*update: I use pork tenderloin for the schnitzel. But I do use veal (and sometimes chicken, but it's not as good) for veal piccata over linguine. That's one of Big Sis' favorite meals.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
*update: I use pork tenderloin for the schnitzel. But I do use veal (and sometimes chicken, but it's not as good) for veal piccata over linguine. That's one of Big Sis' favorite meals.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Hmm, I don't think I'm buying it.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Then there was the question she asked me in a quiet library in front of some Marines (male, of course).
Well, she's managed to traumatize her father again. The other night, Stretch was getting her ready for bed when she started blitzing him with questions. The one that sucker-punched him was "Daddy, am I gonna bleed when I'm older?"
Fortunately, she moved on to something else quickly before he had to answer.
Update: I can't believe I forgot to include this little nugget. Big Sis loves to watch "The Saddle Club" and a recent episode showed a mare giving birth to a foal in all its gory details. Later, the girls were playing and pretending to be dogs. (This is a favorite game, maybe because we don't have pets.) While Big Sis was a very hyper dog, L'il Sis kept laying on the couch, giving birth to puppies. She would say, "Pretend another puppy is coming out my booty." I wasn't sure what to be most disturbed by as I had several choices. Stretch, of course, just wanted her to stop.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Remember this tree? It's down, again, for probably the 3rd or 4th time since we moved in last summer. Of course, Stretch is out of town for the week.
Oh, and to really top things off, I just found out yet another friend has moved to the base I left last summer. We were supposed to be there for 3 years. Instead, we were there less than 18 months. Well, the girls and I were there. Stretch might have been there 3 months altogether. Not that I was counting. So, anyway. I've got a list of friends that are now there (and I'm not!) while I'm here, still not having made any real friends. The Marine Corps has a sick sense of humor.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I managed to get up, prep the bird and get it in the oven at a decent time. (Even more impressive was the fact that it was actually quite good, if I do say so myself.) We were shooting for eating at lunchtime. With a little help from Stretch, I managed to time it so everything was ready at the same time (relatively). The girls were a little confused as to why we were eating dinner if it was lunchtime.
We also pulled out the good china and flatware. Threw an actual tablecloth down on the table and used cloth napkins. I know, our kids didn't know what to make of that! I even managed to corral everyone into sitting for a family picture for our Christmas cards (almost overcooked the potatoes doing that).
Now, back to planning my shopping strategy for tomorrow...
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
When we arrived at the salon, L'il Sis decided that she wanted her hair cut short like her cousin who has a stacked bob. Once we got inside the door, Big Sis suddenly decided that if she liked the way her sister's hair turned out, she'd get the same haircut. (I've been trying to convince her for months that she needs to cut her hair with no result.) Well, she liked it so now both girls are sporting bobs.
Since I wasn't expecting such drastic haircuts (just bang trimming!), I don't have a before picture, just the after:
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Another sign of the impending Holidays, one I actually enjoy seeing, is the collection boxes for Toys for Tots. Sometimes, you'll even get to see a Marine in his blues standing near the boxes to encourage donations. (And I think we can all agree that a Marine in dress blues is just nice to look at!) Did you know that Toys for Tots was started in 1947 by a Marine Corps Reservist (with a bit of prodding by his wife, of course)? Or that Walt Disney designed the logo? You can read up on its history here.
We all know that things are tight all over. In our region alone, Toys for Tots expects to provide toys for 100,000 kids this year. This is up significantly from last year. So, if you're able, consider donating to Toys for Tots.
You can see other Toys for Tots ads here, but this one has to be my favorite:
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
This Veteran's Day, I'm really missing being around a military community (which usually has a strong retiree population as well). On the other hand, I did meet a man at the Birthday Ball the other night who served as a Corpsman on Iwo Jima.
To all those who serve and have served: Thank you!
The program for the evening had a page with quotations about Marines. Last year, I didn't attend a ball but provided a few of my favorite quotes. I have a new one to add to the list:
They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake."
--Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
So, I needed to put air in a tire. I also needed to buy cookies for my daughter's class party. I was supposed to send them in that morning but since I didn't remember until after the girls were in bed and there wasn't another adult around, I couldn't get them until yesterday. After dropping Big Sis off, L'il Sis and I headed to a nearby grocery store. I needed plain cookies that the kids could then decorate during their party on Friday. There were no plain cookies.
Later, we tried a warehouse store. Again, no plain cookies. Also no air at their gas station. Off to a super discount store. There was a gas station in front of it and it had air. But charged $0.75 for it. Guess who didn't have any change?
Finally found the cookies. Yay!
Went home. Fed L'il Sis. Cleaned breakfast area so I could set up the sewing machine. (I should mention here that I don't sew.) I'd cut out fabric the day before to make a cape for the girls. The plan was to put it together that day. By the time I had everything out and put together, it was time to go get Big Sis.
While picking up Big Sis, I notice that there is a sizable hole in one of my fog lights on the car. But I don't remember this happening and can't figure out where or how it happened.
After we got back, I tackled getting the needle threaded and starting the project. It took me about 30 minutes before the first stitch was made. (Have I mentioned I don't sew?) The sad part is I brought this project on myself. I looked at the pattern in the store (it was marked as an "easy" project) and actually thought, "how hard can it me?" Pretty darn hard, it turns out, if you don't sew!
I managed to get most of the pieces put together. It wasn't beautiful. But by then I was subscribing to the "close enough for government work" theory of doing business. (There is a reason I don't sew!) It was time for dinner but I still had a few things to do with the sewing machine. So I left everything where it was and took the kids out for dinner. On the way back, I remembered I still needed air for the tire. Found a gas station that had free air and (hopefully) fixed the situation. At any rate, the light went off.
After getting home and getting ready for bed, L'il Sis picked Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst for her story. How appropriate. \
Maybe I should move to Australia? Oh, wait, they're moving into summer there and we're finally moving out of it here. Never mind.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
We stopped off at the pumpkin patch first but I guess I'd left it a bit late. The pickings were pretty slim. We still got a pumpkin to carve but there weren't any little ones left for Big Sis (L'il Sis got hers earlier this week during her preschool trip to the patch).
The craft fair area was pretty small and didn't have much that I could browse with my 2 girls in tow. But then we went to the rummage sale area and Big Sis found a toy stable for her
Then we went out to the parking lot area where there was a stage set up, food booths, a firefighter static display, games and rides, and facepainting. Big Sis immediately wanted her face done. After getting tickets, that was our first stop. L'il Sis was more leery of the whole thing but soon decided she wanted a bunny on her hand. (The child is obsessed with her bunnies!)
Then we hung out waiting for the pony rides. It was hot out there and there wasn't much in the way of shade. Isn't it October?!
After pony rides, Big Sis wanted to try out the bungee-trampoline-jumping thing. L'il Sis wanted to go down an inflatable slide and then a jumpee-obstacle course. By this time, I was seriously starting to wilt from the heat and sun. Fortunately, it was almost time for the puppet show. So I herded them toward the blessedly air conditioned area for that.
I took some pictures with my camera-phone while we were there and sent them to Stretch. But it would've be so much nicer if he'd been there in person instead. One more week!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Update: This is a picture from L'il Sis' preschool outing to the pumpkin patch at our church (it's also where her preschool is). The scarecrow gave them their mini pumpkins and then they each got to buy a slightly larger pumpkin.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Now for the back story. The last 2 duty stations we were at, my PCM (primary care manager) was a nurse practitioner. In theory, I don't have a problem with this unless I have a serious illness but I'm generally pretty healthy. I said in theory. Because I'm sure there are some wonderful nurse practitioners out there. I just wouldn't count the 2 I had as being among them. Both were extremely condescending and dismissive toward me. And for those of you who know me personally, you know how much I hate that! Every time it happened, I wanted to scream at those women that I probably had more education and a higher IQ than they did so they should stop treating me like an idiot and just listen to my concerns for 2 minutes.
3 tours back, the doctor I saw the most was an OB (it was when I was having L'il Sis). We were at a duty station where we saw civilian doctors. And although the OB wasn't my PCM, she was who I saw most of the time due to the situation and short time we were there. I wasn't an interesting enough case for the her though, so more often than not, she was out of the exam room practically before I had a chance to open my mouth to ask a question.
So you can see why I'm so appreciative to have gotten lucky this go-round. It was about time!
Monday, October 20, 2008
I know she's had a rough year and a half between 2 moves and the deployment in between. But believe me, the no-sleep thing has been rough on me, too!
I woke up in a much better mood than usual this morning. And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is the beginning of a trend and not just a fluke!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
So, now, instead of getting out of the house to do something fun with the girls, we're sitting in the house waiting for a repairman who will be here sometime between "now (it was 11 a.m. at the time) and 3" p.m. What a way to spend a beautiful Saturday.
Update: By 3 p.m., there was still no sign of a repairman. So I called the company our landlord has contracted for these issues. The snotty girl on the other end of the line said they'd called and left a message indicating that he was running late. Um, no, since I've been home ALL DAY and no one called and there were no messages on our voicemail. I asked what number they'd called. It was completely unfamiliar and probably either belonged to our landlord or the previous tenant. The other number they had was Stretch's cell phone (yes, the same Stretch who is in another state for the month). Then she offered to delete Stretch's number (which they also had not called) from their database. WHAT?! Oh, wait, of course, because it would be SO helpful to delete the ONE phone number with which you'd have any chance of reaching the actual occupants of the house.
Seriously, I can't stand idiots or people who waste my time. Oh, and the repairman finally showed around 4 p.m., spent about 5 minutes replacing a part and declared the fridge fixed.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Currently, Stretch is attending something where injury is a possibility. Hopefully, it isn't a probability. Every evening he calls and tells me about his aches and pains. He's using the heating pad and soaking in boiling hot baths. I think he should find a sports masseuse where he is, too.
(tongue firmly in cheek) Is it wrong that I'm also wondering if he has enough insurance?
Monday, October 13, 2008
The problem with cooking is that the kids almost never appreciate it. Yes, there are occasional meals and certain dishes that they really enjoy. But I don't want to spend the time and effort to make a nice dinner, clean it all up, and have 2 kids not eat it or have to spend the entire meal saying, "Take a bite." It's just too frustrating. When Stretch was gone for the year, I cooked "real" dinners 2 or 3 times a week. But he's only gone a few weeks this time. So I'm making the executive decision to give myself a break. Over the weekend, I ordered Chinese takeout. Big Sis turned her nose up at it (except the rice, she took half the rice). But L'il Sis tried the egg drop soup and LOVED it. The next night she asked if we could have Chinese food again.
Besides, there are a lot of meals that don't require "real" cooking. Last night we had pancakes. Made from a mix. I don't consider this cooking. But L'il Sis was delighted. Tonight I threw some canned rolls into the oven and emptied a frozen meal in a bag into a skillet. Again, I don't consider this cooking. It's more heating. We'd had this particular meal once before while Stretch was still home. L'il Sis greeted the pasta dish with this: "Dee-licious! I can't stop eating it!" Considering the usual response that I get from her ("Yuck! I'm not eating THAT!"), it's not inspiring me to actually do much "real" cooking this month.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
She understood he'd be gone all month and has been good about trying to explain that to L'il Sis who just doesn't get it. L'il Sis keeps thinking he's coming home or asking if we're going to go pick him up. But still, I wonder about Big Sis' lack of curiosity for 3 days. Of course, this is the same child who once told Stretch when he'd asked her if she missed him shortly after leaving on a trip, "Not really. It's only been a day. That's not long enough to miss you yet." Ouch.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Actually, so far so good. Despite 2 of us not feeling our best, the first couple of days have been decent. L'il Sis didn't stay in her own bed again last night, but then she almost never does, so it wasn't a huge surprise.
Big Sis had the day off from school today. So when she came downstairs and wanted to cuddle and watch TV after she was supposed to be in bed, I let her stay up a little later than usual. Besides, I have to get my cuddles with her when I can! She is much more reserved than her sister with affection so I take what I can get.
This morning, after dropping L'il Sis at preschool (and staying for their 1st chapel time), Big Sis and I went to Wal-Mart so she could start spending some of her birthday gift money. There's no denying she is Stretch's and my child: After picking out thank-you cards, she headed straight to the book section and picked out about $25 in books to spend her money on. She never even asked to go to the toy section (and, no, I didn't suggest it). After that, she wanted to go straight home to read her new books. Although I'm not sure why since she started reading them in the car!
Hmm, about 3 more weeks... Can a person completely forget how to cook in that time?
Monday, October 06, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
I keep a small phonebook in my car and start looking through it frantically after we're in the car again. A DQ! But where is it? I think I can find it and we go looking for it. We can order a cake and they can draw a horse on it. Big Sis doesn't look thrilled but says she wants it. We order it but as soon as we're out the door (not even in the parking lot yet) she admits she really wants the Spirit horse figurines on her cake. So we go back in and cancel the order.
Then we have a little discussion that maybe she'll have to settle for a regular cake and not an ice cream cake. She is fine with this as long as Spirit and his companion are on the cake. So we try P grocery store (#1). No horse cakes. We go another grocery chain. Again, no horse cakes. How is this possible? We live in horse country!
We give up for the day and decide to try again on Saturday. The monsoon moves in before dawn on Saturday. And stays all day. By 11 a.m. I've decided, there's nothing else for it but we're going to have to go out in it. The girls don their raincoats while I take the closest thing I have (a windbreaker that's not quite up to the task). Our first stop is Wally World. I think we've hit paydirt. There is a cake with horses on it. It's not exactly Spirit but pretty darn close. But we celebrate too soon. They are out of that cake topper. Of course they are!
So then I change my paradigm once more. Maybe I can find the cake topper at a party or craft store and mommy will just make the cake. It wouldn't be the first time. I'm even willing to try drawing a horse on a cake at this point but she's not happy with that option. So we go to a party store. Half the store is taken over by Halloween costumes and paraphernalia. No luck with Spirit or any horse related items, unless you want to count My Little Pony, which Big Sis didn't. So we tried the craft store. Again, no luck.
At this point, I need sustenance. So we stop for lunch. By the way, it has been raining steadily the whole time. Occasionally it slows, but never stops.
After lunch, we try the creamery that we started with yesterday because they are supposed to be open today. False advertising. They are still closed. They still promise to be open tomorrow. But another super discount store is nearby so we go there. By now, the rain really is at monsoon strength. It is pouring and there is no such thing as a close parking spot. I park and grab the kids and the umbrella and make our way inside. We slip and slide our way to the bakery section but find no joy. On the way out, there is certain ubiquitous coffee shop. I'm sorely tempted to get a latte or machiatto or something. But I can't figure out how to hold onto L'il Sis, my car keys, the umbrella and a hot beverage while battling the monsoon back out to the car. Oh, well, I didn't need the calories anyway. By the time, we make it back into the car, the back of my pants are soaked. It's oh-so-comfortable.
We are across the street from BR so I think, "Well, maybe I can simply buy the cake topper from them. Although probably not b/c I don't think the cakes are made on site, but whatever, I'm desperate so let's try." The almost-human teenage boy working the counter didn't think it was possible. At least, that's what I think his grunts meant. I was too irritated to think about asking for a manager at this point. We pile back into the car. Have I mentioned that I'm now sitting in wet denim?
We go to P grocery store (#2). Still no horses but Big Sis decides she can live without them (she hopes for better luck next year) and decides on another design. The good news? It will be an ice cream cake, after all.
The worst part about the whole ordeal was that Big Sis kept apologizing, saying it was her fault that she'd picked such a hard cake to find. I felt bad enough as it was without her feeling bad, too. I kept trying to tell her it wasn't her fault at all. If it was anyone's fault, it was mine for waiting to place an order. But I honestly didn't think it would be such an ordeal. From a simple errand to practically the quest for the holy grail! Who knew it would take 12 stops and 2 days to accomplish the mission of ordering a cake?
Saturday, October 04, 2008
So, I did the only thing I could think to do. I sat there and tried to teach my not-quite-8-year-old some algebra, complete with x's and y's. She didn't much like having letters mixed up in her math. Can't say I blamed her. Where was her engineer-degreed father when we needed him?!
UPDATE: Thanks for the comments explaining the mysterious workings of 3rd grade math. How sad that I needed them! Of course, I wouldn't have needed them had the teacher bothered to send something home stating that's how those problem should be solved! But I digress. I still think it would make more sense to simply give them drill or practice sheets if they need to practice adding and subtracting (and believe me, they do!). Why go about it in such a round-about way? It seems inefficient and confusing to the kids (and parents!). If kids are struggling with math, this is not going to make them feel any better about the subject.
This morning I made French toast for breakfast. I don't usually cook for breakfast so it should be considered a special treat. You'd think. Not so much. The oldest said she didn't want any. The youngest embraced them wholeheartedly. But she was hungry and fixated on the strawberries I promised her would go with them. I told Big Sis she couldn't have her "usual." (She puts frozen Chocolate Chip Eggo waffles into the toaster every morning before school, making her own breakfast.) Reluctantly, she sat down and inhaled her breakfast. But wouldn't admit to liking it. For some reason, she never remembers that this is a breakfast dish she actually likes. But L'il Sis sat next to her, eating and making appreciative noises. Then she turns to her big sister and says, "See. It's not so bad."
High praise, indeed.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
For the 3rd time, I participated in a Four Lenses temperament class. Not too surprisingly, my personality or temperament hadn't changed, it only became more entrenched in what it already was. There actually are benefits to doing this more than once. I take something different away each time, but I do wish the presenters would recognize that some of us have done this before, thereby enabling a broader use of the training. For those of you who have done this, I am a green (one of only 2 in a room of 27 women at this conference). We are a rare breed and like it that way!
One of the highlights of the week was getting to spend almost all day Sunday with my college roommate. She was sweet enough to drive the 2+ hours to where I was since I had no transportation. It was nice to just get to hang out again without children and without a schedule to keep. We lived together for 5 years so we'd done our fair share of just hanging out in our youth.
Then, my mother and stepfather drove in from out of state for a couple of days. We shopped and ate Korean food. We even introduced a buddy of Stretch's to Korean food. This was challenging because we found out minutes before leaving for dinner that he had a sesame allergy. Seriously? Do you have any idea how integral sesame oil and sesame seeds are to Korean cooking?! Somehow we managed to feed everyone and no one went into anaphylactic shock.
I also ran into a couple of other Marine wives and had a great opportunity to catch up. A few of us even managed to go exploring and have lunch my last day there. It was a restful trip for me. One I'd needed.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Update: They seem to have had a glitch in the voting. If you've already voted, please go back and cast your vote again. If you haven't already voted, click on the link above, select your favorite essay from those listed on the right sidebar and click on "vote."
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Since moving here, we are constantly getting phone calls from telemarketers and pollsters (despite being on the national do not call list). Last night, the phone rang and Stretch looked at the caller ID and reasoned it was either a telemarketer or a pollster. So, he decided to have some fun with it. He answered the phone with, "Yo-bo-say-yo." (Korean telephone greeting) Then, he continued to speak to the person on the line in Korean, frustrating the poor man until he finally hung up.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
I wasn't entirely surprised because she has always gotten great reviews from teachers. I just want to know why can't she bring some of that home with her?!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Jan has a post on Standing By inviting comments on where you were 7 years ago today. And SpouseBuzz Radio will be airing a special show at 9 p.m. Eastern time.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Today, I went to a hairdresser for the first time since moving here. Yes, I was well overdue but hesitant about finding a new place to go. And unlike Stretch, I only have my hair done every 6-8 weeks (ideally, in reality, well that's another story). I feel I have a lot less room for error than Stretch.
I went in for color and a trim today. The greys really needed covering but I don't want to take the plunge with a new haircut until I know a hairdresser better. Today's appointment went okay. The color turned out well. And I have no complaints about the trim. She barely took anything off and didn't charge me so that was a plus.
But can someone please tell me why every hairdresser I go to wants to make my hair flip out when they style it?! The woman today even went so far as to recommend a cut that would make flipping it even easier. But I don't want my hair to flip out like that weird pink and purple Doodlebop character. I have nothing against the style. Some women look quite nice wearing it. I just don't want it on MY head.
Friday, August 29, 2008
First, Big Sis has been complaining that they don't get recess. What? Third grade and no recess? My mother-in-law (retired teacher and principal) pointed out that x number of hours was required by state law in their state. Turns out it is here, too. So, what's the problem? Overcrowding and lack of space, apparently. The school currently has over 1100 students and they just don't have enough outdoor space (especially with shade -- it is still hot and muggy here) for all the kids to get recess. Supposedly, it is a priority and they are "working" on it.
Second, Big Sis brought home a flyer yesterday for after-school Spanish classes. It would be once a week and cost $195. What?! They don't have any foreign language instruction during the school day. Big Sis has had Spanish since Kindergarten during the regular class day. While we were overseas, she received some instruction in Korean as well as a daily class in Spanish. The last school she attended was in coastal Carolina. We are now in South Florida. Which area has a more obvious need for Spanish instruction?
Oh, to be back in a DoDEA school!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
What is a MILITARY Wife?
They may look different and each is wonderfully unique
But this they have in common.
They have THIS IN COMMON!
lots of moving---
moving far from home
moving two cars, three kids and one dog----all riding with HER of course
moving sofas to basements because they won't go in THIS house
moving curtains that won't fit
moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours
moving away from friends moving toward new friends
moving her most important luggage; her trunk full of memories
waiting, waiting, waiting for housing; waiting for orders; waiting
for deployment; waiting for reunion; waiting for phones calls;
waiting for the new curtains to arrive; waiting for him to come home for dinner----AGAIN!
They call her 'military dependent', but she knows better
she can balance a checkbook
handle the yard work
fix a noisy toilet.
She is intimately familiar with drywall, anchors, and toggle bolts.
She can file the taxes, sell a house, buy a car, or set up a move, --
--all with ONE Power of Attorney.
She welcomes neighbors that don't welcome her.
Reinvents her career with every PCS; locates a house in the desert,
the arctic, or the deep south and learns to call them all 'home'.
She MAKES them all home.
She is fiercely IN-dependent
Military Wives are somewhat hasty
They leap into decorating, leadership, volunteering, career alternatives,
churches and friendships.
They don't have 15 years to get to know people.
Their roots are short but flexible.
They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them.
Military Wives quickly learn to value each other. They connect over coffee, rely on the spouse-network and accept offers of friendship and favors and record addresses in pencil.
Military Wives have a common bond. The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands. His commitment is unique. He doesn't have a job, he has a 'mission' he can't just decide to quit.
He's on-call for his country 24/7 but for you, he's the most...
Unreliable guy in town!
His language is foreign: TDY, PCS, OPR, ACC, BDU
And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his.
She is the long-distance link to keep them informed; the glue that holds them together.
Military Wife has her moments--
She wants to wring his neck, dye his uniform pink, and refuse to move to Siberia.
But she pulls herself together. Give her a few days, a travel brochure, a long hot bath, a pledge to the flag, and a wedding picture.
And she goes.
Why? What for? How come? You may think it is because she has lost her mind.
But actually it is because she has lost her heart.
It was stolen from her by a man
who puts duty first
who longs to deploy
who salutes the flag
and whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military husband,
She will remain his Military wife.
Friday, August 22, 2008
School's been back in session for just under a week and already Big Sis is trying to "teach" L'il Sis. Of course, L'il Sis thinks it's a game, while Big Sis takes it seriously. This is the conversation heard today while dinner was in the oven:
L'il Sis: I want to be the teacher!
Big Sis: No, you don't know anything. (said very matter-of-factly)
(more talking, but I can't make it all out)
Big Sis: I know everything. (Oh, the confidence!)
Big Sis: (exasperated) We're not playing! (She actually is trying to teach her sister something, anything at this point)
L'il Sis: (resigned, still thinking it's a game) Fine, you can be the teacher.
(Still later, Big Sis is trying to teach L'il Sis about addition. Um, how about we just concentrate on counting without leaving out any numbers? I mean, she is only 4!)
Big Sis: 1 + 1 is 2. It's not 1 because that's multiplication.
Then she moved on to the Pledge of Allegiance. Shortly after that, L'il Sis was getting agitated and complaining that school was boring so it was a good thing dinner was ready.
Monday, August 18, 2008
So anyway, we've got Fay heading our way. My sister pointed out that we've survived tornadoes, earthquakes, monsoons and now this. What's next? A plague of locusts? Oh, wait, do the crickets that seemed to be everywhere in 29 Palms count? They're not exactly locusts, but let's check that one off, too.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Big Sis had taken it upon herself to clean up the kitchen and make dinner. On the menu this evening were hot dogs and mac-n-cheese. I'm sure she got a little bit of help from Stretch but he says it was all her idea and he let her do most of the cooking. She was so proud and insisted on plating everyone's dinner and dishing out seconds herself as well. Did I mention she's only 7?
In so many ways, she acts so grown-up. She can be so sweet and responsible. She was great with Claire the whole time we were out earlier in the day. But her mood can change so quickly that it can give you whiplash.
After dinner, she wanted to play chess. (We played for the first time the other day.) It wasn't long before she became both bored and frustrated. Then she threw a tantrum. Eventually, Stretch pinned her down and was giving her zerberts, trying to give her chill bumps and make her laugh.
And that's where chipmunks come into it. L'il Sis (aka the Brute) heard him saying "chill bumps" and jumped in wanting to give him the same but it came out "chipmunks." It took me awhile to figure out what she was talking about. She wiggled in close enough and gave him zerberts on his neck while giggling and saying "chipmunks" when she came up for air.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I heard Big Sis crying and saying that L'il Sis had punched her in the stomach. By the time I had them both in front of me, the older one was still rubbing her stomach (and yes, she can be a bit of a drama-queen) and the younger one was completely unrepentant. Apparently, Big Sis had been ignoring her. Well! We can't have that, can we?
I sent her off to her room for a time-out. Later, she traipsed into my room to tell me that Big Sis was "annoying" her. Her convoluted explanation included that Big Sis had said she "didn't care" and that was why L'il Sis, or The Brute, "beat her butt." Yes, those were her words. I know it's wrong, but it was really hard not to laugh.
Monday, August 11, 2008
So far, Stretch has found that reception the Marines receive here is overwhelmingly supportive. In fact, they dress up once a week and wear their Charlies. They can't wear their cammies out in town but they can wear the Charlies. On several occasions, Marines have had strangers pay for their lunches while out in uniform. In fact, it happened to us just last week. L'il Sis and I met Stretch for lunch. We needed boxes and when the waitress brought them by, she let Stretch know that the gentleman at the next table had paid for our lunch. Of course, he thanked him right away and again before we left. Outside, he chalked it up to L'il Sis being so cute (okay, he said me, too, but I'm not buying that). Hmm. Yes, she's cute. But she's never gotten me a free lunch before.
It's an interesting thing. It's very nice to have someone feel appreciative of the military and want to do something nice for its members. At the same time, it felt a bit strange to be the recipient of that.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
But I know I am done. So done.
Early on, Stretch and I agreed that 2 children was the right number for us. We both came from families that had 2 kids. From a logical perspective, it meant a parent-child ratio of 1 to 1 (well, when he's around) and when only one parent was around, we had a hand for each child.
Yes, it's nice to hold a baby and inhale that clean powdery baby smell. And it's fun to play with with my toddler nephews. But babies grow up and have to be potty-trained. My girls are 4 and almost 8 now. Neither one needs to have her diaper changed. I no longer have to haul a diaper bag, changes of clothing, and a stroller just to get out the door. I no longer have to pack for every contingency just to go shopping. The oldest can get her own breakfast and even her sister's if she needs to. She can make a simple sandwich if she's hungry and no one else is willing to do it for her. The youngest is fully verbal now. I don't have to guess as much about what's wrong if she's crying. These are little things but they are huge at the same time. It means that the girls are moving that much closer to independence. They are obviously nowhere near being independent but they are a lot less dependent on me.
Although we haven't made the switch yet, legally Big Sis doesn't have to ride in her booster seat in this new state. And L'il Sis could probably make the switch from car seat to booster (her seat does both). The point is both are growing up and it is getting easier to get in and out of the car with them. Do I really want to go back to a baby in a rear-facing car seat that takes up so much room in a vehicle? No. And, on a tangent, why is it that the smaller the child, the more room their luggage and equipment takes up?!
Next year, both girls will be in school. I can almost taste getting a life of my own. So do I want to start all over? No! I love my girls and wouldn't change anything about having them, but to borrow a phrase from Bill Cosby, we have 2 children because we do not want 3.