26 September 2008

Stinky, moving on, and chores

Pew! My house reeks. I used a straightener on my hair this morning so every part of my house smells like a perm. Now its even easier to meld into any shape I choose, depending on my mood and day. The freedom that comes with uber short hair is amazing! I think everyone should hack off their hair at least once.

I sold my daughter's crib this morning. I'm helping her move on. A friend of mine is prego and was looking for baby furniture and I thought...hmm...this might be a way to help Mattea move past crawlforeverscreamforwordswanttobeababyallmylife phase! So, my friend shows up, and we start to take the crib out of her room. Mattea was sitting by her dresser, studying every move (as usual). As soon as we started walking out of the room with it...Niagra Falls....she started wailing and screaming..actually no, it was more like mourning the loss of her crib! OK, first of all, she HATES going to bed. HATES being confined to her crib. I have no idea why she was so upset. I'm holding out hope that she'll be excited when we bring home the toddler bed and decorate her room a little...in a more toddler-esque sort of way, of course.

And finally to the chores...we found the perfect system for my son! He was entering his own type of phase...the IdontcareifIstinkI'llliveinafilthybedroomforever phase. I think every pre-teen gets to this point. You know, when you have to remind them to bathe themselves and brush their teeth or it never gets done. Like ear wax will be overflowing out their ears, knees and hands will stay dirty, clothes would be worn thrice before finally ending up in the wash...that kind of phase. So we had an FHE lesson on cleanliness and helping around the house (issue, part 2). He has an envelope for "do", one for "done" and one for "reward". The chore cards from the "do" envelope are moved to the "done" envelope once completed (daily..before playing) and at the end of each week he's allowed to draw a reward. These range from $5 to a night of bowling. He also now gets ready each morning to a timer. He has 45 minutes to do everything necessary to be super cool and studly for school (including his cologne he wears). So far he hasn't gone over the timer. This might just work!

18 September 2008


There has been a lot of little things in the past two days that have reminded me of how wonderful a family I have and how much I enjoy living in California...even if we're in the middle of nowhere. I'll start with what is on the top of the pile in my head.

Tonight my son and I climbed Blackie again (still haven't downloaded those pics!). It took an hour and a half of convincing, bribing, and finally begging for him to come with me and I just ended up telling him he didn't have a choice. On the way there, he started to cheer up, as I knew he would, once we got closer. Needless to say, he kicked my butt this time! I ate his dust...literally. He was practically jogging up the hill this time! Because of the rain the other night (another topic coming soon) the trail was washed into a different pattern, the lava rock exposed in new angles, and riverbeds of sand with twirling patterns wound down and around the bottom of the hill. Afterwards, we went to the new Starbucks on post and had grande mochas. Pick up your jaw...I'm kidding. We did go to Starbucks, but he got hot chocolate with a small mountain of whipped cream and I got a banana chocolate vivanno smoothie (protien..protein...how the heck do you spell it?! smoothie). Perfect night!

I'm up to running a little over two miles. I've progressed from half a mile to this in under two weeks. I've pushed through the shin splints, the side aches and the new mini-zits appearing on my forehead from so much sweating. I've dropped four pounds in less than two weeks. I finally feel lifted out of the rut I've been stuck in. I have so much more energy and find myself antsy and anxious if I don't get out of the house and do SOMETHING every day. I love it!

My daughter has become such a little person this week. Mattea is nodding her head and saying "ssss" which means yes. She is finally using words instead of just shrieks and screaming. She's saying more, mama, dada, doggy, brother, bye bye, what's that, look, fan, doing sign language for and simultaneously saying "eat". She's letting go of things while standing up, but still not attempting any steps. She has begun biting me when she wants attention too. I knew this was coming as almost every child goes through a biting phase. I just didn't think it would come this early with her! The first time she did it I screeched really loud and pulled my arm back and she looked at me like "oh...interesting...".

My husband was moved to the S-3 and, of course, his hours have improved. He's home by 6 every night which is a nice change. He's the SGM's right-hand man and has the opportunity, as he did at our last post, to work with senior ranking enlisted and officers. Its great exposure and he's learning some things that have him in high demand. He was offered a shot at battle staff school, but isn't on a permanent profile yet for his ankle and knee so he's not able to go right now. He mentioned today that being the NCOIC has his email inbox exploding and he's busier than he's ever been. I say good! At least he's not overseas and I've got him home for a while!

The rain....oh, the rain! Two nights ago the heavens opened and I got the best gift I've had in a long time. It rained on and off for almost two hours. The field behind our house was a jumble of small streams and rivers winding around, meeting up, splitting apart, getting bigger then ending suddenly. It was beautiful. The smell was outrageous. I stood outside, getting soaked, taking deep breaths, taking it all in. A few times the wind picked up and blew everything around the backyard slamming things into the fence and bringing it back to where it began. The temperature dropped into the seventies and it felt like I was back home, even if briefly.

To offset all of the pleasantries...I waxed my upper lip today and took some skin with it! It makes me crack up just typing about it. I have no shame in putting this out there. Everyone has had an experience like this at one time or another. I'm just not the type that's afraid to talk about it. Seriously, I have this raw, blotchy area on my face now! Ah...thank the Lord someone invented cover-up.

So..i think that basically covers the past two days. I'm grateful to be living here. There are days when its painfully isolated and boring, but overall its beautiful here, the people are wonderful, our branch has a wonderful spirit, the opportunities for physical activities are endless, and my family hasn't been this happy for a long time. Thanks in part, I'm sure, to the fact that my husband has been able to be home with us for what we consider a long time. I'm always afraid to say that...like if I say it tomorrow he'll come home with orders to leave. Whatever happens, happens. We've got the good Lord on our side and its the only way we make it through this crazy life!

15 September 2008

Reba or Renee?

So I just left the pharmacy at the clinic and I've been left with mixed feelings. We go to the pharmacy a lot trying to find a good dose for my son's meds and for regular old ibuprofen and other everyday must-haves (I have a mini-pharmacy in my purse, I swear). There's a soldier that works the window that we normally always end up having help us. Today he didn't, but he walked by and saw me and said "Look, its Reba McIntyre!" It took a second to register...and then I felt my cheeks burning as I turned bright red and looked at him and said "Seriously? Did you just call me Reba?" He laughed and said "Yeah! You look like Reba McIntyre!" I proceeded to tell him that wasn't the look I was going for when I chopped my hair off last weekend. He recognized me and knew that I'd just chopped off over a foot or hair. By the way, he's still smiling and laughing and bubbly at this point as I'm still looking at him in shock, wondering how many people heard him and were now staring at me mentally picturing me as Reba. So then G.I. Joe was like "Don't you like country?" and he holds out his fist...he wanted to bump fists with me in honor of Reba and country music! I felt like crying and laughing my butt off at the same time! OK, so I like country music and figured I should just make the best out of the situation so I knocked fists with him as he happily bounced away (I think he popped a stimulant when nobody was looking). Form your own opinion...and feel free to share....

10 September 2008

So proud of my boy!

I meant to post about this last week when it happened, but it slipped my mind until now. I wanted to climb Blackie last week and nobody could go with me. Its not smart to climb by myself, something could happen and it was late enough in the evening that I had just enough time to get up and down before sunset and if something DID in fact happen, I'd be stuck up there by myself in the dark. Anyway, I talked my son into going with me. I knew it would be extremely challenging for him, but he agreed to go in exchange for my homemade pizza when we got home. Of course I agreed...when do I not want pizza?

We talked about climbing safety on the way there, how long it would take to get up and down, the rules of being down before sunset, etc. He was excited and wore my husband's camelback full of icewater so he wouldn't get dehydrated.

We stopped probably 10 times on the way up, but it didn't bother me at all. I was proud of him. We had a good talk during our climb. He opened up about a lot of things that I've been trying to get him to talk about for a while now. It was so nice to have him just be open and have a conversation with me minus attitude or arguments. He even stopped for a potty break, it was cute. I turned the other way, but remembered to remind him to pee down wind (I had to explain what I meant...thank goodness I did or we both would've been doomed).

I have pictures that I need to download to the computer of him halfway up and at the top. I'm so proud of him for accomplishing our goal to climb Blackie together. He agreed we should do this together once a week. I think that's a good idea.

Drop Out

I want to say thank you to everyone that commented on my little dilema I created for myself of whether to do FCC or roleplay. I started the FCC classes on Monday...I also dropped out Monday... I had prayed the night before (pretty desperately, in fact) to know if I was doing the right thing. I layed out my whole plan and asked if I was going along with His will. The minute class started the next morning I had this knot in my stomach and this overwhelming feeling I was in the wrong place. Needless to say, I went straight to the director's office when class got out that day and told her it wasn't for me. She was great about it and understood. Whew! I feel like I have a huge weight off my shoulders now.

So...the roleplying...I am sick about wanting to do this! They aren't hiring right now and already have a standby list so even if I applied I probably wouldn't be hired. That's fine, because I've decided now isn't the time for this either. Mattea is too young to be left alone for 12 hours a day, even if it would only be for a couple of weeks. The money would be amazing and within three rotations I could have us almost completely out of debt (I've begun grinding my teeth right about now), but I was reminded by a friend that commented, that the prophet has indeed strongly encouraged mothers to stay home if possible. That certainly doesn't mean that working full time, part time or on the weekends is a sin (for all you out there tearing me apart right now) because for some families it is a necessity and that is acceptable. The prophet's counsel is meant for families that can afford to have one parent stay home. Simple. I can afford to stay home right now and I should. I may try and find a side job to work a few shifts a week to keep my sanity, but I'm not in a rush like I was a few weeks ago. I feel like I should check into school, at least getting some basic classes out of the way since no colleges around here have any degree programs I'm interested in. I also feel like this is my chance to travel to see friends and family...before we try to have another baby (if that even happens!).

I have friends that are mothers and work full time. I do not look down on them in the least. I RESPECT them. They have to right now and I admire the sacrafice they make leaving their children to help support the family, no matter what their chosen job or profession might be. I had to do that with my son and I know how drained you are when you come home at night and know that you still need to squeeze out enough energy to make dinner, clean up, and spend quality time with your kids and hubby (or yourself, if you're a single mom like I was).

I promised God that I'd do everything I could to stay home with my children if he allowed me to have more (this was before I was prego with my daughter, now 13 months old). I became pregnant right away when my husband returned from Iraq...4 years of trying and we finally had her. I've been blessed to be in a situation a lot of mothers can't be in right now. I can stay home with her, be home when my son gets home from school, and take care of myself mentally and physically (I was a mess when I worked full time). I'm thankful that God has given me this opportunity, that he's given me my children and a husband that supports me 100 % no matter what crazy ideas I come up with!

02 September 2008

So Close...

Mattea came so close to walking today! I was at a Pampered Chef party this morning. Almost everyone had brought their child(ren) and she was having fun squealing and crawling around to check each one out. After the demonstration and game it was time to eat. Magazine-perfect rolled egg casserole thingies and fruit with fluffy cream cheese-marshmallow fluff dip...ah...you'd better believe I worked my butt off at the track tonight after all that! Anyway, Mattea was next to me on the floor taking bites from my fork. I got caught up in the thingy and how delicious it was and forgot to give her a bite for all of 30 seconds so she just grabbed hold of my legs, steadied herself, and stood up! Not pulling herself up, STANDING UP! I cheered like a crazy women, made my best baby/mama voice praising her left and right and so she did it again! The second time I didn't say anything. I wanted to see if she'd take a step or do anything else with it if I didn't interrupt her with my ridiculous song and dance. She didn't, but I was still beaming. I made sure everyone in the room knew what she did. They probably all thought "hmm...a 13-month-old just stood up...wow" but little do they know, this girl studies, examines, measures and just thinks about things for a VERY long time before trying them. Hence...not walking yet. I'm so proud of my little girl! Here is a picture of her on her outside swing. It was actually taken right before she flopped forward and landed nose first on the metal bar at the base of the little playground. A nasty bloody nose followed. :(