the Nevada/CA state line - so you can't even see the roller coaster tracks in front of you any more.  This is also the vomit part. 

Deep breaths, get control.....OK so now to find a way to make the best of the next couple of days, right? 
Sat down and blogged about this, trying to wrap my head around it, trying to get a handle on this feeling of being suddenly cheated.  And then my washing machine FLOODED my laundry room.  It's an upstairs laundry room.  Total chaos, which hubby never handles well anyway.  And I was in no place to cope with this after getting such crappy news from hubby.  So I lost it - tears, total meltdown. *This is where the ride gets stopped when you are ALMOST to the end, and you sit there forever because someone lost their hat on the tracks or something, and you have to wait for a ride operator to climb up the fire-escape type ladders to free you and your fellow riders from this bizarre brightly colored vehicle.

Seriously, I think I cried from like 10:30 PM until 2 AM. All while cleaning up the laundry room mess, figuring out how the seal on the front-loader failed, and babysitting two loads of laundry as they cycled through, so I could make sure that I had really and truly fixed the problem.  Hubby was in bed by midnight, after I rudely banished him from the laundry room.  Well, I wasn't being rude, just defensive. 

See, hubby has an innate respect for all things scientific, especially machines - they just don't screw up like people do, right?  So when something DOES go wrong, he always assumes it is due to Operator Error.  Yeah, I am the operator of the washing machine, and NO it was not my freaking fault that it flooded!

If I had married a sensitive-type guy, he would have pulled me into his arms for a big comforting hug when he saw that I had reached my breaking point.  Not my hubby - he instead spent over an HOUR yelling at me for causing this mess - through any combination of 3 or 4 things he imagined I could have done wrong.  Of course, if I had married a more sensitive guy, I wouldn't even be writing this blog at all, because those are not the kind of guys who sign up to save the world.  I guess even when he's a jerk, I have to love and respect my hero.

But CRAP I can't believe we wasted another night arguing!  The evening was pretty much shot anyway, but if we could have handled the laundry crisis a little better (and I am sure I could have kept everyone calm if I was not already unravelling over the 'no-leave' news) then at least, after I cleaned up the mess and confirmed that the machine was in good working order, I could have collapsed into his arms with relief instead of lying there all night on my own side of the bed, resenting his snoring.  His snoring never keeps me awake, just makes me really jealous when I can't sleep.

This morning went a little better, apologies all around, etc. (*AHEM*) wink wink

We're getting a lot done today, but I still feel so freaking cheated.  Like, slimy-car-salesman-cheated.  Or those street-corner shell game guys kind of cheated.  Or pool-shark hustler cheated.

Or like 'I paid WAY too much money, just to go on a crappy roller coaster that gave me whiplash and a wedgie' cheated!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Our 'leave' already LEFT.


OK this is SO not fair!  Hubby came home last night for what was SUPPOSED to be his pre-deployment leave, and now I find out I only get him for 3 days.  Then he's gone for 4 or 5 days, then I get 3 more days with him before he's gone for the remainder of his last week in the states.


We made the best of today, but I am so upset about this that I may lose it and get all emotional about this, potentially ruining the next 2 days we have together.  Not that it is his fault or anything, but I tend to take stuff out on whomever is within range.

I don't like to get political on my blog, facebook, or anything else, but I kind of feel that this is just like the angry TEA party folks who are already paying close to 50% taxes, and they finally come to terms with "I have to find a way to LIVE off what I have left" and then someone comes in and, oh, I don't know, say passes some RIDICULOUSLY expensive health care bill that promises to plunder what little income they DO have left......

Seriously, Uncle Sam, I just don't think I have any more to give!  You are already taking my husband away from me at a very crucial time in our lives - and now I can't even have a proper GOODBYE?!?!

I CAN'T AFFORD THIS.  Just like angry taxpayers are revolting over the things they're being forced to pay for, that this country CAN'T AFFORD, I literally just CAN'T do this.

I'm not saying "I don't want to" (although I DON'T) I am saying I CAN'T!  So, where's my demonstration?  My picket signs?  My media soundbite?

This just f-ing sucks.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Finding reasons to laugh

I am SUCH a mean mom!  MEAN, MEAN MEANIE! :)

But it was so damned funny....

I left the house this afternoon to pick up my 10 year old from school.  15 year old was home, and I was not going very far, so I left the garage door open (something else I can NEVER do when hubby is home - he would FREAK!). 

Almost home with 10 year old a few minutes later, stopped by the mailbox to witness 15 year old preparing to leave on his skateboard - he tried the trick where you push the button inside the garage to close the door, and you race out before the door can close on you.  This trick is pretty tough at our house, because we have sensors to keep the garage door from closing if there is something (OR SOMEONE) in the way...... so when I pushed the button on my remote in the car, and the door started to reopen, my son figured he had tripped a sensor.....he went back to try it again.  This time he was doing this hilarious 'mission impossible' thing to try to get out under the closing door without making it reopen....I laughed so hard I could barely push my button at the right time, but I still did.

(MEAN, I know!)  I should have stopped there, but was really enjoying this game, and so was my 10 year old sitting next to me in the car.  So I watched my confused teenager visibly check where the sensors were, but this time when he walked back inside the garage to try again, I pressed the button to close the door - let it go down about a foot before I pressed the button again, reversing it.  LAUGHED MY BUTT OFF as he literally scratched his head at this new development.  I continued to laugh as he waited a second, watching the pesky garage door.  When nothing else happened, he turned once more to head for the button on the wall, and when he was ALMOST there, I pushed my own button, closing the door, before I collapsed in another fit of laughter.  There were literally TEARS streaming down my face when I caught the right moment as the door was just inches from closing all the way, and I pressed my button one last time.

The look on my son's face this time was PRICELESS, I so wish I had thought to grab my little 'flip' videocamera to record everything!  You would have had to mute your computer to watch said video anyway, because the audio would have been pretty painful - I was cackling like one of those old scary witches from TV.

Anyway, the last time I opened the garage door, my poor son happened to look outside and see my car, less than 30 yards away, and he figured out pretty quickly what was going on.  He made a gesture toward me as if to say, "what the heck, Mom?" before he hopped on his skateboard and headed to his friend's house.

I'm so thankful he has a prankster's sense of humor, so he won't hold a grudge over this one.

It felt really really REALLY good to laugh, especially sharing the laugh with my younger son - I need to do that more often! (not the mean mom part, but the laughing-so-hard-it-makes-me-cry part, for sure!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

And the award goes to......

(Drumroll please)


OK, so first I need to thank my friend Laura at Diamonds and Dogtags for bestowing this lovely award on little old me.  :)

And I am supposed to give you 12 random bits of information about me:

1) I had strawberry shortcake for DINNER tonight, and only feel a little bit guilty about that!

2) I once thought that I might go into fashion merchandising (like the people who do those awesome store window displays with the mannequins) but now can't even IMAGINE doing that job.

3) I hate talking politics with anyone, because it is so DIVISIVE.

4) I'm terrified of needles, and met a blog friend in person today who shares this phobia.

5) I'm daring on the inside, but NO ONE knows this about me because I rarely let my inner risk-taker out.

6) I'm considering becoming a certified Doula to help military wives with childbirth while the husband/baby-daddy is deployed (strictly on a volunteer basis)

7) I love pineapple.

8) My favorite color changes all the time - currently it is green.

9) I have watched "All My Children" for about 20 years, off and on.  My guilty pleasure.

10) I love chick-flicks and am so SICK of action movies!

11) As a mother of boys, I finally think 'fart jokes' are funny.  So sue me.

12) I am 100 pounds overweight.

Now comes the hard part, I am supposed to give this award to 12 more Sunshine Bloggers, but I think you (my followers) are ALL wonderful!

So, as soon as you are done reading this, save the award to post on your own blog and share the love - and leave a comment here with a link or URL for your blog so we can all go and admire your lovely award!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

every cloud has a silver lining

I sometimes wonder where I would be today if I had not met and married my Marine. I can say without a doubt that he is my soul-mate, my other half – but I know plenty of people who have never met their soul-mate and yet are still ‘happy’. Or some version of happy. So I ask myself, could I have had a happy life without this man? Without the joy and the angst he brings me?

I don’t think so.

But since the next several months will be filled with more angst than joy, as he will be 6000+ miles away, I am looking for ways to focus on the positive and remember how to at least PRETEND to be happy in his absence.

So, to that end, here is a list of all the *good* things about deployment (I know, they are dramatically overshadowed by the bad things, but I’m trying to be POSITIVE! Work with me here.)

In no particular order:

1) During deployment, I can toss and turn as much as I need to for the half hour or hour that it normally takes for me to fall asleep.

2) During deployment, I can leave my dirty clothes on the floor in my bathroom, or wherever I choose to undress, until I am ready to wash them – no more worrying about getting it into that pesky laundry hamper!

3) During deployment, I can watch whatever girly-shows I want to on TV! (after I wrestle the remote away from my sons, of course) I can even hold the remote.

4) During deployment, I can have TOTAL SILENCE in the house if I choose – at least, while the kids are in school.

5) During deployment, I will only wash about HALF of the usual amount of laundry (since hubby’s laundry tends to be as much as mine and the boys’ put together, between his uniforms and his civilian clothes)

6) During deployment, I can have people OVER. This one is big, since hubby only lets me do this a few times a year – and I LOVE entertaining!

7) During deployment, I can leave my srapbooking projects sitting out for DAYS at a time with no one to complain about my clutter.

8) During deployment, I can eat cereal for breakfast EVERY MORNING if I want to (the kids prefer this and I hate doing dishes, so I enjoy the break from cooking hubby a hot breakfast every morning)

9) During deployment, if I don’t feel like blowdrying my hair, or putting on makeup, or even shaving my legs, NO ONE WILL CARE. No one will even notice, most likely

10) During deployment, we can have breakfast FOR DINNER – something hubby thinks is just inherently wrong. I’m talking waffles, eggs, turkey bacon, the works!

I will be adding to this list as I come up with more ideas – what is your favorite ‘silver lining’ about deployment?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

getting 'ready'

I can already tell that the next couple of weeks are going to FLY by, and and I am just so NOT READY for my hubby to leave!

Can we ever really be 'ready'?

How do you prepare for the loneliness and anxiety that embody deployment?  The insomnia, the lack of motivation to really DO or BE anything.... how do you get 'ready' for that?   Oh, and then there is the constant fear that 'something' will happen to him...we never specifically say WHAT 'something' means, but we know when we say 'something' we are referring to the very end of our world, heralded by a uniformed officer knocking at the door.....that is definitely something I will never be 'ready' for, no matter how many times my subconscious hits me over the head with it in the form of a terrifying nightmare.

I'm not ready to be both mom AND dad.....

I'm not ready to deal with the behavior problems that my kids are sure to throw at me as soon as daddy is gone....

I'm not ready to have this baby all by myself.....

I'm not ready to take over the yardwork and trash duties (when the kids slack off, which is inevitable)....

I'm not ready to face every day alone - and don't even get me started about the nights!  I am definitely not ready to give up sex for the forseeable future!  Yikes.

And yet, somehow I know that I have to be ready, and somehow I will be.  Or at least I will put on a brave face and let him THINK that I am ready to say goodbye when the time comes - because if he knows I am not, it will just give him one more thing to worry about....which is the LAST thing he needs as he heads off into combat.

So maybe I can just say that I am getting ready to PRETEND to be ready, for everyone's sake?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Good deed for the day

This morning I had a little extra skip in my step.... yes folks, our ridiculously long 2-week Spring Break is finally over!  I hummed a little tune as I dropped my youngest off at school, then remembered to hurry to the dry-cleaners to drop off hubby's uniforms, and my older son's JROTC uniform - he needs to trade it in for a larger one, which has to be done by tomorrow, since Wednesday is Uniform Day at school.  The only way he can take his uniform to exchange tomorrow, is if I pick it up this afternoon - and the only way to have it ready by this afternoon was to drop it off NLT 0900.

SO, I was kind of in a rush, and got impatient with the slowing of traffic caused by a towtruck on the side of the road.  I mentally smacked myself for being so mean when I saw that the towtruck was loading a stranded car, and standing next to them on the side of the road was the car's driver, a twenty-something man holding a car seat over one shoulder and a little girl over his other shoulder.  She had to be less than three years old.  I felt bad, but continued on my way, knowing I had only a couple of minutes to meet the dry-cleaner's deadline.

I made it to the cleaner's at 0859, but there was a line....I waited for my turn, and it was at least 5 minutes past nine by the time I got up to the counter.  Not only did the girl smile and offer to rush it for me anyway, but she noticed that Hubby had a clean uniform there that was waiting for pickup.  So, spring back in my step, I hung the uniform in the back seat and headed back home.  On the opposite side of the road, I noticed that the towtruck was gone - but the daddy and little girl were still there.  He had a cell phone up to his ear, so I initially ignored my instinct to offer him help....but then started flashing to memories of times I have been completely stranded with my own children, and have been rescued by total strangers.

I flipped a U-turn and went back to offer them a ride.

After all, my children are in school for the day, and there is nowhere I really HAVE to be, and my car runs just fine.  I even have a full tank of gas, so no reason I can't help someone in need, right? In the 45 seconds or so that it took before I pulled over next to the stranded motorist, I talked myself out of taking this risk at least 3 times - but each time talked myself back INTO helping.  After all, my husband's uniform was hanging in the backseat, clearly visible, so if this guy was a bad guy, he wouldn't risk trying anything with ME, right?  Everyone knows not to mess with a Marine or his family, right?  I reminded myself that I know for certain I will rely on the kindness of strangers many more times in the course of my life.  And the guy looked really clean-cut, not a 'thug' type.  And he had his LITTLE GIRL with him, for crying out loud!  Right?

So why was I still so worried when I pulled over and rolled down my window?  My heart was literally POUNDING and suddenly I had this crazy realization that, IF this guy means me any harm, I am pretty much helpless.... 4 months pregnant, alone, unarmed.  STUPID STUPID STUPID, right?

But I found my voice and called out to the the guy, asking if he needed a ride somewhere.  He smiled and my breathing returned to normal as he thanked me and DECLINED my offer.  He explained that his friend was on the way, would be there in just minutes.  His daughter (oh man, what a CUTE little girl!) was afraid to ride along in the towtruck, so he had opted to find a ride instead.

WHEW.  So, I was not in any danger, I don't have to feel guilty for NOT offering help, and in the end, I didn't even HAVE to give a stranger a ride.

Still glad that I listened to my heart instead of my mind on this one, and can still feel that -just by offering- I have done my good deed for the day.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A moment of peace

I've lived in a constant state of anxiety of one kind or another since early January.  This was when hubby's deployment orders became official, and when we found out that we were successful in our attempts to get pregnant.

Today I was able to BREATHE and really relax, for the first time in three months.  Not only breathe, but actually PICTURE myself making it through this deployment with my sanity intact!  I know that the doubts and fears and uncertainty will return, maybe as soon as tomorrow, but for now, TODAY, I absolutely know that I CAN DO THIS.

And the catalyst for this major shift in thinking was.........

My sonogram appointment today.

Crazy, huh?  But also very cool.

We found out that we're having another BOY!

Oh, and yes, hubby DID make it home in time for the appointment, got to hear the heartbeat for the first time, and everything!

I don't understand why I had so much impatience to learn the baby's gender this time around (I've always found out by the 20th week, and here I am barely 15 weeks along and was DYING to know) but even more than this, I did not realize just how much anxiety was created by not knowing.

So now, I know.  And now I can breathe.  And its just that simple.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Boys and their toys

This morning I stepped on a Nerf dart (from one of my boys' MANY dart guns) before I even made it two steps outside of my bedroom.  I sighed, but then smiled, thinking of my hubby. 

I have believed for a long time that the main reason this man chose both of his careers (in the Marine Corps and in Law Enforcement) was to justify and expand his gun collection.  Well, not really.  His dad is a retired Marine, and his grandfather who passed before I even met hubby was also a decorated Marine....Silver Star in WWII, I think?  And becoming a cop was hubby's childhood dream - he wanted to be out there, catching the bad guys.  I think now, years into that career, having worked in the jails, patrolled in seriously BAD areas, endless days of sitting in court to watch some jerk he arrested get off with a slap on the wrist, etc. he is finally realizing how idealistic that goal was.

But seriously, what career could possibly guarantee you the chance to play with such incredible toys?  I don't mean to make light of the weapons he uses, but his sheer enjoyment of them HAS to classify them as toys, right?  And his badge gives him the right to carry a concealed weapon anywhere (concealed carry permits are all but impossible to obtain here in CA).....though I do wish he would exercise that right a little more selectively!  Seriously, why does he need to carry his sidearm in CHURCH?  We live in a very nice small-ish city, very low crime, total suburbia.  Certainly there are times that I am glad he is armed, but we almost got asked to LEAVE Disneyland one time because he was carrying a gun and a knife.  Was he trying to protect us from terminal happiness?

And now my boys are growing up thinking this is somehow NORMAL....

We have a virtual arsenal of Nerf guns, enough to host the battle of the century on our street if any of the nighbor kids ever want to really get into it with them.  I've actually imagined the scene before, like something out of an action movie - but instead of blood all over the ground, it is piles and piles of these stupid nerf darts that I am constantly finding all over the place.  The boys know that if I find a dart lying around somewhere, it goes in the trash.

But this morning the dart I stepped on made me smile and think of hubby, so I showed some mercy and put it in the bin in the playroom.

No one saw me do it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


This post is specifically for my milspouse followers - I'm wondering how many of you have taken the 'LINKS' online course on Marine Net Online, or a similar class for spouses?

If you took this course, or one like it, what did you think of it?

You can comment back here, or reply privately to my email,


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm not allowed...

I found some cute bumper stickers online last week, and hubby will not sign off on ANY of them (even if I do them as a magnet).  Sometimes he's just plain MEAN.  Just kidding.  I know he really does have his own weird reasons for not wanting me to 'advertise' my status as a Marine Wife....even if I don't agree with his reasons.

Anyway, thanks to cafe press (I think that's where I found these?) here are some bumper stickers that I would LIKE to put on my car:

None of these come close to my favorite - saw one about a year ago on a car near my house, it said ....
I've got a Marine, and I'm not afraid to use him!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Operation Love Reunited

Saturday we finally got to meet with our oplove photographer, Melodee Tonti. We had to reschedule several times due to weather, but it FINALLY worked out that we had sun, AND hubby home, at the same time.

For those unfamiliar with the program, Operation Love Reunited provides volunteer professional photographers to families with a deployed or deploying servicemember. They will photograph your farewell, homecoming, etc. for more info

We spent about an hour at a nearby park, walking around the lake and taking pictures. I laughed the whole time (almost) and can't WAIT to see the final results - Melodee sent me a sneak peek of a few of them, so I am attaching them here to share.

We haven't had family pictures done in about 5 years, so this was a HUGE deal to me, and now that I see these, it gives me one more thing to look forward to when hubby returns (I totally want Melodee there for our homecoming pictures, if she is available!)  We'll be able to capture daddy's first time meeting the new baby, and everything!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thanksgiving on Easter

Today is Easter, but for me it is also turning out to be Thanksgiving Day (kind of).....

I woke up this morning feeling so grateful to have my hubby home for this holiday, especially since I know he is leaving soon - might be home for Mother's Day, but will miss Father's Day, his birthday, our anniversary, son's 16th birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and possibly even other son's 11th birthday. So yes, I am THANKFUL that he is here today with us.

Around 3:40 this afternoon I was sitting on the couch in our living room, enjoying some friendly conversation with hubby and some of his family who joined us for Easter, when suddenly the couch seemed to shake underneath me. I looked around for my youngest, who has a habit of kicking the couch, but he was standing across the room. Shaking continued and I thought it must be an earthquake, but NO ONE else was reacting to it. A few seconds later I finally interrupted to conversation to ask, "are we having an earthquake?" and suddenly everyone else felt it, too. Now, these happen ALL THE TIME here in Southern California, and I am kind of used to it - but the normal duration of a quake here is between 10 and 25 seconds, and today's quake seemed to last FOREVER.

In reality, it lasted about 60 seconds.

It was a magnitude 7.2, centered near Mexicali, probably about 80 or 100 miles from me. Felt like a 4 here, so when I heard 7.2 I knew it was not centered very close to us.

Anyway, before the shaking even stopped, I consciously thought, "I am so THANKFUL that we have earthquake insurance!" Hubby is really SUPER pessimistic, always assumes the worst will happen, and so is always REALLY really prepared for just about anything. It does make me feel secure, in general (at least when I am not completely weirded out by his OCD nature with being super careful....I am not careless, but I must look like a laidback FLAKE next to him!) But today, it made me feel more secure, in a very specific kind of way.

I don't know about other states, but here, the basic homeowner's insurance policies do NOT cover earthquakes or floods. Homeowners can purchase a separate earthquake policy and a separate flood policy (which we did as soon as we bought this house)

And of course, since we had family over, we had to have a little 'feast' for Easter, which felt that much MORE like Thanksgiving. Spiral-sliced ham, potato salad, green salad, rolls, deviled eggs, grapes, etc. with apple pie a-la-mode for dessert. YUMMY. Now I am stuffed, just like the 4th Thursday in November every year.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

hello, goodbye, hello again?

I think I am just too hormonal right now - I can't really be happy no matter what!

Last night hubby came home a day earlier than planned (again). Happy moment, right? Not so much. I was so excited to see him, but he just walked in as though he had only been gone for a couple of hours (!) Not even a kiss or a hug or anything. I sat with him to eat dinner, and could not even engage him in conversation (of course he prefers to watch TV, so I just shrugged that off).

But by the time we went to bed and he was snoring before I could even get undressed, I was thinking, 'what the hell did I DO to make him mad?'... I mean, I understand being tired, but after being away for 3 days, I just kinda thought we would, you know, WINK WINK. At least a quickie, right?

I cried myself to sleep. I'm pretty sure he heard me at one point, even though I was trying to keep it silent (as usual). I heard him stop snoring for a few minutes, but he didn't try to comfort me, or ask what was wrong, or anything.

This morning he had to leave again, and for a few minutes I thought he was even going to LEAVE without saying goodbye to me - but he turned around and hugged me (FINALLY) and gave me a kiss goodbye, even thanked me for breakfast. So I bit my tongue and did not ask him about last night. I just can't believe that he is willing to WASTE a night together, knowing we don't get many more of those before he deploys.

Am I crazy to be thinking this way? Or just hormonal? Or am I right to want to seize every precious moment with him while I can? I really want to give him the space he needs to unwind when he comes home, but just don't know if I can handle being outright IGNORED. Especially RIGHT NOW.
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