Friday, November 6, 2009

Fort Hood, Texas


Yesterday there were 13 people killed and another 30 more injured. This happened here, in our community, our home. My husband was on post at the time this occurred and until he called, after 5pm, I wasn't completely sure if he was safe or not. Everyone here is trying to make sense of what went wrong. Is there anything that could have been done to prevent this? Is there anything that CAN be done to prevent things like this from happening again? One thing that we have to remember, as we think about this terrible event, is that this was one of our own. Regardless of his race, religion, or name... this was a fellow soldier. How do you protect yourself from one of your own?
I found out about the shootings at 2pm. Listening to the radio, on my way to pick up our 4 year old son from preschool. I don't think reality sank in until I got to the school and it was on lock down. I sat there, on a bench, in disbelief. Standing around me were many other parents talking about it all. I just sat, listened, and tried to fight back the tears. The moment I saw my son's sweet, innocent smile, the tears began to flow. I saw that face, and all I could think was.... some sweet child just lost their mommy or daddy.
My heart goes out to the families who have have a loved one who was lost or injured yesterday.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

It was suppose to be almost 80 degrees. Too warm to sit inside and waste the day away. So we decided to take full advantage of it and headed to the pumpkin patch. For those of you who live in central Texas, you MUST visit the Silo Christmas Tree Farm and Pumpkin Patch. It was one of the best I've ever been to. The kids loved it! They had hay rides, train rides, pony rides, a maze, pumpkin painting, water races, a petting zoo, and the best part of all... freshly grilled burgers! We had such a great time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finally Got It Back


I'm so happy to announce that I finally have my camera back! A sensor had gone out in the power switch soooo... I had to mail it to the repair center to be fixed. It seemed like forever but my beloved camera has finally made her way back home.
I took this picture, of my 4 year old son, playing basketball in our driveway. He really is pretty good!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Moving Forward


September was a busy month. There were birthdays, packing, unpacking, remodeling, and decorating the new house. It seems the last month has been one full of change and with that change comes a feeling of loss.
Both of my boys have their birthday in September. On each of their special days all I could think about was that it wouldn't always be like this. Before we know it, they won't want to hang with dear old mom and dad on their birthday. Soon it will be all about their friends. Soon after, it will be about girls, cars, and "getting out of this town." I realized that each birthday is another year closer I am to facing the day that my little boys leave home. sniff sniff So as we celebrated with cake and ice cream, presents, and songs. I made sure that I held on to this memory because a part of me realizes that it won't be like this for long.
The month of September also brought us something else to celebrate. We bought our first home. With this came the packing, unpacking, painting, and more. Though we are thrilled to finally be home owners, it was a bitter sweet goodbye I said to the other house. Our little rental that the kids and I lived in, while James was deployed, stores a lot of memories. It was in that house that I had to find the strength to do things alone. It was in that house, that a new part of me was born. I felt a little sad as I took one last look out the kitchen window because that is where I would often stand and watch the boys play in the backyard. I can hear their laughter echo in my mind. Yes, I will miss that run down old rental.... but I smile at the thought of all the new memories we are about to start making in OUR home. I look back and see all that we accomplished in the past 2 years and I know that this is going to be amazing.
So I guess it's time to move forward.... but I will always look back.... because behind me are some of the most beautiful memories and if I don't take the time to relive them.... they could be lost forever. I hope that each day we may all hear the echos of laughter from our past.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Water Park Pictures



Yesterday, we took the boys to the water park. We had such a great time together. I took a couple of pictures and wanted to share with you all. These were taken with my husband's camera as mine is currently in in the shop. :(

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Ugly Truth



The air is filled with the sound of cheers and a marching band. A young and beautiful woman is pushing through the crowd, desperately searching for her love. All the while, he's doing the same thing. It seems as though the search will go on forever when suddenly, they lock eyes. At that very moment, all the noise that filled the air, is replaced with the sound of a symphony. With their eyes locked on one another, the handsome soldier and beautiful young woman walk towards each other and she is now in his arms. As they begin to kiss, a soft breeze begins to blow, gently pushing her hair away from her face. Ahhhh... I do love a good romantic story.
As you know, my husband recently returned home from a 14 month deployment to Iraq. He came home on his mid-tour leave in October, then it was another 10 months before we saw him again. As it got closer for his return, I often thought about his homecoming and how it would be. Being a hopeless romantic, I always thought about the paragraph above. I have since discovered the ugly truth.
I had been tearing up all morning, my face was swollen, my stomach was in knots, I was going to the bathroom every 5 minutes, and to top things off I felt like I was on the verge of a panic attack.
Looking around the gym, you could clearly tell you were sitting in a room full of sexually deprived women. Honestly, the first two things that come to your mind after not seeing your husband for 10 months are sex and a break from the kids. Just being honest here. ;0)
After what seemed like an eternity, the moment was finally here. Our husbands, sons, daddies, and grandsons came running into the gym! - and there they stood.
It was now time for the moment I had been thinking about for so long. Other people rushed down to the center of the gym. I stood on the bleachers unable to go down, holding my 1 year old with one hand and my 3 year old's hand with the other. Crying, I watched as my husband made his way towards us. My nose began to run and before I could do anything about it he was standing in front of me. Forgetting that I had told him to grab the kids first, just in case I fainted, I leaned in for a kiss... just as he bent down to pick up our 3 year old. He then stood up and received the most disgusting kiss a person could imagine. Two words, snot and tears.
So my friends, just a friendly reminder that a fantasy is always nice but sooner or later you will experience the ugly truth.

Welcome Home Troops!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Meet Barley


Hey all! I know it's been a while. Things have been crazy around here. We've got about 2 weeks until my amazing husband returns from Iraq and I've been very busy trying to get everything ready for him. One of the things that was on my list was to find a second family dog.
We have a Beagle who is just the sweetest little girl. She's very quiet and afraid of everything! So we decided that we needed a bigger dog who was a bit more "intimidating" to balance things in our household. :o)
We decided on a German Shepherd. His name is Barley and he's 7 weeks old.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Glass Is Half Full

The past couple weeks have been a little rough. It seems like every time I try to catch my breath, something else happens. It all started a couple weeks ago when my youngest got sick. Since then, we've all had our turn. I'm trying to look at the glass as half full, trying hard!
After Mason started to improve, Kemper got a bug. I took him to the doctor because he was running a temp at 103 degrees and I couldn't get his fever to break. They did a flu test, which came back negative, and gave him a prescription for antibiotics and cough medicine. Looking at the glass half full, I said to myself, "I'm so happy his flu test was negative."
He was about halfway through his antibiotics when the diarrhea kicked in. As I sat there scrubbing the carpet, I thought to myself, "I am so happy his fever finally broke."
A few days passed and I noticed my eyes were itchy. Then they started to ooze. Eww! I called the doctors office and they were able to get me in 30 minutes later. Looking at the glass half full, I thought to myself, " I am so lucky to be able to get in to the doctor so soon."
Later that day, we went to pick up my prescription. As I stood there with two screaming kids, waiting to pay, I was informed that they didn't have the eye drops and that it would be a little longer while they called the doctor. 30 minutes later, two kids still screaming, I picked up my prescription. As I paid, I thought of the glass as half full. "I am so fortunate that they had this other prescription in stock."
It is now 3 days later. This is the last day for my eye drops. However, there is one small problem. The drops have not worked. I called the doctors office to see what I should do. They called in a prescription for a stronger eye drop. Struggling to look at the glass as half full, I thought to myself, "I'm so happy that they called in prescription rather than have me come back for a second appointment."
I will close with this one last thought of a half full glass. "Maybe I should throw this one out, and get a fresh glass!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Close Call


Something happened yesterday that has me a little shaken up. My youngest son, Mason, has cough that just doesn't seem to be getting better. I took him to the doctor and was given a prescription for cough syrup. We dropped it off at the pharmacy on our way home. No big deal, right?
We ate dinner and then went back to pick up the prescription. The lady at the counter explained the medicine and went over the dosage with me. Pretty standard... She was saying that the cough medicine was pretty strong because it has Codeine in it, so I should use it as little as possible. One problem. The dose that was put on my sons prescription said that he should have 1 1/4 teaspoons.
I questioned her about the dosage and she took a second look. She came back and proceeded to tell me that there was an "error" and that the correct dose, for my 20 month old son, is 1/4 teaspoon.
I sat there in shock. Even now, I keep playing the "what if's" through my mind.
If I hadn't questioned her about the dose. I would have come home and given him 4 times the amount that his little body could handle. My baby would probably have died in his sleep.
I want to let you know that she did pull out the prescription again and it was not an error on the doctors part. He had written the correct dose.
So for my realization. I feel like this is a wake up call. You see things like this on the news all the time. As a parent, I can not assume that what's on the label is always correct. It's my job to double check EVERYTHING. The truth is that people DO make mistakes. Thank God this one was caught before something terrible happened.
I can say this. I will not be so naive in the future.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Staycation



I've been hearing a lot of people talk about "Staycations" lately. It's basically a vacation but rather than go somewhere and stay in a hotel, you sleep at home and go to places that are within driving distance.
This is a new and exciting concept to me. Not because I go on vacation all the time.. quite the opposite actually. Simply because we are a young family and don't have the extra money for an actual vacation. The "staycation" brings a whole new array of possibilities to the table.
So for those of you who are feeling the pinch from the economy, I encourage you to look a little closer and embrace the "Staycation!"
(We took a "staycation" to Temple, Tx. We checked out the Train Museum and park!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thank You

I found this article this morning and it just made me smile. I just wanted to say "Thank You" to our guys and gals in Iraq and Afghanistan. They just don't get enough credit for what they do.



Gates Hails Soldier Snapped in Pink Boxer Shorts - Afghanistan | Map | War - FOXNews.com

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Who Needs Brakes?


Sometimes things are funny at the expense of others. I realize there are times when we really should not laugh but sometimes, no matter how hard we try, the laughter over powers us and there not a damn thing we can do about it.
Kemper, who is 3, recently got a new bike. It's bigger and goes a little faster than his old one. Yesterday, he was riding his it, back and forth, from one corner to the other. The sidewalk has a slight incline that goes toward the street on each of these corners. (AKA Corner of Horror) He has successfully rode this route until he got his new bike.
I was following him, pushing Mason in this little car thingy. We were approaching "The Corner Of Horror." I had told him to slow down so he'd make the turn. Just then he hit the incline and froze in fear. He began to scream, "Ahhhh Mooooommmmy!!" All the while unable to take his eyes off the approaching curb. My motherly reflexes kicked in, I pushed Mason's little car thingy onto someone's front lawn, and ran to save Kemper.
Unfortunately, my fingers just grazed the seat of his bike as he went over the curb. Screaming in horror. "Ahhhh!!!!" I could see every muscle in his little body tensed and could only imagine the look on his face.
Somehow, he manage to make it off the curb without tipping over. My poor son, still horrified, now screaming because he's in the road. "Ahhhhh Caaars!" (I have warned him about the dangers of cars and roads.)
He's still upright, on his bike, so I push him back onto the sidewalk. That's when it dawned on me. I had never taught him how to use the brakes. With his old one he'd just put his feet down. That's when I started laughing hysterically.
My poor helpless child.. screaming in fear.. as he went over the curb.. and there was nothing that he could do but hold on for dear life... because it never occurred to me that he didn't know how to use the brakes! I realize that he doesn't think this is the least bit funny and I shouldn't be laughing but each time I think about it, my laughter escapes me. What a way to learn about brakes!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Flea Market Find


This past weekend, I loaded up the kids and headed off to the flea market. The one we have here is small but it's so fun because they have a petting zoo and little taco stands everywhere. Oh and this time I found a fruit stand that had freshly sliced papaya, melons, grapes, berries, and more. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear it was in Mexico!
I am no "Pro", by any means, when it comes to flea markets and yard sales but I'm learning and loving it more each time I go! So for my beautiful find. It's a "Bean Pot with a serving basket." I saw it and fell in love! It's my favorite color and it's the perfect size to serve anything from a pot of beans to a winter stew.
As odd as this may sound, I have bonded with this cute little "Bean Pot" and plan to make it a regular addition at our family dinners!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Where Does It Go?


Kemper, who is 3, was in the kitchen waiting for his pizza to finish cooking. He was telling me how much he loved pizza and how he couldn't wait to eat it.
I decided to ask him, "Where does it go?"
He replied, "In my mouth!" With a big grin.
I continued, "Then where does it go?"
"My TUMMY!" He exclaimed.
I hesitated momentarily but I was curious and asked, "Then where does it go?"
Without hesitation he shouted, "MY FEET!!"

Friday, May 1, 2009

Celebration


Since James has deployed, I have discovered an interest in photography. Yesterday, while the boys were napping, I set up my tripod, and proceeded to take pictures of myself.
I don't think we really appreciate the beauty each one of us has. So this is me, breaking MY mold. A MOTHER of three. CELEBRATING being a WOMAN. Why not celebrate with me?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Who Would Have Thought


Do you remember when you were in school and there was that ONE boy? You know, the one you had a crush on but you never thought he liked you because he was... well picking on you all the time?
I was shocked to find out that my precious, adorable, funny, and amazing son, was the preschool version of this boy.. except worse. Apparently, he had not just singled out one girl in the class, it was more like a few.
At first I was in a state of denial. Each day the teacher would tell me of a new incident that had occurred. I would think to myself, "My son would NEVER do something like that unless he were somehow provoked." After all, I know from experience how little girls are. ;)
The 2nd week had started and when I went to pick him up I was forced to face the ugly truth. This time Kemper reached over and poked another boy in the eye for no apparent reason. It was during story time so the teacher saw the entire incident unfold.
I realized that he was on the fast track to being a bully. I was clueless as to how I should handle the situation. We got home and the answer fell into my lap. We talked about what was going on and he was like, "Okay mommy... Can I play video games?!" There it was... I told him, "No." Then explained each time that he asked, that he couldn't play because of his actions at school. It was really hard because I've never been good at telling him "No" and then making myself stick to it the rest of the day... but I did it.
I am proud to say that he has made it the past 4 days without any incidents! Who would have thought that video games could be so useful!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Missing Him


So here I sit. Eyes filled with tears and my throat has a huge knot in it. I just got off the phone with James. I got a new webcam, so we talked on the phone while he got the treat of seeing us at the same time. It was the first time he got to see his baby walk. Just thinking about that makes my eyes fill up again.
15 months... I repeat that to myself often. It's hard not to be bitter. I have to remind myself that we knew this was a possibility when he enlisted but still the bitterness is there. I envy those wives who get to complain about their husbands. Who get to fight with them. Who slam down the phone in a tantrum and are able to call him back afterward. Who couldn't sleep last night because he was snoring. Who has to pick up his shoes from the living room floor. Who has to put down the toilet seat. All of the things that are taken for granted. All the things that I took for granted. Something as little as sitting next to him on the couch. I miss all the little things.
He loaded some new pictures of himself today. Seeing them makes me wonder what goes through his mind. What little things he misses. Plumbing? Comforting his boys when they cry? His comfy couch? The sound of the dog, snoring at night? A home cooked meal? A chance to be, "Alone?" Taking a long hot shower? The smell of his wife's perfume? Kissing his boys goodnight? I'm sure he misses all of these things. In a strange way it helps me get through each day, because no matter how hard I think I've got it, I'm reminded that he's got it even worse. With that in mind I know that a part of him depends on us to be his sense of normalcy. To remind him that he's not just some random soldier but that he's the most important soldier in OUR lives. That he has a life here waiting for him.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Chair


Mason is now 19 months old. Over the course of the past week, he has discovered that he can climb into this chair. Which, by the way, has become his favorite thing to do. As nerve racking as this past week has been, our precious son has managed to make it even more so.... Oh yes, he has also learned that he can move this "magical" chair. Now this curious toddler can explore the entire house with no limitations. I'm sure you can imagine how exciting this milestone is for BOTH of us. Yesterday he was able to get onto the kitchen counter. I'm sure he feels this was an amazing victory, as for myself.. I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I keep praying that this "phase" will be a short one!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Getting Started

So here I am!!  I've finally made the leap and set up an actual blog!  Yay for me!  I think this could be fun, once I get into the groove.   I've spent the past hour or so playing around trying to get all of my personal settings how I want them and now I'm ready!  Of course, I don't really have anything to blog about, so I'm going to share a story that I had posted on my myspace blog.  It took place last summer, shortly after my husband deployed.  Hope you enjoy!

Creepy Crawlies 
Just another typical night in our house. Got the kids ready for bed, turning out the lights, and took the baby back to my bedroom... oh dang! I forgot to lock the garage door. I asked Kimberly if she could lock it and being the great child she is.. she goes to lock the door.  

Kimberly: "Mom... there's a big spider in the kitchen."
Mom: "Grab a shoe and kill it."
Kimberly: (pause)
Kimberly: walks into bedroom "Uh mom.. I'm a little scared."
Mom: "Are you kidding? It's a spider, smack it with the shoe!" walking towards the kitchen.

As I made my way through the house, I stopped by the front door and grabbed a flip flop. Now in the kitchen, I placed one foot on the linolium, and found myself standing toe to toe with the large spider Kimberly was talking about. There he stood calmly looking back at me.. I could see his eyes and did the only logical thing to do.. I jumped back and let out a rather loud scream! It was a damn TARANTULA!! 
I'm thinking to myself.. "Ok.. just leave it alone and it will go away.. No No No.. What if it crawls into bed with us.." Then reality sank in... James is in Iraq.. I have to be the one... "Why?!"
Fast forward a bit.. The spider has moved to the corner of the kitchen. I've made an emergency call to my dad, and now have a plan. Kimberly has Mason in the bedroom where it's "safe" and Kemper is convinced that he HAS to help.  
I place a chair in the center of the kitchen, grab a broom, a bottle of Windex, and climb onto the chair. Kemper, being my helper, is on the chair with me.  
Using the broom, I poke the spider to get him out of the corner.... it takes a few pokes.. and I'm pretty sure he's mad because he runs out of the corner and stops right in front of the chair... looks straight at me and raises his two front legs! Again, I do the logical thing and start screaming.. not just any scream but rollacoaster screams. Only stopping long enough to take a breath and start screaming again.  
There he stands, poised and ready for battle. Being the more intelligent of the two species and being armed.. Again I do the logical thing... still screaming, I throw my broom at the spider.. and miss. But that's ok.. because I have a back up plan... I'm going to turn the Windex to "Stream" and kill that son of a gun.... looking at my bottle of Windex I was surprised to find that there is no longer a "Stream" selection on the nozzle. So I resort to my only option....Mist. (Gulp)  
Still screaming, standing on a kitchen chair, Kemper screaming with me, spider ready to kick some ass, and I am misting the damn thing with Windex. Not only is it not working.. but he's moving closer to the chair.. I climb from the chair to the top of the counter.. still misting, as fast as I can mist and screaming!
The turantula retreated under the stove. So... again.. being the more intelligent species.. I make a perimeter around the stove... a perimeter of tape with the sticky side up. The theory is that if the turantula tries to come back out.. he will stick and I can deal with him in the morning.... thus getting a peaceful night of sleep. 
The next morning.. we found the tape was mangled.. but no turantula.  

Update: Mr. Turantula and I had our final battle in the garage.. about a week later. I am happy to report that I won.. this time using a flyswatter, my new weapon of choice.  

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