Jan 26, 2009

Positive changes

A couple weeks ago, I had a good cry fest to my friend Lynne about feeling lost; she was there for me when Bobby went to Iraq the first time as a soldier. Her husband is still enlisted AND she works for the military helping spouses through deployments. I was feeling dejected by all my friends and I felt like I was alone. A couple of my military "friends" made me feel like crap because "I don't have it as tough as they do", an acquaintance made me feel bad by venting and saying I felt like a single mom. She snapped at me and said I was clueless to the trials and tribulations of a single parent because I have my husband's income. I was feeling dejected by anyone I felt I related with, and my circle of support kept feeling smaller & smaller.

Lynne offered me her shoulder and then kicked my butt into action. She gave me some ideas on how to make this year easier on all of us, some of which I have already set into action.

  • Find a church family and attend regularly

  • Join the YMCA for the kids & I to have an activity together & apart

  • Find someone to help me with the kids, a babysitter, mother's helper, or drop-in daycare

  • Find someone to help me with household chores, someone to help me clean

The day after I spoke to her on the phone, I attended a church I have been wanting to visit for years.
I have found a neighbor who is a member of the YMCA, and I have found another friend who said she would join if I did. I have not found childcare yet, but I have a few ideas for help with housekeeping. I hope to continue to make positive changes in our lifestyle that nourish our minds, bodies & souls.

Jan 23, 2009

We're back!

And what a week it's been! My server crashed this week and my host just reset it.

Bobby called me this morning to tell me his rental car was broken into. They stole the GPS, but thankfully left all his personal belongings alone. We got so lucky, he had all his luggage back there, including two laptops! ACK! When he got to the airport he subjected to a random inspection and then his bag was 3 lbs over weight and so he had to pay $80 to get it on the plane. He did not have a very good morning... he said the bright spot of his day was getting stuck in the middle seat between two beautiful women... Ha Ha. Life is so hard.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow, it is my one day off. Other than getting my house clean and an afternoon appointment to get a health exam for additional life insurance, I plan on doing NOTHING. I really underestimated how difficult it is to get up and have the kids ready to go by 7:15 am.

Jan 16, 2009

We are doing good!

I want to thank everyone who has been emailing, or calling, asking how the kids and I are holding up with the hubby away. We are on day 4 and things are finally starting to settle into a routine. I have been worried about Matthew; who, as we predicted, has been taking his daddy's absence the hardest. We are trying to settle into a routine with a set bedtime and lots of cuddle time, but he's been pretty lonesome for his daddy.

Sophie is sleeping in her own room (the office) full time now and that is going well, she will get up either once, or none at all at night and seems to be soothing herself to sleep much easier. She will cry for less than a minute and then either play with her toys until she falls asleep, or fall right to sleep. Last night she woke up twice, cried out a couple times, and then went right back to sleep before I had a chance to get her. I got her up at 7am to feed her before I took Austin to school and she was up for 90 minutes playing and cuddling before she decided she was ready for a morning nap.

Christopher has been a little more focused on security than usual. I reiterated that they do not open the door for anyone, including someone with flowers, a package, or claiming to be a repair person. We have had a number of break-in's lately with the perpetrator claiming to work for the utility company. This morning, Christopher said he wanted to warn his classmates of the "scam". On the plus side, I have spent less time reminding him to lock the door.

Austin has been very helpful, I think he's taken to wanting to be the "man of the house". He's also really taken an interest in motors lately and asked if when we replace the broken motor to the garage door, if he can have it to take it apart. He's also been helping a ton in the bedtime routine, making sure his brothers brush their teeth and helping Matthew pick out his pajamas. He's also been great about reminding Christopher to hurry and get ready for school and to get his chores done.

I have been keeping busy with friends and normal household stuff. I have been going to be early, eating healthier, drinking less Coke, being more active. I told Bobby that we are bad influences on each other, because he too is drinking less Coke, cleaning more, and going to bed early.

Jan 15, 2009

Aww, it's my anniversary!

Not my wedding anniversary, that is in July, but I got a phone call today from the Honda dealership to check on me and my Odyssey and see how we were handling our honeymoon period. I have to say, I love Ozzy just as much today as I did the day I got her, maybe even more because we have been through so much together. From cross country road trips, to camping with the kids & dogs. This weekend we are going to load her up to full capacity, adding the 6th rear seat to see how she handles that.

Most of all though, I love that I can trust and rely on her to get me places safely and comfortably. The Windstar was unreliable from the start, and it was not bittersweet at all when we broke up and said our goodbye's, it was all "good riddance" and "take care of yourself now".

Jan 14, 2009


Matthew has suddenly become extremely picky. Monday night he would not touch the manacotti I made for dinner. Tuesday he would not touch the chili I made. Today I made tuna fish sandwiches for lunch and he turned his nose up at them, claiming he did not like tuna. He wanted a peanut butter sandwich, but I am not a short order cook so I told him he could eat the tuna fish or he could go without. He kept insisting it was peanut butter day, not tuna day. During the peak of his fit, he suddenly start paying attention to the news which is on in the background in the other room and they are doing a story about the salmonella outbreak in Nut King peanut butter and then exclaims "SEE! The TV said today is peanut butter day, not tuna day!!"

Rolling my eyes I explained that the news story was about peanut butter containing salmonella making people sick. With much disdain he starts moaning "my tuna fish..... it's making me sick.... it has SALMONELLA in it!!", it took every fiber of my being to keep from busting a gut right then and there.

Tonight was leftover night for dinner, Matthew decided he wanted the rest of the tuna fish for dinner and was ready to fight his brothers for it. Austin decided that chili without listening to his brother throw a fit sounded tastier than the tuna sandwich he had just finished making for himself and gingerly handed it over when Matthew asked.

Jan 9, 2009

What a headache!

Bobby and I did our legal paperwork today. We each did our wills, living wills and power of attorneys to prepare for this big trip. I feel so sorry for our notary, it was not pretty and we ended up messing up on two of the documents which we will have to reprint and take in tomorrow. Next time we are getting a lawyer, this was really a HUGE pain in the butt.

We have also been dealing with a mess with HR, they want too many things done with not enough time to get them done. I am hoping that the new change in location and divisions of his company do not interfere with our current health insurance, or more importantly my appointment with the rheumatologist on the 28th, it could be 6 months to get another appointment if I have to miss this.

I have been having mini-panic-attacks all day with the realization that it is only 3 more days before he leaves. He will have a few days to come home after his trip to Virgina, Massachusetts, and Georgia for training, but then he will be gone for a year, with only one trip home in that time. The guys over in Iraq that he will be working with have been amazingly helpful. They have told us he will have his own room, cable TV, a personal cell phone that he can use to call home for around 9 cents a minute, SLOW wireless in his room. He is also going to be in a well established area, with 2 gyms, a Subway, a Burger King, a Pizza Hut and a CINNABON! WAHHHH, I told him it sounds like he is going on a long vacation, not a hardship tour. I know better. I know this will be much harder on him than it will the kids and I. We have each other, we are in the comfort of our own home. He is a very special man to be able to make such a selfless sacrifice to ensure his family is taken care of, and to keep moving up through the company ladder.

Jan 6, 2009

Ding Dong 2 kids are gone!

School started back up after a long winter break. Enough said!

Jan 5, 2009

"Here fishy, fishy"

After Sophie's appointment with the Dermatologist (he gave her an all clear), we drove up to Denver for our mini-vacation at the aquarium. It was amazing!! There was a tour guide there, an elderly gentleman, who was very sweet and helpful, you could tell he loved his job.

There was a snapping turtle that was gigantic, he was super cool and graceful:

They also had a "flash flood" area with reptiles and a display on what would happen if there was a flash flood (click on thumbnails for a larger view):

In the shark tank, the tour guide said it was the sea turtles that were the agressive ones, not the sharks, not the puffer, not the saw fish.


We also saw a large assortment of corals, and sea horses in the tropical area:

We also got to pet the rays, surprisingly they were super soft.

But my favorite exhibit was the tigers, yes, tigers at an aquarium.
One of these guys was so close he was fogging up the glass, another guy jumped off of a rock to get a toy and was nose to nose with Bobby and I, literally just a couple inches of glass stood between our faces touching, it was incredible!

For lunch we ate at the restaurant surrounded by a tank that was probably 20 feet tall and spanned the entire length of the restaurant.

We ended up exhausted and decided to head home early, skipping a second destination, so it was time to drive home.

Christopher was the only one who did not fall asleep on the drive home... Matthew eventually fell asleep, that is after a 30 minute cry-fest when he realized we were not taking him to the dentist. He cried again when we pulled into our driveway and not the parking lot of his dentist. Silly boy!!

Jan 4, 2009

"The butterfly will bite me!"

Tomorrow we are going to the Aquarium up in Denver as a Christmas gift from my mom (she sent us cash to spend, we decided a mini-vacation would be how to spend it). But because of the weather we decided to ditch our plans of hitting the zoo in addition to the aquarium and were looking for a secondary place to visit.

We have already gone to the museum of science & nature, a cool robot zoo was closed on Mondays, the children's museum is too juvenile for the pre-teens, and about the only thing left was a theme restaurant with cliff diving & shootouts, or a bug museum. Matthew was still up so we were bouncing ideas off of him to see what HE wanted to do, this is how the conversation went down.

Me: "Hey Matthew, tomorrow we are going to see the fish at that aquarium!"
Matthew: "Oh no, the fish will BITE me!!"
Me (laughing): "No they won't... how about we go to the zoo??"
Matthew: "Nooo mommy, the birds will bite me!"
Me: "Ok Matthew, how about the butterfly house?"
Matthew (wide eyed): "MOMMY! The butterfly will bite me!!"
Me (laughing harder): "Ok then son, where do you want to go. What do you want to do that's fun??"
Matthew: "I know! We can go to the dentist!!"

It took Bobby and I a moment to compose ourselves.. he is such a goofball.