Monday, January 28, 2008

Amazon children

You know that expression, "growing like weeds?"

In the case of Big and L'il Sis, they might be growing faster than weeds. Clearly, this does not come from my gene pool and I can easily lay the blame on Stretch.

The girls had a checkup today. In the past year, Big Sis has grown 3-1/2 inches and L'il Sis has grown 4 inches. At this rate, Big Sis will be taller than me by the time she is 11 or 12! And L'il Sis will pass her cousin that is a year older than her by this summer (they are already almost the same height). And that nurse told me L'il Sis was "too young" to be having growing pains back in April. This child (at age 3) has averaged an inch every 3 months. I'm pretty sure those leg pains at night are growing pains, regardless of her age.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I'm starting to hear the fat lady whisper

We finally have a window! (in a sing-song voice) We have a window! We have a window!

The mil-spouses will know what I mean. I now have a period of a few days in which to expect Stretch home sometime within that time. And for you non-mil-spouses, yes, it really does help cut down on the uncertainty.

Even better, I was actually right (after some recent recalculating) about when the window will be. Hm-m, I might actually be getting the hang of this being married to a Marine business. It's only taken about 10 years.

Actually, I take that back. I haven't done anything to get ready for reunion yet. I don't even have anything to make a sign with yet. Are yellow ribbons and balloons too minimalistic? I might be able to pull that off. I'm not usually this unorganized. Really!

In which my 7 year old obtains legal representation...

me (talking to Big Sis, who is on the computer): You have 2 minutes left.
Big Sis (outraged): what?!
me: I don't want to hear it. I've already given you more time than I said earlier. You've had extra time.
L'il Sis (who is only 3!): We're playing SuperWhy.
me: I know but you have to go upstairs and brush your teeth and get ready for bed.
L'il Sis: I know. But it's not over. We have to finish the game.
me (doing a double take): What? Are you Maeve's lawyer now?
L'il Sis: Yes!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

where's that fat lady?

Over at SpouseBuzz, Andi wrote about her misadventures in trying to pamper her husband and unleashing her inner domestic goddess. I can remember various reunions where I rehearsed our reunion, planned out menus and scrubbed the house. This time, not so much. I haven't planned for a single dish, let alone an entire meal for Stretch's return. In fact, I can't seem to really accept that he is coming home. It just doesn't seem real yet. We have only a matter of days and weeks left and I'm almost in denial about our reunion. Obviously, I want Stretch home. But I'm nervous, too. Other than his R&R, we've spent almost a year apart. We've both changed. The kids have changed.

Plus, I've been doing everything around here. While that sucked, it also meant that everything was done MY way. (hmm, I don't have any control issues or anything) It also meant if something didn't get done, I had no one else to blame. But soon, Stretch will be here. He'll do things his way. And I'll have to remember that it's okay. I'll have to learn to let go and to share again. Not just the little things like the remote, but the big things like parenting, too.

The thing is that reunion still seems so far off. (I know it's not.) It isn't "real" yet. They say it isn't over until the fat lady sings and, so far, I haven't heard her singing.

Friday, January 18, 2008

If it's not one thing, it's another...

It looked like the maintenance workers on my base were having a party at my house today.
I had one van parked out front and three more parked in my back yard. One of them told me I was one of their favorite ladies. Yeah, sure. Of course, I know most of their names since they are at my house so often.
Yesterday, I had the leak. Today it was the heat downstairs. It wasn't heating. It was blowing cool air.

This is how the "built-in" in my powder room should (and usually does) look.

But, today, this is how it looked. They had to pull it out to get to a heating unit under the stairs. Lovely. After doing some rewiring, they shoved it back into place. Then they told me the heat pump for downstairs (it is in the backyard) will need to be replaced. They'll do that Tuesday, weather permitting. I'm not going to hold my breath. Oh, and I need to keep my fingers crossed that it will be compatible with the unit under the stairs (and behind my powder room built-in) or it will also need to be replaced. Oh, joy!

Deep breaths.

Update: It's Wednesday and I have a new heat pump. Eventually, late in the day, someone even came and picked up the old (rusted and rather scary-looking) one that had been sitting in my backyard. All I needed was for it to be on cement blocks.

So far, it doesn't seem like they'll need to pull the built-in back out again. Knock on wood. It seems to be working okay. I have new cracks in the plaster all over the powder room and also in the kitchen, but I'm trying to ignore them.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Argh! The house from hell strikes again!

The house is leaking...AGAIN! The nice maintenance man who came by to look at it and then later brought another dehumidifier for the back hall, said the repairs would probably need to be pretty extensive. Can it wait for me to get out of this house?

Yeah, the dehumidifier is huge and loud and is in the back hall right by the guest room. The drainage tube is duct taped to the floor in front of the guest room door to prevent tripping and the tube is snaked back to the shower in the guest bathroom. This contraption is supposed to be here all weekend. Oh, and did I mention that I'm expecting my sister, her 4 kids, her friend, and maybe one of their dogs to come for a visit this weekend?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ugly Dress Ball

I mentioned before that this past year was the first time since 1998 that I haven't attended a Marine Corps Birthday Ball. Well, I wasn't alone in not attending a Ball. One of our KVs came up with the idea of having an Ugly Gown Ball. We finally had it last weekend. It was a blast, not to mention a blast from the past! One of my friends wore her junior prom dress, complete with mismatched neon socks and jelly bracelets. Okay, the fact that she still had the dress (a pink, off the shoulder Jessica McLintock number) AND could still wear it... Well, it's just not right!

The woman in the gunny sack dress won for Ugliest Dress. You can't tell in the picture, but her tiara, ring and want all light up. This might have been a bit of a theme as another friend wore shoes that lit up. I wore sneakers with my dress because at most Balls, my feet are killing me by the end of the night. But I have to say, trying to do the twist in sneakers and on carpet is not an easy feat. And that pink thing in my hair is a skewer from sampling the chocolate fountain (YUM!).

One of the ladies brought champagne in a can (think the size of a small juice box). They had tiny straws attached to them (again, a la juice box). Between that and the outfits (more than one woman was sporting some electrifying blue eyeshadow, as well), we just couldn't get much classier!

We ate and danced and some even karaoke'ed. A few times I snuck peeks at the few men present (the Family Readiness SNCO, CO and DJ) and wondered if we were scaring them yet, especially when the roll of toilet paper started flying (one piece snagged on a ceiling fan and stayed there for the rest of the night). I'm sure Staff Sergeant was inwardly shaking his head and thinking, "Is this what happens when we go off for a year?"

And to that, I can only say, "Oh, honey, if you only knew..."

Kudos to all the ladies who planned and put the night together. It was a great way to round off this deployment. I'm so glad I was on the same roller coaster as these special ladies.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

just another great gene...

I started finding curly white hair in my straight brown hair while in college. Yes, college! Recently, I noticed a single white hair in the back of my 3 year old's mop of brown hair. Guess that's at least one gene she inherited from me.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The end is near... da da dum...

So I have the end of this deployment in my sights... well, almost...practically...maybe... *sigh*

I don't know if it's something in the air or the water or what; but things are upside down, inside out... basically, it's mayhem around here.

I spent all morning running around base and town, frantically running as many errands as I could while L'il Sis was in preschool this morning. I kept tugging at my shirt because it felt like it was choking me. I'd tug on it only to have it creep back up my neck. It wasn't until I was picking up L'il Sis at NOON that I realized I had the shirt on backward...ALL MORNING!

Then, there is L'il Sis. She's been on a tear like only a 3 year old preschooler can lately. If she isn't whining, she's screaming. She's been beyond defiant. Everything is a fight with her lately. Dinner has been a "lovely" experience. Even things she usually likes, I end up forking up and feeding to her to get her to eat. All she wants is "junk food" or "snacks." She actually told me, "I don't like healthy food, only junk food." I think they've been talking about the two at preschool a lot. The funny thing is that she actually does like a lot of healthy things. I guess I better remember to not call them that, though. L'il Sis has also been talking and asking about Stretch a lot more lately. So, I'm hoping that it's just that she's as done with this deployment as I am. Otherwise, maybe I really will run away from home as soon as Stretch is here and has leave. (Shh, no one tell him or he'll never take any!)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Looking back at 2007

I didn't want to do a post on resolutions. It seemed a bit hypocritical since I haven't made any resolutions in years. Mainly, because they tend to be a laundry list of wishful thinking rather than any real goals that I'll actually work toward. So, I thought, instead, I would write about what 2007 brought me. In some ways, I'd really like to just write off the year. Stretch was gone for the vast majority of the year, making it the year of putting my head down and putting one foot in front of the other, just trying to make it through moment by moment, day by day, week by week. I'm finally at the point of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and, no, it's not an on-coming train. The deployment is almost over!

But I digress. What did 2007 bring me? Mainly, it renewed my appreciation for my husband. I knew I loved him before, but maybe I didn't realize just how much. I missed Stretch with an intensity that almost surprised me. After 10 years together, I just assumed that I would miss him but that I would get on with the business of daily life. And I did. I didn't need Stretch to take out the trash or help get the girls in bed. I'm not gonna lie, another adult to share the load would have been beyond nice. It's just that those things weren't impossible or overwhelming to me.

Stretch's absence was the difficult thing. I never did get into a good sleep pattern. And he was always, ALWAYS, in my thoughts. Sometimes, he'd be in the background and not in the forefront of my mind but his presence was always there. So many times, each and every day, I found myself wanting to share something with him or thinking how much he'd enjoy something.

I checked my email so many times each day in case he'd found time to send me a line or two. And I found myself emailing him the dumbest stories just to be in contact with him. In an odd way, despite the miles and the ocean between us, the year brought us closer. He appreciates what I do for him and for our family. He knows how hard it can be. I'm so proud of him and what he does. After 10 years together, I can say, after the roughest year of all, that I am even more in love with him than ever.

"Marriage is that relation between man and woman in which the independence is equal, the dependence mutual, and the obligation reciprocal." ~Louis K. Anspacher