Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Is it really Number 112? That means it's been going on for over two years. Wow. Wow.

So, this week's theme is Before & After. Click on over to get full instructions and all that jazz.

As I sit here trying to type on my computer the only "Before & After" I can even contemplate is life before and after I had children.

Before I had children, my stomach was flat and stretch mark free. My lady lumps stayed up where they were supposed to and didn't fall out of their boulder holders.
Before I had kids my husband and I lived a never ending "date." Even going to the hardware store was romantic. Before I had children, I slept all weekend long, waking only to cuddle with my husband, go shopping, or eat. Before I had children, my evenings were mine to do with as I pleased. I did crafts, put together puzzles, played with my dogs, savored late night luxurious, slow dinners at fancy restaurants. We went to midnight showings at the movie theater. Almost every weekend. When he had duty on the ship, I'd visit him, a homemade dinner (okay, sometimes it was drive-thru) riding in the backseat.
Before I had kids I could go out of the house at any time without worries that there was snot on my shoulder, banana smashed into my leg and peanut butter on my bottom. My clothes were tidy and I at least tried to be somewhat fashionable. Before I had kids, my house, although slightly cluttered, was usually clean. Before I had kids my conversations were logical, my brain worked in an orderly fashion. I forgot nothing.
Before children, television was all about what I wanted to watch -- grownup TV, news shows, and raunchy night time dramas. Before I had kids I drove faster than the speed limit, worked more than my forty hours a week, trying to please demanding people with an occasional coffee or lunch break thrown in. When we drove long distances we'd drive and drive, only stopping for restroom, gas and food. Often at the same stop. Rock music blared from the speakers, and Yup, life was pretty good before kids.

Before I had children, I hadn't experienced the joy of being woken up at 5:00 by your child with a tackle, a snuggle and maybe even a sloppy kiss. I hadn't seen any ones face light up quite like my kids' do when I walk into the room. And I didn't know how enjoyable kissing those mushy fat cheeks was. I try to kiss those mushy fat cheeks as much as possible before they get to be grown up kid cheeks. My evenings are now filled with chores after the kids go to bed. But I get to watch my kids play in the tub together every night. Giggles fill the bathroom and water sops all over the floor. I get to snuggle a Little Monster every night, watch him learn to say his prayers and hear his thoughts about his day. I rock a baby Monkey girl to sleep at night, holding her close while I still can, because in a few days she'll be too big. And I kiss those mushy baby cheeks one more time. I get to peek in on those same children after they're asleep to see their angelic faces. Before I had kids, and before I "had" to go through this routine every night, my heart almost never felt so full of warm love that I thought it might burst.
Now that I have kids, it's a miracle if we get out of the house on time, all at the same time, all with clean clothes on and each wearing a set of matching shoes. However, that snot that's on my shoulder is because I was the only person who could comfort someones broken heart or physical pain. That banana smashed in my lap is because some little soul wanted to share her breakfast with me. And the peanut butter on my butt -- well, that's probably nothing sweet, but if it comes along with a lunch conversation about how fish sticks grow up into chicken nuggets and when fish sticks grow up into chicken nuggets he'll finally eat them, then I guess it's okay.
Now that I have kids, the conversations that happen in my house make no sense, but they make me laugh daily. Imagination fills our home with Batmen, Supermen and spider men -- all who wear rocket boots (snow boots or rain boots) daily. Capes are donned with our pajamas and some days those pajamas don't come off. It's more fun to wear pajamas all day anyway. I watch my children play together every morning, and again, my heart fills with love and amazement at how much they love each other.
Now that I have kids, the TV pipes Disney and PBS most of the time. But it doesn't matter because now that I have kids I realize how much CRAP is on TV. I drive the speed limit, especially through neighborhoods because I know how fast the kids can get away from even a diligent parent. I spend my days trying to please two very demanding children, but usually their demands are simple. Goldfish crackers, peanut butter sandwiches and milk. Play a game of pretend, and smother with love. I still get an occasional coffee break, but sometimes I have to bounce a baby in my lap or drink it on the run.
Now that we have kids road trips are a little different. There are more stops. And we have to get out of the car at each one, often to change a poop filled diaper. The rock music has turned into something more family friendly (most of the time). And the conversation is often about what rhymes, lives in castles or says MOO. But now the car fills with laughter or tears for silly reasons.
Before kids life was pretty good. Life was predictable and enjoyable. After kids, life is amazing. Everything is an adventure, filled with more love, laughter, tears and emotion than I thought possible. After kids nothing is predictable. If you can figure out how, though, you learn to laugh at the mishaps and circumstances. After kids life is wonderful. I wouldn't go back for anything.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Milspouse Fill in #1

So, I stumbled upon a new blog today, Wife of a Sailor. One that I think might be okay to read every now and then. Plus, I like to support the other families that are doing the same stuff we do. Her blog is a bit more "navy wife" than mine, but then, We've been on shore duty for a looooooong time! If you have a chance, check it out. Each weeks, she's doing a fill in. So, I figure I'll go with it. At least I'll have something to write every Friday. And I'd have something to write on Tuesdays (PrompTuesdays), too if I wasn't so lazy.

This weeks questions are:

1. How did you and your spouse meet?

2. What is the best thing about being a Mil Spouse?

3. What is the hardest thing about being a Mil Spouse?

4. What is your favorite dish?

5. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Here goes nothing! (sorry for those of you in a reader. I know. I'm messing up all over the place this week!)

1. Daddy and I met several times. The first time we met was at a wedding. He purchased a drink or several for me. It was sweet. But then he confused me with someone else. And I tried to stalk him and make him come bowling with us. But he claimed he was too drunk to go bowling. I know. I didn't know that was possible either. But he swears he was, so my friend and I stalked him and his purple truck all over his apartment complex. It took a few more months, some coaxing from friends, a few more beers, and he asked me to the Navy Ball. Of course, that wasn't without the preliminary "do we hate each other" blind date. Or the "omygoshhehasagirlfiendisitreallytrueitcan'tbe!" date to Monster's Ink where all of his friends and sister sat three rows behind us. I guess no one believed he had the guts to ask a girl out? It reminds us of this song:

2. The best thing about being a Mil Spouse is really a whole bunch of things mixed up into one. I love getting to see different areas of the country and meet all kinds of new people. Making new friends has become one of the best parts recently since I found PWOC . I get excited when we move and I can find another chapter and jump in. It makes you feel like you really belong where you're at, even if you're only there for a short while.

3. The hardest thing about being a Mil Spouse is the separation from friends and family. Hands down. Husbands leave for deployments, friends leave for new orders, WE leave for new orders. We've left our families. It's hard to make a new friend that you love and adore, and get close with them and then have to leave them after just a short time. It's extremely hard when you get to a new place, and you haven't found a place to fit in yet, and you don't have any friends. We don't have lives where we make friends who live down the street, and then you're friends with them for life. Your friends are only going to live down the street for a while, and one of you is bound to leave. You don't always have the option of calling up a friend or family member to come over on short notice to come hang out, because sometimes 'coming over' requires plane tickets, days of travel or it's just impossible. When our husbands are gone, things are hard, because we are missing our helpmate. Everything changes when people you want and love can't be near you.

4. My favorite dish. This is so mean. It changes! I've been trying to work out and eat right! What I'd really like to eat right now is some fried zucchini. And not the healthy kind. The kind where you use a whole stick of butter a ton of garlic and just cook the heck out of it. Until the butter is all caramelized and the garlic is one with the squash. mmmmm.

5. For some reason I just got a picture of myself in a ball gown, trying out for "Mrs. DOD spouse." If you're a Mil Spouse, you know all about those surveys they are always harassing you to fill out about the quality of your life. Mix that up with a little Beauty Pageant, and you'd have some ENTERTAINMENT!! ha ha. Okay. I digress. One thing I'd really like to change about the world -- I'd really REALLY like it if people were better about using good manners and sharing. I figure if everyone was polite and shared more, the worlds problems would melt away. If people were to give a little more and take a little less, then -- well, maybe a lot of our husbands would be out of a job! Seriously though. A very good friend once told me that if Saddam's and Adolf's mommies had taught them proper manners (especially how to share) the world would be a very different place right now.

See you next week! And don't forget to visit her blog to let her know you're going to join in the fun if you do!

Let's Pretend...

Do you remember yesterday when I said I was working on that entry about the deterioration of society in the last 100 years?

I'm still working on it. But it's getting to be a bit too complex and deep for a one blog post, especially on my light-hearted, unheard of "mommy blog." Too many things about society have changed so much and so many events are involved in those changes that it's almost comparing apples and automobiles. The both start with "a" but the similarities end there.

But for now, I want everyone to use their imagination.

Imagine for a second, that we are heading into World War I or II, only with the current times.

Now, remember what people had to sacrifice in World War I or II to keep the troops supplied with food and clothing. People had to ration all kinds of things necessary to their daily lives -- they gave up flour, sugar, anything containing rubber, etc. They dug up their lawns and flower gardens to plant more practical potato and vegetable gardens because the big farms were sending all the food to the troops overseas. They spent their free time sewing and making clothing for the troops. They spent their hard earned money on war bonds -- essentially loaning the government hundreds and thousands of dollars of their income so the government had money to buy those supplies for the troops. These are just a few of the day-to-day sacrifices they had to make.

Now. Think again about how that third world war thing. Would you be willing and able to give up what the people did back then? Would you be willing to stop eating out, buying your fancy coffees and eating your prepackaged foods? Would you dig up your grass and plant your own vegetables? Would you use public transportation and walk to reduce the amount of fuel consumption -- not because prices had become unreasonable, but because the government needed it? Would you be willing to give your life? Would you be willing to reduce all of your greedy consumption in order to supply soldiers in the field? Would you be willing to be patient and wait years for the conflict to be over? Would you be willing to let your sons and daughters go to fight, knowing they would not EVER get leave until the war was over? Would you be willing to raise your neighbor's child while their parents were overseas fighting?

I know I'm asking some hard questions. I don't know that I want to answer yes to all of the questions. I don't know that I can. But I know that people gave all of those things up and more for past conflicts. And it is at least partly because of those sacrifices that the wars ended as quickly as they did. I am not so certain that our society could give those things up without a fight about our "rights" to cheap gas and fast food. What do you think?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A change in plans -- and a tinkle.

I had planned to write something about the deterioration of society in the last 100 years. But it might be a topic too complex for my little light-hearted Mommy Blog.

Meanwhile, this afternoon as Daddy sat, enjoying his geekTV, Monkey girl, (AKA Butterball) grabbed his hand and pulled him up off of the couch. She then drug him down the hallway and beat on the bathroom door. So, he opened the bathroom door. At about that point, I joined him to see what was going on. We're used to being summoned into the kitchen for a snack, or a drink. Sometimes she'll even demand to go go bed. Once or twice, she's gone to the bathroom and expected a bath (she leans over and beats on the inside of the tub). But this time, she patted the toilet.

So, thinking it was a fluke, I pulled off her diaper and put her on the toilet. She sat there a minute, holding onto the handles. Her eyes gleamed with pride at being such a big girl on the potty. And after a few seconds, she let it loose. The little girl, barely 13 months old, tinkled on the toilet. And then she clapped her hands with us as we praised her.

And then we gave her a cookie.

I'm not giving up on diapers, or even expecting it to amount to much. But could she really be thinking about potty training? She can't pull down her pants or say "potty." That has always been my rule about when to start potty training - -that it was useless if they weren't old enough to do most of it by themselves. But I guess if she's going to drag us to the bathroom when she needs to go, it's one less diaper to change. And it's a start. Although it's a start I'm not sure I'm ready for.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Watch out Canada!

In hindsight it wasn't a good idea to tease our son. Really, probably not at all. There will probably be a huge reaction from him if we take him across the border to visit our friendly northern neighbor.

It all started out as a funny joke. We get a bit tired of the onslaught of questions every time we go somewhere. So the last time we left the house to run an errand, rather than explain that we were going to visit an endless barage of boring places, I told him we were going to Canada. And that naughty little boys all recieved a spanking upon entry.

"No mommy. We are not going to Canada!"

Yup, we are. So you'd better be good!

"No mommy. YOU'D better be good. YOU are gonna to get a spanking when we get to Canada. A'cuz dey only give spankings to naughty mommies in Canada. And you are a naught mommy. And YOU are gonna get a spanking!!"

Yup. In hindsight, it probably wasn't a good idea to tease my kid with Canadian spankings. Because he's going to be really disappointed if we ever visit niagara falls and there's not a spanking station at the border crossing. Not even for naughty mommies that tell stories to their 3 year olds.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy fathers day

Totally can't express it any better. Just consider it a regift. You can now relive your college years. As a parent.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Moments of Hilarity

Is Hilarity a word? Probably not. I don't care. Little Monster has been at his best lately. Here's some little pieces of proof:

Doorbell rings. (It's the pizza delivery gal.)
Daddy attempts to open the door to pay, while holding back both eager children and a crazy dog.
Pizza delivery driver notices Little Monster (wearing his pajamas and his green frog rain boots) and says:
How old are you?
I'm fwee.
Oh, you're three? What's YOUR name?
(In a very serious tone, with the most serious of furrowed brows) I'm ROCKETman! BSSSSSSSSHHHHHH!

Then the child turned around and "blasted off" down the hallway.
Daddy said that he was lucky to get his pizza. The lady laughed so hard she nearly dropped it.

The night was quiet. Daddy and I were enjoying some hard earned TV time, happy the kids had finally gone to sleep.


We both looked at each other with quizzical expressions, wondering what in the world was going on. We checked on Little Monster to find that his pillow and front of his shirt were wet. I said:

Little Monster, how did everything get all wet? Did you get sick to your stomach?!

NO! The waves just came! They came up and right into my window and got into mine bed. The waves splashed all over me and got me all wet!

We dropped Daddy off at the shop to get the oil changed in Schmitty. Meanwhile, the kids and I walked up to the store. As we were walking, Little Monster yells out "BEEP BEEP! BATMAN COMING FROOO!"

Earlier in the morning, he demanded to be called Superman and told us that his green frog boots were actually red superman boots. He would not respond to anything other than superman. So, I asked him:

I thought you were SUPERMAN!?


And now I must ask -- how do you break a kid from wearing a dorky pair of frog rain boots a parent may or may not have purchased on a weak day. The child wears them constantly when we are at home. He begs to wear them out of the house. They function as rocket boots, superman boots, batman boots, iron man boots, and pretty much any other kind of boot he thinks he may or may not need. I'm a little bit afraid that his feet are getting sweaty in there and his feet are going to rot off.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

You didn't believe me?

Just in case you didn't believe my post yesterday. This afternoon, I was wiping up Little Monster (Did anyone tell you that potty trained does not mean they can wipe themselves? Me neither.). Butterball had just gotten up from a nap. I had given her some juice and was getting ready to prepare her some lunch since she had slept through it. We had already eaten our lunch (hot dogs).

Apparently, I left the package of hot dog rolls (they are called rolls here in New England, and they aren't shaped like hot dog buns -- but that's another post for another day) sitting on the table. When I returned to the kitchen to put them away, they weren't there. I turned around and there was a trail of hot dog buns leading out of the kitchen and down the hallway.

This is what I found:

I wonder where I'm going to find hot dog rolls as I clean the house this week. Anyone care to venture a guess? I am glad VCR's are a thing of the past.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Land of the lost... things.

Lately, things around our house have gone missing. Little boys are often blamed, little girls a little bit too. Secretly, though, I fear for my head. Maybe I'm losing my mind?

The other day the ball for my trackball mouse disappeared. I looked all over the house and couldn't find it. So I CLEANED the house. Sparkling clean. Still didn't find the thing. I gave up, tried stealing the trackball from the husband's mouse. It worked as a temporary solution, but he figured it out and demanded it back. I gave it back, don't worry. It didn't have anything to do with the fact that we have different models with different sizes either. Have you ever tried to use a smaller trackball than the mouse takes? It doesn't work very well.

A few days ago, I was at a certain coffee place, trying to get my daily fix of several shots of espresso and couldn't find my debit card. It was found on the floor under the box we set our shoes in by the door. Someone (a one year old girl) had removed it from my wallet and in the clean-up haste, it must have been pushed under.

The iPod that plays lullabies every night and nap time for Butterball disappeared. (It reappeared in a random box of kids books).

Quite often, the remote control goes missing. Quite often it is found in odd places. Like in Butterball's dresser drawers, Little Monster's dresser drawers, the kitchen drawer that houses our baggies, and occasionally the one that holds the oven mitts. Once we found it in the trash can.

Often I'll find her sippy cups and snack traps in odd places. I've purchased many thinking they'd been left in stores or at the park, only to find them among my jeans, under the bathroom sink or in the kitchen drawers.

This morning was the final blow. The kids were playing quietly - -which in hindsight should have been a big clue that something was going on. I found them, and they were being good. However, I noticed that Butterball's little doll stroller was missing the fabric seat. It was now just a dangerous frame of metal rods daring to poke someones eye out.

After searching and searching last week for the trackball, to no avail, I couldn't take it. Little Monster had been the one to remove the seat, and since Butterball has yet to master the art of the English language (outside of Mama, Dada, Up and All-Done), he was responsible for its disappearance.

We tore the house apart. Looked under and in couches, emptied trash cans, dirty laundry bins, dresser drawers, backpacks, diaper pails, file cabinet drawers, coat pockets, closets, and multiple kitchen drawers. We looked in places the children could not have possibly put the thing. And then we looked in all of the places again. And then I dug through the diaper pail. And the outdoor trash can. You know, in case my ONE YEAR OLD managed to escape the house, grow three feet, deposit the fabric, and then come back into the house and return to normal size all without my knowledge. I dug through the diaper pail people. The diaper pail that is full of stinky, nasty, diapers. We did not find the fabric. We did, however, find the trackball for my mouse. In the hat box I keep to put the kids sunhats in near the front door. Where I had looked. At least thirty times last week.

We gave up on the search for the stupid fabric. Which was fine. Little Monster had only been told he'd not be getting his favorite McQueen and The King trailers and cars returned to him until we found it. And at one point the loss of all food until it was found may or may not have been threatened. We left. And got soaking wet since it decided to downpour during the fifteen minutes we were out of the house today.

And when we returned, I was putting my sunglasses on our bookshelf by the door, and happened to look down. Into a 5 inch gun shell that we have. Inside the shell was the fabric for the stroller.

I am pretty sure that we are losing our minds. But it isn't our fault. It isn't our age. It is definitely the fault of two people. One I affectionately call Monster. The other, often goes by Monkey. They think it is great fun to move things to funny places and then watch us go crazy trying to find them. They test us by doing the exact thing we tell them not to right in front of us -- while watching our reaction. They steal things they know they aren't supposed to have. When they are caught they run the other way as fast as their little legs can scramble, shrieking with maniacal laughter.

There is a reason why as children, we think our parents are uptight, unreasonable, unfair and quite often completely insane. It's because they were. And it was our fault. We did it to them. It also explains how they magically regain their sanity after we leave their house.

Parents, I'm sorry. Children, you're going to be too someday.

Saturday, June 05, 2010


Apparently my Little Monster has a girlfriend. If you asked him, he'd tell you that he has two. TWO girlfriends?! I guess when you're one of four boys in a preschool class of sixteen you are one lucky guy... And when you're one of twelve girls, you do what you have to.

All I've heard about is having a "play over" with this new girlfriend. Girlfriend B to be specific. Girlfriend C is nice, but he wants to go camping with B, and play with her, and do all kinds of things. It isn't just on his end, either. When I talked to his teacher about it today, she said she had assumed that we were all friends outside of school, because of the way the two kids play together. I guess we'll be forced into it for the summer!

The great thing is that I know that both children are enrolled in day camp together over the summer. So even if we don't get to have "play overs" very often, he'll get to spend time with her.

And in another note -- Butterball is now banned from school. I don't think Daddy would like the idea of her having a boyfriend. She's Daddy's girl and I'm not sure he's ready to share yet.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Weaning. Complete.

Butterball, also known as Monkey, Peanut, and Baby-girl is completely weaned. It's happy and sad all at the same time. I'm glad that I'm not tied down to her. I can go away for the evening and leave her with a babysitter without worries about how she'll get back to sleep without me being around. The other day, she had a hard time getting down for nap, and it had only been a few days since her last nurse. I figured I could try to soothe her if she wanted to. She didn't. She just wanted to be cuddled by Daddy.

This time around weaning was a lot easier than with Little Monster. I got her onto a schedule where she was nursing when she woke up, before her morning and afternoon naps, and then before bed. After a few weeks I took away the first nurse of the day, and eventually took away the nursing before nap time. Those were sort of by accident, as quite often she'd been skipping them anyway as we ran errands during the day. After a couple of weeks when she'd only been nursed at night, I had Daddy help out. He rocked her to sleep with a glass of milk for a few days and it was done.

Just like last time, I miss it occasionally. Weaning just seems like the beginning of the end. She's no longer an infant. She's a toddler. She is pretty good at telling us what she wants, and eats everything she can get her hands on.

I do however enjoy the fact that my body is mine again. I don't need to worry about what I eat, drink, put on my skin. It's nice. Now the question is -- what's new in Bras? I'm afraid I've been wearing the same nursing bras for far too long, and I'm ready to be done with them too.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

A lesson in Sharing...

Over the weekend my grandmother passed away. This is a photo from the last time we were able to visit. (Never mind the evil look -- he was a bit freaked out by all of the tubes.)

It isn't the greatest picture, but it has four generations of my family. I was talking about everything with my husband, and Little Monster wanted to know what we were talking about. After I explained everything to him he thought for a minute, looked out of the corner of his eyes like kids do when they are in the depths of serious contemplation...
"Mommy. It's okay. You can share my grandma."
It's nice of him to think that way. And I don't mind sharing his grandmothers with him. Not even one little bit.