Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Since I haven't blogged in ages....

Here are some quick updates and some pics to let everyone know what's been going on the last few months:

We tried many things over the last two years or so to get T to potty train. He was having none of it. Once he decided to do it, it was done in a day... go, T-man, go! (giggle)

S is now two years old - TWO!! We had a small, quiet birthday for her where she refused to eat the cake because we slid it away from her to put the candles on it. She wanted T to blow out her candles when she wasn't able to after two tries, and he was happy to oblige. She did eat the ice cream, though, and she loved all gifts she got. (thanks, everyone - thank you notes to follow!)

I've got one more class to go before I get my Masters in Adult Education. It's been a long, weary road and I will be happy to be finished, regularly get a full night's sleep, and see where this leads.

We've actually seen the sun more than twice in the last month. Yahoo! There's hope that spring will arrive, we won't need the heat on in the house in June, and we'll get orders (sometime in July, we think) to somewhere we really want to go.
T is really doing well in school with his speech therapy and he loves to come home and tell US how to correctly pronounce the word of the day. heh!
S is anxious to start school too, and whenever I drop off T she tries to join in on the fun, so I end up dragging her out of the room (generally screaming bloody murder). I used to think I wanted to be famous when I was younger - but this was totally not what I had in mind.

Our friends Paul and Polly had their baby - Keenan last week. We are so happy for you guys and love you all. Can't wait to see you and the little one.

T and S - all sacked out. Ahh..... the blessed quiet.

Yes, Master!

Today the kids and I semi-gussied up and headed to The Club for R's promotion ceremony. He made MSgt last year, but (and I'm a little vague on how this works) when you 'pass' the test you are assigned a number. That number determines when you actually get promoted. So R was in the low 3000's and as of tomorrow, April 1, he'll officially be the Master - if not of the universe at least of his own little corner of this base.

The kids and I are so proud of him! And in turn, R and I are proud of the kids. We had to be there 30 minutes before the ceremony was supposed to start (no comment on whether it started on time since I don't wear a watch) and I'm sure it lasted at least an hour and the kids were relatively still, very quiet, and extremely well behaved. We went up to 'tap' his new rank on and S ran up the aisle and gave him a big hug - it was so really sweet and I'm grateful for my wonderful family and husband. Unfortunately, I didn't get to take any pictures of the ceremony but I'll post some if anyone that did take them sends them our way.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Let it spray, let it spray....

Alrighty. One out of diapers, one to go. It was a long road, lemme just tell ya. But, as I thought, T took a page from Elvis and Frank and did it his way. Of course it was always going to be when he was good and ready and not one second before. Glad to see that I had a handle on the reality of the situation. LOL.

Yesterday morning we were downstairs and he goes into the bathroom. No big deal. A few minutes later, I go in and I'm like - what is that smell? And then it hits me - it's hairspray. Which, since I never wear it, was an odd thing to smell down there. Odd, but maybe it's from 80's night a couple weeks ago since I used a LOT of hairspray that night. I take a quick shower, get out and there is T - spraying hairspray. What the heck? Then it hits me - he thinks it's air freshener. This winter our house stayed so closed up that I felt it smelled stale, so I bought air freshener for the house. Plus, with all those diapers around, you never know when you can no longer smell them but other people can. Actually, I didn't realize it until Mom visited last year and SHE walked around spraying air freshener, but that's neither here nor there. So then I take a good look around and I realize..it's EVERYWHERE. We have a bidet and what I thought was just a coating of dust I needed to take care of was actually dust + hairspray. It's all over the sink and the floor and the walls. Luckily, the entire bathroom is tiled. So I started to wipe it up and realized that this has been going on for a while. Water is the universal solvent, and hot water can clean most house related things, so I started the clean up process. Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. That particular brand of hairspray, when being cleaned up with water (hot or not), turns into a type of....slime. Good to know I've been putting that on my hair. Remember Aqua-Net? It was way worse than that. All things considered, it took several attempts to get what I hope was most of it cleaned up and I was smart enough to put the hairspray somewhere T can't reach it. Fun stuff. At least he didn't coat his sister in hairspray, right?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How much is enough?

I should be doing schoolwork. I should be cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming the floor, getting a decent night's sleep, filing almost a year's worth of paperwork, and about a million other things. I realize I'm not the only person to feel this way.

So why don't I do it? Dunno. Probably because I don't want to, which leads me to think about an aspect of my personality I'd really rather not...my secret tendency to rebel. I think it's an internal war of have to against want to, and I'm still childish enough to mentally stamp my foot and silently scream, "NO! I DON'T WANT TO!"

Today, I got my issue of Good Housekeeping (I think it was the March issue) and I was reading Geneen Roth's monthly column. Geneen deals with emotional eating and related issues. In this issue, she was talking about how she counseled a Mom who was concerned about her daughter's weight and eating habits to completely fill a cabinet in the kitchen with chocolate. The Mom was to tell her daughter she could have any and everything in the cabinet whenever she wanted. The Mom was to keep the cabinet full without any comment or judgement for three weeks. The Mom, understandably, was not thrilled about this but did it anyway. At the end of three weeks, the Mom was surprised that her daughter had stopped eating the chocolate. Not because she got sick or ate too much, but because her daughter felt that her Mom was okay with however much chocolate she ate or didn't eat and loved her the same anyway.


I feel like I am always worrying about the potential psychological damage I'm doing to my kids. I don't want them to inherit my issues - food or otherwise - but I also know that kids are pretty darn smart, and they pick up both the said and unsaid that they live with. So if the key, then, is that they feel accepted and loved no matter what, I might just have a fighting chance of not ruining them completely.

Since I've been putting consistent, every day effort into remaining calm and not flying off the handle, I've noticed a HUGE change in T. HUGE! Reading Geneen's article was like a smack in the face - the kids don't care how clean the house is, whether I'm trying to beat a deadline with a paper or assignment for school, they just care that Mommy loves them and thinks they are great. Which they are. Even when they have days like today at the grocery store where R had to stay in the car with them while I did the shopping because they were fighting over everything - probably even the air they were breathing.


No! Mine!



You get the idea - I can talk all day long about working out problems, handling conflict, expressing anger in an appropriate way, and blah, blah, blah. But in two and four year old land - they could care less. It will eventually sink in, it will eventually get better. And I have to admit that there are days when I'd love to throw in the towel and tantrum along with them.

I NEVER want my kids to feel like they don't measure up, aren't good enough, or can't ever please me. Despite my best efforts, it might happen anyway because I'm battling demons of my own in those areas, but I'm going to take my best effort and then double it to prevent it from happening in our house. And if it takes a cabinet full of chocolate to prove it, so be it.