Sunday, October 31, 2010

memory lane

Last night I was looking through old pictures on my computer in search of something PERFECT for hubby's homecoming banner - which I still have not found.  What I DID find, though, was a collection of AWESOME pictures of little Knucklehead when he was just 2 years old.

This one is my favorite:




I love my little Knucklehead - can't get over his EYES :)

And when he sang 'Happy Birthday' it sounded like he was signing "Apple Dirty"
(to hear the audio on this, you will have to turn off my blog music player - scroll down until you see the player on the bottom right, and click the 'pause' button to stop the blog music)


video

This sweet little boy is now 10, and I could not be more thrilled that his new baby brother is turning out to look exactly like him.  :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

what if I don't want to?

I posted a whiny FB status the other day - something about how I hate deployment.

I know better than to do that, but I was just grumpy, and had nothing else to say.

I got responses from my sweet friends and family, saying things like "You're stronger than you know" and my all-time-favorite (NOT)... "you inspire me" !  No offense to my sister, who happens to have said it this particular time, but

I DON'T WANT TO INSPIRE ANYONE!

I DON'T WANT TO BE STRONG!

I just want my husband back.  (please!)

Speaking of which, I should really have ordered a homecoming banner already - I better get on that.  It's coming sooner than I thought it would , but still not soon enough.

Deployment, YOU SUCK.  I HATE YOU.  Go away, and please don't ever come back!  Or, at least not for awhile, OK? Thanks. 

Oh, and P.S. SCREW YOU, DEPLOYMENT!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

another "Bonehead" update

Remember this post about the bushes that my teenager, AKA "Bonehead" completely butchered?  Well here is what the bushes look like today:



Much better, right?  Hubby will be pleased that at least they did not die.  And, to be fair, it really WAS easier to stain the fence after Bonehead chopped the bushes down to tiny little stumps.  But, OH he makes me so mad sometimes!

So, I mentioned previously that we are trying (desperately) to get Bonehead into the Youth Challenge Academy program, in hopes of adjusting his attitude just a tad, and getting his school issues straightened out.  He will have to go LIVE there for 5 months, which I do not look forward to (having never been away from him for more than about a week before) but he can potentially complete 55 school credits in that one semester!  This means he could actually GRADUATE from high school, ON TIME in 2012.  He has done so poorly in school the past couple of years, that I had almost given up hope that he would actually graduate at all. 

The process to get into this program is kind of a PITA (pain in the ass).....

We had to fill out approximately 20 pages of information, get a physical, get a medical release form signed by the psychiatrist who prescribes Bonehead's meds, get a medical insurance release form notarized, etc etc etc.

And that was just the first hoop to jump through.

Second hoop: Orientation....

Mandatory Orientation for all applicants happened to take place when Baby Bobblehead was barely 2 weeks old.  Oh, and it's about a 2 hour drive (with traffic) to get there from here.  Now, Bobblehead was not really on a great feeding schedule yet - in fact, he still isn't, at 5 1/2 weeks old - but his little 2 week old tummy actually held for the whole drive down there.  We arrived about 30 minutes early, so I nursed the baby in the car before we went inside.  My hormonal self almost could not handle the Orientation, since it was basically designed to 'sell' us all on the program - they even had cadets from the current class stand up and speak about how the program has changed them from the delinquents they were 13 weeks prior.  I actually DID break down and cry a little when we spoke with a current cadet at the door who recognized my son as a former classmate.  This kid used to go to Bonehead's high school, and he told us that he decided to go to the Youth Challenge Academy because the last time his parents were proud of him was back in 5th grade (sniff, sniffle....) and he was tired of being a failure.  He stood a little taller as he told us that he is now pulling a 4.0 gpa (this was when the tears just overflowed, and even with sunglasses on, I am certain I embarrassed Bonehead in that moment).  Of course, on the drive home we hit worse traffic, and poor Bobblehead's tummy did NOT want to wait, so we had a crappy drive home.  Even after I pulled over to change and feed the baby, he still cried (and SCREAMED) through part of the drive.  We left the house at 7 AM, and got home after 5 PM.  For a 2 hour orientation.  Nerve-wracking, but worth it if we get Bonehead into this program.

Next hoop to jump through was the interview, where staff  make sure the student actually WANTS to go there.  They won't accept a candidate who is being forced by his parents, the courts, etc.  Bonehead had to actually convince them that he is applying for admission of his own free will.  That part was easy - but would have been hard if I had given in to the urge to strangle Bonehead that very morning.  We were supposed to be there at 10:30 last Wednesday morning for the interview - or so I thought.  We arrived early, so I had time to nurse the baby before the interview.  I sent Bonehead ahead to check in while I sat in the car, but he came back a moment later to tell me that the interview was 'rescheduled'.  I got pissed, figuring the people who run the program should have at least CALLED me, so I went up to the doorl leaving Bonehead in the car with the baby (it was raining out - which it almost never does here this time of year, but whatever).  I got to the office door and found it was LOCKED, with this note on the door: "There are no interviews this morning.  Messages were left with all candidates.  If you need to reschedule, please call ### or come back between 1:00 and 3:00 this afternoon" 

Oh yes, I was LIVID....nobody had called me at all!  I even called to check my home voicemail in case they had called me there.  I called the # listed on the door, and of course no one answered.  Finally got their voicemail after about 20 rings, left a *slightly* rude message about how we could really have used this information BEFORE we drove 2 hours in the rain, and requested a call back to my cell ASAP. 

I got back in the car, and remembered that I had been upset with Bonehead on the day of Orientation, because when he signed in, he listed HIS cell phone number as his contact.  Not only is he never EVER supposed to give out that number (and we've had issues with this the entire deployment) but he never actually answers that phone.  In fact, it is usually turned off unless he is waiting for me to pick him up or something.  So, we checked that voicemail, and found that the academy had been trying to reach us on Bonehead's cell number for two days to reschedule the interview appointment. 

So now I was pissed at Bonehead, and more than a little embarassed about the rude-ish message I had just left.  I immediately called and left another message to apologize, told them we just got the messages they had left, and again requested a call back to my cell phone ASAP to see if we could still get an interview that afternoon, since we were already all the way down there.  I never got a call back. 

Instead we waited there for 2 hours, which required calling my neighbor to pick up Knucklehead from school (he gets out early on Wednesdays) and calling my OB/GYN to reschedule my checkup that was supposed to take place at 2 PM that day.  I was so frustrated sitting there WAITING, wondering if we were even going to be seen that day.  For all I knew, we could have been wasting our time, waiting until 1 PM to be told that we had to come back in a week or something stupid like that. 

At noon I noticed people moving around inside the office, so I sent Bonehead to the door to check with them.  The door was still locked, but this time they let him in, and they put him on the schedule for a 2 PM interview.  *PHEW*  So at least now we knew the wait would be worth it.  With another 2 hours of waiting ahead of us, we killed time.  We went to the DEERS office there hoping to save a separate trip to the one at the base closer to us, but did not have all the necessary paperwork to add the baby (still working on that and NOT happy about that, either!).  We drove around exploring the area and randomly found a Costco near the base, so we got gas there and bought a baby shower gift for a friend.  Found a Starbucks and sat outside mooching their free wi-fi so I could check email on my iPad.  The internet is sort of my 'pacifier', so I felt better - and felt less like KILLING Bonehead by the time we got back on the base for the 2 PM appointment.

In the end, the interview went well, and they told us that all we were missing was the 'Mentor Packet' - which we knew, because Bonehead was still trying to choose a mentor.  The program requires him to find an adult who lives in our community, is the same gender, is over age 25, has no criminal history, AND is willing to meet with him periodically during the 5 month residential phase and 4 times a month for a YEAR after completion of the residential phase.  And the kicker....the mentor can not be related in ANY way to the candidate.  This eliminated my awesome brother, who lives closeby, is a firefighter and former Marine, and who had actually already agreed to sacrifice the time needed to be Bonehead's mentor.

We finally made it through that last hoop yesterday, when one of Bonehead's former teachers agreed to be his mentor and filled out his own mountain of paperwork for this.  He still has to be fingerprinted, etc but I am mailing his paperwork in to the Youth Challenge Academy today.

And praying, HARD, that Bonehead gets accepted.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

beautiful boys

JC Penney Portrait Studios are doing a promotion (until October 31) for families with a deployed servicemember - this includes a free sitting, free portrait sheet sent directly to your deployed loved one, a free portrait sheet for you, and discounted portrait sheets ($3.99 a page instead of $14.99 a page)

So, of course I had to take my boys in for a sitting before the deal ends. Here is a small sample of the result:








Can you see the resemblance now between Knucklehead (blue shirt) and Baby Bobblehead?

Friday, October 15, 2010

you want a piece of me???

Last night my hubby was 100% in the mood for a fight, which I am pretty sure is the only reason he even CALLED me.  I was 100% tired and I have this "no fighting" rule during deployment anyway, so I agreed with everything he said and tried to change the subject (have you ever played this game with a GUY?  It sucks bad enough in person, and over the phone from half a world away, it freaking SUCKS HARD.....nobody wins.)

It started with something I said off-hand in an email, and he misunderstood me, totally took it the wrong way, and emailed me his objections to what I had said (about a member of his family).  I tried to email him back with an apology, and an explanation that I didn't MEAN it the way that he took it, but he emailed back with yet another objection.  I then wrote a longer apology, but right when I clicked 'send' my phone rang...meaning he was not online to get that carefully worded message, as he had gone to the phone to call me instead. 

This was all at about 1 AM, so I was already really NOT equipped to deal with this male version of PMS.

GRRRRRR

I think he's over it now, but can't really tell for sure - this is the worst part about fighting long distance!  You never really know if the other person has moved on or is still pissed off (in this case, over NOTHING).  Well, actually the worst part about fighting long distance is the whole "no make-up sex" thing.  Yeah, that sucks worse.  At least when he is HOME and needs to pick a fight, I know it will end well *wink wink*

Now, I'm left wondering what REALLY had him upset to begin with, and whether or not it has been dealt with.  I'm afraid to even write him another email, because I don't even know what he will misinterpret and jump  down my throat over.

I HATE DEPLOYMENT.

But, the good news....it's getting closer and closer to being OVER!  Here's a recent picture of my Donut of Misery:




Can you believe it? I can't.

Now I just hope he gets rid of whatever is up his butt in time to ENJOY coming home to us. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

quotable kids

Cute quotes from my kids this week:

"Look at those Kindergarteners, just playing....
they have NO IDEA what's waiting for them in fifth grade!" -Knucklehead

"I love how tiny he is - like a baby.....Oh, right." -Bonehead (holding baby Bobblehead)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Deployment SUCKS

OK, so this spoon is innocent enough by itself, right?


And this tub of cookie dough is as benign as it gets, right?



But put them together and I think this must be what 'ROCK BOTTOM" looks like:




Yeah, I really did eat cookie dough right from the tub.  I didn't even bother with the pretense of a cookie sheet.  Gross, right?  Or YUMMY, depending on who you ask.  But either way, NOT conducive to weight loss. 

Now, I didn't eat the WHOLE tub; in fact it was just a few bites.  But still - this was really NOT a good moment.

I've definitely had more good moments than bad ones, but I can't afford to have ANY more bad moments if I am going to drop 40 pounds in the next 10 or 12 weeks!

I  need to find some way to really kick this deployment in the ass again - and  lose some weight in the process.

Any suggestions?  What do you do when you miss your hubby so much it hurts?  When it feels like forever until you get to see him again?  Or when the crappy fears take over?  How do you put them in their place again?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

half-assed post

So much for getting back to DAILY blogging!  Still really want to....maybe soon.



So, quick updates:

Bonehead might be going away to military school.  Well, not really.  Or, not exactly.  He's really struggling in school right now, and is way behind in his credits for graduation.  He is so credit-deficient that there is just no way he can graduate with his class.  *UNLESS*..... unless he successfully completes the Youth Challenge Academy run by the National Guard.  This program is FREE, and includes both a residential portion for 22 weeks, as well as a one year 'mentor' follow-up program to make sure he stays on target with the goals he sets for himself.  The students all live on the base in dorm-style housing, and they all wear a uniform (after earning it by surviving the first 2 weeks of class) and they will PT together daily.  Sometimes several TIMES a day. They will attend all their high school classes on base during the residential phase, and the courses each student is taking are specifically tailored to meet that student's graduation requirements.  Best of all, they can earn 55 credits in that one semester at the Academy!  That will get Bonehead caught up so that all he has to do is PASS his classes next year and he can graduate ON TIME!  We won't know until November or December whether or not he has been accepted into the program.

Knucklehead is breaking my heart with his sudden "I miss Dad" meltdowns lately.  Tears and everything.  I think he might be having some trouble with all the new baby adjustments, but he is definitely an awesome big brother!

Bobblehead is growing like a weed - already 3 weeks old! He has not been letting me get much sleep and is not on any kind of schedule yet, but he is so stinkin CUTE I just can't complain.  Here's a picture of him snuggling with his "Daddy Blanket" (the one we sent to hubby to have him sleep with it for a while and get his 'scent' on it, so baby Bobblehead can get used to Daddy's smell before he comes home)





Today we got to go to a "Yellow Ribbon Event" for spouses (DURING deployment) and it was AMAZING.  Tomorrow is the final day, with a 4 hour training on "The Four Lenses" which I have wanted to attend for awhile now.  I will write up a full blog post SOON with a recap of the whole weekend.

So much more to say, but I am literally FALLING ASLEEP as I type this.
(Sorry!)
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