Thursday, December 31, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I was so exhausted from the last two days' events I crashed early. Apparently, there were some great football games on so John was up at 11 pm when the first phone call came. It was my dad. My 21 year old cousin, James, was in a horrible car accident.
My first question, obviously, "Is he alive?" My dad could only answer with an "I don't know, we're driving to Zephyrhills Hospital right now." Now my heart starts racing and a million questions make their way to the functioning parts of my brain.
About an hour later, I call my dad back and here's what my exhausted brain hears: "Nell, he's pretty mangled. I'm sitting with him now because Linda doesn't want him to be left alone."
Me: "Oh, ok. Well, call me if you need to."
By now I'm finally in touch with my sister, who is hysterical. "If anything happens to him, I will really collapse. He's my boy, Nellie." My sister and James are close in age and have really hung out through their teenage years. Stacie has just experienced way too many deaths in her short lifetime, including the suicide of her childhood friend Nicole just a month ago.
I do my best to calm her down and tell her to just text me with an update. At this point, I think she's on her way to the hospital to visit. At 1am the house and cell phones start ringing. I told her to text, but she's calling. Weird. I drift back off to sleep.
I call my mom as soon as my eyes open. She's delirious and I can't understand her. I call my dad's cell and reach him. "No, Nell, he's not ok. He's dead. Babe, I thought I was clear last night."
"Uh, no, Dad. You weren't." I'm crying now. Turner is asking what's wrong. How do I explain my tears to him? Oh, my God. The day got worse and spilled in the next...
My family has camped during the week/end of Thanksgiving at the Hillsborough River State Park for 50 years. Immediate and extended family sleep in tents and campers all parked in a row. The kids and adults play all day and I know everyone looked forward to it throughout the year. It was our time to touch base with second and third cousins, great aunts and that lady who is related to your dad's uncle and twice removed (Katie Ogden may respond with an actual answer!). Thanksgiving day we'd scurry around and cook on the fire and tiny electric stoves. Football was broadcast on teeny tiny TVs with rabbit ears and everyone just enjoyed a slower week. The turkeys were usually cooked in someone's home -Mammer (my grandmother) would stay home to make hers and then come out to the park. There were odd pies, sweetpotatoe casseroles, dips, and sauces galore. Any and all Southerners' favorite foods were piled on mis-matched tables in the pavillion by the Hillsborough River. The staff at the park would even ask if so-and-so was coming because they've not yet reserved a spot.
The first time I ever missed a Thanksgiving at the park was college. I was devistated. The first time my family missed the park was when they travelled to Charleston, SC for my wedding. After that, John and I never got to go back. We toyed with the idea this year, but decided a quite weekend at home was needed. I regret the decision and probably will for ever. I know you can't change the past but to see James' smiling face or get one of his signature hugs would have lasted me a lifetime.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The kids had been passing around a mystery fever. Wednesday, Eli's got up to 104 so just to be safe I took him to the Naval Air Station clinic (like a mini ER/urgent care). Of course, the fever broke at the clinic and then he was cranky and covered in a head to toe rash. I decided to be safe and wait to see a doc even though I knew it was nothing since he was acting fine, otherwise. We made it back home and I tried to get him to sleep. Something at the clinic spooked him. Maybe it was the bitchy nurse that wanted to be home baking pies or the kid with whooping cough. The poor guy just couldn't sleep. After two hours of consoling, rocking, holding and exhaustion we finally got him down.
My Bon Appetite Thanksgiving wasn't even prepped for. I threw in the towel and went to bed.
Thursday I started cooking/baking/sauce making immediately. I was really on a roll until my beautiful double Kitchen Aid ovens stopped working and LOCKED MY DAMN PIES IN THE OVENS. Seriously? The day was getting better. Eli was still cranky from his missed sleep so I put him on my back and dealt with hair pulling. We had invited a single sailor over for dinner so I could not jump ship. I made John call him and push dinner back a few hours. My ovens were still locked and, unlike the Turkey Hotline, there is no one working at Kitchen Aid on Thanksgiving!
I haven't even prepped the turkey when I realized it was all just coming apart at the seams. Since I'm cookin' a bun in my own oven the smells were all over-powering and I wanted nothing more than a cup of tea and to go back to bed!
Hours and hours later it all worked out. We had a wonderful meal for 16 (?!?!) and all on time. Well, the second time.
Later that evening, John cleaned the house. The dishes were done and I was in a non-alcoholic coma. I thought that was the end of the worst Thanksgiving in the history of this Baggett family.
Boy, was I wrong...
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tonight was the Boone's second FRG meeting under our new presidency. The Family Readiness Group is a command sponsored group of volunteer spouses who try to provide morale building activities for all family members and service members. We plan parties on the ship for the kids, try to have a Mom's Night Out, fundraise, build relationships so the family and service members of the Boone can meet the challenges of Navy life.
I never been involved in this sort of thing before kids. I was on my own and didn't really feel the need to be a part of something like an FRG. Now, though, I think it's an important way to not only to show support for the ship and your husband but to just get out there and do something. Why not do one more positive thing to make deployment smooth? As the boys get older, I want them to see that I didn't sit around and grumble about underway time and deployments (even if I do!). It's so important to me to show them that they're not "entitled" to anything just because we uprooted them every 18 months.
This was the last (it better be) underway before deployment so the FRG is gearing up for all sorts of fun stuff. I'm hoping that we can make this a great experience for everyone involved.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I'm taking a deep breath and just trying not to have another panic attack, but it's the truth. I'm about 7 weeks now. I'll go and see the midwife December 11th for my first appointment.
Right now I'm nervous, ambivalent, annoyed, hopeful, doubtful, scared and stunned. I mean, obviously, I know HOW it happened but it doesn't lessen the shock value. The reason I am all of the aforementioned feelings: John is leaving for deployment not to return until the week the baby is due in July. After that, we will be moving to our next duty station in August where Turner will start preschool.
I can't believe all of that is going to happen in the summer of 2010. I'm scared the boys will react adversely, Turner will hate all the associations, Eli will become even crazier and a third child will never get much but dragged around. I have two hands and am, at most, a married single mother. I can't believe I'm going to have to explain where daddy is to three little faces.
As much as I want to cry and sleep, I can't. I have a job to do and I intend on doing it well. While John is gone, the boys and I are going to make the most of the time we have together and I'm going to do everything in my power to be so organized (muah hahahaha) that we have a smooth transition from a family of four to a family of FIVE.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
At JoAnn Fabric I bought 1/2 yard (1/4 for each color) fleece fabric, sheets of brown, black and white felt and two pairs of white gloves for $7.40.
Double the fabric, and trace a circle at least 12 inches in diameter. I had a mixing bowl that was the perfect size.
Now, for the next step I wish I could say I got all Martha but I didn't. I was going to sew the hats and have fun "make believe" toys for the boys' stash of stuff...but...
I hot glued all the parts together! Lame, but it worked! Glue the edges of the largest rounds. Flip "right side" out. Then, glue the bill, flip it "right side" out and glue to the edge of the small hole in the hat. You'll get the idea when you see the hats and read the blog I linked to!
Eli had a pair of overalls and I stumbled upon a pair of overalls for Turner at a local resale shop for $5.99. Top it off with two Granimals brand Wally World shirts for $3.50 each! Oh, and the brown felt is to make little shoe covers and attaching at the back with a hairband. We'll see if that works!
So, for about $20 I've got Mario & Luigi!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Our next duty station was Monterey, CA. Fall in that part of California was still on the edge of an Indian Summer. I wasn't complaining, considering the other 10 months of the year it was cold and damp. We did get to experience our first real pumpkin patch! It was neat to pick out a pumpkin that was sitting in the exact spot it grew. After Monterey, we were lucky enough to be in New England.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Today was my first "long" run. I say "long" because it was just 3.75 miles. I am sticking to a Runner's World training program and just running 3 days a week. It's a great way to stay focused but not stuffing the kids in BOB to run all the time. Most important is going to be my long run and, since it's probably going to be the only time I'll run alone, I have to make sure it's good.
I haven't paid attention to time, yet. I'm just working on getting my form and pace back down. I feel like I made great time today but we'll see next time when I run with a watch on.
This week is an off week since we're leaving for Chad's wedding Thursday morning. I'll be running 3-4 miles Monday and Tuesday and crossing my fingers to get 5 miles in after (if) John comes home Wednesday. I don't want to count on getting out for a run in Lynchburg since it's our famly vacation before John leaves for deployment.
Friday, October 2, 2009
I took the crazies to the gym to see Ms. Debbie, worked my shoulders, did some training stuff for my legs, stopped in at the children's museum to play, came home and had a nice quick lunch, they both took short naps and woke up cranky...so we headed to the zoo, ran in to a detour on the single road that goes to the zoo, drove around north Jacksonville for an hour while Turner told me it was ok that I was lost (who said I was lost? my GPS/phone kept telling me that the road I was on didn't exist), made it to the zoo at 4:53 -7 minutes before closing, ran around the zoo (literally), ate dinner in the back of the car, decided to go to Chick-fil-a as all those calories burned and impending Auntie visit made mommy super hungry, ran around like caged animals in the super awesome play area with no nasty ball pit, came home and took a warm bath, snuggled on the couch, put Eli to bed, and then snuggled even more with super silly Turner.
I hate not telling him the details of the day, like when Eli got the attention of everyone at Chick-fil-a because his squeals (aka high pitched screams) seemed to interrupt peoples' dinners. Or, that Turner reminded me that you can't see Daddy from the bridge on the way to the zoo because the ocean is in the other direction and that we're crossing a river.
It's hard entertaining the thought that there will be 7 (give or take) months of not sharing details. Oh! I tried the most wonderful drinking chocolate, I'm seeing a nutritionist/trainer for my race training, I let Eli get too big and wasted a brand-new-never-been-worn pair of Riley Roos, I scared the kids when I clapped really loud, Eli said "Hi Daddy!" when we went over a bridge and saw water, I found the missing orange baba, John's ribons came in for his super spiffy mess dress, I found outfits for the boys to wear to Chad's wedding and I decided that they're going to be Mario and Luigi for Halloween.
See? That's a whole lot of detail for one day...and that's not even the half of it. You may be asking yourself (probably not, but let's pretend): Why, with technology, won't you be in much contact with your sweet husband? Well, that's the beauty of his ship. It's the second oldest in the Navy...and it shows. It's like trying to upload picutres if you're on dial-up. All but impossible. Yay. Go Navy.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I am so grateful to spend so much time with him. The good and the not so awesome all end the same way. With one sweet little toddler comfortably residing in my bed at night.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I'm not sure if civialian wives will fully understand this quote. I mean, I know any wife (ahem, spouse) can relate to being some sort of angry when their husband says they'll call and he doesn't, or the garbage didn't get taken out. It's probably hard for most, though, to imagine that life can some times be more difficult when their husband is around. I mean, can you suppose doing every single thing your way and then having your husband back after more than half a year? How much do you change (for the better, obviously!) in 6 -8 months? Can you imagine your husband having been gone so long he had to take a class to learn how to "reincorporate" himself in to his family's life? Military wives will understand The Cycle or ECOD (Emotional Cycle of Deployment). Even if a military wife has never had a name for it, she's felt all of the emotions. Military wives don't mean to feel anger, but think of missing out on more than 6 months of speaking to your husnbad. Missing his touch, hearing his words, smelling his scent, watching him play with your children. Anger just happens.
It's hard thinking of this, in advance. To most, it's "early" but we really don't have much time. John is underway here and there and then it's "time." I'm starting to get things in order: ordering Daddy Dolls, planning trips, thinking of crafty ways to bide our months, and realizing it's all true.
Emotions run high (I CAN DO THIS!) and low (OMG I HAVEN'T SPENT ONE RESTFULL NIGHT WITH MY HUSBAND...THIS IS REALLY GOING TO HURT OUR MARRIAGE). Emotions. Emotions. It gets blurry. What am I supposed to feel? Who the hell has time to "feeeel" with two toddlers, a house, and extra hands around to help? WTF are feelings?
According to most sources, there are five stages of the ECOD. However, with new Operation Tempos (OPTEMPOs) from the past few years seven stages have been identified for military families.
Stage 1 – Anticipation of Departure
Stage 2 – Detachment and Withdrawal
Stage 3 – Emotional Disorganization
Stage 4 – Recovery and Stabilization
Stage 5 – Anticipation of Return
Stage 6 – Return Adjustment and Renegotiation
Stage 7 – Reintegration and Stabilization
Stage 1- Anticipation of Departure: In this stage, spouses may alternately feel denial and anticipation of loss. As reality sinks in, tempers may flare as couples attempt to take care of all the items on a family pre-deployment checklist, while striving to make time for “memorable” moments. In the new emotional cycles of deployment, Stage 1 may begin again before a couple
or family has even had time to renegotiate a shared vision of who they are after the changes from the last deployment.
We are --->here. One minute I'm Rosie the Riveter, the next I'm an emotional wreck. I cried when, two days before we left for Lynchburg, I realized my favorite camera lense was broken. What if I missed one of the boys' last Daddy memories? It's a horrible stage, but expected.
Stage 2 – Detachment and Withdrawal: In this stage, service members become more and more psychologically prepared for deployment, focusing on the mission and their unit. Bonding with their fellow service members is essential to unit cohesion, but this may create emotional distance within the marriage. Sadness and anger occur as couples attempt to protect themselves from the hurt of separation. In the new emotional cycles of deployment, as this stage happens more often and more frequently, marital problems may escalate. When a husband or wife must repeatedly create emotional “distance”, they may gradually shut down their emotions. It may seem easier to just feel “numb” rather than sad, but the lack of emotional connection to your spouse can lead to difficulties in a marriage.
We experienced this while stationed in Japan and I know it will happen again. Not the "bonding with fellow service members" but the "protecting yourself" part. You have to protect yourself and your children and this creats a severe line. An inevitable but sever scar. It will always be there, but you'll always be able to look back on it and remember the shit you waded through.
Stage 3- Emotional Disorganization: With back to back deployments, one might think that this stage of adjusting to new responsibilities and being alone would get easier. Although a military spouse may be familiar with the routine, (s)he may also be experiencing “burn-out” and fatigue from the last deployment, and feel overwhelmed at starting this stage again.
I am already emotionally disorganized so this will be intersting!
Stage 4- Recovery and Stabilization: Here spouses realize they are fundamentally resilient and able to cope with the deployment. They develop increased confidence and a positive outlook. With back to back deployments, however, spouses may find it hard to muster the emotional strength required, but many resources are available to provide needed support.
When you realize how much you can do on your own, you can't help but stick your chest out and be proud. But, have you ever been the man and woman of your house? It's hard on the hubs when he comes back from so many months of gogogogo and realizes he has no "job" at home.
Stage 5- Anticipation of Return: This is generally a happy and hectic time spent preparing for the return of the service member. Spouses, children and parents of the service member need to talk about realistic plans and expectations for the return and reunion.
What do you think? Trench coat with nothing under it or super sexy sun dress with nothing under it? ;0)
Stage 6 – Return Adjustment and Renegotiation: Couples and families must reset their expectations and renegotiate their roles during this stage. The key to successful adjustment and renegotiation is open communication. Families also need to be prepared to deal with the effects of combat stress on the returning service member. Such stress and trauma can be difficult to deal with. Troops with combat stress are often irritable, guarded, and want to be alone. Some may use increased alcohol or drugs in a failed attempt to “numb” the emotional pain they are experiencing. Attempts at renegotiation may result in increasing marital arguments.
Stage 7- Reintegration and Stabilization: This stage can take up to 6 months as the couple and family stabilize their relationships anew. As noted with Stage 6, the presence of
combat stress can severely disrupt the stabilization process. Reintegration and stabilization can hit more roadblocks when a family must make a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move immediately upon the return of the service member. Back to back deployments create stress as families stabilize only to begin Stage 1 once again.
This will be the case. We'll be up for orders in Jan/Feb and then, as John returns home I will begin the move process with the boys.
For me, being separated by an ocean or a contenent isn't tough. I've been there before. Explaining where Daddy is, day after day, week after week is heart-wrenching. At times, it seems like I'm the only one but I know better. There are Daddy's that don't come back and marriages that don't survive. There is always someone that has it worse.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I, most certainly like you, am oddly intrigued and repulsed by the Duggar Family. 19, amost 20 children from the same woman? No, thank you. I have time enough with two. I mean, really, Michelle, you proceeded to have sex with this man after the 4th or 10th child?!? No, thanks, Jim-Bob (WTF kinda of name is that?) I don't want a dose of your super sperm tonight. Tee hee hee, I said sperm. I wonder what she calls it. Godly love fluids? Bleah.
All craziness aside: Michelle Duggar lives in a state of zen. How does she do it? Herbal supplements? Drugs? What is it?!? I want to know. No, no. I NEEEED to know.
The boys are great, they're wonderful...but they're also 3 and 15 months. I really try, everyday, to make things as engaging and awesome as I can. I always fall short, but that's not the hard part. It's the days I fall short (everyday) and also have zero patience that are the absolute worst. Not only do I feel bad for not giving the boys everything I possibly can, I also feel crappy for losing my temper.
Tomorrow is another day.
Tomorrow I will channel Michelle Duggar's patience...just not her uterus.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
FL Challenge 1/2 Marathon -Tampa 1/31/10
ING Miami Marathon -Miami 1/31/10
I can't decide between these two. I may take the boys down to have a night with Noni & Pop Pop and drive to Miami, see my SIL and run the ING. Not sure.
Breast Cancer Marathon -Jax 2/21/10
This is a definite. I've wanted to run this since the inaugural year and now have the chance to do it.
Guana River 50k Train Run -PV Beach (Jax) 3/28
The piece de resistance! Yes 30 miles. Once you get up to 26.2, who's counting?
These are the races I've found and am interested in so far. By the time March comes around I am assuming a substantial break will be needed, there will be sparse races in the south and I will be house-hunting for our next duty station!
My goals is to run and complete these races. I am setting these goals not just for myself but for the boys, too. I will start this deployment-with-kids-stuff off on the right foot. It's important for my kids to understand that life doesn't stop with daddy's gone. I want them to see that not only can we survive (my back up plan) but we can thrive and succeed in living a great life.
Friday, September 25, 2009
I feel like a new woman...almost.
I am resolving to get back on the wagon and post regular updates. I think it will be important for deployment time. John explained his internet connection like as pretty archaic. Sweet. The way I fiugure, if he's got a second, he can long on and find the blog *hopefully* updated.
So, to my loyal few friends, stay posted. Things may actually get interesting.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I love you, little buddy.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I loved running.
I felt accomplished. I felt cool. Like I was good at something.
Running in the rain could always cure my teenage angst. It was always a time when I could think straight through all the hormones. I loved hearing my feet on the dirt road.
Fast forward a few years. Running gave me something to do when John was gone for over 280 days while we were stationed in Japan. It gave me peace of mind when I thought I was going crazy with the "baby blues" and it made me feel like me again after having Turner.
It's been since February 2008 (ok, probably a few weeks longer) since I've been on a good run. Most people probably remember how long it's been since they've had a cigarette, eaten a forbidden food, or had sex. I, however, remember how long it's been since I've been on a good run.
I'm done making excuses. I'm running a 5k on Saturday. It's the start of my "run every race up to a marathon by February 2010" goal. Just to check my stamina, I set out yesterday and ran a 5k. Nice. I've still got it. I mean, not the time or anything -but my heart is still in shape. Let's not get on the subject of my flabby ass...
There. I've said it. I'm running a 5k on Saturday. Then it's a 10k, Tour de pain, half marathon and marathon. I've given myself a year because no one really runs these things during the summer down here. I'm hoping this will give me the motivation to remember why I love running. Just because I think it's cool.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
We were at the smal park in our community and two boys came in the gate. He turned to ask me "Hey, what's hees name?" and I about fell over. This? From the kid who clings to my leg? Wow! I immediately said "I don't know, let's go ask them." We walked up to the two boys and I tried to get Turner to ask their names. He didn't, but their grandmother got the general idea. Not even two minutes later Canon and Turner were throwing a football! It was the most adorable thing I've ever seen. Turner would even say "Yaaaaay Cannon. You caught the ball!"
Canon and brother Mason (3 and 13 months) and Turner ran around and collected sticks to put in a pile. I cannont wait for Eli to run around with his brother. I hate wishing for time to go faster, but I just want to watch them run together!
We came home and along the way collected all the magnolia leaves we could find. It seemed like Turner still wanted to play so we went out back to play and investigate things. In the play house, there was a frog! Just a tiny little rain frog. Turner squated and said "Hey! What is that?" I said "A frog!" And out of nowhere, with Mr. Miyagi-like skills caught the frog with his thumb and index finger! I was so excited, I ran and grabbed the first camera I saw. He caught his first frog! Again, adorable.
After Mr. Froggie had been loved to death (I'm pretty sure he was just stunned.), it was time for a nap. I thought the day had already gone great. When Turner woke up we were talking about changing his diaper and about how big boys go on the potty. Out of no where, he said he needed to pee and he wanted to go on the potty. He went several times and then just didn't feel like it any more. I was caught off guard and didn't have any cool "potty pants" or special treats. I'm hoping when the time really comes it's going to be that easy!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
How to figure this out is something I've got to do. I feel like I've given up my body for long enough this time around. It's time to get my groove back. Groove? I'm not even sure if I ever had that in the first place.
I went for a run the other day, a la double stroller. It was tough (32lb stroller + 50lbs of kiddos -120lbs of me...give or take, depending on how much milk I'm packin'), but when I got back to the house I had that feeling. That little feeling that I love when I'm done working out. That little something that says you're better for doing this. That inner athlete feeling.
I'm pretty sure getting back in to running is a step in the right direction. The gym is a little tough for me right now. I think, though, in the coming months I'm going to check out the local gyms and the kiddie care they have. Especially when it will be too hot to run outside. I hate having the kids just sit and smolder in the stroller while I enjoy the wind. Something seems wrong with that.
That being said, I've picked out my first race. The Tour de Pain (seriously, that's the name) is in August. Honestly, I don't see it being all that bad from the cardio stand point. I can just imagine how sore you are, running 3 races in two days! There are also the logistics of training for a race considering the lack of extra hands around here. I can't depend on a schedule of any sort and I'm going to have to take what I can get!
Monday, April 20, 2009
This week he's not the least bit interested in ANYTHING he can't pick up himself. It took a few days, but I'm over the shock. I milled T's food up until at LEAST 11 months. It was probably around the year mark that I let him start eating things on his own. I mean he wasn't eating pureed foods, but...
I just know how much nutrition I can shove in to home made from scratch baby food. It kills me that he's refusing the organic, wholesome, cubes I've got tucked in to the bottom drawer of the freezer. So....
There was an entire pot of beef (fillet cut, of course) and veggie soup I made the night before. I thought I'd try and shove it in to a pancake. Why? Earlier that day, John had given Eli one of Turner's pancakes (with spinach and blueberry). At first, I freaked out because it had chocolate and a bit of added stevia. But, Eli gobbled it up so fast I thought he dropped it!
Trader Joe's Baking Mix is my absolute favorite for making pancakes. I used the broth from the soup instead of milk, added some of the already pureed beef and finely chopped the veggies. So far, they're going over well. The way I figure, it's more than he'd be getting if he were feeding him self. There's no way he'd be able to chew up the beef with just two molars. I'm pretty proud of my little idea!
On the griddle right now: carrot, sweet potato and apple pancakes. In the dry mix is also wheat germ, ground chia seeds, cinnamon, allspice and ground ginger. I just tasted the first batch and they were super bland. I just added a bit of brown sugar (since my agave nectar, stevia and more random things are still somewhere in the garage in the missing food box). I also added a bit of milk because the chia seeds are soaking up all the liquid! Oh, the apple, sweet pots and carrots were cubes of food that were already pureed.
Spinach & Blueberry with silken tofu, chia and wheat germ
Chicken -but maybe in a "crab" cake form?
Food wise, I'm just letting him test his limits. It's just hard, though, figuring out the finger foods or whether or not he's eaten enough x, y, or z for the day. I am still offering the pureed stuff, just because it's going to go to waste if I don't do something with it.
Sigh, pancakes are up...
Friday, April 17, 2009
Any way, she came over to let me know something was wrong with a sprinkler. Upon reluctant investigation, it looked like a water main break. We were spewing gallons and gallons of restricted water all over the driveway and in to the street. Ah! I don't even know how to turn off the stupid water. Sad...
So, here's my list of things I need to learn to do before John starts getting underway.
1. Turn the sprinklers off.
2. Take the trash out (3 glorious years of barely touching the bins -but, this was after 14 months of meticulously separating EVERYTHING in Japan)
3. Quit having an adrenalin rush every time something goes bump in the night.
4. Make dinner and feed myself. Yes, actually eat dinner and not yogurt or cereal...or wine...
5. Find a plumber, the gas man, and all the other men in my life.
6. Change a tire in a shorter amount of time. As in, under 10 minutes so the kids to freak out. Is that possible?
7. Exercise my Second Amendment right. Well, at least have a legal firearm with proper protection and education. I know all about it, Southern style...
8. Make time for myself.
9. Stop "treating" the boys to make up for the fact that Daddy's not here. It's just a fact. We have to live with it and it does not mean I have to buy cars every time we're at Target!
10. Regain the hand over the finances. Shore tours, it's John's job. Sea tours, my job. Ah! Excel...
There are probably more things I need to (re)Learn but I think that's a lofty (enough) goal for now.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I try to remind myself, every day, that the kids are only this little once. In a year, Turner's not going to be telling me he's "gonna dit" me, Eli's not going to be nursing and sticking his fingers in my mouth and up my nose. Turner won't be listening to my heart with his Cookie Monster stethoscope or asking "Tan you tiss it?" I will sorely miss these moments...
Some days. COME ON!
Wait, I just reminded myself to stop. One day, I'll be rewinding home videos wishing I was looking schleppy and enjoying my babies. Hopefully, Ollie won't be biting my boobs. My hair won't be pinned up and this huge zit won't exist because I was able to wash my face regularly!
Ok, I feel better. I'm in regular motion now.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The menu this week ended up being that of survival. I am trying to use all the groceries I bought on Sunday but I'm not going to beat myself up. I did end up with $42 in savings. I had a few great coupons...
Tonight is the first night I've not had to nurse Ollie for hours on end. Holy molars and mystery illness!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
$5.50 in vendor coupons, $4.00 in store coupons (actually, they were Food Lion coupons -one included $2 off a purchace of $5 or more in produce!), $34.78 in advertised special savings and $1.09 in advantage savings.
My greatest purchaces this time around: B1G1 Olive Oil and $1.99 Contessa Meals (for John this week)! The best was the deal on jars of Earth's Best Organic baby food. I make all of Ollie's food, but I picked up a few "just in case" jars. I found a $1 off 10 jars coupon from the Earth's Best site, then I had a $1 off 6 jars from Food Lion. It was B1G1 so the total for 10 jars was about $3.40!
Last week's cilantro/lime/beer chicken was the best chicken I've ever made! Here's the "recipe."
whole chicken, cleaned, patted dry
1/2 stick butter, softened
s & P
red potatoes cut in to quarters
In a glass pan (or roasting pan if you're special), toss in potatoes and whatever else you decide must go in.
In a bowl, combine butter, cilantro, cumin, paprika, garlic. Rub S & P all over outside of chicken. Cut tiny holes (two on breast side, two on back side) in the chicken skin. Shove your fingers in there...lovely...and separate the skin from the muscle. Put some of the butter mixture under the skin and massage until you use it all up. I wipe my hands all over the outside of the chicken when I'm done. Gives the skin some goodness. Oh! and toss some of that beer in the pan.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Garlic/lemon/wine roasted chicken (69 cents/lb) with asparagus and red potatoes. The plan is to process the herbs and place under the skin -using as little extra added fat as possible. I was going to stop doing this whole roasted chicken thing but it's so easy...
Sunday (duty day):
Cheesy Chicken & Mushroom Lasagna -probably adding spinach since I have a bag and like green stuff
Spring Soup (recipe to follow if it all works out!)
Ingredient Ideas: leeks, peas, asparagus (1/2 the bunch from Saturday), stock from scratch, bits o' chicken, carrots, Arborio rice, herbs
Veggie Pizza John picked up from Fresh Market
Wednesday - Friday: taking the kiddos down to LOL for Grandma's 87th birthday
ORGANIC carrots; apples; root veggies (carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes); green beans
Trying CVSing this weekend. Finally. I've really wanted to see what I can get with the extra care bucks since I got my card in. Hopefully, I don't flake out!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
John's grandparents have been here since Sunday afternoon. John's been at work from early 'til late. Turner has been excited and 2 1/2. Eli has been his usual charming but "passionate" self. Did I mention I'm here alone with 4 kids? Fay and Lola, though sweet and endearing, are like an extra set of toddlers. A million questions. "Can you make lunch? What's for breakfast? Is there coffee? After this car, can you go? Better hurry before the light turns.' A million requests over and over again. All in the most annoying (sorry babe) loud New Jersey accent.
It all came to a head today when I was trying to get dinner together in early in the afternoon. Eli had skipped his early morning nap (because Lola decided that, right when Ollie fell asleep, she would ask if he was sleeping...loudly), was super clingy and whiny and an eating machine. Turner was having melt down after melt down, wouldn't let me change his diaper and refused to put clothes on. Lola was sitting in front of the TV and hoarding "the buttons" and Fay was his usual adorable clueless self. Lola decided to come hang out in the kitchen. (My pet peeve.) The kitchen was a wreck because I couldn't seem to get anything done. Turner threw himself on the floor, Lola was standing in my way and Ollie just lost it. I was elbow deep in a raw chicken. Lola was blah blah blahing about how she freezes everything from deli meat to previously frozen turkies *gag.*All at once, everyone started questioning me about one thing or another and finally, it...happened...
I got to the place I've been searching for. The quiet among the chaos. The "I don't give a shit what your problem is, I'm here in my Mommy G Spot -don't bother me!" I did it. It was so movie-like. The screaming, the annoying outlaws, the babies, the mess, the oven beeping, the phone ringing. I was in a teeny tiny euphoric utopia. I just answered pleasantly the questions but was so disconnected. I didn't freak out. I just let it roll. I'm better for it. If I would have said what was on my mind many feelings would have been hurt. Turner would have been in a completely un-necessary time out and Ollie, well, he'd still just be sitting there stuffing himself with crackers.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday - Sorta Caesar Salad (sale on the lettuce and the mushrooms!)
Sunday -Bono's BBQ courtesy of the Grandparents-in-Law
Monday -beer and lime roasted chicken (69 cents/lb), cilantro rice, zuchini and tomatoes
Tuesday -chicken tortilla soup
Wednesday -fish, sauteed chard with garlic chips, simple risotto
Thursday -turkey and apple wraps with mixed greens, cheese and apricot/dijon sauce
Friday -parents in town, not sure what we're up to
Saturday -John's hail at the Captain's house
In all, I'm happy with how I've been paying better attention to the grocery situation. This past Friday I had a pity party for myself and went to Fresh Market. The $14 in savings from last week was negated by the $41 I spent on a pizza, wine and bananas! Oops.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
All week I'd been eased in to taking care of the boys all day -without the extra set of hands that have been around for so long. So, it wasn't all that bad. I took the boys out to the zoo in the morning. On the way back home, Turner tried to stay awake...until we got off on our exit. I tried so hard to keep him awake since it was only 11:30! He was talking all sorts of nonsense about blue monkies and Mr. Bear going down a slide. Poor kid, he just couldn't hang. We got home and the transfer from carseat to bed didn't go well. Nor did the rest of the afternoon. Hilights include when Ollie hit his head so hard he dented it, when Turner melted down and just couldn't keep it together and when I found Ollie noshing on a peanut butter sandwich and drinking milk. No one died, or was irreversibly damaged. I chalk that one up as a win!
It's 10am on Saturday and we're still waiting for CHENG to get home. Turn-over was at 0745. I have a feeling we're always going to be waiting on him!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Lemon Roasted Chicken with parsnips, carrots, red potatoes, and onion
Chicken on mixed greens with strawberries, avacado and balsamic dressing
Chicken Burritos with Mojo
Italian Turkey Pasta
Prosciutto, pine nut and spinach pizza (our splurge of the week)
chicken stock from the roaster
The reason behind so much chicken this week is that I wanted to see what could actually be done with the bird. Really, can you get down that low with the bad boy? Also, John's returning to work and how easy could this week be?!? I'm using as much pantry food as possible. Next week we'll be back to our fish 2-3 times per week and not so much meat. I plan to balance out that cost by doing some other cheap -but healthy(er) eats.
I've spent two evenings really researching the couponing world. While I don't think I'll go all that crazy with things since I don't have 12 kids to support, I do think we could benefit from a few cents off here and there. Who couldn't?
A few great sites so far:
A Full Cup
Southern Savers -check it out for "how to's" -like couponing and "CVSing."
Thursday, March 12, 2009
My parents worked hard to save money everywhere else, except for groceries. No lists were made, lots of produce was wasted, weird additive-ridden kid meals were eaten. My dad liked quality food; lots of veggies fish and meat. It was not uncommon to spend $200 per week on groceries. He never brought home doughnuts, but we did try foods from around the world (his favorite was to bring home "different" produce) along with brand name drinks, cookies, chips, junk...
When college came around, I was stuck paying for food with whatever money was left-over after bills. Once, right when I met John, I went to the store with $12 and a -$43.27 in my bank account (I saved the receipt because I hated that feeling of being in debt). It was the first time I actually paid attention.
Fast forward to 2009. I still hate coupons and bargain hunting but I can finally admit why. I don't know where to start. We move, have busy kids, I buy organic, you can't eat healthy on a budget, etc. Excuses, excuses. Thanks to the lovely Christine I found Cheap Healthy Good and a light switch was flipped on. If my food bills have been close to $200 (we just moved so there's an excuse!) for the last three weeks, what's it going to be like when my boys are teenagers? Good Lord!
My Mission: To see how low I can go. It's going to take a lot of planning but thanks to Southern Savers and a slew of other websites, the wheels are a churnin' and I'm ready to save some cash (so I can buy out Anthropologie...whole different post, I guess).
My Plan: To make my meal plans around what's on sale (no, I don't even do that!) without compromising my families desire to eat lots of organic items. We adhere to the organic meats, milk, and "dirty dozen" idea. The rest of our groceries will be conventionally grown. I'm going to post links and my meal plans. Later, I'll start posting costs, etc. Instead of just being for two adults, it will be servings for 4 with kids in mind.
I'm off to work on my excel sheets and lists before John gets back to work!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I did manage to get my bedroom-sized closet cleaned out. Anything we're packing and don't want the movers to touch we're stuffing in there. It's werid to see bags of snacks, laundry detergent, toys and the portable DVD player in there but it's the safest place in the house. These packout guys can get pretty careless. When we moved from San Diego to Japan, someone packed the bathroom trash can...along with it's contents. Lovely.
We usually get the cream of the crop in the moving world. When our driver for the move from Land O' Lakes to San Diego showed up he was alone. Yes, alone to move large items. Even better is that he had been in a previous "altercation" with the guys that were packing. Something involving guns...
The packers for San Diego to Japan were pretty stellar, too. They were not only lazy, but careless. Until I offered booze that could not be shipped and they shaped up pretty quick. They were stinky and fought with eachother the ENTIRE time.
Japan was out of this world! The packers showed up and took their shoes off EVERY time they came in the house. Carrying a couch? Take your shoes off! They even wrapped cushions. Oh, they were so wonderful. The took ONE break, to scarf down lunch. That was it!
The move from Monterey was an interesting one, too. One of the packers was a "shim." Turner saw her/him for the first time and said "look, a girl" because he was in the identifying stage. Yeah, honey, Mommy doesn't know what that is. The male packers, without being prompted, told us that shim was a female. In fact, she was dating the secretary. Yeah, we didn't need to know that. They took breaks like CRAZY and fought the whole time. The mover showed up with two guys he just hired. They fought the whole time and were so slow that we didn't leave until 11 pm!
So far, so good today. You can never tell until you're unpacking on the other end...
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
With the orders modification, the ship he's going to is "in the yards" -meaning it's being overhauled (instead of being deployed very soon) . No water time for him. Just long work hours. I know he'll leave the house around 4 and possibly be home by 7ish. The "ish" meaning later.
I'm just so happy we'll be in Jacksonville, where I can count on getting out of the house every day! I think it will make a big difference -getting out to the park, going for walks and just not having to brave single digit temperatures!
The packers come Monday and Tuesday and I've got NOTHING done. I figure just survive and we'll figure it out on the other end!
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Eli is such a sweet boy, but, man, he is non-stop. He has always had a strong personality but now he's starting to show (well, since 5 1/2 months) how quickly his motor skills are developing. He hits milestone after milestone. Just when I think "he HAS to have this week off from something" -he gets more teeth, or learns to clap. I have to change his diaper with his head/upper body between my legs just to get the dang diaper on half straight. He's very manipulative, and I fall for it. We've given up any hope for getting him to sleep on his own at any point right now. We've decided to wait until we get to Jacksonville to introduce him to Turner's crib. I need him to sleep for a few hours on his own. I'm going crazy.
Turner's starting to speak in sentences and I adore it! I love everything about the things he says. This morning, he had a motorcycle in one hand and half a banana in the other and says to me "Mommy! Which hand? The motorcycle or the banana?" It was so cute. Any time the camera is out he says "Mommy! Take a picture of me" and then makes the weirdest "cheese" face. It's hilarious.
The movers are coming the 9-11th and John graduates on the 12th. I'll be happy when this 3 years of schooling are finally over! When work is over, it's OVER! No more studying!! It's so hard when Turner's begging for Daddy to play but Daddy's working on flash cards.
I've been avoiding the gym with the excuse of not wanting the kids to get sick. EVERY time I go, someone gets a cold. I just can't deal with it right now and would rather deal with a giggly butt!
I guess when all's said and done and the boys are old enough to remember, they'll know their mamma played with them all day. Even if that meant the dishwasher never got unloaded and all the clean clothes are in a pile on the floor...
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Eli decided to really get the crawling thing down a little too well and the next day he thought it was high time to start pulling up on things. Within a few hours of one day, he figured out how to climb stairs. Just a few, but, still...
On top of that milestone, he got all four front teeth at once. We're still waiting on one, but the other three have required almost non-stop nursing. Especially at night. He's misreable! I'm so tired, I'm pretty sure this can't get any more ridiculous.
My New Year's resolution is (was) to start using more natural forms of sugar. It's day 5 and it's not happenin' so far. Tomorrow I'm picking up some stevia in powder form and date sugar as well. I think I'm going to try agave syrup. Everything sounded so good and postitve untill I started thinking about Bakerella's fun cake pops...