Monday, August 31, 2009

Sick over what might have been

I was on the phone with Melanie, sitting in a rocking chair, when Eva ran in with wide eyes and a flushed face.

"Mama! I dropped my sippy outside! I dropped my blue sippy outside!"

What in the world could she be talking about? We were upstairs, clearly with no entrances to the outside. I got up and followed her to her her window. She had popped her screen off and thrown her sippy down on the driveway.
My mind did a Minority Report thing and fastforwarded through the mental images of what could have happened if she had leaned further out that window. I shuddered, and banned her from all window associations for the rest of her life.
She is now grounded from her window. I am keeping it locked shut no matter the temperature for the rest of the summer. I'm thanking my guardian angels that it was only a sippy cup that went out that window.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The cost of a perfect morning

Waking up to the rain: free, and glorious

Vanilla Bean frappucino from Starbucks: $3.50

A few hours of perusing books at Barnes and Noble: free (but I would totally pay admission if they charged it - it's THAT great)

The purchase of one book entitled On Writing Well: $16.34 (although I was kindly reminded that a member would have paid a mere $14.84)

A delicious lunch at Panera Bread, including half a turkey artichoke panini, a cup of broccoli cheddar soup, and a baguette: $8.15

3 hours of a good babysitter: $15

Good conversation with a dear friend: free

Having that dear friend get hit on by a 60-year old man: PRICELESS

Friday, August 28, 2009

2 months

Today marks two months into this deployment. Which means we should be halfway done, but we're not quite there. Where are we now?
Andrew has just moved to a new location, which he compared to a resort. Apparently anything is better than the desert from whence he came. He has been working out and appears to have bigger muscles and hotter arms than before. I'm looking forward to seeing those in two months.
I am working out every day and waking up at 6am to do so. (And do scripture study.) My new schedule has brought me much more peace with myself and I think I'll keep it up. Although my house isn't always as clean as it once was, dedicating time to developing myself spiritually and physically everyday is rewarding. And I really love being ready for the day and having alone time before the kids even wake up.
Eva continues to challenge me every day. She seems to have a personality like her dear father's, where she loves to tease and torment those closest to her until they scream and cry, and even then she doesn't let up. She just laughs in the face of the tormented (Bubba) until I lose my patience and send her to time out or slap her hand or yell at her, or try some other uneffective form of punishment. Nothing seems to get through to her...but I'll keep trying. At least I know where she gets that aggravating tendency. She has started drawing people (a circle with a line going up towards the ceiling) and tonight she drew a rainbow. It really looked like one, too! She memorizes the storyline of books after hearing them once or twice and will sit there and "read" it back to herself. She seems to have the gift my sister Sarah has for memorizing songs and things she hears. Aside from her moments of strife, she is a thrill to be around.
Leighton is walking, but not wholeheartedly. He's still undecided about whether or not walking is the quickest mode of transportation. Every day he gets better, but he still crawls most of the time. It continues to surprise me when I turn around and see him standing there. He is obsessed with his giraffe, D. Todd, and says, "Dah! Dah!" every morning while showing me his giraffe. He sucks on the limbs of his poor animals until they are soggy and gross - not sure how that habit started. Or how to break it, because it's disgusting. He loves fish and makes the cutest fish face and sound. He has started signing a few more words and still just stares at Eva all day long and copies everything she does. He hits himself when she hits him, and makes himself cry, but then keeps doing it. This behavior confuses me greatly - self-destruction already? I don't get it. But he has changed so much in the last 2 months - I can't wait for Andrew to come home and see his new little man.

Now that we are on the downhill slope of this, I am confident we can make it through. I am used to the single parent thing now and grocery shopping and bathtime no longer stress me out. Dinnertime...still haven't gotten that one down yet without wanting to lose my mind. But I have 2 more months (and then some) to figure it out.

The Memory Keeper

{ This picture is totally unrelated to this post; we took it on a trip to Orcas Island in June. I just think it's funny.}
Two Sundays ago, a man in our ward stood up and gave a talk. In introducing his talk, he said something I found highly inappropriate. He said, "I hope nobody will crucify me for saying this, but..." and then went on to express his disapproval of one of the general authority's talks from last conference - the very talk he was supposed to be basing his talk on. He basically said that he felt he could have written the talk better than Elder ____ and that the talk felt to him like the introduction to a 900-page textbook on the subject - but the general authority had neglected to write the rest of the book. Blasphemous, I know.

But the most shocking part to me was the word "crucify." It stunned me, hearing it used so irreverently from the pulpit. But the worst part is how that word has stuck with me these last 2 weeks. I have found myself forming sentences in my mind that use the same phrase. I am repulsed by it, and yet it still comes to my mind before I can stop it.

Why is that? Why is it that things that disgust us stick with us for so long? It's like a scene in a book (a terrible book, that they are now making a movie of) that made me close the book in horror...and yet I have never forgotten the exact wording of a particular sentence. It comes to me periodically to haunt me.

I know that I can't go through my life avoiding bad things, as they are inevitably all around us. I am trying my best to exercise the mental power to cast out those thoughts as soon as they enter. But darn that man in my ward for putting that word into my mind in the first place. I will forever think of that word when I think of him, and I will forever think less of him.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

To clarify

Just now as I was flossing my teeth (I floss every day - did you know this about me?), I got a faint whiff of boxing glove. The memory of sticking my hand into that still-damp, smelly glove made me lunge for me antibacterial soap (which I don't believe in but I use it anyway).

And one more thing - I would like to clarify that I did not KICK box. Although there were a few minutes of kicking involved, it was mostly just punching. (Cami, I guess I could have just responded to your comment, but I decided a whole blog post would be more appropriate.) Punching a big, heavy, black bag, with fat, smelly gloves on. Punching the air is not nearly as satisfying.

I think everyone should box. I box. See, after just one day, one hour of doing it, it's already becoming part of my identity. Maybe one day I'll be like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride and have a punching bag in my house, and when someone judges me harshly or writes a mean newspaper column about me, I'll punch away on my own personal bag with my own personal gloves that don't smell, until just the right words come to me for a nasty, stinging reply. Like I said, everyone should box.

My calling as a boxer

I like working out, really I do. Running and I totally don't get along, and I think if we got in a fight, running would win. But working out in any other way is fine. Until today, when I discovered a type of working out that changed my relationship with physical fitness forever.


Today was my first time trying out a boxing class taught at my gym by a cute blonde lady with fantastic triceps. I was scared spitless going into it and almost backed out. But I went, and it changed my life. I have never had so much fun with my heartrate that high. I smiled practically the whole time, except when I looked in the mirror at myself and tried to make a tough face to match my tough punching. Hitting the bag was more invigorating than I could have ever imagined. I just laid into it, and it was this huge emotional release.

I think I've found my calling in life. Who would've thought? A trip to Target to get my own boxing gloves is now in order. Because for real, if I wear the ones at the gym again I think I'll get a disease.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Milestones come in pairs around here.

This week, Leighton finally decided to start walking, and Eva is doing fantastically well with potty-training.

I have been scared out of my mind about potty training. I've been puttering around with it, and she peed on the potty for the first time before she even turned one. And a handful of times since then. But doing it for real? Made me shudder. But after our last trip, I decided it was time. No more waiting for her to tell me - ready or not, I was going to do it. And the first few days were hard because I felt like I had NO idea what I was doing. But today, we were at Melanie's for playgroup and she peed 4 times and even pooped on the potty once there, and then again at home! She never even wet her pull-up until the long car ride home, where she couldn't help it and neither could I. For the first time, she even told me she needed to go. So that's progress. Oh, and sorry for talking about bodily functions on my blog. If it bothers you, I'm sorry - it didn't even cross my mind as being abnormal until I had written that whole paragraph. You know you're a mother if... :)

As for Leighton's walking...this has been a long time coming. He is so heavy and I have grown so tired of carrying him around that I've been praying for a long time he would figure it out. He has been able to take a few steps at a time for several weeks now, but on Monday night he finally did it. He was sitting in the middle of the floor and stood up with no help, and just took off. I was so proud, I thought I would burst. So was he - he was cheering for himself. Ever since then, he has been practicing willingly. He's not to the point where he will walk outside or in public, but he's getting there.

I'm so proud of my babies.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you I'm home.

Lest you still think I'm sitting here wearing a bra and pink sandals. What posessed me to write that, and then leave it there for so long? I simply have to write another post, if only to push that last one further down the list.

So yes, we are home. Glorious home - I love it here. I always come back from trips with a renewed love for home. I have been in a frenzy of...things. Cooking, crafting, organizing, scrapbooking, making Christmas presents...I love it all. I'm keeping busy, and when it comes to the end of the day and I have my time alone to spend as I wish, I find myself dreading my self-imposed 10pm deadline to stop and go to bed. Today I pulled every single scrapbook page I've ever made out of their plastic homes and resorted them into new piles. I am officially throwing out all chronology from my scrapbooks, and I feel so free. I am implementing Stacy Julian's Library of Memories system, which I have been working on for over a year but am now finally willing and ready to invest the time and money that it will take.

Anyway, what I intended to say is that I have become one of those moms I swore I would never be. Allow me to explain. I sorted my layouts into stacks - a stack for Andrew, a stack for me, a stack for Eva, and a stack for Leighton. When I had finished, I stepped back to look at my work. And I realized that while Eva's pile was toppling over, Leighton's was looking a little slim. I counted how many pages I have done about my darling boy and almost felt physically ill when I realized: there were 5. 5 pages about him, and he is over 13 months old. Pathetic - that's all it is. It's not that I haven't scrapbooked - I have. (Mostly pages about the family rather than one individual.) It's not that I love him less.

As I pondered on this on our walk tonight, I got to thinking. The more kids you have the more your love can expand. You don't love one less than the other. But you DO pay less attention to each one. Where your love is multiplied, human nature dictates that your time and attention are divided. There is no way around it. It's the sad truth, my friends. But I commit to filling up my Leighton pages before baby #3 makes an appearance. (No, I'm not pregnant. Just sayin'.)

Today marks 7 weeks that Andrew has been gone - we are almost halfway. Only 11 more to go until he comes home.
The end.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Here we go again.

I'm wearing a bra and pink sandals. And that's all. Just kidding.

Leighton's hair is spiked. He has been really fussy this morning - I hope that wears off.

Eva is wearing the same shirt she wore last time we went on an airplane. She is excited to fly and thinks we are going to Texas again.

I am praying for strength and inner peace during our travels today.

Especially going through security.

At least it's only a 2 hour flight.

We are off to Utah for Cami's wedding.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To Kara and Stacey

Today marks the 100th day of Andrew's absence in the year 2009.

But that's not what I want to talk about. The thing that is foremost on my mind is not my husband, but the incredible friends he brought into my life through a group known as "the cadet girlfriends."

There are a hundred ways to record this story, but no words sufficient to express my gratitude to 2 people: Kara Noyes and Stacy Culver. I will forego a fumbling description of my finding their sweet packages in the mail on 2 different days - both days when I desperately needed a boost. Suffice it to say I was brought to my knees with tears of gratitude for such friends as these.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, my dear friends, for thinking of me. You are both the epitome of thoughtful, generous, compassionate women, and I count myself lucky to know you.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I knew I 'd forgotten something.

I had that feeling as I drove away from the house this morning - that feeling of slight uneasiness you inevitably get when you've had a big list of things to pack but feel certain you must have forgotten at least one of them.

I was on my way to the gym. I was planning to head straight from the gym to base for Leighton's 1 year well-baby appointment, so I brought everything I needed to shower and get ready for the day away from home.

As I merged onto the interstate, I mentally ran through the things I needed and had packed. Hair straightener, facewash...oh, I forgot a hair brush! Oh well - I would make do without one. Part of the beauty of short hair. Clothes, clean underwear, makeup - shoes! I forgot shoes. Then I remembered I had randomly been keeping a pair of sandals in the car. For such a time as this, as the biblical saying goes. Having run through the list, I felt confident I had everything. I pushed the uneasy feeling aside and continued on my merry way.

Oh, how I love my gym. The kids love playing at childcare, and I love playing on the exercise equipment and getting a break from them. I dropped them off, waved goodbye, and went off to get some cardio in - riding the stationary bike while reading Jane Eyre. After that, I headed to the women's only workout room to lift weights (because I'm insecure like that and wouldn't feel comfortable lifting my 5 pounds in front of all the men) and do some ab work. Feeling pretty good, I went to the locker room to shower.

Inside my stall, I prepared all my things - hung my towels over the door, put my sandals on the floor, got my shirt and shorts ready to put on...and then I realized what I had forgotten. A BRA.

I forgot to bring a bra. Feelings of panic ran through my mind. What could I do? I had no time to go home and get one before the dr. appt. I was not about to stay in my rather immodest and sweaty sports bra/tank top in public.

I let the warm water run over me as I laughed to myself. I thought, I can't believe I'm really about to free-boob it. Just recently, I told someone the story of the time in college when I got to class and realized I had forgotten to put a bra on. But that was then, this is now. Back then I definitely did not have 2 kids, and gravity hadn't yet taken its heavy toll on the girls, if you know what I mean. It is SO much less acceptable for this to happen now.

But I was left with no option. I had to giggle nervously as I slipped my shirt on and walked out of the shower stall. I carefully glanced around to see if anyone would stare at me. Was it obvious? I looked in the mirror as I blow dried my hair. Not too bad, actually. If you had never seen me with a (PADDED) bra on, you might not notice the difference.

As I picked up the kids and ran the errands of the rest of the morning, I felt like I had a special secret. Or maybe it wasn't a secret. Maybe everyone knew it, and it was the first thing they said at the dr's office after I walked out of the building. "Did you see how she wasn't wearing a bra? How indecent! And she being a mother of two...what a shame!" Maybe. But probably not.
Back home, I must admit that I still have not put one on. I secretly hate them, and if I can get away with not wearing one for a day, then I will. I feel

All I can say is, it's a good thing I'm not well-endowed. Just for today, I'm thankful for the curse of flatness.

But tomorrow, a bra will definitely be the first thing I pack in my gym bag.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Here's to you, fans.

I would just like to give a shout out to fans.

Not fans as in people who love me. (Although if there are any of you out there reading this, I guess I'll include a shout out to you to.)

I'm talking about fans that blow air. Of the electronic variety. Fans of all kinds. Ceiling fans, box fans, tower fans. We have them all here in our house, and I must say that I would have lost my life without them the last few days. Although they aren't quite air conditioning, I won't knock them. I came within inches of losing my sanity on numerous occasions during the past HOT week, and sometimes the only thing that stopped my tears and dried my sweat was standing right in the path of a blessed fan.

Dear fans, I will never forget your many kindnesses to me. Although I do wish you could find a way to convert the hot air into cold air, at no extra charge to me. Thank you.