Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's official, I'm out of touch

I'm trying to watch the VMAs.  I caught the last little bit on the first airing and because it's MTV, they'll show it about 400 more times between now and next years awards, so I wasn't about to miss True Blood to watch it.

I'm just going to say it. I don't get Lady Gaga. Granted, I grew up in the era of Madonna so this whole shocking people to stay relevant kinda makes me yawn. That's also why I do not watch Jersey Shore - cause you can see a train wreck like that just by being a bartender. Now don't get me wrong, I think Lady Gaga is talented and I like her music. But I don't get the rest of it. And frankly, her male persona reminded me of a cross between Benecio Del Torro and Ralph Macchio (in the Outsiders).

I also don't get why Lil Wayne was wearing pants that were that tight but still didn't cover his underwear. Did he have those custom made? Wouldn't that be irritating to know...boy parts?

Loved the tribute to Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars' cover of Valerie. I couldn't believe how many people I didn't recognize. Old. I felt old. And a little out of place being my age and watching the VMA's. Also, is it just me, or did it look like the Biebs was pouting all night? Must be the breakup. Adele rocks. Katy Perry's hair - was it pink or purple?

And so concludes my brief review. Can you tell I pretty much only saw the first and last 20 minutes?  Frankly, it was enough.

Friday, August 26, 2011

What a week!

Monday was S's first day of 4 year old preschool. To be honest, I didn't expect it to be very different at all from 3 year old preschool. It was similar in a lot of ways, but it was different in a lot of ways as well. Parents stay with the kids for the first day, and I couldn't believe how quickly time went by. It probably helped that I hadn't missed open house this year so both S and I were prepared. Ahem.

Tuesday was registration for the base school. Tuesday was also one of those days that we woke up, hit the ground running, and didn't stop all day. By the time we got home we were all hot and tired and glad to be home. Where we stayed. In the air conditioning. Happy to be there.

Wednesday was S's first solo day of preschool. She hasn't been feeling well this week, so I wasn't too surprised that she wanted me to stay at school with her. I was surprised that she cried (loudly and quite hard) when I started to leave. Looking back, I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that T was with me and she hasn't been so fond of sharing my attention lately. At any rate, the fact that she cried made T cry and not want me to leave her there (seriously - how sweet was that?!??!), which of course made me cry. When I walked out of the classroom, there were three or four mothers standing there just kind of keeping an eye on their kids.  Two of them I knew, and they looked really surprised to see my all teary eyed. Then S's wails of protest and misery blew through the door and they all stepped forward to give T and I hugs, which just made me cry that much harder.

It's hard to be a mom some days.

Of course when I picked her up, she was just fine and her teacher said that she calmed down as soon as I was out of eyesight.  Hilariously, several moms from last year's class went out of their way to say that they had seen S off and on during the morning and that she was fine. Word spreads quickly, I guess.

Thursday was lower key and lower speed. The kids and I pretty much hung out and had fun doing...nothing. These are my most favorite kind of days and I know they won't last forever, so they are already uber precious to me.

Today I volunteered in S's classroom. She woke up complaining of stomach pain, which has been a pretty consistent complaint with her lately. I made her go to school anyway, figuring that she would get there and forget all about it. T got to spend the day at the Y in a day camp type setting. Even though I had tried to explain to him what today would be like, he apparently had different ideas in his head. Mainly I think he expected to be in the child care room and be able to play Wii all day. When he realized this was not the case, he was not amused.

But, fortunately S did start to feel better a little while after getting to school and T was having so much fun at the Y when we dropped by after S got out of school that he decided to stay the whole day. Even better than that, now the kids want to go back one day next week so they can hang with Julie, counselor extraordinaire. Gotta say - I'm okay with that. It will give me one last day before the craziness of school and volunteering starts for real.

::Deep breath:: And here we go...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This is why I hate to be outside in the summer

Yesterday, I tackled the weed ridden flower bed that has been begging for attention for longer than I want to admit. Man, did I have my work cut out for me. There hasn't been very much rain here lately, so the roots were cemented into the dirt. I started in the early afternoon, but the sun was still beating down pretty fiercely on that area of the house. You'd think that as hot and dry as it's been that the weeds would not flourish, but they do. I even had the beginnings of what looked like mini trees growing.

I got about 1/3 of the flower bed weeded until I realized that the sweat rolling off my head and face was probably nourishing the weeds somehow, so I headed inside to cool off.  I am going to be so relieved when it cools off around here and I enjoy being outside again.

After dinner, I headed back out to finish. It seemed much easier once the sun wasn't beating down on me. R came out to keep me company and even offered to help, but I woke up to a cleaned kitchen yesterday morning, so he was off the hook. We pulled out the plants that didn't survive the summer and talked about revamping all the flower beds this fall. It's an exciting life we lead here, isn't it?

When I was almost finished, I grabbed a stubborn weed that was growing up through my azalea, and was wiggling it back and forth to try to get as much of the roots up as possible when a grasshopper/cricket/locust/cicada jumped out of the bush, off my forehead and into my hair.


S was out there with us at this point, and she freaks out enough as it is about bugs and such, so I was trying to calmly remove the squirming, jumpy thing from my hair without making a scene. Did I mention that I was so startled when this happened that I managed to fling dirt into my face and hair as well?

As soon as my finger touched it, it freaked out and kept getting itself more tangled in my hair - which is a miracle in itself since my hair is thinning by the day. So I tried to shake it out, but that got noticed, of course, even though it worked. I tried not to make too big a deal out of it, but couldn't quite shake the feeling that things were crawling my hair. I went upstairs and took a shower, where I promptly got soap in my eye which burned enough that I forgot all about the creepy crawly issues I had when I got in the shower.

This morning, I was rewarded by a stopped up nose, sneezing fits, and an eye that required de-crusting and some antibiotic drops to stay open.

Next time I'm using Round-up.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Now I'm Yard...Yard Sale-ing

The title is being sung in my very tired brain to the tune of "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty.

I've been having a song lyric filled weekend (at least in my head) and at times this new affliction of mine is causing me to break out in giggles most inappropriately. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But back to my original blog post idea....

In Germany, there was an online garage sale website that was heavily used. That's how we got rid of most of the kids outgrown clothes, and other stuff we weren't going to use any more or be able to take back to the States.

Once we landed and settled, I wasn't impressed with the online sites I found and I'm just not an ebay or craigslist kinda gal.

UNTIL! Someone had the genius, and I mean that with absolutely no trace of sarcasm whatsoever, idea to create some Facebook groups.  After our last disastrous yard sale attempt in May, I decided I was going to try to sell the rest of our stuff online. I finally got around to creating an album of items I managed to take pictures of and I posted them on Friday.

Man! Did we move some serious merchandise. It has been absolutely painless to list and sell our stuff this way. I've only had positive experiences from the group I use the most - mainly because the administrators run a tight but fair ship. I can't wait to list more things  and see that very overcrowded corner of our garage empty right out.

But for now, I'm going to work on creating some yard sale lyrics to the tune of Free Fallin' because I won't be able to get the chorus from auto repeat out of my brain until I do.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A blog post the easier way

Fresh out of ideas for a blog post today since our resident diva was relatively tantrum free today (I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!), I grabbed this list of questions from Sunday Stealing.

The Random Question Meme
1. How old do you look?
Hmm. I think I look like I'm in my mid 30's or so, but some days are better (and worse) than others.

2. Where do you live?
I currently live in Illinois.

3. Are you waiting for something?
Yes indeedy - more than one thing, actually.

4. What’s one pet peeve of yours that is not common?
I think my pet peeves are pretty standard, actually.

5. Do you want/have kids?
I do have kids and yes, I want them.

6. Have you ever thought about converting your religion?
Yes, and my mother is horrified. HORRIFIED.

7. Last shocking news you heard?
I can't talk about it yet, but it was family related.

8. What was the last thing you drank?
Low calorie lemonade.

9. Who do you most look like in your family?
My dad

10. If you could have something right now, anything, what would it be?
That thing I've been waiting for? I'd have that.

11. Where does most of your family live?
North Carolina

12. Where did you grow up?
North Carolina

13. Where do you want to go on vacation?
To the beach with the kids

14. Have you ever had a panic attack?
Yes, once. Nasty stuff.

15. What can’t you wait for?
It's hard to wait, but often you don't really have any other choice.

16. When’s the last time you told someone you loved him or her and meant it?

17. Have your parents ever smoked pot?
Mom? Doubtful! Dad? Possibly.

18. Want someone back in your life?
Yes, desperately. Hence the waiting....

19. What do you order at the bar?
Usually a diet coke, but I love a good margarita every now and then

20. When was the last time you cried really, really hard?
I don't know the date, but I remember I was in my car and it was this year sometime.

21. Ever licked someone’s cheek?
Yes. It was hilarious, but I guess you had to be there.

22. What is your favorite thing to eat with peanut butter?
Bananas or apples

23. Where were you on July 4th, 2008?

24. What are your nicknames?
usually Brookie

25. If you could go back in time, how far back would you go?
That depends on whether or not I could go back knowing then what I know now.

Feel free answer these in the comments or on your blog! I'd love to read your answers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This summer, R and I bought a pass for a community pool near us. This pool has a huge area for kids/families, is always clean, is well-run, and has lots of shady spots for those blisteringly hot summer days. In short, a total winner.

Last year, when we had to pay per visit, the kids always wanted to go to that pool.

This year, with our pass purchased and at the ready, the kids could care less about going.

I don't get it.

We were going to the pool yesterday, but with all the bickering and misbehaving that occurred, I changed my mind about taking them. If they are going to behave like that, the least I can do is keep them at home so no one else has to deal with it. Fellow Illinois-ians, you are welcome.

Today was much better behavior wise, so after we went to the Y and did some running around, we got ready and headed out to the pool.

Now, I should clarify that when I say pool, I'm talking about the one we bought the pass for. Here it is the end of the summer, and T still thinks pool means the indoor pool at our community center. Yes, it's taken me this long to figure that out.

So I'm heading for the pool I mean and T thinks we are heading for the pool he means. Neither one of us has clarified this for the other one. S could care less what pool we visit, as long as she gets to go.

As I head around the traffic circle and towards the entrance of our neighborhood, I hear T grumble from the back seat, "Oh great. I guess we are going to the other pool."

Frankly, it irked me. Here we spent a generous amount of money on a pool pass after the kids begged us to go to this pool last year, only to have Mr. Grumbly Grumbleson moan and groan about having to go.


I flip a U turn, why go seven miles when I can go .2? Then I think about it, and decide we are going to the paid-for pool. Why? Because I'm the grownup, we paid for the pool pass, and that's where we're going. End of discussion. MOMMY HAS SPOKEN. Or at least thought really loudly.

Until we get there and that pool is closed.

Of course.

Now I'm deciding how all that crow I'm eating tastes and whether or not I can swallow enough of it to take the kids to our indoor community pool. It was a pretty tough decision and one I was kind of struggling with when I heard a murmur from the back seat.

Oh no he di'nt!

I ask T to repeat himself, to see if what I think he has just said was actually what he just said.

After asking him to repeat himself a few times since he was mumbling, and my pulling over so I didn't run off the road since I was looking at T in the backseat instead of, you know, at the road on which I was driving, I get a clearly spoken sentence.

It was something to the effect of, "I told you we should have gone to our pool."

Most of the time, I would find this hilarious - mostly because he was right and he possesses amazing comedic timing. We should have gone to the closer pool. I should have clarified which pool I meant. Coulda, shoulda, woulda.

As it were, T's defiant little statement just made me really angry. I'm happy to say that I've developed enough restraint to keep my mouth shut, which I did.

I can also tell you that next summer we will save our money and put it towards something more worthwhile = like a week or two at day camp.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm not so good with waiting

Have you ever read Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss? I love that book.

Right now I feel like I'm in the waiting place.

Waiting for an email or phone call or a letter from someone I want to hear from, but need to wait until they contact me.

Waiting to discover if T has step throat and if the rest of us will get it.

Waiting to see if the stomach flu S had yesterday will claim the rest of us this week.

Waiting for word to come down about deployments and PCSing.

Waiting for my long awaited girls weekend at the end of September with my friend Chris.

Waiting, waiting, waiting......

Waiting in doctor's offices or to be able to make an appointment.
Waiting in traffic.
Waiting in lines.
Just waiting.

And in the meantime, life is just whizzing by.

I'm thinking Dr. Seuss was onto something with that book. What's going to happen is going to happen. I think I'm pretty much done putting life on hold to wait.

I hope I get the call, email, or letter. I hope we don't get sick. I hope R doesn't get deployed. I hope our next duty station is actually somewhere we want to do.

I hope for all these things, but I have no control over whether or not they happen...not really. So, I say goodbye to waiting and hello to living.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The day of nothing and something

Friday morning, R came upstairs before he left for work and told me that T was awake, downstairs, and saying that his throat hurt.

Visions of another long winter filled with strep throat danced through my head and I groaned and buried my head under a pillow. About two seconds after R left, T was right beside my side of the bed, looking sad and pitiful and telling me that his throat was really hurting.

And then he started coughing, only his coughing sounded like barking.

Oh. No.

I fixed him a cup of crushed ice, got him settled on the couch, and tried to make him an appointment with the pediatric clinic. They had nothing open, but suggested that I take him to the walk in clinic for a strep test...just to rule it out. I wonder if "easily catches strep" flashes across our file when they pull us up....

I cancel my workout appointment, and have T at the clinic by 8:30. He's already sounding better, but his throat looks swollen and nasty. The rapid strep test was negative, but they double check the culture again at the 24 and 48 hour mark. So, we'll know by Monday.

Then all day today, S has been complaining about her stomach hurting. Unfortunately, she always says her stomach hurts, so we never know quite what to think. For the most part, she seemed okay today. She ate and drank with no issues, besides complaining of stomach pain. She did take a nap around mid-day, which was unusual, but it wasn't a very long one and she didn't sleep well last night.

Then, as I was writing this post, I heard her crying and walking towards the steps. She was asking for a drink, but then she clapped her hand over her mouth and before I knew it, she threw up all down the steps. Poor thing! I got her into the kitchen, where she continued to throw up.  Got her cleaned up, got me cleaned up, got the mess cleaned up and now she and I will be camping out downstairs in the living room, where I can get to her quickly when she gets sick again. I am hoping that this is something she decides not to share with us, but I guess we'll know that by Monday too.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mourning the unknown

First, please read this post by my fellow bloggy friend Samantha. Just one.

Read it and then come on back here. I'll wait.

::busy work::

Okay, how awesome was that post?!? I have got to read that book.

I actually sat down and started to write a post this morning about the men that lost their lives. As the families are starting to speak to the press and the names and further details are being released, this (at least for me) is changing from a horrible tragedy to what seems like a more personal one even though I didn't know anyone involved.

I lead a pretty sheltered military wife life as military lives go. R does not get deployed nearly as frequently as many other areas of the Air Force and no where near as often as the other branches of the military do. For this, I'm grateful every day. When I met R, he was in the Army, serving in the 82nd Airborne. It was a totally different life than the one we lead now. It seems a million miles away.

Then something like this tragedy happens, and I'm reminded again how fleeting and non-guaranteed life is. The  husband of a friend of ours and former coworker of R's is EOD (explosive ordinance disposal). I don't know how she deals with it.

Then I think about all the lives lost: through enemy fire, friendly fire, training accidents, suicide, or as an after effect of defending our country and fighting in foreign lands in fights that aren't even ours. It's overwhelming. It breaks my heart.

I love my country. I'm so proud of my husband for his service. I'm so grateful for all the men and women that have served, are serving, will serve..... I'm indebted to the all the service member's families who have also served and who have paved the way for me to survive this life. It's no Army Wives episode (at least not for me).

Whether or not you agree with our campaign in the Middle East (or anywhere else for that matter), please just remember this: that number you hear on the evening news? It's so much more than a statistic. There's a story behind every single one of those numbers and while we will likely never know it, the least we can do is honor it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Heart to heart

Lately, I've written a lot about S and her ridiculous temper tantrums. Let me also mention that there's a lot of those tantrums I have not written about. Lordy, that girl has some kind of personality on her. Jeckyl-ette and Hyde-e-ho, that one.

Tuesday morning, I sat the resident diva down for a bit of a chat. I asked her to save the tantrums for really important stuff, like not getting an iPhone when all of her friends have them or not being able to see Justin Bieber (or whomever) in concert while dressed like a Toddlers and Tiara's contestant.

My part of this new little bargain was (and I quote from the diva herself) "not to be so mad".  I refrained from mentioning that her constant fits have a lot to do with why I always seem mad these days. Yay for me!

Fast forward to tonight, and we've had two almost tantrum free days. I mention this to R on the way to dinner and suddenly all tantrum avoiding evaporates. Jeez! Was it something I said?

S throws a fit because I didn't bring her a hair elastic, throws another fit because in the midst of throwing the first fit she flips off her flip flop and can't reach it where it lands in the bottom of the car. I think there were a few more thrown in there, but I've already blocked them out of my memory.

We ended up eating dinner tonight at Five Guys and S's comment when we pull up - even though we've said this was where we were heading no less than five times - was "THIS place? YUCK!"

To which I reply - "oh, but they have peanuts...."

To which she replies, "yaaaaaaaaaaay! Peanuts!!!!!"

Alrighty then.

About a minute after we sit down, we see a friend of the kids from camp and S is sweetness and light again.

And the good mood lasts for the rest of the night which made me so very grateful.

Tomorrow should be interesting.

Monday, August 8, 2011

That went swimmingly

Today, R and I went to the Y to swim some laps. Whoooeee, was I sucking wind! I guess slacking off on the working out for a couple weeks wasn't the best idea on the planet. I also guess that's why they call it lifestyle changes and not temporary improvement of habits.

However, I made it through my half mile swim and even did a few more laps after that and lived to tell about it. I've been working on form and rhythm. That's what I tell myself when I find myself lapped by people 30 years older than me, anyway.

After we finished our laps, R got the kids and we stayed for open swim. I came up with the hilarious idea of R and I racing the length of the pool to entertain the kids. Hilarious because if you've ever seen R swim, it's effortless and fast. Just like his running.

The kids called out "ready, set, go" and off we went. R, most likely thinking about how sloooooooow I am, was more than likely planning on taking it easy and not beating me by much. You know, to be nice. I, knowing how sloooooow I am but also knowing that I am capable of decent speed for short distances, gave it everything I had. We were about 3/4ths the length of the pool and I realized that I was ahead of him. Ahead! But he was coming up fast. We touched the wall at almost the same time and T calls out, "Mommy WON!!!!" in a very surprised voice. I was surprised too. And R? He was reallllly surprised. Have I mentioned how he hates to lose?
H A T E S it.

Of course, I was sucking air and clinging to the side of the pool for dear life, and R was barely breathing heavy. Le sigh.

A bit later, we decide to race again. This time, he puts full effort into it and I am left soundly in the dust. I get to the wall a good 10 seconds later than R and S still shouts, "Mommy WON!". Hahahhaaa!

I'm pretty sure it will be the last time. But at least I know I'm a half lap contender. Heehee!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy

Hello. My name is Brooke and I? I am a grumpoholic.

This morning when I couldn't find my car keys? I was grumpy.

Trying to get the kids out of the house in time for an appointment? I was grumpy.

Not able to find that one tiny piece of hair that was in my field of vision but was beyond my abilty to grasp and move out of the way? I was grumpy.

Realizing I still needed to go to the commissary? Grump city.

Trying to turn into one of the parking lot rows in order to find a space (yeah, right) only to have a car practically run a stop sign, turn right in front of me, and then stop dead causing the ass end of my car to hang out into the actual road messing up everyone else's day and driving plans? Whoooooooweeeeeeeee. Gruuuuuummmmmpy me.

And, I'm not proud to say, I did something I rarely do when the kids are with me, I honked my horn at the dimwit in front of me. Not a nice little beep beep either. It was a soul satisfying, anger reducing hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Translation? Get the eff out of my way, jerk! Which, I must admit, in my current state of grumpiness I would likely have yelled if the kids hadn't been with me. Sigh.

So no commissary for us this morning. We did go this afternoon. It went much better until the kids started trying to baseball slide down the aisles. And guessed it...I was grumpy.

At this point I'm trying to figure out if it's society in general or this nasty heat that's making me so grumpy.

Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy.

I think I need some chocolate.

Four year old fits

Aren't the terrible twos supposed to end? I mean, if for no other reason than simply because by a few months into four years old said child should simply be exhausted from trying to figure out things to have fits about?

That's what I thought too, but this morning, S has thrown fit after fit. And most of them were over nothing. As usual.

R left for work around 6, just like he normally does. Within 10 minutes, S was standing beside the bed.

S: Mom?
Me: Unngh
S: Mom?
Me: S, it's really early. Not time to get up yet. (I'm saying this with a pillow over my head)
S: Moooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!! (tears, etc.) I can't get up!
Me: (pulls her onto the bed)
S: Mom?
Me: Hmmmmmmmmm
S: Are you sleeping?
Me: Umhmmmmm
S: Are you sure?
Me: (rolling over) It's too early to get up. I get 30 more minutes.
S: (Crying again) But I'm soooooooo huuuuuuuuungry. I'm hungry Mommmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.
Me: In a minute
S: (sliding off the bed) MOMMMMYYYY! Help me up!!!!!
(pull her back onto the bed and hand over my pillow)
S: Mommy! It's morning time! Get UP!!!
Me: Not until the clock says at least 6:45
S: Waaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

So what does S do when the tantrum doesn't work? She goes and wakes up her brother. I don't realize this until I hear cabinet doors slamming downstairs and realize that he's getting her breakfast. That and then,

T: (mumbling)
(small pause)
More wailing by at least one of the kids. A few seconds later, T appears at my bedside.

T: Mom?
Me: Yes?
T: I poured too much cereal and made a mess and need some help cleaning it up.
Me: (sighs) Okay. I'll be right down.

I go downstairs where S is happily into a huge bowl of Fruit Loops, chattering non stop.

T and I get the cereal cleaned up, which wasn't nearly as much of a mess as I expected, and our collective day begins. This was all around 7:00. By 8, I had listened to S break down into tears and 'Toddlers and Tiaras' fits of rage over....nothing. Seriously, I have no idea why there was so much drama.  What does a four year old have to be that upset over anyway?

Here's the list of things I know of that S got upset about today:

Me not getting up at 6:10.
Not being able to get onto our bed by herself.
Getting off our bed, and yes, she did it voluntarily.
Being hungry.
The bonus Sleeping Beauty DVD not playing what she wanted to see.
Not being able to play the game on the Sleeping Beauty DVD the way she wants.
Not being able to find the other Sleeping Beauty DVD.
Wanting lunch at 10 am. (Not likely)
Not getting a snack.
Being hungry.
Running out of chocolate milk.
Not being dealt a hand of cards in UNO.
Being dealt a hand of cards in UNO.
Not having a green card in the hand she was dealt for UNO.
Having to wash her hands.

T looks at me at one point and says (with an eye roll), "Girls!" He's even gotten that disgusted tone down pat.

I'm kinda with him on that today, frankly.