Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A new look

To quote my dear dash-1 I'm feeling "snazzy pazzy". Don't ask me where he got this little ditty but it seems to fit my new look. If you think your place needs a little help in the snazzy pazzy department check out Rachael over at Ladybird Blog Designs.

She was very helpful, didn't mind having to wait a day or two for return emails when everyone was sick, and didn't seem to bothered by my lack of ANY ideas. It was a perfect working relationship. All in all money very well spent.

Here was my thinking, I wanted a bit of a new look for the new years and well a blog makeover is a heck of a lot easier then a diet and much easier to find the time for this then a day of beauty. Of course now I do feel some pressure to beef up my posting.

I do take some comfort that a lot of you out there seem to be in a holiday slump. But rest assured that in no time my high quality poop post will make a resounding comeback.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas lessons

A few lessons learned this Christmas:

* A giant talking, moving, dinosaur that is bigger then your two year old will probably scare him. Scratch that, terrify him. It will terrify him.

* If you want the gift to be a surprise do not tell your wordy three year old.

* If you did make the mistake of telling your three year old, don't let him hand the present to the person its for. His idea of handing out the present, "Ohhh mommy, this one is yours, it's a necklace, do you like it?" (just so you understand the problem, I was still holding the wrapped box)

* A K-bar, a heavy duty knife carried by Marines into battle, will be needed to take a toddler toy out of the box.

* Toys that don't need the k-bar will have 72 twist ties holding them to the box. Apparently toddler shoplifting is quite an epidemic.

* After all the presents are opened, toys set up, dinner is cooked, dinner is eaten, dinner is cleaned up (well as much as it's) its only 5 pm. There's still 2 1/2 hours till little ones bedtime and everyone else is exhausted.

* If there seems to be some kinda nasty stomach bug going thru the house the week before Christmas, chances are good that who ever comes to visit will leave with it. Sorry bout that.

Monday, December 29, 2008

post holiday relief

A week without posting.

As much as I enjoy the holidays I am a bit relieved that they are over. December was just crazy, so much to get done, expectations tend to get out of control, and whatever stomach bug we seem to have had in the house didn't help.

But it would seem that life is back to whatever normal is around here. That would be flyboy on the road, dash-1 telling strangers about his intestines (perhaps the book about his body was a bad idea), and dash-2 is back to drinking bath water.

Ah.... life is good.

And admit it... I'm not the only one who is relieved the holidays are over.

Monday, December 22, 2008

snow peeves

Snow season is upon us. We haven't had to much snow to speak of before now but sweet nancy did mother nature make up for lost time. About nine maybe ten inches fell on Friday and then another four or five fell on Sunday.

And for all you snow lovers who live in sunny warm places, don't tell me how jealous you are of me. Yes, snow is lovely. To look at. Living with this much of it leaves a little less to be desired. I'm starting to think that snow bird retirees who head to Florida over the winter are on to something.

Anyways, all this snow is of course leaving me with some snow peeves.

The biggest peeve I have is with the ninnies who are driving around with close to a foot of snow on top of their cars. Not only is it obnoxious to have all your snow blow off onto my car but its dangerous when a giant sheet of frozen snow/ice hauls back at 55 mph towards my windshield.

I will make allowances if its a little old lady (or man) driving, although maybe a friendly neighbor could help them out. But really if its someone my age get your broom and knock that snow off you lazy poop head. Really if you want to drive, knock off your snow.

My other pet peeve deals with the giant snow piles left in parking lots. They suck, yes they do, they take up a ton of spaces and I realize mall parking spaces are at a premium.

But....

It is not a parking space.

I don't care if you have wicked awesome four wheel drive and you could take your jeep on top of said snow pile. I'm not impressed by that. I mean I'm impressed with how well your car handles snow, especially living up here, and I might even be a bit jealous. But having a car parked half on a snow pile and half into on coming traffic hardly seems like a practical or good idea to me. I mean I'm just saying....

Whew. I think that's it. For now. Snow season can last until April up here. Something tells me I'll come up with a few more peeves before my sandals see the light of day again.

thank you dear

Yesterday was our anniversary. Six years married. There were no romantic candles, no dinner out alone, none of that stuff. Instead there was vomit to be cleaned up and snow to be shoveled.

Despite the day I did not get out of my sweat clothes, I didn't brush my hair, I didn't even put on a bra. I did however remember why I love you so much.

You took over munchkin duty, with some help, but still. You shoveled the snow, you got the kids in their snow gear, you braved the roads to go get me coca cola. You cleaned the kitchen, you mopped the floors, you folded the laundry.

Thank you my dear. I love you more now then the day I said "I do". Standing at the altar with you I hadn't really thought of all the ways I would need to lean on you over the years. You were there for me last month when we were dealt a blow and lost the pregnancy, you say the words I need to hear when motherhood overwhelms me, you hold my hands thru the amazing times and hold my shoulders thru the rough ones.

You really are my life, my love, my friend. I'll love you forever and always my dear.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dreidels, Christmas trees, and faith

I think I have some small idea what parents of Jewish preschoolers go thru come Christmas time and probably Easter time come to think of it.

Dash-1's nursery school devoted class to learning about Hanukkah earlier this week. They read stories, sang some songs and he came home with a little dreidel. And while I'm no expert, I'm guessing there are more words to the song then just "dreidel dreidel I made it out of clay, dreidel dreidel dreidel" over and over again.

His recent lessons in Hanukkah has opened up new doors for his little three year old mind. I think this is wonderful, really I do, but now I'm left fielding some questions from him that I didn't really see coming. Not yet anyways.

"Do we celebrate Hanukkah?" "Why aren't we Jewish?" "How come we don't have a Menorah?"

Our real favorite around here is when he spins to play with his dreidel and then asks us what it has landed on. Neither flyboy and I are up to speed on reading Hebrew.

That's all that's on the dreidel.

I hope someone doesn't read this post and think that I have a problem with my son learning new things. I don't, I think its great that he is learning about new things and soaking them up like a sponge, something as simple as a little exposure in a nursery school class can go a long way in raising more aware kids. That is certainly not lost on me.

As I was driving home from picking him up and finding myself repeatedly answering, "I don't know dear, I'll have to google that." I felt for those parents who are fielding questions about Christmas tree's and the baby Jesus and who feel like they are navigating murky waters.

Man, it's rough when your three year old is making you sweat. It's also a little scary that a three year old knows what google is. But I drift.

It's interesting though, in describing to Dash-1 why we don't celebrate other holidays and the reasons behind the ones we do, I'm feeling a bit closer to my own religion and faith. For the past few months I've felt more of a move to get back to religion. I'm not going to lie, having small (read: loud and active) kids, being solo on more weekends I'd care to be, and having a tough time finding a church up here to call home, I've been what some would call truant from sunday services. But I'm feeling now more then ever drawn back to my faith.

Now the whole PC thing is to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. I realize that for some this time of year doesn't have religious significance and for others it has religious significance different then mine.

That's fine.

But for me this time of year is helping me to refocus, refocus to my beliefs and what I hold to be really meaning of Christmas. And for me there is no escaping where God and the Lord fit into all that.

I read a post a couple months back written by a hilariously funny blogger who was being quite serious and going thru something similar but yet on the opposite side with her young son and her own strong feelings for her religion. Of course her son wanted to know why they couldn't have a Christmas tree.

Suzie, my friend, you have my son over to play dreidel and your son can come over and check out our tree.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bye bye bug

There is no pink in my house. There are no dolls which means no frilly doll clothes, no doll shoes, no doll houses. Nothing girly at all. Well my tampons. But really do those count?

Instead there are lots of cars, lots of airplanes, legos, things that can be made into swords, lots of navy blue, lots of green, lots... of boy stuff. Occasionally I think of pink with a little pang of missing out but this morning I got some payment for dealing with all this blue boy stuff.

I walked into the bathroom and what did I find but Dash-1 picking up a bug with toilet paper and disposing of it for me. He was quite proud of himself. Granted I think he did use half a roll of tp but still its the thought that counts.

My heart went all pitter patter, perhaps my days as being the bug killer are over. Could it be?

Finally, my boys are starting to earn their keep.

Monday, December 15, 2008

2009 BAH Rates

Just an FYI that the 2009 BAH rates are out. Take a look to see if yours went up or down. Remember if it goes down, your safe, you still maintain the rate you have.

If it goes up then come January 1 enjoy! Of course that extra money will probably be spent on home heating oil or the electric bill. But still, relish the slightly larger pay check.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cookie Exchange

I saw a post on Kerri at Latte Buddies about a Cookie Exchange that Tracy at the Journey is having just in time for the Christmas cookie season. And since I am just starting my Christmas cookie baking I figured I'd join in and hope to find some new goodies.

This is a new recipe that I came across the other day. Not that my staple of egg free cookies aren't good but I wanted to find some new ideas, granted they have eggs so I have been making cookies after the boys go to bed but flyboy is pleased he has them all to himself. He loves these and he says their his new favorite cookie. It's simple and quick to make and they seem to disappear fast.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 tbl of brandy
(if you dont have brandy around you can use vanilla I've tried it with both and while its still yummy with vanilla the brandy gives it good flavor)
1 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries

Beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Then add the brandy and egg, cream together and then slowly add in the flour and baking soda. When thoroughly mixed, add the chocolate chips and cranberries. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

a new twist on the pj post

Now that flyboy knows about my blogging I can bounce ideas off of him or when something odd or funny happens, not that stuff like that ever happens around here, its usually always followed with, "I'll have to blog about this".

I realized the other day that he must actually be reading thru some of this stuff. I brought up the subject of women wearing pj's at the PX and without even looking up from his dinner he said, "You've already posted on that" as if bored by me. Oh ye of little faith. I have new material.

In the past two weeks we've been down to hospital (read: doctor's office for all you non military folks) eight times. EIGHT TIMES. A two year checkup for dash-2, an ear infection for dash-1, an ER visit for me, a regular visit for me, and a bunch of blood work again for me, lucky me I know. Any who, when everyone is feeling fine we go over to the PX afterwards for some nuggets and some people watching.

Well last week it was just dash-1 and I and boy did we hit pay dirt.

We saw three women wearing they pj's. Separate incidents of course, not all three together, that wouldn't have really counted. And I'm not talking about sporty yoga wear or even sweats. I'm talking about big ol baggy crappy looking flannel pants and with night shirts to match.

Now here's the strange part, TWO of the three were with their husbands. Who were IN UNIFORM. WHAT?!

Yes, you read that right, all but one were with their husbands in cammies (Army folk call them BDU's right?). This was shocking to me, I was hoping that my face didn't show my confusion. But I have to admit in between french fries and opening ketchup packets for dash-1 (for his apples how disgusting is that?) I kept looking over at their table trying to see if I was just mistaking those flannel pj's for something else.

Since I saw those same pants for sale in the PX as pajama bottoms I'm going to say with all certainty that she was indeed in her jammies.

I'll be the first to say who knows what their story is, maybe something was going on, but really, pj's when your meeting the hubs for lunch at the PX.... where other people will be? When I was miscarrying and going down to the ER I still thru on jeans and fleece. A little effort folks, just a little effort.

And don't you know if flyboy was meeting me for lunch and I rolled in in my jammies he would turn right around and high tail it out. Especially on base. And I'm pretty sure I'd be getting a lecture or two later that night. And it wouldn't be the MP's taking away my PX or commissary privilege.

Could you imagine being with your husband at the PX and running into his CO while in your pj's. "Hello Sir, this is my wife"

"I'm sorry so and so but is she wearing pajamas?"

"Oh yes, flannel does suit her well doesn't it? She just loves to be comfortable. Just wait at the ball she might be wearing a night shirt."

I know I sound snarky and I don't mean to, well OK, kinda maybe a little, but really, I just don't get the whole tpj thing in public. Especially with the whole uniform accompaniment twist to it. Almost a week later and I am still confused about it. Shocked really.

But see... this was different then just a rant on pj's in public. I was building on my last post. So take that flyboy, I hadn't blogged about THIS yet.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ideas anyone? Anyone at all?

I'm in need of some help, some guidance if you will. Most of my Christmas list is relatively taken care of, the exception, my friends two daughters.

I am realizing that no longer am I cool, although I'm doubtful that I ever was, but no longer do I have any insight on what would be something they would like, in fact, get me a pair of mom jeans I think I'm ready for them.

Her girls are great, as is she, they offer to help out with the boys when I'm frazzled, they entertained them on Thanksgiving so that flyboy and I could have adult conversation with their parents, they babysit at a moments notice, and they keep coming back!

I'm having a hard time coming up with something, I'm not sure what to go with, they are 12 and 14. Anyone have any ideas? Anything anyone? Or should I just go with the fail safe Target giftcard?

I'll pick me up some mom jeans while I'm there.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Attention folks find a card... NOW!

I'm sure many of you reading this who are somehow linked to the military have spent the holidays at some point separated. Really in our way of life its not an if its a when.

Right now the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes have organized Holiday Mail for Heros. They goal is to get a MILLION cards to our service men and women. Please take a few dollars and a few minutes to brighten someones day and say thank you for all they do.

One thing to note is that they MUST be postmarked BY TOMORROW December 10th. (I know I know I'm late getting on the ball what can I say. But my cards will be going out tomorrow I promise)

As always there are a few guidelines to follow:
-All cards must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, December 10, 2008. Cards postmarked after this date will be returned to sender.
-If sending more than one card, please mail all cards together in one large shipping envelope. Cards sent in this manner do not need individual envelopes or postage.
-Please ensure that all cards are signed.
-Please use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.”
-Please do not include personal information, like email or home addresses.
-Please do not send letters.
-Please do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, glitter, confetti, gift cards or calling cards. Any items inserted into cards will be removed during the reviewing process.
-All cards received may be used in program publicity efforts, including appearing in broadcast, print or online mediums.

Mail cards to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A tip for going international

If you blog and your hoping to get international readers I have a great tip for you. Blog about Christmas rhymes. I don't even think you have to blog about it just put those words in somewhere.

I am fascinated by this, in the past few days I've noticed on site meter people from Estonia, Malta, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Lithuania, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, the UK and Bulgaria.

And they all found me by searching for Christmas Rhymes.

And apparently none commented... I don't know if I should be offended. Hmmm maybe I should actually compose a Christmas rhyme. Then these folks would have found what they were looking for.

Christmas time is almost here,
the time for Santa is growing near.

The tree is up and the stockings are hung
I hope when Santa comes he cleans up the reindeer dung.

Merry Christmas to you and yours,
I hope this New years is anything but a bore.

Remember all those you hold dear,
and now go spread some darn tootin' holiday cheer!

There thats all I can come up with right now. A poet I am not.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

happy birthday my dear dash-2

Today you turn two.

My baby is much closer to little boyhood then babyhood and that my dear can sometimes be hard to take. However, I am so thankful and so very grateful for the chance to watch you grow.

When you were born you were such a mellow baby. You cried, of course, you babbled, you smiled, but you also took in the world, content to sit quietly by yourself and just observe. You held onto that thru this last year as well. But then, then halfway thru this year you surprised me. You turned from my cute little observer to my stealth little sneak.

In the bat of an eye, you can slink into and out of a room, leaving a trail of mischief behind you.

Your brother is unaware of this tactic in life. He blows into a room and for a long time we thought he would be our trouble maker. We are fast learning that you might keep us more on our toes. You have drawn on the computer monitor, several times, you have traced your hand and scribbles on Grandpa's new flat screen tv, you disabled his computer system, and in some way that we are all still unsure of you managed to lock Grandma out of her Quicken. You love to climb and one of your great joys is to pull out the dining room chairs and sit on top of the table taking one, just one, bite out of every piece of fruit in the fruit bowl.

This year you have made me laugh, smile, cry in frustration, and wish that I could just hold you forever the size that you are. But its also been amazing to watch you not just take in the world but take it on.

No longer do you cling to my leg, in fact when your off and running you seldom look back. I am fairly certain that this will stay with you throughout your life. After all you have a good bit of your father in you.

You my dear, you bring your own zest to life. With your brilliant blue eyes and your blond feathery hair, you my love are one of my greatest joys and accomplishment's in this world. I am so thankful, so very grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity in life to be your mommy and I know that daddy feels the same way.

No matter how big you get, how smart you become, how powerful you might be, you will always be my little baby. And always daddy's little buddy.

Happy birthday my dear.

Let's try to keep the destruction to a minimum and the cuteness to a maximum this year.

i love you forever and always.... your mommy

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas rhymes

Is it ironic that I have a blog and put stuff out there but yet I flat refuse to send out a newsletter with my Christmas cards?

Since I posted my last post about realizing it was December and feeling a smidgen behind I've started getting Christmas cards. One had a very odd newsletter in it. It was written in some weird rhyming pattern or something. I felt like an idiot, I had to read it over three times before I just gave up trying to understand it.

I just don't get the whole newsletter thing. But yet I blog. Hmmm... wonder what that says about me.

Do you send out a newsletter?

And if so.... does it rhyme?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What month is it?

I had an epihany yesterday. It went somewhat along the lines of "holy shit its December!"

Really, as I drove dash-1 to school he was singing his October song. Something about a pumpkin, a harvest and fall. I was just thinking about trick or treating and apple picking. How did we get to December in a blink of an eye?

I am feeling incredibly behind. I usually send out my Christmas cards the first or second week of December. No way that is happening this year. I'll be lucky if they're out by the 24th.

I won a Christmas card giveaway which was 25 beautiful photo cards from doodlebugdezigns. Of course I haven't taken one family photo yet that would be usable. Take my word these cards are gorgeous, not just any old photo will do. And flyboy, dear sweet flyboy hates taking family photos. They all mope and whine together and he, he is there leader. I have yet to make them wear ridiculous matching reindeer antlers or something. But yet he silently protests and plots against me, leading the up rise that usually results in all of us reaching a breaking point and then, well, breaking.

Really is it so bad that I want to send out a nice sweet picture of my family ONCE a YEAR? I'm proud of my bunch, I just want to show them off. This year I'm thinking about tranquilizing them all. I betcha I can edit out the drool.

In other areas slowly the decorations are up. Our tree is up.
Two trees actually, a big huge real one in the family room and then this year we figured why not set up the little fake one that we had for our first few Christmases in the hallway. At night its beautiful and I think I'm becoming a convert to the whole white light thing.
I need to finish up the garland on the banister by adding the ribbons. That will be right after I figure out how to tie some kinda fancy bow. I probably have a better chance of getting a great family photo.

I'm also on a quest for cute mini poinsettias. How brave am I? With two active boys in the house I have a great idea to put poinsettias on every other stair right along the wall. Flyboy just gave me the look when I ran that one by him. But in my head it looks beautiful. So what the hell, I'll clean up dirt for the next month. It's no worse them poop.

And it would be a lovely background for a picture.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

rambles

Sometimes I don't know what to write about on here. Do I stray into my serious thoughts and feelings or just go with the light hearted, funny kid stories that are never, ever, in short supply around here?

Is the serious stuff just a downer? Or is the funny stuff just fluff?

I'm sure its of no real surprise to people if you've read a few post back that I'm a smidgen down lately. Not curled up in the fetal position rocking in a corner depressed but a little down. Life is going on, laundry is in the washer, the kids are fed and in a little bit we'll be off to karate, the Christmas tree is up and decorated. Life is back to where it was a couple weeks ago.

Except for a longing that I have. I cant really speak for flyboy and I wont too much here, that's not really my place. We've talked about it and I know he's upset.

But I think we are standing on opposite sides. Or not so much opposite sides, we are just coming at this from different places. He is standing on the practical side of the river and I'm waving to him from the emotional side right now. And its a friendly wave, not the one finger kind.

I think flyboy and I are actually more on the same page then he thinks. In the next few weeks we are hoping to learn more about his schedule for the next year and if there might be deployments. If something big is on the horizon, obviously its not the best time to try to get pregnant. If it looks like things are staying status quo then I say we go ahead and let things come as they might.

I hope he understands where I'm coming from. A few weeks ago I was feeling like I was at a good place. Motherhood comes with its own frustrations but I was happy being the mom of two. Then I thought I would be the mom of three, then back to two, and now I want to go back to three.

I didn't have any baby jealousy. You know when you see a cute little baby or a pregnant woman and think, "oh I'd just love to have a baby right now, so cute so cuddly, ah" and then drift off imagining all baby love. I didn't have that, I was very content with the stage of my kids life that I'm in.

And then I thought we were starting in on pregnancy and babyhood again and I was excited. Really excited.

And now there isn't a baby coming. At least not in the next nine months. And now I have a longing for a baby. When I see a baby or a pregnant mom to be I'm jealous, I'll admit it. I wasn't before and now I am.

I'm not looking to replace the baby lost with a new one, at least that's not my intent. I see it more as I was so nervous and apprehensive about having any more until I was faced with it. We sat down and looked at the sticking points and realized that they weren't the huge hurdles we had thought they were. I'm confident that we can take it on. So why not just get on with it? And really, when you factor in how many days a month one can actually get pregnant and then try to figure that out around a military schedule, it could take MONTHS.

Oh who knows.

You know what I'm really thinking about now is that of all the times for my husband to know about my blog. Lord I hope he's not at work reading this. I hope he doesn't mind our reproductive woes being out there.

See I should just stick with urinal cake stories and things my little one shoves up his nose.