Sunday, December 31, 2006

Oooooooh! I can get a new belt for my treadmill!

I looked up my treadmill online, and entered the model number. I can order a replacement belt and a replacement owner's manual so I can read how to install the new belt. Yay! The belt is $70.00 and the manual and the tax are $6.00. The shipping? $23.00. Sigh. It's not enough that I have to figure out how to un-build this thing, but hopefully I can install a new belt without hopelessly breaking it (since I did not build it, I don't know how to take it apart).

I don't know. $100.00 is a lot of money that we don't even have right now. Part of me wants to say pbbbbb and throw it away and buy a new one but like I have $500.00 for that? Sigh. Where's a rich fairy godmother when you need one? The diminishment of my tank-sized rear end depends on me having a treadmill.

New Year's Eve!

Here it is, December 31st, 2006. Time for resolutions!

*Keep up with Flylady and maintain the clean house. Keep on decluttering too! I really *don't* need all the crap in my house. I'm not throwing out my crafting stuff, of course. I am talking about old shoes and purses I'll never use again, and too-small clothes for every member of the family that keep on cluttering our closets. Odd socks with no matches? Tossed! Tupperware with no lids? Lids with no bowls? Tossed! Broken toys? Tossed! Games missing pieces? Tossed! et rid of the clutter!

*Take better care of myself. This is all-encompassing, not just about losing weight. I mean make better eating choices and think about what I put in my mouth. Knock off the emotional eating. More water, less soda. Re-wean myself off caffeine. It is like crack, in that it makes me a little nutty. Exercise more. I need to get a new treadmill! Or see if I can get a new belt for the one I shredded. In the meantime, I have an exercise bike. Also, use all of my pampering/grooming products. Scented lotions arent just for taking up space under the bathroom sink! Use them to soften my skin as intended. Take ten minutes in the evening when all is quiet to trim and paint my friggin' nails so I can feel like a girl and not like a mommy-maid-robot who does the same boring things every day. Paint my toenails too. I will feel better about myself by doing little things for me and it will show in my outward attitude toward others.

*Keep up with my crafting projects. Recently I was doing well churning out the crafting projects, be they scrapping, stitching, crocheting or knitting. I want to resume these things because I like to do them. I got a little sidetracked by Christmas but I can get back on track. I have a list of projects for people that are half-finished and need to be completed. I also have set a goal of 365 scrappin' pages to be completed in the next year. I can do a page a day, and this will help me scrap all my pictures!

That's about it for now. I might add more later. Happy New Year, Y'all!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

My first Scrappin' Swap

I signed up to be in a scrapbooking swap, for size 12x12 albums and the theme is dogs. Please tell me what you think of this page border? It is all CM paper, with CM and Xyron adhesive as per the swap rules. I used my Cricut to cut the title letters. I used a CM heart shape maker and a regular hole punch to make the paw print on the tag and I used the CM heart and circle shape makers to make the paper-piecing puppy.

Scrappin' ladies or just regular people who read my blog, let me know what you think!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Thanks to you all

I have been flooded with emails and posts to my blog. Thanks for the support, you all. I appreciate it.

May 18, 1999
Sept 23, 2003
Sept 6, 2004
Nov 10, 2004
Dec 4, 2006

Thanks also for giving me unconditional support. Thank you for not saying that it is G-d's will, or part of a plan. Or that it is a blessing in disguise, because "there was probably something wrong with it" or that "at least you have other children," or "at least you can get pregnant" (as previously said to me by a bonehead). Thanks for just being there.

Why do I have to be the miscarriage chick?

I am miscarrying again today. That's number 5.

It sounds so ordinary, like, "I am going to the store today." It may seem like I am getting used to it, but I'm not that cold. I am just numb. I made quite the little spectacle of myself at the doctor's office. Y'all just didn't see that.

This baby was with me for 5 weeks, 2 days. I found out on Thanksgiving that I was pregnant. I was only 13 days post-ovulation. I was a little early in testing, but I just knew. Something was different, and not like all the other months where I felt different either. It is hard to explain, but Steve felt it too, and we were giddy to see the digital test display read the word "Pregnant." No question about it. I was only 3 weeks, 5 days! So early! We went to his parents house for turkey dinner but said nothing. Because un-telling sucks.

The next morning I called my doctor's office. We calculated my due date (August 4th), and set up a few appointments, one was an intake appointment for 26 December, and the other was January 3rd. We would have heard the heartbeat then.

We carried on as usual. We were in a thick fog of happy disbelief. We have been trying for 3 1/2 years, but this was still kind of unexpected. We have wanted it for so long, but haven't yet achieved it, you know?

The fog successfully kept the paralyzing fear at bay. We talked lightly of baby names. Something maybe not-so-common, but not too out there, and definitely a legitimate name. Nothing made up, and of course, a properly spelled name. But that's my name snobbery running away on me.

Back on topic.

Sunday I began spotting. Tiny dots of purple, which is old, dead blood. I also did that when I carried Katie, so I tried not to be too concerned. But the fear crept in. I took to my bed like a Victorian lady with the vapors.

The tiny dots turned into bigger dots, the dots into smears, and then today, at the doctor's, actual flow. And the color changed from old, dead blood to fresh, red blood. Just like it has in the past.

Part of me isn't surprised because gee, I have wanted a third child for so long, why should this pregnancy be successful? It doesn't matter that I wanted it, I mean, I wanted the other 4 that I lost as well and didn't get to keep them.

But another part of me *is* surprised. I am deficient in progesterone. But I had my suppositories and I used them faithfully, so why??? The doctor said that since I have my progesterone, something else caused it.

So for some reason they do not have my blood type on file. I am RH negative and need me some RhoGam. They drew my blood and are typing it. G-d forbid that they take my word for it, since I have had it eight times now. But no. Liability or someting, like I am some Munchausen nut who like RhoGam shots? Whatever. So I get to return to the office tomorrow for a shot, after my blood has been properly typed.

When I was at the office they also drew blood for a beta. This is to measure how much HCG is in my blood. If it is high, I return every two days for a re-draw and another beta until it drops to a non-pregnant level. If it is low, I just stay home. I will be calling in a few minutes to see if they know my beta yet.

Both the doctor and the lab tech tried to be optimistic, saying we could get good news from this beta. In other words I could still be pregnant. Yeah, thanks for the optimism but I am not holding out hope. My boobs don't hurt any more and I am bleeding, people. The doctor seems to thnk that because I have only had a few minutes of cramping that it could be nothing.

I have begged G-d for 4, now 5 healthy pregnancies. I didn't get the other 4, and I am not holding out hope for a Christmas miracle. Sigh. I just called the lab and my beta is still pending. So I get to call back in the morning and see if my beta is done, and whether or not my blood has been typed.

So it's not official yet. The long, drawn out answer seems cruel, especially if I were the hopeful type. But I am pretty sure that I am miscarrying. Just thought you all might want to know.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A money rant

I hate money. I am tired of being ruled by it. I am really tired of worrying about it. I am beyond tired of having ignorant civilians act like we live life on a free ride from the government. It is not like I am some loser in Section 8 with 6 kids who keeps popping them out to stay on welfare and is too lazy to get a job.

No, my husband works to earn the pittance that we are supposed to live off of. Hear that? He works! He is gone for 12 hours a friggin' day. We have one car and we live in East Bumblehoo where there is no public transportation so I can't get a job. Even if we had 2 cars or a random bus, well gee, since he gets home at a different time each night, I would not be able to keep a job. If work starts at 6 and he gets home at 8:30, um, I'd be fired after three lateness incidents.

When we were in MD I worked nights and he worked days so we didn't have to pay a sitter. It worked then because he was home at around the same time each night. And I think it is ridiculous to work just to hand your check over to a sitter. But since it is not an option for me anyway...

I am just tired of money. We have enough to pay the mountain of bills and eat on the cheap. That's it. I hate not being anywhere near a friggin' commissary and having to pay the local outrageous prices. If I want to save money and use a commissary I have to drive 2 hours just to find one. ANd we lose money in gas. It's a no-win situation. I hate being so remote.

This next pay period is going to suck. The first always does. But this one is going to suck more. I think we will be able to make ends meet but the fabric is fraying. I am tired of being stressed about it and being afriad to look at the bank balance. I just hate money.

It just pisses me off when civilians come around, thinking that we are living the high life because "the military pays our rent." I swear, so help me. Military servicemembers get crap-for-pay, and included in said CFP is the "rent money." Hear that, you swarm of ignorant people? It is part of the pay, just the same as you take the money you use to pay your rent from your pay. We do not have tons of money. We don't get a slew of money per payday and then rent on top of all that.

We have bills just like everyone else. We do not "have it made." Did I mention I hate money? Because we don't have any.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A few more pics

I haven't gotten any film developed from Thanksgiving yet, but I wanted to post a few updated pics of the babies for you all. The top one is when they were still in the hospital, but much bigger than they were at a week old, the middle one is of SIL, their mom, holding them both and the third pic is of both girls as a vision in pink.

Monday, November 20, 2006

My Christmas Wish List

OK so the holidays are right around the corner. I am a big fan of making wish lists so that people who ask for suggestions can have them. It worked wonderfully well for my kids' joint birthday party this past weekend. When both families asked what to get the kids, I had the wish list in hand, and I was able to recommend different things to both sides of the family, and woo hoo for no duplicate gifts! I love a wish list because if someone gives me one, I know I can get them either something they want or something they will use.

If you are related to me, you know that I was not always this way. And in 1997, quite the memorable Christmas, I got 13 bath sets. Thirteen. Thirrrrrrrrrrrr-teeeeeeeeeeeeeeen. All different smells, and all appreciated, since I actually do like smelly oaps & lotions. However, in that big of a quantity, well, I wondered if the family was trying to suggest something???

So, on with the greedy pig-ness. In no real order of importance.

Since I walked the belt right off the old one, a new motorized treadmill. Not a manual one. I don't need one with all the bells and whistles, like a belt that can be elevated or 25 differeent levels, (my old one was flat/normal and had 6 levels) but it does need to be motorized since they are less stressful on the knees. Of course the ones I am looking at are running about $500!

Harry Potter Scene It game.

The Da Vinci Code DVD

A pasta maker, whether extruder-style or hand crank, I don't care. I just want one.

A Kitchen Aid mixer is a bonus. A silly want: a Doozer toy. Remember them from Fraggle Rock?

Rubbermaid rolly carts for craft storage. Deep or shallow drawers don't matter--I can put my crafty stuff in both. Also, things to go in those drawers would be really nice too, like yarn. Whether funky or plain or supersoft, I love me some yarn. Scrapbooking stuff too, and cross stitching. I love crafty things. Finally, gift certificates to any of the following stores: WalMart, Target, Barnes & Noble, Michael's, AC Moore, JoAnn Fabrics, any local scrapbooking store, or just plain money so I can buy Creative Memories supplies from my local consultant. Pass the info along people, because I like presents!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A few minutes to update on the past month

It has been a while since I last posted.

So I cleared off the bar for the bazillionth time. And today I also rearranged the cupboards. I did a food purge as well. I checked all the expiration dates on the food and threw out the questionable stuff. No food poisoning for us please. I have no clue what will be for dinner. Eh, probably sloppy joes. I don't necessarily want to eat them, but I am supposed to be watching the neighbor's kids this afternoon and evening so I want to serve something kid-friendly. Sloppy joes and chips it is!

Heard a funny saying today. You know how people talk about pinching pennies/saving money etc? One lady said," My mom can pinch a penny till it screams." Hahahahaha!

My sink is shiny, a la Flylady, but I do not have shoes on. How bout no? I hate wearing shoes. My bathroom is clean and company-ready all the time, a la Flylady as well. It is a lovely website that has helped me muchly. Though sometimes I feel like all I do is clean. But whatever, because right now I am on the couch, using the laptop, and the living room is clean, vacuumed, windows washed, heat registers dusted, etc. I do that for maintenance every day, along with the aforementioned bathroom.

I changed a blown bulb in the outside front-door light fixture.

I amassed all the nonperishable party food on the counter. Because it is extra food and not normally purchased, it does not fit in the cupboard but I don't want to put it on my clean bar.

The kids' joint birthday party is Saturday, and I thought they would like to have their own parties since they are getting older now but they asked to have it together because they wanted "a big party, Mom." OK. No big deal--I get to feed the same people once instead of twice, LOL.

Jonathan is having a Pokemon party and Katie is having the 12 Dancing Princesses. They will each get streamers in their own colors, which I will put up on Friday night so when tey wake up Saturday morning the house will be decorated for them. They are getting cakes in their own theme as well. We are doing pin the tail on the donkey and a pinata and a bean bag toss and coloring sheets also. I am not doing favor bags. I have treat sacks for the kids for when they whack the pinata and they can take that home as favor.

I will be taking tons of pictures, of course, and I will post some as soon as I get the film developed. Well I am about out of time so I will post this, find something small to clean in the few minutes before the kids' bus arrives, and then my evening as entertainment director, homework facilitator and waitress begins! Wheeee!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


The kids got school pictures and wouldn't you know, the year I was cheap and just bought one sheet, they had wonderful pics! So I scanned them so you all can see the kids.

I will add them to the post in a minute, but here's a little bit about what's going on lately. Um, same stuff, different day. Steve goes to work, the kids go tot school, and I stay home and rule the roost. My days entail laundry, washing dishes, working on the 15 million craft projects I have promised people for Christmas, trying to fid something new and yummy to fix for dinner so the family does not get bored eating the same food over & over, and using the treadmill. I see my neighbor Meghan every day and she holds me accountable, asking me if I have done the treadmill for today? I bug her as well.

That's about it. Yeah, I'm boring. OK here are the kids:

Monday, October 02, 2006

Odds and ends

So. Here's a little update of the past few days.

We went to the Khaki Ball, which is a fancy term for "all the guys dress up in work clothes and the wives just dress nice. Then you eat, and there's no dancing."

The no-dancing part was fine by me. I do a lovely imitation of a frog-in-a-blender, and you all have not lived til you see Steve's imintation of a pizza boy--o wait! Everyone at the KB *did* get to see that! SO FUNNY!

The dinner choices were prime rib, or sliced, stuffed chicken breast, or a giant slab of yummy salmon (guess which one I had?). They all came with baked potato. The starter was clam chowder and dessert was cheesecake. Yum. And we got to know a lot of Chiefs and their spouses, and had a good time & laughed a lot.

Who remembers my last post about my teacher? Update: I sent an email to an address that I thought might possibly be his, and it was! How cool is that? So I was able to tell him that I thought he was a good teacher. Yay!

So. I have pot roast simmering in the crock pot for dinner tonight, and I did the maintenance cleaning of the house today. After I post this, I am going to start knitting a scarf for my little nephew, for Christmas. He is a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine and so I got bright red, blue and yellow, like the colors in the Thomas stories/merchandise, and I am going to make him a little stripey scarf. I am making a scarf for my little niece, in a varigated pink/purple/sparkly colors too. And for my twin nieces, I am crocheting them some blankets. I have chosen two different colors of yarn, since though theyare twins, they are separate people. And Mary if you are reading this, shhh, don't say anything! Christmas presents are supposed to be a surprise!

Well that's about it for today.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Calling Mr. Michael Petko

Recently I have been looking online for a Mr. Michael Petko who taught middle school in Florida in the early 90s. If you have Googled yourself and found my blog, Mr. Petko, read on. Everyone else, humor me.

Back then I was Jennifer Presley. I was a student of Mr. Petko's for 2 years--sixth and seventh grade. We had quite the personality clash. I would have sworn that he moved up to teach 7th grade that second year I had him *just* to irk me.

One time he threw me out of class. Another time, though he called me to the front of the room. He used to teach at a podium. And I stood there and he quietly asked if I hated him? This was toward the end of seventh grade, and I was taken aback. I had becomes used to Mr. Petko by then and he had shifted from being a demon in my eyes to a "cool" teacher. It was on the tip of my tongue to say,"You're a hard teacher to hate, Mr P."

But I didn't say it. Some experiences from his class have stuck with me through the years longer than say, any ones I had in Math class. (Sorry Mrs. Swope). I do remember being quite terrified of my English teacher, but that's another story.

I remember watching the news in class when we were at war and had just gone over to Kuwait. I also remember something that made me laugh, and still does to this day. I remembered it again recently and told my husband about it.

We were in class and Mr. Petko mentioned Muslims. I was confused. "Muslims?" I asked, "Isn't that what you make sheets of?"

Now it was Mr. Petko's turn to look confused. I referred to one of the Little House on the Prairie books, where the character said the made bed sheets of "muslim.' You have to hand it to Mr. Petko--he didn't laugh at me. I would have laughed at me. He simply said "muslin," kind of shook his head, and continued with the lesson.

So, that's about it. I have been wanting to find Mr. Petko and tell him, if he even remembers me, that I was a snarky little brat in his class. I deserved to get sent out of class that day, and I didn't hate him. I had fun in his class. I also remember making those little 3-D paper globes. I think he was were a good teacher.

I tried to find him at the school but he is no longer listed on the staff. I just wanted him to know.
I know I complained numerous times to friends and family about him, and him asking me if I hated him was thought-provoking. I simply said no and sat down.

I hope he sees this and the knowledge that I, a student he might not even recall after teaching thousands, (or worse yet, someone he recalls to this day as the bane of his existence) think he
was a good teacher, and that it brightens his day.

Jenn, walking down memory lane.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Around the house

Here are a few more pics for today. Again, out of order, but oh well. If you click on any of the pictures in any of the posts, they will enlarge so you can see them better.

The kids are on top, fresh off the bus from the first day of school.

Second, a shot of our house. Has anyone seen it yet? I thought that I took a picture with my cell phone and passed it along, but in case y'all haven't seen it, there you go. See the giant yard? Fun to mow, just ask my dad. We put our visiting guests to work, you know? LOL!

And everyone knows we own the smallest car on the planet, well it just looks dwarfed by the house.

Finally, the obscene mushrooms. They are called stink horns, and yes, they smell terrible. I took this picture and then thenext day, two more clusters had popped up. They look vulgar and smell nasty. There's your giggle for the day.

So, now for a real post. Steve is at work and the kids are at school. Time to start eht maintenace cleaning. First the bathroom. I am trying to do Flylady and she says always keep your bathroom company ready. What do I see? A discarded towel. *hangs it up* Toothpaste globs in the sink. *Swishes out sink* Paper towels that have jumped ship from the trash can. *Picks them up*

Onto the kitchen. Cereal runches underfoot. Tanks kids! Oh well, at least there isn't a milk puddle today, though the empty carton is on the counter instead of in the trash can, and so is the empty box of cereal. *throws them away and sweeps floor* But the sink is empty. Where are the dishes? Yay, dish hunting, one of my favorite household sports. Right up there with laundry stalking.

*Refolds blankets in the living room* Oooh the phone!

CONGRATULATIONS to Julie and Jeremy, proud parents of twin boys, born at 2:31 and 2:32 this morning, Friday, September 22, 2006. Noah James, a little redhead, was born first, weighing 6 pounds 2 ounces, and measuring 18 inches. Baby B, whose name is still being decided as we speak, was born second, weighing 6 pounds 9 ounces, and also measuring 18 inches. He is in the regular nursery and doing fine, and Noah will be in the NICU for a day or 2, because there is a little fluid in his lungs. When babies are born, fluid is squeezed from their lungs as they travel the birth canal. But Julie's babies were C-section, so no squeezing, and a little fluid is still in the lungs. But a day is not so bad, and they will probably all go home together in a few days. They were born at 35 weeks, 1 day, and are huge for their age! But Julie makes big babies. Yay for jumbo shrimp!

I swear there are twins everywhere around me. Some friends from CA had B/G twins named Isabella Joy and Christian Michael. They are about 9 weeks old now. Then my SIL had hers, that I already posted about, both girls and so beautiful. They will be two weeks old in a few days. Now Julie has her two boys! Yay for babies! Yay for healthy babies! Yay for Julie having a healthy heart! She had PPCM with her last pregnancy and was very closely monitored during this one but her echo yesterday shows normal heart function. She will still be monitored for 6 months, though. I am just so happy for her!

OK I am going to go paint Katie's dresser now. Adios y'all.

More pinning pics

OK so the pictures are out of order, but oh well. These two are of my dad and the kids in front of a little "play" boat. They had a few models that the kids could climb on right by the USS Massahchusetts where the ceremony was held. I, ever the camera freak, snapped a shot of them in front of one. The kids killed time waiting for the ceremony to start by climbing on the models, and managed not to get dirty. I was impressed. But all that climbing, and insisting that Paw Paw come too? My poor dad's knees!

Next is a shot my dad took of me & the kids with the USS Mass in the background. Cheese, y'all.

Apple picking

So after Steve woke up from his post-initiation coma, we took my dad and the kids apple picking. There is an orchard nearby. The first pic is my dad and the kids standing in the shade, waiting for the tractor to come and pull us out to the apple trees. The next pic is of Katie and my dad on a rock. I like this picture because the tree in the background shows how the leaves are turning. It was a nice cool fall day. And then a family shot taken by my dad of us munching apples. They were sun-warmed, sweet and crisp, fresh off the tree. Yum!

The new Chief

Here are a few pics of Steve, from first class to Chief. He was never so happy as the last day he wore his whites! See him cheesin'? Then the next pic is him going through the line of sideboys after he had been pinned. I got that shot right as he walked by. I love that pic!

The third pic was taken either by Steve's mom or sister Mary, I cant remember which. But it was after the ceremony. We were both so happy, and Steve was just exhausted. It was a lovely ceremony, and the kids, MIL and I pinned Steve's anchors on. My dad flew in as a surprise to attend the pinning as well. After we got home, Steve slept for 14 hours!

Monday, September 18, 2006

How much is too much?

In terms of pictures, I mean. I have a whole roll. Here are two more. I clicked on the "large" setting for my previous post but they came out the same size as before. And now this post too!Hmmm.

The top picture is me feeding Alyssa. I thought that when my son Jonathan was born, his hospital bottles were small, but wow, these were just tiny, and with red nipples. Hee hee! Steve is standing in the background, watching MacKenzie in her bed under her grow-bulb.

The bottom picture is of MacKenzie, really mad! She was mid-yowl when I took the picture.
Even crying, I think she is beautiful. I just love babies. That's all for now.


The top picture is of me holding MacKenzie. The middle pic is me holding Alyssa. The bottom pic is Steve comparing his hand size with Alyssa's. We each held each baby and I fed Alyssa and burped her. They are just perfect. They are lovely. How can they be so small, yet still appear big? They are strong. They both peeped their bitty eyes at us, and we got to hear their little newborn noises--those grunts and squeaks, as well as their cries when they were hungry. They made little poops too, and I swear I never saw such small bottoms in my life.

I know I must sound like a blabbering idiot but I am smitten. Enchanted at tiny ears, and fingers. Awed at perfection in such a small package. Amazed at their strength.

And heartbroken at the situation. Yeserday when we went there, MIL asked SIL if she was going to stay the whole hour for both girls' feedings, and SIL said, "Yeah, it makes me look good if I stay for both."

MIL saw the storm cloud that was my face and tried to backpedal, trailing after SIL, asking, "And it's nice to be able to hold both babies, right?" No response from SIL. I died a little inside. She only goes to the hospital to keep up appearances?

Later, MIL tells me she can't wait until htey babies com home, because she is goingot take 2 weeks off work to "play dolls." What the hell? What is with these people? These are babies, real human beings who require constant care, not playthings to be propped, posed and used as attention grabbers. They are not a novelty. They are not toys. They are innocent babies who need love and attention, not to be used as showpieces.

It makes me so frustrated. And I have to it back and watch the trainwreck unfold. Call me bitter but I think that on about night 3 of sleeplessness, the novelty of playing dolls will wear off as MIL realizes that it is not a game. I don't know what, if any, help SIL will be. She will be getting weaned off her methadone, and so she will be itching to go get high, and this usually involves stealing MIL's car in the middle of the night. Finally, there are 2 more children involved to think about--they are 3 and 2. SIL's other kids. Now she doesn't have custody of them but all of them live in the same house.

Their needs still have to be met. They are too young for much independence or autonomy. I think all 4 kids will suffer. And it makes me sad that the adults involved cannot see beyond the novelty and the cuteness factor and think of what is in the best interest of the children.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Well I put the pics to medium so they wouldn't be huge. I guess I should have set it to large?

Here are the twins. These are pics that MIL took. Steve was promoted this weekend, and MIL came to the pinning ceremony and gave me these prints. So I came home & scanned them for your viewing pleasure. Alyssa, the second born and bigger of the two, is on top. Her mother decided to change her name from Alyssa Ann to Alyssa Mary. On the bottom is the firstborn and slightly smaller MacKenzie Rose. Don't they look so cute under the sunlamp and in their "shades"?

This is just a quick post since we are leaving within an hour to go to see the babies in person, at which point I will post more pictures. --j.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The twins were born last night

They were born by C-section about 7 weeks early, at 33w 3d. MacKenzie Rose was born at 6:01 PM, weighing 3 pounds, 2.6 ounces and measuring 15 3/4 inches long. Her sister Alyssa Ann was born at 6:02, weighing 4 pounds, 1 ounce and measuring 17 inches long. Alyssa is on a CPAP for apnea and both babies are expected to stay in the hospital for the next two weeks. During that time they will undergo detox. They were born high due to their mother's drug addiction.

These are my nieces. I haven't seen them yet, but when I do I will post pictures. We hope to make the trip to CT to see them this weekend. It will be bittersweet for me to see these sweet babies but oh well. I love them and their older brother and sister MaKayla and Anthony even though I do not like their mother or her life choices. All four children are innocent and did not ask to be born, so they will get smothered in love from Auntie Jenn.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The inchworm story

A few of you have heard this, but it bears repeating for those who haven't. Plus it saves me a million repetitions. :-)

Steve and I have been trying for a baby. Recently, I found out (like I do every month) that I was not pregnant. Disappointment ensued. I was talking to Steve and I said that I have not felt or sensed G-d's presence lately, and it was disturbing to me. I have felt empty and ignored. Not fun.

Pause this story. To understand the rest of this story, first you have to hear another one.

I was doing a Bible study in CA. One of the questions we were asked was, where do you see G-d in your everyday life? One woman answered by saying she sees G-d in the vastness of the ocean, or in large things like the Grand Canyon.

For me I see G-d in small things, like ladybugs, or even tiny spiders. I don't like spiders but sometimes you see ones that are so small, you can't smush them. They are no threat and are not scary. But you see this tiny little life that eats, breathes, lives, and you can barely see it. It has a tiny heart that beats, and I can't see that without a microscoope. I can't recreate that. To me, these tiny beings, that's G-d.

Ok, now un-pause the other story. Two days after I had the discussion with Steve where I felt ignored by G-d, I was outside with Katie and we were going down the little path towards the driveway. There, on the path, its bright yellow color in stark contrast to the black asphalt, was a tiny inchworm.

There he was, inching along. His body was making the curve of the letter C with every movement. And Katie was briefly diverted, but quickly lost interest. There are bugs all over around our house. Walking sticks, butterflies, moths, etc. And animals like bunny rabbits. And snakes and frogs, and bears (that we haven't seen yet) and horses. Yeah. Steve tried to get crushed by one in our car, as it ran out of its driveway. Apparently horses don't have turn signals. You all know how small our car is. But anyway.

The inchworm. I was mesmerized because to me, that was G-d saying "I'm still here." And that made my day, because I didn't feel ignored any more.

So that's the inchworm story.

It's been a while!

School starts on Tuesday and I cannot wait to get these kids out the door! My house, which I have been trying to clean, can stay clean. Food will stay in my cupboards longer than 3 days after payday. I tell you they get so bored and want to eat all day!

So what's been up at my house? Steve is almost done with Chief's initiation. I have been incorporating Flylady's principles and ideas at my house. It is a slow going but the site says it can take up to a month to form new habits.

New habits, well here's one. I stopped drinking soda. Thats to my benefit. Lots of empty calories. But I am sure that Julie, Michelle, Diane and Cynthia miss me burping like a piggy on the phone.

My friend Netanya had her baby, a sweet, beautiful girl whom she named Eliana, meaning G-d has answered. I am sure He has certainly answered her prayers and I am so happy for her and Gil! Congrats you guys!

Hey everyone, here is a link to sign up for free chocolate from Nestle. Have at it!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Reflections from a recruiter's wife

Sounds poetic, doesn't it? Ha! Reflections is just another word for bitching & moaning, but I'm not really doing that.

I never doubted the word of all the wives who "did their time" before me. I just had no clue what it would be like. It is kind of like a woman preparing for the birth of her firstborn-she kinda knows what's coming but on the whole, has no clue what's in store. Then after the fact, she thinks, "Oh, so this is what those other women meant."

I dunno. I am so used to the regular Navy, the "real" Navy. Not to say this is skate duty or anything. I am just used to a large command, and being in a military community and I think that has been a difficult adjustment. I am used to Steve having 36 hour duty every 8 days, and I am used to underways of all sorts of duration. I am used to being surrounded by other military wives. And kids.

So where do I find myself? Primarily, alone. Steve works six days out of seven, and long hours. That is not a complaint, it is just how it is. It has, however, taken three months to stop being a complaint. There was definitely a period of adjustment. At first I would stare at the few wives I have met (count 'em, two) who say that they are grateful to have them home each night, no matter how late.

Heh. I would prefer he had duty every 8 days. Even with the fact that he would be gone during those 36 hours, there was a predictablility to his work routine, and I knew he would be home by 6 each night.

But now, I usually see him by 9 PM. But some nights he gets home by 7 or soand scares me. Our door is really quiet and the other night I had fed the kids and was just pulling chocolate chip cookie bars out of the oven. And the kitchen door opens, but of course I don't hear it and I turn around and there he was just looking at us. Scared the crap out of me.

I have really learned over the past few months that the needs of the Navy do come first, now more than ever. There is a joke among Navy wives that if the Navy wanted your Sailor to have a family, they would have issued him one with his seabag. In other words, the Navy owns your Sailor and don't complain about anything because they supercede you.

I thought I had learned that lesson many time over in the past 8 years, like when my husband was still made to stand duty when I was losing our baby. I had to have one neighbor take care of my kids, and another drive me to the ER.

Then there was the time that I had weird symptoms all day and evening, but (gotta love Tricare) I could not get a same day appointment. So I called the nurse line that evening and told her my symptoms, and got a stern lecture for not being seen that day. Hello, no appointments available? I told her the same symptoms that I told three other Tricare people that day, and she was the only one alarmed by them. She told me to get to the ER. It seems she thought I was having a stroke.

So again, with the neighbors for childcare and transportation, because Steve was on duty. And I called the quarterdeck, which was a feat in itself. Steve told me never ever to call unless it was life & death. I figured that the Tricare lady thought I was going to die, well, he deserved to know about it.

After some runaround with the yahoo at the quarterdeck claiming she could not find my husband (he is on duty you idiot, look at the duty roster, he is the only one on the ship with our last name, etc) I ended up getting a message to him. And I made the yahoo cry. Hello Seaman Stumpf! I'm talking to you! Stupid cow.

Well Steve was frantic but still, no matter, he could not get relieved of duty. As it turns out, I did not have a stroke, but still the lesson was learned. No medical emergencies on duty days, because the Navy wants my husband planted firmly on the ship. OhhhhhhK.

Yeah. Back to recruiting. Life for a recruiter *is* the office. And nothing at home matters if they aren't making their quota. And bitching isn't going to bring home home any sooner the next night.

If you have had a day where the kids have been in your hair all day and your husband comes home, beat like a bad dog from a bad day & evening of work, you both need to blow off steam. Well his steam probably beats yours.

I mean, if the kids messed up 3 sets of clothes each and you have been doing wash all day and they spilled potting soil on the kitchen floor and before you could rejoice that it was only on the kitchen floor so you could easily sweep it up, the dog tracks it onto the carpet so now you have to vaccuum (again, since you already vaccuumed that day), and the kids are whiny because they, having spent 5 minutes using all 15 couch pillows to build a fort, are now bored, so you send them outside and they come in (hysterical) because they saw a snake ouside and are scared...well suck it up because you have a washer so it solves your laundry problem. And you havea broom and a vaccuum. And just pick up the couch pillows. Yeah it's more work but you know what? You don't have to worry about making goal, or potential recruits that lie about stupid stuff that disqualifies them from service and he has invested (and wasted) so much ime on them, and so on.

Like the needs of the Navy, the bitching of the Navy supercedes your bitching.

Two things to say: one, how sad is it that when my kids or my dog make a mess, I am happy if they do it on a surface that is easily cleanable? On the one hand I think it makes me look laid-back and willing to accept that kids make messes and not some uptight freak like Bree VandeKamp. On the other hand, Ithink it means I need a Mommy's day out of lunch & shopping or sightseeing. I need to get out of this house! (insert maniacal laughter at that prospect.)

And two, I don't want you all thinking that Steve tells me his venting outweighs mine, or that my days aren't hard. It is not a contest, to see who has had a lousier day. I don't get that vibe from him. These are just my observations as a Navy wife. I just can't wait til we are back in the regular Navy and then I can complain about silly 3-day underways.

What else? Anything new on our home front? Max is methodically chewing through the kids' toys. Heh. Less for me to pick up or trip over. I have also taught him how to "talk." I howl at him, he howls at me.

Jonathan and Katie start school in 3 weeks. Yay!!! Gee, I think I should call and enroll them...
I used to joke to Steve that he moved me to the Arctic tundra, because normally when we were living elsewhere we would go visit his parents and it would be freezing. So we move here and proceed to have the hottest summer I have ever endured in my 27 years. Yeah. Except now it is very chilly after sundown and in the morning. It is a nice relief but I told him this morning as I was seeing him off to work (love those working Saturdays) that he *had* moved me to the Arctic tundra. Cold in August? Sheesh!

I have gotten re-interested in scrapbooking, and that takes up some of my free time (and money). I am still cross stitching, crocheting and knitting. Yeah. I'm old. But when I am up to my knees in snow, I can stay inside and those activities will eat up the winter hours.

So that's about it for now.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The results are in...

STEVE MADE CHIEF! We just found out 5 minutes ago. I had to post real quick. Now, off to do some celebrating!!!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Hello from the new house

Yeah. You read right. We did get the new house that we were supposed to move into. I am sitting in the office/4th bedroom right now. Not that we have any use for it as a bedroom right now. Sigh.

So anyway, 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, eat-in kitchen big enough to house my big table that was too big for my previous two houses, and the kitchen has an island that is electrified. All the lower cabinets have these little roll-out shelves so storage space is doubled. No garbage disposal, which is odd, and electric stove, which I have to get used to using again. The sink does have a sprayer hose. I love those things.

What else? No AC but we have 3 window units and 6 fans, you think that'll do? We finally have our cable, internet and phone back again. Email me if you need my new info.

If you come in the front door it is a split level, you can go up to the main floor or down to the basement. On the main floor are two bedrooms, and if you go upstairs from there, there are the other 2 bedrooms, and the 2nd bath. So the kids are upstairs by themselves. Going upstairs to the upper floor, the stairs have a huge landing that is electrified and is ready for internet hookup as well. So in the event that we ever hear the pitter patter of more little feet and need to use the 4th bedroom for more than an office, we can just move all the office-y stuff to the landing.

The living room has a giant window made of three panels. The panels on either end open up for air circulation but the middle one is just for viewing. It has a lovely view of the huge front yard. Max the dog likes it to watch for bunny rabbits.

Downstairs to the basement and you find the laundry room, and a couple of storage areas, and a bit of semi-finished basement. It is carpeted with curtains on the 2 windows. I am going to put my treadmill and exercise bike in there. Any random crap that is left in boxes will go into the storage areas. Any spillover from that (shouldn't be much) will go out into the 2-car garage. Since we ony have one car , we are not pressed to find a place to put extra boxees.

This is the biggest house I have ever lived in. There are huge front and back yard and a long driveway. The backyard has a little deck that leads to our sliding glass door off the ktichen. There is a fire pit the size of a kiddie wading pool and a stone to sit on and watch a fire burn. Theere is also a fort of sorts for the kids to climb on. About 4 feet off the ground, it's a platform with a ladder. They think it is wonderful.

So that's about it for the new house, which is still mostly packed up because I am on the internet. I took a pic with my cell phone but I cannot load it up here so when I unpack the digital camera I will take a few pics and post them so you all can see the place.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Add in some head thumps against my desk and pull out some hair in clumps. Yeah. That's my life right now.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

If I were my friends, I would be tired of hearing from me.

So. We are not moving to the nice new house that we were so enthused about. The move fell through on the day that we were supposed to pick up the keys. We had already forwarded the mail and I had to arm-wrestle two postmasters at two separate post offices to get my mail re-routed back to my house.

We have a phone-cable-internet trio. We arranged for services to be transferred, and then we had to catch them before they were actually transferred. We thought that the move was just delayed at that point, so we delayed the transfer by a week. Well they cut off our phone service, and gee, didn't get around to hooking it up for the next 11 days. It did not matter how many times we called, we were at the mercy of the cable company.

A week goes by and they cut off our cable and internet. They did this a whole day early, before we could even tell them that the move had been cancelled and we wouldn't need to transfer services after all. They did not just transfer services, but actually came out to the house (we were not home) and unhooked the wires on the little box that's attached to our building. We called them for 3 1/2 days, and each day, someone would lie to us and swear that we were going to have a tech show up and reconnect us. Liars, all.

We finally get our services reconnected and now life is trying to settle back down to normal. Whatever that is.

I rode my exercise bike today.Did I tell you we got an exercise bike? So that me & Steve don't get bored with just using the treadmill. So I rode it today, folded a mountain of laundry and washed the dishes so that I could cook dinner.

I am working on crocheting some blankets for pregnant friends of mine. One friend of mine is due soon, and we don't know if she is having a boy or a girl, so since I love to crochet blankets for my friends' babies, I made one of each. So no matter what she has, I can send it to her in the mail. Then another friend of mine will soon have 4 young children, and the older ones are still young enough to appreciate blankets, so I am making 4 for her. Another friend of mine is having a boy and I have already sent her blanket for him. Also, another friend who feels quite left out by everyone else getting blankets has kinda-requested one for her 1 year old son. If my still-pregnant friend has a girl, I will send the boy blanket to the mother of the one year old. If not, I will make another. No big deal.
I like to make blankets for my friends.

So that's about it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


When I was younger, I thought that Kid Cuisines and going to McDonald's was top cuisine. I also loved "make your own dinner" night at our house, when Momma didn't feel like cooking. Bring on the ramen noodles!

When I became a mother, it was a cross between balanced food and convenience foods. Prepackaged this or that, like juiceboxes or fruit snacks. Whatever was portable was king.

After my second child was born I had a pretty set menu of meals in my repertoire, few of which required much cooking. Still a lot of prepackaged cooking.

Then came the Food Network, and I think it can be divided into 2 time frames. At first, it was exotic food that no one would want to eat, like Suid Ink ice cream a la Iron Chef, or meals that look pretty and the chef can make, but when you try it's a horrible flop.

The second time frame was more realistic food, easier to cook, with fewer ingredients that are unfamiliar to the average cook. Or else they just made us more familiar with seemingly odd ingredients. That carries on now.

I became more aware of the food we were eating and how we were expecting garbage to fuel our bodies. Juice boxes usually contain only a percentage of real juice. They are mostly sugar. Fruit snacks are glorified candy.

Just eat fruit. I tried to implement this after the birth of my second child, and she eats fruit more readily as a snack than her brother does. But she is more familiar with the concept of fruit as a snack than her brohter is. I got her brainwashed young, ha ha. Jonathan is more recalcitrant. He might eat the occasional apple or grapes and he claims to love bananas. But every day at 10 and 3 when the kids say they're hungry for a snack, I offer fruit and Katie pounces on it while Jonathan balks.

So food has been a journey lately. I have replaced white rice with brown and am currently phasing out white pasta for wheat pasta. It has a nice flavor.

I frequently go looking for vegetarian recipes to introduce us to new vegetables and to show the kids that you don't have to eat meat every night.

I also feed the kids 30 minutes later on "new food" nights. Hunger makes anything taste good.

I made tacos recently and I cooked up some firm tofu with the taco meat. Everyone ate them, no one noticed anyting, but still my husband gagged when I told him about the tofu. I was hesitant myself to try tofu. It just seems synonymous with the word "yuck." When raw, it does smell like stinky feet, but the flavor is, well it has no flavor. It truly does taste like whatever you cook it with. I tried it raw and cooked. But it wasn't bad, it caused no digestive ills either, and so I will probably try it again in another dish.

I am not saying we can't eat some good old fashioned crap every once in a while. I get the urge to hit the drive through, or to eat a donut, mmm refined flour and sugar and no nutritive value whatsoever. The kids also come grocery shopping with me and get to pick out their own snacks, subject to approval. Right now they like YoGos, and I think letting them eat a little bit of measured-out junk food will make it seem less like taboo or forbidden fruit.

This food odyssey has caused no small amount of ill will from my friend Cynthia. She threatens me with reports to CPS. My poor kids, she says, having to eat the slop I feed them. Well tonight's dinner would have set her off. The reason I even made the recipe is because I could not say the name of the recipe without laughing.

Brown rice, Broccoli and Walnut Surprise. It reminds me of cafeteria food, where the word "surprise" would be randomly tacked on to jazz up the menu. I decided to make it to see if it was any good.

Fresh broccoli, steamed in my new steamer basket, brown rice, baked in the oven to prevent scorching since it takes so long to cook, and walnuts, 1/2 cup, toasted in the microwave. A few herbs & spices, top with cheese, and yum, a simple savory meal. Katie had 3rds, and Jonathan currently is still working on his broccoli. Sigh. He looked me straight in the face when I was dishing up and informed me that he would not be eating the broccoli. This is fresh broccoli, steamed, nice and tender-crisp, not soggy, and he has maybe 8 bite-sized florets. No tree trunks or anything. Give me a break.

I need to close for now, but one more thing: my own mom says I am cruel to make my family eat lima beans. This from the woman who made my brother eat a whole can of peas because he said he wouldn't eat them, or didn't like them, or something. I remember Ernie scooping spoonfuls in his mouth and swallowing them whole like pills, with a big glass of water. He didn't like the mush.

Anyway. That's it for now, about food.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

On again, off again, on again, now it's off again.

So we found out last Thursday that the birth mother was having twins. And we were excited, only to have our hopes dashed. The birth mother has decided that twins are a novelty, something cute, and all of a sudden she can support two lives.

Pardon the bitterness but when it was "just" one baby, she asked us to care for the child because she could not. She has no job, no home of her own, no car. But now she has decided that she can raise two poor innocent babies. I am sickened and disheartened. She just wants the attention that she will get from having twins.

I would like to apologize to the residents of the state of CT, where the birth mother lives, since she is going to be scamming off the state to receive benefits that legally, she shouldn't receive. She will be raising those babies on *your* tax dollars. So Congrats, state of CT! It's twin girls!

End rant.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


We were expecting a baby boy to join our family in October. An ultrasound scan today revealed the birth mom is carrying twin girls!
I am going to let that sink in.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

We are moving again!

So we will be moving to our new house on 7 July! Yay! We finally got ahold of the correct people in both housing offices, and away we go! I have a housing inspection set for Monday the 26th and fun fun fun, we have to move ourselves! I need to research U-Haul rates.

I said earlier that I registered at BabiesRUs, well I was looking at and they also have a registry, a bigger selection, and lower prices on a lot of my items. So I deleted some things from the BRU registry, and created a WM registry. I was specifically looking for a Safe Feeder (even though the baby will not need it for many months). I could not find it at either the BRU or WM sites. I knew they had them at One Step Ahead, so I looked online and lo and behold, they have a registry too! They also have many items you never knew you needed until you saw them. And I registered there. (blush)

So I feel like quite the greedy pig now. Who runs around with 3 registries? Even if we don't have any baby stuff left, and even if some items were site-specific, ehh, I still feel like an oinker. Oh well. I can just call them wish lists. Oooh, that sounds better now doesn't it?

"I registered and created a little baby wish list at such and such store."

Much less piggish.

Ok well I did the dishes today but I need to still do some more cleaning if some housing cow is going to be traipsing through the pyramid on Monday. TTYL.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Life changes

So, it's been a roller coaster at my house for the past few days. I can't edit my posts fast enough, you know?

We are still trying to move into a new house. We have to be released from housing before we can get in the new one. The new house lady told Steve she needs an answer tomorrow. So we have been alternately calling and dropping by the housing office, and no one is ever there. I left a voicemail but it has not been returned. Grr! If we don't get some sort of answer, we may not be able to get the new house I described before, but we will get *a* new house, somewhere. Oooh, a mystery house. Maybe this one will be closer to town?

As for a new vehicle, we may have to pass up on this sale, but there is always a sale on, right? We are going to do our research to get the best deal possible. Any suggestions?

Finally, concerning a new baby. The adoption is back on. Just a few birth mother glitches which have hopefully ironed themselves out. So, unless something major happens, we will be adopting a baby in October. We think it is a boy, and I will keep the blog up dated about the gender. Birth mom has an ultrasound next week.

In a fit of excitedness, I registered at for a few things. Our youngest will be 6 and we don't have much for a new baby. We have a bassinet, but no bassinet sheets. MIL has a spare crib and she thinks, a mattress to go in it. Woohoo. I am all for saving money, you know?

Well it is late and I am tired. Tomorrow is the last required day of school. Monday is the "real" last day but it is a half day and no one in Jonathan's class is going, so far as I know. So I think we will be skipping school and sleeping in like a bunch of truants on Monday. Yeah, watch Katie actually want to go on Monday. Night all & TTYL.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A new house and car, but no new baby.

You all have read about the small house we live in. We should be moving here in the next few weeks to a 4 bedroom house. It is huge, with a 2 car garage, 4 bedrooms, a partially finished basement, a huge kitchen with an island, and carpeting so I don't have to deal with the hardwood floors any longer!

It has a huge front yard and back yard, with a fire pit the size of a kids' wading pool and a horseshoe pitch as well. It is a nice big house. There will be plenty of room for us all. Oh yeah, and 2 full bathrooms! Yay! And plenty of closet space! I can actually unpack our boxes from the move 8 weeks ago.

Finally, a local car dealership is having a huge sale on fully loaded minivans! Who cares if they are 2005 models? They are 50% off, and brand new! Woohoo for the minivan, even if it is known as the "loser cruiser"! LOL! It will be nice and roomy!

We thought we were going to adopt a new baby in a few months. No sooner do I blog about it and put the word out, then circumstances change. So no new baby in October.

Monday, June 05, 2006

We miss you, Mr. Bill

Most of you probably don't know who Mr. Bill is. He battled cancer for 6 years, I think. He lost his battle last week. I just got word tonight. He will be buried in Arlington in a few weeks. We miss you, Mr. Bill. My thoughts are with you, Miss Judy.

Wired for sound

So I wrote a post, which Blogger decided to eat. Here is the condensed version:

The speakers on my computer haven't been working since before Steve left. They do now, because I fixed them--woohoo!

Steve will be home in a few days. I am still organizing stuff here in pyramid house. You can't blame the mess on "just moving in" when you've been here 6 weeks. Sigh.

Also, I am posting some names here of friends that I have lost touch with. I had previously mentioned a friend on a message board, and she Googled herself, was led to the message board and was able to get in touch with me after many years! Yay!

So, I want to see if I can regain contact with Greg Wilburn, Jo Hunt, Alaina Collins, Ursula Leggarreta, Brandy Mayer, Ben Heath and Taunika Taylor. More names in other posts when I have more time to walk down memory lane. Adios, y'all.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Redefining pathetic

Last night I was IMing Jordan. She said she misses my cookies. I told her I haven't baked since I left CA. I don't have anyone to bake for. That thought alone made me cry. I'm utterly pathetic.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I am watching Sister Act

It brings back memories of living in Italy. When we first moved there, we were waiting for our household goods to arrive. Our express shipment had dishes, sheets, and we had our TV, VCR, and one tape...Sister Act. We watched it every day, for months. My mom, brother and I knew the script. We sang the songs. There was nothing else to do there, and nothing else on TV. We called AFRTS "a-farts" for a reason. There wasn't squat on TV. (Armed Forces Radio & Television Services, for you civilians.)

I think it is bad here with nothing to do, well Italy was a whole 'nother story.

Today the weather was nice and Katie, Jonathan and I went to the birthday party. About 25 kids, surprisingly enough, no fights or unhappy kids. Burgers, dogs, sodas, juiceboxes, cake, ice cream, and a huge bouncy house thing that was a maze and ended in a slide. It also got to be about 200 degrees in the sun, so they turned on the sprinkler to cool it down. The kids had a blast, soaking wet, and covered in mud! Moms watched kids in cycles as other moms took their turns to run home & grab swimsuits and towels.

I helped out with serving cake and cleaning up, and opening random kids' juices. It didn't matter that no one knew me and I didn't know them. I just started passing out plates of cake. And once some kids saw me punch a hole in the foil top of the "Little Hug" juice for my kids with my car keys, they lined up for me to "pop a top" for them too.

The mom and dad both thanked me for my help. I could see they wanted the party to be a fun one, and it was--I didn't see any unhappy kids. I just figured I could help them out because I know how hard I work to make my kids' parties fun, and then I am friggin' exhausted afterward.

The kids did a decorate-a-big-paper-horse craft, and spent loads of time on the bouncy house maze slide thing. Jonathan actually came home and took a nap! Katie was pretty low-key afterward, but no nap. We had a late dinner and went to the store for some cross stitch thread. We were out late, and ate late, and I let them stay up late, and they are currently out like lights. Gee maybe they will sleep late in the morning.

The other day Katie woke up at 4 AM and crawled into bed with me. Not before she pushed me over and grabbed one of the two pillows I sleep with, either. "Share, Mommy." I didn't notice her leave the bed, but I noticed her come back, with the dog! He knows that he is supposed to stay downstairs. Katie let him out of his crate, called him, and up the stairs he came! I woke up again to her patting the bed in an effort to get him to jump on it. He did, and when he saw me glaring through one half-open eye, his ears drooped because he knows he was being a bad boy. Katie scooped him next to her and I just went back to sleep. Sigh.

Well it is midnight now, and I can't sleep as usual. I am going to do some more cross stitch. I have a lot to finish in just a few months before FIL's birthday. For those of you following the captivating drama that is my life, I still cannot find the crochet hook. So I bought another one. And the new neighbor does have a wife. I saw her. That is all.

Friday, May 26, 2006

More rain, a neighbor and questions to ask yourself about living in this house

It started raining again today. Katie has been invited to a birthday party tomorrow so I hope the showers stop soon. We came home from school and there was a man coming out of the house 2 doors down. He said hello, and I asked if he was moving in. (There have been a lot of workmen spiffying up the three empty houses lately so I thought he might be another one of them.)

He says yes, and introduces himself as Dave. I told him my name and that Steve would be home in about two weeks. He asked what branch of service Steve was in, and I told him Navy, and he said he is Army but he works with all branches up at MEPS. He asks Katie how old she is, and when she answered, he said he has a 3 year old little girl in the house. I am assuming that he has a wife too, but he never mentioned her. I thought that she was in the house with the little girl. I hope he just wasn't leaving her alone in the house. I also hope that he has a wife because Steve isn't home and I am man-shy.

We shall see what sort of neighbors these people turn out to be. We have 2 other families near us, and they don't say a single word to us. Sigh.

Lasagna is in the oven for today's dinner, and will soon be out. Earlier today I started sorting Katie's room and have chucked 2 huge boxes of broken toys and crap. I am back-burnering the kids' rooms over the weekend. If I do it while they are in school, they cannot protest my throwing out all of their stuff. So I will continue the mundane effort to organize the downstairs part of the house over the weekend.

Instead of nagging the kids to put their things away, I have composed a list of questions they need to ask themselves about living in this house. I will post them, and since they can both read now, I don't even have to ask the questions, just point to where they are posted.

They are as follows:

Where do your shoes go? Your bookbag goes there too.

Where does your coat belong?

Where do dirty clothes go?

Where do dirty dishes go?

What happens to toys that come downstairs?

What do you need to do to the bathroom light and door?

Should we run in the house or up and down the stairs? Why?

What do you need to do to your bedroom light and door?

Is your room clean each night before you get in bed?

Are you being gentle with the dog?

Are you keeping your hands and feet to yourself?

and last but not least...

Does whining ever change my mind and get you what you want? Ever?

That's about it. Tonight is popcorn & a movie night. The kids have chosen a Spongebob movie. I think I'll read.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I want to be a drop-off mom

Every day when I bring my kids to school, I park in the side lot and walk them to the door. We are usually a few minutes early and they get to play on the playground with a couple hundred screaming kids. Fun, right?

But each morning, when the alarm goes off, I wish I could just be a drop-off mom. These moms don't park, they pull alongside the fence, where there are two little gates and paths leading to the school. Their kids do a tuck and roll, and the moms pull a U-ie and drive off. And in the wee hours of the morning, when I don't feel like even getting out of bed (much less getting dressed and taking the kids to school) I want to be a drop off- mom, too.

Tonight for dinner we tried something new. Moroccan chicken with vegetables, in foil packets, baked in the oven. Picture chicken breasts, seasoned with a mix of cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Petite diced tomatoes and sliced zucchini accompany this, and they are also seasoned the same as the chicken. Bake and put on a bed of rice or couscous, then eat.

Katie did a few fake gag and puke noises to show her appreciation. Jonathan picked at his, but in the end, they were both hungry so they ate almost all of it. I am a mean mommy and I don't cook separate meals for the kids. Eat what I cook or be hungry.

Me, I had to choke down the tomatoes as a good example, because I don't like them much. The seasoning was good but every now and then the cinnamon would come through and kind of throw me off. Cinnamon on chicken, you know?

I am working to make better eating choices. Tonight's dinner was the embodiment of this effort. More fresh fruits and vegetables. More fiber and less junk. Not that some junk isn't allowed. Making it forbidden just makes it more desired.

So that's about it. I lost my crochet hook, much to my distress. I have three, but the other two are still packed in my boxes of craft stuff. I just had the thing yesterday. Sigh. I guess it doesn't really matter since I haven't yet unpacked the yarn I will be using to make my friend a baby blanket. But I do have yarn available to make yet another friend a baby blanket. But the one friend was first in line. So I want to get started on hers. Where's my crochet hook?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Men falling from the sky

After school today I took the kids to the park. There is a big park adjacent to the school and I was knitting a scarf for my friend Jessica while the kids played. I heard shouting and turned around. Behind us, a ways back, was a big helicopter with two propellers dropping men out of the sky with little black parachutes!

That was the excitement of my day. Not much goes on here, so that was probably the event of my week.

I can't believe that it has been yet another month since I last posted. It's not like I am so busy here. So what has happened since the lasy time I posted? Steve left for recruiting school. He returns in about 2 weeks.

I changed my home phone number. If you need my new number, email me. Vonage phone service is abysmal and their customer service sucks donkey balls too. So I went with a reliable service, who is worth the $20 more a month. I tried to save money by going with Vonage but they are crap. And for Curtis, the smart-mouth customer service rep, you can just sit on a pointy pineapple, buddy. End of rant.

I am watching the season finale of American Idol so I can call my friend Julie and tell her who wins, in another time zone. These are the scintillating things that happen in my life. I'm so exciting!

We have actually started getting mail regularly.

I got the car inspected.

It rained for 2 weeks solid if I recall correctly. We didn't flood. But the car has developed a leak, and I don't know where. I just know that if it rains for more than a day, I have a huge puddle waiting in my front passenger side floorboard. Not in the driver's side and not in the backseat, on the in the front floorboard and there is no obvious leak, no watermark or stain on the car's interior that would indicate a leak, so I have no clue where it is coming from. Sigh.

I finished my friend Jordan's baby blanket and also made a cape for the dog out of heavy yarn.

I washed the dishes and the kids helped me sort laundry. I am currently washing whites. The kids are upstairs but not asleep yet.

I have instituted a "no TV between dinner and bed" policy and you can guess how popular I am with the kids about that. I turn the TV to classical music instead. Once I clean off the kitchen table dinner will once again be a family event and not a reason to sit at stare at the TV.

Well that's about it for me. Nothing going on.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Back to my old routines

Well here it is, about 1:30 AM and I am still awake. Just like when I was in CA I kept late house too. I have been doing "moving-in" type things around the house, organizing stuff, but also mundane things like laundry & sweeping the floor. I like my Swiffer because it keeps the floor nice. This hardwood floor is driving me nuts. I sweep, then little bits of I don't know what turn my feet black. Or I feel little gritty stuff underfoot as I walk, even after I sweep, so I Swiffer around in a vain hope to clean the floor. Sigh.

So everyone in the house is asleep but me. I have the kids' school clothes ready, and bookbags ready, so it's basically wake up, eat, dress & go. Their school here does not start until 8:30 which seems so late to me. But it's ok. I know the kids like to sleep in a few more minutes.

Not much to say, just trying to get settled in. It is nearing 2 AM so I guess I better turn in so I can get up in 5 hours. Adios y'all.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

It has been a month...

...since I last posted.

What has happened in that time? Steve came home from deployment. He was only gone for 3 months instead of the usual 6 because he had orders, and we moved across the country, from California to Massachusetts.

We drove across the country in the smallest car on the planet with 2 kids, 2 birds and a weenie dog. The trip was long and mind-numbing, but still not too bad. I think we only had one instance where we were scrambling for a gas station to make a potty stop for the kids.

We live in Marine housing by an Air Force reserve base. It is microscopic. I refer to it as the pyramid because the basement is huge, the main floor is small and the upper floor is miniscule. One of the so-called bedrooms is only 8x9. It is more than a little ridiculous.

Everything in the kitchen is new. The floor, the counters, the applicances. The hardwood floor in all of the other rooms is a novelty, since I have never had one before. I guess I need to learn how to care for it.

I guess the kitchen is an eat-in one, since there is certainly no dining room. But neither is there room in the kitchen for the little table we eat on. My big formal table is relegated to the basement for use as a scrapbooking surface. There is no room to put it upstairs.

The yard is ok in the front, in terms of size. It is a weed patch and I put down some grass seed today. It is rather drab and I intend to put up tiny decorative fencing and plant some flowers near my door. In the backyard, again it is sizeable but if we want a fence we have to put one up. Sigh. I also wanted to put aside a small bit of the yard as a vegeable garden. We'll see if I feel like doing that.

We lost about 75% of the storage space, closets and cabinets that we had in the other house. This creates a challenge in terms of unpacking because we have nowhere to put what it is that we unpack.

For those of you who knew us in Virginia, this house appears to be bigger than the VA house, at least on the main floor. In VA the kids' rooms were much bigger. We also had no garage or basement, and we have them here. But from my description, it sounds like this house, the pyramid, is smaller than the VA house, commonly referred to as the shoebox. It is bigger, but we have more stuff, or bigger stuff, so you cannot really tell.

I like the trees in the neighborhood, and the close proximity to the school. But like VA, we have to cross a busy 4-lane street to get to the school.

This housing is a ghost town. I suppose it is because they just finished renovations, and they usually put a hold on people moving in until after renovations are completed. Steve said he saw the list of people about to move in so maybe soon I will have more than the approximately 20 neighboring families who are here now. And maybe some of them might talk to me. I guess I am just used to Silver Strand, with all its people.

We live right off the main drag, with lots of stores and stuff, so it is not like Coronado, I mean Gilligan's Island. I dont have to drive more than 2 miles from the house to find 2 grocery stores, some East Coast version of Costco, Friendly's, Dunkin Donuts, WalMart witha Subway inside, every fast food imaginable, (except In-N-Out Burger, to my chagrin) a Home Depot, etc. Lots of stores. I have to find the nearest Michael's and see if there is a scrapbooking store around, and I also need to locate the library.

I haven't gone on base yet. It has an Exchange but not a Commissary. I am 2 hours from the nearest Commissary. Sigh.

Anyway, I have to get back to cramming things into the whopping 3 closets we have, so I will post later. And more often than once a month. I am trying to embody the sentiment of "Bloom Where You're Planted" but so far, it's not working.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

See all the pretty colors?

My dentist and his staff just think I am a trip! I am getting all my dental work done before we move. It is a lot of visits but it needs to be done. And I have a wonderful dentist who acknowledges that I am a spazz in the chair and he is nice to me.

Well with each visit, I get nitrous, and I just lay back, close my eyes and listen to an Ipod. As long as the nitrous is flowing, I am ok. And when I close my eyes, I see all kinds of pretty colors. The first visit, it was pink & purple. The second visit it was white & green, The third visit was black & purple, with blue and green washing over the black. Today's visit was white on one half with a grayish green, then on the other half, it was orange & pink.

Quite the rainbow today. I have 2 more visits next week, and then I am done. When we get to Massachusetts I can find a dentist and go in for a cleaning, and know that a cleaning is all I need! Yay!

Speaking of moving day, it is looming right around th ecorner. I have plotted out our trip. We are driving to Phoenix on the first day to see my friend Julie. We are staying in a hotel by her house and thean going out to dinner with her family. Then, the next day, we are northward bound. We are driving about 500 miles a day and stopping to see the Football Hall of Fame. The day after that, we will be at Steve's parent's house in CT.

Our house is waiting for us--a 2 story house, hardwood floors, attached
1-car garage and also a basement, so I will have my scrapping room down there! It is about the same square footage as our house now.

In a few short days Steve will be home, and we will cram the car full of 2 birds, a weiner dog, 2 kids, 2 adults and miscellaneous crap and head across the country. I have my crochet and cross stitch ready to do in the car! The kids and I will do lessons in the car and in the hotel rooms across the country. And of course I will take plenty of pictures across the country.

Katie got her picture in the paper today! She was chosen to represent her class in a peace-promoting, flower-planting ceremony. So we went into town and joined kids from 6 other schools and planted petunias. This happened last week but the paper was published today. I am getting all my neighbors' copies so I can send them out to friends & family. She was right on the front page!

What else? We have had our pre-move inspection from housing, as well as the packers' inspection to see how much stuff we have & how many boxes they will need to pack up our stuff. I have put in our notice to vacate and have had 3 yard sales to offload extra crap that we don't need. My friend took my kids & I to Disney, because she said, "You can't leave southern CA without going there."

Katie has her very first wiggly tooth, and feels SO grown up!

Jonathan went on a field trip overnight onboard an historic ship! He became part of the crew and had to stand watch and everything! They both are doing well in school--report cards just came out.

Our fish are finding new homes in the house of my neighbor and in a classroom at school. So many changes are happening here at home, and the kids are reacting well to it. They are excited that Daddy is coming home quite soon and also that we are moving back East.

That's about it for now. I am going to find something to drink because I can't chew anything for 24 hours. Sigh.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Dentist, vol 2, and some other stuff

So I went back to the dentist last Tuesday the 28th of February, and they asked me ot come in early so I coudl get medicated ahead oftime & then be ready to go at my appointment time.I started off with 2 pills, no messing around. I brought my crochet and sat there for 45 minutes. I was working on a baby blanket for my daughter's teacher, and I noticed the carpet was gettin fuzzier by the minute. It was Berber, so I wondered how it could be fuzzy? I looked up and the waiting room appeared to be a little foggy. I thought it would be a good time to put the crochet away or else who knows what I would have ended up making?

I got the dental work done, not too much drama. I remember smelling black licorice and trying to spell it out with sign language because they couldn't undertsand what I was talking about. The meds did not affect me as much this time, which was ok. I was a little less loopy, but still unsteady on my feet.

Tomorrow I call to get an appointment to have both crowns put on. All financial donations toward my dental work will be accepted because I am already capped out with Tricare's lovely dental plan, and I have no coverage until Feb 1, 2007. Yay.

So what else has happened? Hmm. I had 2 yard sales in the past 3 weeks, and I am having my thrid and final in 2 weeks. I have multi-family sales, where other people bring their stuff over. Everyone has something they would like to get rid of, but most times it is not enough to warrant a big yard sale. So I group together with a lot of people and we have a big yard sale. They have been ok so far. Katie wants to sell lemonade at the next one. She has gotten the money bug since I had a lady pay her directly for her old videotapes. That child ran into the house and was bringing out toys and stuff, trying to sell them. She wants money! LOL!

I finished the blanket for Katie's teacher--it is white with a yellow ruffly border. I started on one for myself, it is varigated yarn, in tones of blue, purple, navy, lavender, white and sky blue. Each color gets lighter, darker, and changes in to the next color. It is called Blueberry Pie. It is a nice yarn. I rarely make anything for myself, so this is nice. I can see myself working on it all winter in freezing cold Mass, with it laid over my legs as I work.

Speaking of baby blankets, I get to make one for my friend Jordan, who is having a baby boy! They just found out it is a boy, and she is happy, since they have two girls. I have made only baby girl blankets so it will be nice to do somethig in blue or green, or maybe red. Whatever kind of yarn she chooses. I am going to start it when she brings me the yarn but I will have to mail it to her. I cannot finish it before we leave. If I pushed myself I could but right now I am focusing on other things, like cleaning the house & doing yard sales & other things before we move. Jordan is fine with it being mailed to her--she is pretty easygoing.

I have finished up the 5 cross stitch pieces I owed people--4 birth samplers and a picture of Elvis for my friend Poppy. They have all been stitched, washed, dried, pressed, and distributed. I finished 2 blankets due to other people, one has been mailed & the other (for Katie's teacher) will be given at a baby shower at the end of the month. The only thing left that I have to do before I go is to knit my friend Jessica a scarf. I promised it to her on her last birthday and I want to finish it before I go. I hope to have it done by the end of the week.

What else has been going on? The kids are in school, Jonathan is about to go on an overnight field trip, on a boat! He will "stand watch" too, just like his Daddy.

Speaking of Daddy, he is in the waters off Iraq, in the gulf. He has finally been around the world. He has been to the gulf on a Med cruise and now he reached it the other way, on a West Pac. He is coming home in about 3 weeks and we are rolling out of here in 4 weeks and 2 days.

Well I need to post this so I can go get Katie from school. More later!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A trip to the dentist, volume one

It all started with my dryer. Lisa helped me heft it into the house, and I installed it, wiring and all. I am such a big girl, I didn't even burn the house down. Well the manual said I would need tin snips and I don't have them. I thought my kitchen shears, or the blades in my pliers would do the trick.

At one point I was trying to snip a wire, and not succeeding. I was bending the wire back and forth and gritting my teeth really hard, for about 10 minutes. In so doing, I shoved a filling upward into my tooth. Um, ow!

Sooo...I got a huge toothache Saturday night. Sunday Lisa took the kids and I to Disney, saying we couldn't leave southern California without visiting. I took Motrin all day to ignore my toothache because no way was I ruining my kids' trip to Disney with a little old toothache.

I don't remember much of Monday or Tuesday but I was miserable, so much so that my neighbor Diane called her dentist and they squeezed me in Wednesday morning for a consult. Being a dental freak, I managed to get a cavity underneath an existing filling! I had shoved said filling up into the cavity area and it was hurting.

So I was told to come back on Friday morning and they would give me nitrous and drill it out. If the cavity was bad enough they would need to do a root canal. So I go, they drill, I do need a root canal, and they try to do it. But the root is infected and I am a dental freak (did I mention that?) so the pain was pushing past the nitrous and the novocain. I would freak out and hyperventilate and basically have a spazz. The dentist referred me to a friend of his, an endodontist. He does nothing but root canals.And he does sedation! Conscious sedation with a drug called Halcyon ( I think).

So the dentist office calls the endodontist's office, and what a miracle, they have an appointment, in an hour, on a Friday! So I fly down there with the help of many friends, one to drive me to & from and 2 others to pick up my kids from school. I am given the wonder drug, which does... nothing. The staff kept asking how I felt and I said fine and not a bit different. This alarmed me. So the dentist asked if he could start numbing me up, and I said OK, because I knew I would fell that anyway. They gave me another half a pill, and eventually, the second half of the second pill. The dentist stepped out for a few minutes (could have been more, how could I know?) and when he came back, I was feeling just a little bit warm & mellow. The nurse had given me a blanket because I was freezing. The dentist said something about how he thought I was ok because the quality of my voice had changed. I take this to mean I was slurring my speech. LOL!

The rest of the events are fuzzy and have been pieced together with the help of people who weren't high as a kite.

I remember the dentist telling me what I would be feeling and also telling me I could go to sleep if I wanted to. Yeah right. Like I was going to go to sleep and be awakened by breakthrough pain??? I heard him tell the nurse, "I think she fell asleep" about 4 times, and each time I would say, "No I didn't" and scare the crap out of him.

I raised my hand whenever I felt anything, and the dentist gave me more novocain. This has led me to *still* be numb on the roof of my mouth, now, Sunday night, 6:30 PM, two full days after the root canal. They waited until I was high to give me the bill, which is good, because my dental insurance is crap. I needed the Halcyon buzz to sign that charge slip.

I was walked to the van that was driving me home (thanks Trinice!) and I was so surprised that I needed help to walk. I didn't feel very different at all.

I told Trinice to stop so we could get some dinner for our families, my treat. We parked at the KFC but had to cross to get to the ATM. I don't remember crossing the street but Trinice does. I am astounded I remembered my PIN. We crossed back to the KFC and ordered. Now I ordered a meal that said 4 pieces of chicken, 4 strips and 8 boneless wings, plus 2 sides & 4 biscuits for $17.00 I also ordered a mega-jug, which is a big half-gallon soda for $2 . My total was just over $20.00, which sounds right. So why did I come home with one huge bucket and one half-sized bucket filled with extra crispy? I got the sides and drink too but I wondered why on earth I had 3 bags full of KFC?

I had to get my prescriptions, and while I wandered around waiting for my prescription to be filled, I went up and down every aisle looking at stuff. I don't remember getting in line, or even paying for my prescriptions. I do remember asking if I needed to wake myself in the night to keep on a strict schedule. My pills have to be taken 4x a day. The next day, when I looked in my Rite Aid bag, lo and behold a 96-count box of crayons!

I remember thinking I needed them! It was a pretty, fresh, new box! A big one! I remember getting the crayons, and my prescriptions, and picking up my kids, and almost falling down in Traci's kitchen a couple times.

I came home, wandered over to my neighbor's house, and was led back home, called my mom, (amazing that I was able to remember her number) and I managed to put my kids to bed at 8:30 PM. Then I fell asleep on the couch and woke up at 1:30 AM, somewhat more clear-headed.

Trinice told me the next day that I also topped off her gas tank. I told her before the appointment that I wanted to put gas in her van for driving me all around, and I am glad that she says I did top off her tank, but I don't remember actually doing it. She says I put my card in wrong twice! LOL!

I think that is all that happened. Round two happens on Tuesday! Stay tuned!

Monday, February 13, 2006

A surprise in the mail!

On my doorstep today was a box, just begging to be opened. The return address was and I thought, "Oh my goodness, did Steve send me a Valentine's Day gift???"

He sure did! Who needs flowers when the Chocolate Indulgence Basket exists? Nestled inside a gorgeous rectangular basket with a handle on each side was a treasure trove of chocolately goodness! A Ghirardelli bar, a huge box of Ghirardelli nonpareils, a twice-dipped chocolate-covered graham cracker, a dark-chocolate-covered english toffee topped with nuts, chocolate chip pecan cookies, milk-chocolate-covered Oreos in a gold box and Ghirardelli squares in 3 flavors in a round blue tin.

I feel so special, and he brightened my day! I am cleaning, sorting and organizing, getting ready or a pre-move yard sale on Saturday. I am going to sit down and have a treat and take a break from all the stuff I have been doing! Thanks so much, Steve, for my treat!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Mail from the White House

Last year the President came to visit the USS Ronald Reagan. I have a picture of Steve shaking the President's hand. I sent a copy of the picture to the White House, along with some nice patriotic (and photo safe) paper. I enclosed a letter, explaining how my husband is assigned to the Reagan and here was a picture to show the President shaking his hand. I asked if I could have an autograph on the photo safe paper, not the photo itself, because the acids in the ink would eat through the picture. Nothing like a little scrapbooking education for the leader of the free world, huh?

I also enclosed a self addressed, postage paid photo mailer so the photo and signature paper could be sent back to me with no addition to our budget deficit. I'm such a good citizen.

Well yesterday I got a response! I was so excited that when I tore into the envelope I almost tore up the White House's return address & postmark! Inside was a letter on watermarked, embossed and letterheaded paper. From a secretary.

The letter thanked me for my letter, and Steve for his service to the country, and said the President was unable to fulfil my request.
I thought, hmmm.

He isn't in the White House much, so I expected a computerized signature. I wasn't too picky because I wanted it for my scrapbook, not for Ebay.

I finish reading the letter that was sent, and it says they have enclosed something that they hope will make up for it. It is an 8x10 of the President, and underneath his head it says "To Stephen McConnell, God Bless America" and what is after that? A computerized signature!

Part of me says, why couldn't they just print that signature out on my photo safe paper? The other part of me says who cares? This photo is personalized to Steve, and signed! Yay!

I sent this in late November or early December, meaning for it to be a birthday present for Steve. It's a little late, but oh well! I am putting it in his USS Ronald Reagan scrapbook. Now, onto acquiring a unique Father's Day gift...

Steve got his package!

Yay! He said that the "vultures" were circling when he opened it, wanting goodies, and that the homemade candy didn't melt, so yay! I am already compiling a list and rounding up treats to go in the next box, to be sent out on the first.

It has been 11 days since I last posted. Not much going on here at our end. The kids go to school, I volunteer at the school, then come home and wage war on the dirty house, the kids come home and mess it up again, and so on. We still keep to the routine, but field trip Saturday has been sorely lacking since I don't drive the interstate. There aren't a lot of places to go here on Coronado.

Anyway, the ship pulled into Australia, they had a good time, and pulled back out. Steve had duty while in port and Australia was expensive so he didn't do much, but it was still nice to eat a nice meal and get off the ship. He also was able to get ahold of a phone and phonecard, and call home. That was the highlight for us! We have missed hearing his voice.

Hopefully we will get to hear his voice again when he hits the next port: Singapore!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Golden Shellback!

Here is a picture of Steve! He is now a Golden Shellback! Polliwogs are those who have never crossed the Equator before, and Shellbacks are those who have. Normally when a ship crosses the Equator, the Polliwogs become Shellbacks. But when a ship crosses the International Date Line and the Equator at the same time, they become Golden Shellbacks.

Steve is dressed as a pirate, complete with a pretend sword, parrot and eye patch. In the days before (and the day of) the crossing, there is a little friendly competition between the 'Backs and the 'Wogs, since the 'Wogs are impertinent and have to be shown who's boss.

Steve sent me this picture today, but since he crossed the IDL, it is already tomorrow for him. Confusing, huh?

I made a "Daddy Time" clock with a photo collage of Steve on it, and numbers too, of course, so we know what time it is wherever Daddy is.

Today is Tuesday, I can't believe it has been a full week since I last posted. Not much happened. I sent off Steve's first care package today, full of cookies and homemade candy, which I am hoping doesn't melt before it arrives onboard ship. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

At night, the dog has taken to sleeping on my legs, atop the covers, facing the bedroom door, as if keeping watch over me. Thank goodness he is just a mini dachshund and not a St. Bernard!

Katie is currently painting a ceramic tea set, which I will "fire" in the oven to set the paint. Jonathan is munching on some Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans that came in the mail today from my mom. Today we went to the farmer's market for a few strawberries, oranges and flowers. And tonight's dinner will be tacos. Woohoo!

That's about all that is new in our neck of the woods. More later.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It has been a week

...since Steve left. I remember last Tuesday night he put the trash out for Wednesday morning collection because I would have forgotten. I was a little more concerned with squeezing in a few more minutes of Steve time than taking out the silly trash.

By this time last week, liberty had expired and me & the kids were killing time in Audra's van. There were people manning the rails of the ship.

So what has happened since then? We have kept to the schedule. We saw Chicken Little with Audra and her friend Briana, who has the cutest baby girl! We had ice cream on Sunday. I was out of bananas and all the fixin's but ice cream alone was fine. Katie and I did a craft on Monday, which the dog promptly chewed up. I told her not to leave it on the floor because foam is the dog's favorite snack of choice, but what do I know?

Jonathan got some modeling clay from the store but didn't want to sculpt it, and I didn't make him. Yesterday, Tuesday, we went to the farmer's market, which had a lot of things, but not what we usually buy. We got 3 pints of strawberries, but most things we like were out of season. Peaches, cherries, blueberries, and those tiny little grapes, all not there. They did have avocados, citrus, broccoli, apples, dates and other fruits & vegetables. Beets, ugh. And flowers for sale too. They had some really pretty roses and tulips. But I didn't get any, just strawberries this time.

Today is park day, so we will go to a park in town after school. There is one off of Second Street with public toilets in case we need to *go.* Features like this are important with 2 kids.

Katie will get a double dose of parks today, since it is early release day, we go to the little park by the school for the 30 minutes between her dismissal and her brother's.

Speaking of school, I need to get them off and running. TTYL.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The weekly schedule

So to pass the time and have a little bit of routine that we can count on, the kids and I are going to keep a schedule. It goes as follows:

Monday-Games or crafts day -play board games in the evening, or make a craft, on alternating weeks.

Tuesday-Farmers market day-go into town and shop at the farmer's market, and dip our toes into the water at the littl ebeach that is up there, too.

Wednesday-Go to the park. Coronado has 14 parks. Most have public bathrooms. We can visit the ones withthe bathrooms, anyway.

Thursday-Library day-guess where we go today?

Friday-Popcorn & movie night-make popcorn and pick a DVD or watch a movie on TV. It is a privilege to stay up late on Friday night!

Saturday-Field trip day-a trip to the zoo or other lengthy outing that takes too long to be enjoyed on a weekday afternoon.

Sunday-Sundae Sunday--banana splits all around, to mark the end of one week and the beginning of another.

We didn't do the park on Wednesday, I didn't feel like it, and the kids were tired from being up so early. Katie actually fell asleep on the living room floor in the afternoon.

On Thursday we went to the library and checked out books and some CDs to listen to in the car.

Tonight's Popcorn & a Movie selection was Bambi. I am hoping that the kids will sleep in a little from being up late. We'll see.

Tomorrow is Field Trip Saturday. We are not going anywhere special, just to a free movie on base--Chicken Little. But the kids haven't seen it and so I am sure they will enjoy it.

That's all for now. We are hanging in there.