Thursday, December 23, 2010

Who's right anyway?

We have lived in the Panhandle of Florida for about 5 years now. In this time, we have made no fewer than 20 trips to a specific city in which you must take a toll bridge, or drive an extra 20 miles (and about 50 minutes) on a one lane highway.

I always drive. Eric hates driving. But, when he wants to get on my good side, he'll volunteer to drive.

As we are headed to get the boys pictures taken with Santa, Eric volunteers to drive...I ask, "are you sure?" and he says yes.

Me: "this isn't your turn, get back in your lane."

Eric: "it would be so nice if they marked it, then I would never miss it!"

Me: "it is marked"

Eric: "it's not marked with a big sign that says 'Eric, turn here!'"

Me: reading the sign "mid-bay bridge next right"

500 ft later

Me: "toll bridge to ****** right lane"

50 ft later

Me: "mid-bay bridge right lane"

...long pause...

Eric: "the sign needs to be orange, that way I'd be able to see it!"

I figured I'd made my point, so there was no need to argue...and I'm sure we'll have the same conversation the next time he decides to drive. What amazes me is that he gets turned around in this city EVERYTIME we go...yet always rocks at his land nav for the Army!?!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jen, would you be my BFF?

Dear Miss Lancaster,

I must start by saying I have a total non-lesbian crush on you. I had heard about your first book Bitter is the New Black, quite a few years ago but only recently started reading your masterpieces. To say I love your writing would be an understatement. As I am now halfway through your third book, Such a Pretty Fat, I often find myself thinking what I would say, as you so vividly describe different situations, only to find out that you read my mind!

I really think we could be great friends. While you are too modest to say n-i-p-p-l-e and have a mouth that would make any soldier blush, I try my hardest to only use made up swears but have no problem discussing the special hugs that adults do when they really love each other.

I could bring a great balance, and have even been known to make my friends laugh. Just think about it.


*I actually sent her this in an email...I'll let you know if I ever get a reply!


I have a ton of pictures and events to write about, but I have been working every chance I get, because lets face it, I can't complain about not having money when I turn down a chance to work when Eric is home and I won't have to pay for a sitter!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dear Velveeta

To whom it may concern,

Growing up I only knew one kind of Macaroni and Cheese, and it was Kraft. We rarely used it as a side dish, but instead added hamburger meat, corn, & green beans to make it into a meal. I thought I was getting the good stuff until later in life I tasted the sweet nectar that is Velveeta Shells & Cheese. You became a staple in my home for many years, until my hubby and I decided we needed to shed some weight and filed for a restraining order.

Recently, we once again invited you back, but this time we went for the "healthier" option. And let me just plain sucks! It's like you didn't even try! Also, there is only a 30 calorie difference per serving, and when a serving is over 300 calories is it really worth having the 2% variety?

So, I once again ban you from my house because, let's face it, my butt isn't getting any smaller and your low cal food isn't getting any better!

Monday, November 22, 2010

So many things to be thankful for!

Staying positive isn't always easy for me, but over the last few weeks I've tried very hard to see the blessings in situations that would normally bring me down.

Last week I cried at work, for the first time in a year and a half. There were too many frustrated people, and I seemed to be in the middle without a way to please anyone. I've bumped up my status at work, and am working a lot more, with a lot less help at home. But, at the end of the day, I was told by a co-worker that I had done all I could do, "and you just can't fix stupid!" This not only made me smile, but having an outsiders perspective helped me realize that I had done my job.

Also, later in the week, a new nurse (who is new to the hospital, but has years of experience) told me that she enjoyed working with me, and that I should be a preceptor. It was just what I needed to hear at the end of a long work week!

I am thankful for a career that allows me to work with the public in a way to better their lives, along with meeting amazing people that I learn from on a daily basis! I also love seeing people I've taken care of at Wal-Mart (I live in a small town) and getting hugs from them!

I am thankful for a babysitter that keeps my mind at ease, and sends me cute photos of the boys during my shifts. And, I'm especially thankful for those fill-in sitters that step up at the last minute, and lighten my load!

I am thankful for my Sexy Beast, Best Friend, and love of my life! He works, and sacrifices, for not only his family but also his fellow man.

I am thankful for my beautiful boys whose smiles, laughter, and experiences make me smile when I think I have nothing left.

I am thankful for ALL my family! This includes immediate, extended, in-laws, and my many adopted families that I've met through my travels!

And, of course, my friends. My travels have allowed me the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people that have changed my life forever! There is something so comforting about knowing that wherever we get stationed, there is a friend nearby!

Right now, I am so thankful that Eric has been granted a pass to come home for Thanksgiving. The boys are growing so fast, and seeing the pain in his eyes was almost too much the last time we were in Georgia, and he was recognizing all the new things they were doing, that he had missed out on.

Thanks to all of my readers, and to all the blogs I subscribe too! There is something very comforting in knowing that I'm not the only crazy one out there!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The BIG 250!

Seeing as this is my 250th post (on Blogger) it should be extra awesome, right?! Well, I'll give it my best shot.

I'll start by letting you be privy to the most adorable babies on Halloween. Seriously, I think some of the trick-or-treaters were so intimidated by Kelly dressed up and jumping out at them the awesomeness of the boys costumes, they wouldn't even walk through the yard to get candy!
We also had the opportunity to attend Eric's SOCR (Senior Officer Candidate Review) and Branching Ceremony. SOCR was earlier in the afternoon and consisted of the OC's (Officer Candidate's) getting to not only ditch their black ascotsfor new spiffy white ones, BUT, and the most important but, (hahaha...that's what she said!), they no longer have to run everywhere they go.

The Branching ceremony took place a few hours later, and the OC's were able to select what branch (i.e. Armor, Infantry, Ordinance) based on an OML (Order of Merit List). This was comprised of test & PT (Physical Training) scores, and my baby was 7th! He stood up and yelled "I'm Senior Officer Candidate Salmond, and I select MI!" (Military Intelligence). This is exactly what he wanted, and it means that he'll finish up his schooling by spending 4 months at Ft. Huachuca, AZ.

I was going to post a picture of my new and improved Sexy Beast, but I figured it would ruin everyone else's marriage. But seriously...Eric got friggin CUT! He's lost an additional 11lbs (in the past 6 weeks), has a completely flat tummy, and sweet biceps and lats that he couldn't wait to show me!

He has made it halfway through OCS and is on track to graduate on December 16th. We all know that this date will be super important for the soldiers, but it is also vitally important for us wives. I mean, come on! I just know that they SECOND Eric gets commissioned as an OFFICER, a beam of knowledge, prestige, classiness, and the most important power will be bestowed upon me. I honestly don't know how I've survived this long as an enlisted wife (which I'm pretty sure will become my latest swear)! I just can't wait!!

But, in all seriousness, I was able to meet some other amazing women on my weekend visit, and I look forward to rubbing in their faces how much more I know , mentoring these lost souls, sharing my experience with these ladies, and getting to know them better.

*Photos of Eric were taken by the class photographer and swiped from their Facebook page*

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What happened to the service part of customer service?

So, I've been trying to get a room on Ft. Benning for over a month. Eric will only have an on post pass on Friday & Saturday. I went ahead and made reservations at a ghetto motel downtown to make sure I'd have somewhere to stay, that was still in my price range.

Eric keeps bugging me to call EVERYDAY to see if something is available...which I've been doing. Yesterday I finally turn on the tears and they hand me over to a manager that says they are only making same day reservations, and to call or come in the day of. I told him I had two infants, and I didn't want to just show up and not have somewhere to stay. He said that they have family accomodations and to just call the same day.

So, I went ahead and called today (even though I won't be there til tomorrow) and was told that they have absolutely NO availability if you are traveling with babies, and I can't get a regular room for security reasons. I also could barely understand the person on the phone, and she was getting increasingly irritated when I kept asking her to repeat herself.

I wish everyone would be on the same page, because I'm so frustrated with the military's "customer service," or in reality, the lack thereof!

So, I have to decide whether to try to get my original reservation back, or wait and see. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Self fulfilling prophecy

I often have patients comment on my positive attitude. Most are surprised, and I have to admit that my attitude would not be as positive if I didn't try so hard to convince myself that it IS going to be a great day, and that I really am Darn Skippy :o)

I must also confess that my attitude has a lot to do with where I'm working. I truly love being in Pediatrics. Whether I'm taking care of all kids, a mix of adults and kids, or only adults (due to overflow from the other floors). My patient load is smaller, and I really feel as though I can provide the care that I would want my family member (or myself for that matter) to receive while in a vulnerable state. I've had patients cry (and almost make me cry with them), I've had them feel comfortable enough to share their frustrations with their health or other situations they are dealing with, I've had them yell at me, I've had them apologize, I've received hugs, and cards of appreciation.

So many times I leave a shift feeling as though I have failed in my duty to provide the emotional care that so many people need...but when I start out trying my hardest to have a positive attitude, everything seems to work out a little better.

Lately I've really enjoyed work. I'm blessed that I have someone to watch the boys that I trust completely, and that work has been flexible with me to pick up shifts when I need to.

I'm trying to stay positive, in light of recent events, in hopes that whatever comes my way will not totally derail me. My inner mantra is: just keep swimming, just keep swimming...all in hopes that I'll be able to keep my head above water and not just survive, but thrive.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Warning: This post is NOT for the faint of heart

Meet William Wallace. I acquire him 2 years ago after a short visit to Disney World...which I'm guessing is a result from having too much fun.

Why did I name it William Wallace?? Because Molly said I should name it, and it is the most stubborn wort I've ever known!

I cut the head off many times, because it worked in the movies, but it grew back. I figured I must be dealing with a mutant so I tried freezing it off...4 times. But alas, it came back. The problem is the location. It's above my heel, on my Achilles tendon. Which makes for a painful experience whenever I wear sneakers or anything with a strap on the back.

Last Christmas, while visiting my brother in NC, he froze it off with liquid nitro. He said not to pop the horrible blister that would form...and I didn't. I waited, and waited, and waited...and the little booger quadrupled in size!

It was time for an all out war!

So, I got a dermatology consult and the chick decided she wanted to freeze it off herself, and see what happens. She spent the next 5-7 minutes freezing/thawing until I was numb to my heel. I was told to pop the blister, to start putting compound w on it in a week, and to follow up in two weeks. She said that if it was still there I would start putting a chemo cream, aldara, on it which should definitely do the trick.

So, here is W.W. about 2 hrs after the freezing

And here is W.W. after "popping" it, by cutting off the outside layer of dead skin...
And here is W.W. on the 3 day mark
(having all my left-overs in my nursing student skills kit has really come in handy!)

Sorry to gross you out, but it is the Halloween season, and I don't know any good ghost stories :o)

I know what everyone is thinking...I'm in desperate need of a pedicure! :o)

I want to thank everyone that kept my family in their prayers after my last post. The tumor did turn out to be malignant, but after the removal my Dad's personality is starting to emerge. He was discharge just 5 days after surgery to go home, and was progressing well enough to do outpatient radiation and therapy. It's going to be a long process, but I know his wife is by his side and taking excellent care of him.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Going MIA

Last week I got a phone call from my older brother telling me that my Dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and was in pretty bad shape. He said it all came on very suddenly. This hit me like a ton of bricks...but also my radar went up.

Alzheimer's is a progressive disease and it doesn't just show up suddenly.

I called me Dad, and after a few minutes of him not being able to keep his train of thought longer than 3 seconds, I hung up and cried.

I then got the number of his wife, who is an LPN, and did some more digging. She told me that he totalled his truck a month ago and after the accident he didn't remember the accident or the other car. He refused to go to the hospital, and the only visible issue was a burn from the airbag.

Over the next two weeks he went downhill fast. They went to the Dr. and she asked him some questions, mainly focusing about his memory loss, and from his answers she diagnosed him with Alzheimer's....without doing a head CT, which can be definitive in the diagnosis.

It bugged me that a CT was never done, and I kept thinking that he probably had a stroke, which is why he had the accident to begin with.

Well, yesterday his wife called and said he was having difficulty walking and she got very scared and took him to the ER. They did a head CT and MRI, and found a golf ball size tumor in his frontal lobe. Due to the size of the tumor, his brain has shifted and there was a large amount of swelling.

After 24hrs in the ICU on steroids and anti-convulsants, he is doing much better and can recognize/remember people again. They have decided to operate Wednesday morning, which is his only real chance.

I have a friend coming into town on Tuesday, so I won't be alone, but please pardon my recent absence, and for a few more days. And please keep my Dad in your prayers.

*comments off*

Monday, October 4, 2010

Adventures in Commissary shopping

Diaper bag. Check
Bottles. Check
Toys. Check
Double stroller. Check
...and here we go...

Upon entering, dart past the old guy on the scooter, and make a mad dash towards the shopping carts. Finding the perfect cart, that doesn't pull to one side, is KEY! Weave through the hundreds of other people that wait for payday to do their shopping and head for produce.

"oh, are they twins?"

Smile, nod, and find the least damaged apples, bananas, and whatever else is going for less than $1.20/lb. Veges here I come!

"are they twins?"

Keep smiling, nod and grab a large bag of carrots, lettuce, and English cucumber without coming to a complete stop.

Check list...

"are they twins?"

Come on, you can do! Nod! Continue to push the stroller with one hand, while pulling the cart behind you.

Ignore the people that give you dirty looks for your 'train' and all the space that it encompasses.
Try not to groan too loudly at the moron that parks their cart in the middle of the aisle and walks away. Kick Push said cart to the side, and continue to the next aisle.

"wow, are they twins?"

"No, they're brothers."

wait for the perplexed look...

"how far apart are they?"

"Two minutes"

Try not to feel guilty for the smart comment as I walk away and check the list again.

Okay, we're in the home stretch...dairy section is ahead.

Wade through the sea of shopping carts that stupid bottleneck the newest renovation has created, and grab milk, cheese, etc.

Okay, head to the check out...and get in line...keep waiting...then get yelled at to head to the specific register I'm told.

Pull out ID, wait for cashier to roll her eyes and ask "paper or plastic?" Then, watch the baggers smash your bread, bruise your fruit, and put 12 cans of soda in a single plastic bag.

"are they twins?"

Head to the parking lot where I attempt to remember where I parked. Tell the bagger they must wait while you turn the car on, the AC, get the boys back in their car seats, fold up the double stroller and put it in the trunk first. Get more dirty looks when you ask for the frozen/cold items to be put IN the car (b/c they didn't bother to pack them that way). Hand over $3, get in the car...breathe...and wonder why you made the trip in the first place.

*I heart my Army wife life*

Today should be better, since I have someone watching the boys. My goal is to be in and out in under 20 minutes...I think I'm up to the challenge!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The funk...I hear it's going around

I've spent the past two weeks in pre-mourning. Eric left Sunday morning for OCS (Officer Candidate School) and will be gone until just before Christmas. We've done separations from 6 weeks-13 months, and no matter the length of separation, it just plain sucks. Mainly, I've been dreading not having help. Help with cleaning, food, and especially with the boys. I know I will survive, but it isn't something I'm looking forward to.

So, I have some advice for all (two) of my readers. If you live near ANY military bases/posts, there are women that need help. Don't offer vague services, instead:

-Call and invite their kids over for a sleepover.
-Invite them to go grocery shopping together (whether it's at Wal-Mart or the commissary).
-Call and tell them you are coming over the next day to clean the gutters/mow the lawn, or any other chore that the husband would normally do.
-Call just to chat.

I know there are more (and for my military wives out there, share!!) but these were some of the things I remember doing/helping with during our last deployment. I'm not begging for help, but I know how I am, and unless I have a day & time for help, I'm not inclined to ask for it.


On a lighter note, one of my bloggy buddies recently did a post on Vagina Power. This made me laugh hysterically and also reminded me of frequent conversation I have with a close friend about the "Magic Wand" and all the power that goes with it.

This power enables the man to always be right (no matter if it is your area of expertise or not), have the last word, and the ability to phrase scenarios so the blame is forever one someone else...just to name a few. And just today we were discussing those men that like to wave their magic wand around in public b/c it's under lock and key at home. How have you seen the "magic wand" used lately?


And, on an even better note, I have decided to host a table at a tea party benefit. One of the nurses that I have had the pleasure of knowing for a few years, has cancer and is unable to work while getting chemo. So, two of the nurses I work with have put together this tea party benefit! I've decided to go with a Hawaiian theme (b/c as it has started to cool down, it makes me miss HI even more) and I'm going to serve my FAVORITE herbal tea, Coconut Macadamia Nut, and plan on making my double-decker pineapple upside-down cake, chocolate haupia tarts, pineapple-macadamia nut bread, pineapple scones, mango butter...and anything else I can come up with. (I so wish I could get my hands on some poi to make rolls) So, I have 4 seats left at my table to sell. If you are in the Crestview area and want to have great food, conversation, and entertainment (Dr. Cunningham will be singing) then let me know! It is November 20th from 1830-2100 @ the Crestview Community Center, $20 a ticket (which is less than you would probably spend seeing a movie). Also, if anyone has great recipes, or ideas please pass them along.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review, but no giveaway

I know, I know. You were hoping I would give away something other than cool points, but I'm cheap and don't have the connections to get stuff for free.

While I was still pregnant I asked many people about what they preferred, slings/wraps/peekaroo, and my SIL, Michelle, said a wrap was the way to go. So I ignored her and found two slings that I wanted to try because they just seemed easier than a wrap. I purchased a Hug-a-Monkey sling, and was less than thrilled. It didn't feel like there was enough fabric to safely hold the boys, wasn't adjustable (which I knew before I bought it) and I got the wrong size. So, I set out to find a better one and purchased a Maya wrap (which is really a sling). Cooper hated it from the beginning, but Carter didn't mind, until he didn't want to stay in a safe position for it anymore and wiggled out. So, once again I had to resort to using harnesses that dug into my shoulders & gave me a headache...not good.

My other SIL, Sarah, mentioned awhile ago that she was taking pictures for her friend for a new website, So Nurturing, and the great wraps she made. I was meaning to visit the site, but kept forgetting.

After spending a Saturday holding the babies while we were out and about, I knew couldn't do it again (I've had crazy pain in my hands/wrists since I was 6 months pregnant, and frequently drop things).

I went to the site and purchased one of the cuddle soft wraps ($45, without the matching hat) in Teddy bear brown.

And, I decided to let Mr. Fussy Pants (aka Cooper) be the judge.He loved it!! And, it doesn't dig into my neck, is a lightweight fabric, AND is available in super cute colors! Also, I was terrified about being able to tie it right, but the website has great step by step pictures that even I can follow. Oh, and it also folds up small enough to fit into the smallest diaper bag.

So, if you have a little one, or need a gift for a baby shower (or want to buy me the one in soft black bubble so I can have one to match any outfit...I mean...for the other baby) check them out. Shipping is very reasonable, and it was shipped within a week, and at my house 3 days later.

ALSO, if you are in the Olympia, WA area and in need of a fabulous photographer...check out Sarah, not only is she an awesome photographer, but an absolute sweetheart.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

6 Months!

.Saturday the boys were officially 6 months old...which makes me 6 months older as well *sigh* Carter decided to commemorate this occasion by doing his version of crawling. He gets up on his hands and knees, pushes forward with his legs, lands back on his tummy & repeats. His motivation for this...getting close enough to Koa to grab his paw, watch Koa walk to the other side of the floor, so Carter turned around and started again.

They also had their check up yesterday. Carter is 27.74" and 16lbs 13oz. Cooper is 28.5" and 17lbs 10oz. They are both growing very well, and soon we hope to switch them off Nutramigen ($23 a can = almost $600/month) to a less expensive formula!

(if you notice, Cooper's hair is getting really long...and it's starting to resemble Kate Gosselin's bad haircut! He may get that high & tight Eric has been wanting very soon.)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First, and foremost...

I don't think it could have been said better.

the address from Pres. Bush:

Good evening.

Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge -- huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil -- the very worst of human nature -- and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington D.C. to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.

The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night. And God bless America

Please take the time to remember what our men and women are fighting for, the sacrifices they've made, and continue to make.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A crap ton of fun

Sorry for the weird title, but I'm in a weird mood...and it made me laugh!

My wonderful little sister was in town the past two weeks, and it has been such a blast!! She was such a huge help with the boys, and it was nice to talk to an adult all day without having my phone permanently attached to my ear.

We didn't do anything big, but had many laughing fits reminiscing about our childhood and being stupid just for the sake of being stupid. It was great!

We also had the opportunity to help out with a retirement party for a friend of Eric's that has completed 20 yrs of service in the Army. Carolyn, his wife, and I decided about six weeks ago that the traditional phallic shaped cake had been done was time for *cough* bigger and better things. So after much deliberation, here is the end result:
I was so happy with the end result, and I wouldn't have gotten this far without the help of The Cake Cow, aka Jessica G. (not sure if she wants to take credit for helping me or not). I practiced making different elements of the cake twice, and made changes as I went along. I used white cake with chocolate butter cream for the base of the cake, and red velvet cake with vanilla butter cream for the top.

We had a BBQ at the beach the day before the big party, and the boys had their first encounter with the ocean.

Cooper is now a huge fan of water, and even had a blast on Monday at the pool at the Ranger Camp with Eric.

I have a lot of catching up to do with blog posts, so please be patient with my comments...they're coming, slowly but surely!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A little of this and that...

If you've noticed that I've been a little MIA from the wonderful world of blogging, this photo might explain why:
Cooper is teething...and none of us are happy campers. For the most part, it isn't as bad as I expected (knock on wood), but I'm not naive enough to think the worst is over.

My little sister also surprised me last week with a request to come visit before she starts school next month...ummm heck yeah! She has been a monumental help with the boys, and made it possible for me to pick up a few extra shifts before Eric leaves for OCS. And speaking of has taken over my dining room table (granted, it used to be covered with my misc crap). Since we are stationed at an Air Force Base, Eric has had to make trips to Ft. Benning, GA (4 hrs away & where OCS is located) to commandeer all the necessary items on his packing list. And after copious amounts of money, and one more trip tomorrow, he should have everything he needs. Have I mentioned how much I'm NOT looking forward to being alone for 3 months, BUT the outcome will be well worth it when he graduates on Dec 16th!

And, on a very happy note, I stumbled onto the Halloween costumes for the boys while looking for bottles online.

So, the question is:
Great costumes, or the greatest?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Adventures in military lodging

Eric's brother was graduating from AIT (Advanced Individual Training) at Fort Gordon, GA and since we are only seven hours away, we wanted to be there for it. I called Ft. Gordon lodging (b/c I'm cheap) and all they had available was a "suite," which in Army lodging terms means the cockroaches where top hats and little white gloves. I asked if they had pack-n-plays available, and she said they had cribs. I informed her that I had two infants, so I would be needing two. She said to just ask for them at check in. I also asked if they did late check out, or 1/2 days and I was told no and check out was promptly at 1000.

We headed out early since we discovered that a normal seven hour drive takes about nine with the boys. They boys did great, but got a little fussy towards the end of the drive, so Eric hopped in the back seat and entertained them for the last two hrs of the drive.

We pulled in and I went inside to check us in. The girl checking me in needed a few lessons on how NOT to be a rude whore. When I told her that I would be needing two cribs she said, "I don't even know where they would be or if we even have any." I was none too thrilled. When she made the room key card and handed it to me, I asked if I could have two (which I didn't think was an uncommon request), she scoffed, rolled her eyes then made another. Then, after I signed all my paper work I see a sign for 1/2 day prices. So I asked how that worked, which I'm assuming was too much for her to deal with because she just continued to repeat that I had paid for two full nights. I finally cut my losses and started to walk back to the the monsoon that started as soon as I was out of the building.

When we walked in our room I was surprised at how nice the decorating was, but was brought back to reality when I found food in the sink of the kitchenette, the sink drained crazy slow, and the curly black hair on our 'clean' towels. A few hours later I noticed a guestbook on the dresser in the bedroom. Everyone raved about how great their stay was, how clean it was, and how they couldn't wait to come back again. All I could think about was leaving a REAL message about how things really were.

I continued to ponder about what I wanted to write, so others could be warned. But then when we brought the boys in the check in staff turned soft and one of them went to the attic and found a little ghetto crib that would at least fit one of the boys. We pulled the mattress off the hide-a-bed and blocked off the edges with pillows...but Cooper still ended up rolling off and crying at 0100.

Ben is the tall one on the stage (the theater was really dark and I don't have a professional camera)

It was great to spend some time with Ben and be there for his graduation. We ate good food and put the diet on hold for those two days.

As we were packing up I came up with the perfect thing to write in the guestbook: "Satanic forces are at work here" (from The Gilmore Girls when they stayed at a crazy B&B)...but I chickened out because you were supposed to write your name and where you were from. I guess I could have signed it LG and said I was from Stars Hollow, CT...well, maybe next time.

I sat in the back seat with the boys on the way home for a short time, and in the beginning Cooper gave me this look
But he later warmed up and was as smiley as Carter...and they boys enjoyed having someone to interact with on the long ride home.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Carter vs. Carrots

Not sure which one won...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Were they really the good ole days???

My 10 yr High School reunion was last weekend. When I first got the invitation months ago, I honestly laughed. Maybe you remember those wonderful years of partying with friends, football games, and, not so much.

I do have to say that it wasn't all bad, but somehow most of my friends were either older or younger than me. I did have a hand full of friends that I talked to on a regular basis in my grade, but I mainly hung out with a group of kids from church and I was one, of maybe, two in my grade.

I moved to WA state the summer before I started HS, which made for a very awkward freshman year. My older brother was a senior, and I was the only girl my age in my ward (congregation). This made for a very sucky freshman year, and pretty much my whole 4 yrs there.

So, you can imagine my delight when friends posted pictures of the reunion on Facebook. Is it bad that I felt good that so many of the popular guys (aka douche bags) were balding, fat, or just looked weird...and that I wished a few of the girls were fat?

I am not bitter...I am just a different person now, and really have no desire to relive those days when one girl spread rumors that I got a boob job (b/c her's were saggy, and she was just jealous) or when one of the unnamed guys above decided to peel the tin foil off gum wrappers and throw all the little pieces in my hair.

I have to say that there were a few people that I would have liked to catch up with, but the majority of the people there probably wouldn't remember me or I'd have nothing to say to them.

And, I think that even if I still lived in WA, I probably wouldn't have attended anyway. I'm so much more happy with how my life has turned out, that I have no desire to see the people that made me feel like poo!

Did anyone actually enjoy High School??

The "DIE" in diet

To say I was in a bad mood last week, would be a vast understatement. I snapped at Eric, I had no patience, and everything seemed to frustrate me. It was the first week of my diet.

Eric and I decided to do the Biggest Loser Club online again, because we both had great results when we did it a few years back. It took me 10 months, but I was able to lose the last 55 lbs (as you can tell, I don't lose weight quickly at all).

I was hungry all the time, and all I could think about was chocolate, ice cream, cookies, and all the other wonderfully fattening treats that I couldn't have. Being hungry is right up there with being just sucks!

I don't mind the food at all, it's the portions (or lack thereof) that can be discouraging. Our fridge now looks like this (about 90% fresh fruits & veges)

All that being said, I feel better now that the first week is over. I'm using a lot of seasonings I've never used before (b/c when your snack is a cucumber you have to spice it up somehow), and I feel better.

Now, I just need the weather to cool off a bit so I can start walking again with the boys. (when it's over 90 degrees, I refuse to subject the boys to it for an extended length of time, no matter how fat my butt is!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Oh boy, Oh boy

The following takes place between 3 Aug 1800 and 4 Aug 0500 (in the voice of Jack Bauer)

Cooper: Hey Carter, I'm fading fast! Who's gonna wake up first tonight?
Carter: I don't know. I really appreciate you letting me sleep through most of the night though.
Cooper: It's the least I can do bro! Plus, I love getting back at mom for making us watch Gilmore Girls all day.
Carter: I know, right! But, you have to admit, some of those chicks are hotties.
Cooper: "Oy with the poodles, already!"

Cooper: What did you think of those bananas?
Carter: They are so much better than that white stuff we've been getting!
Cooper: True that, but Koa seems to be in attack mode the second the spoon leaves my mouth!

Carter: I am Carter the 1st I am, Carter the 1st I am I am...
Cooper: zzzz zzzz zzzz
(mom enters room)
Carter: Yo wassup momma? I had a great nap and I'm ready to play...why are you stuffing my pacifier back in my mouth?? I WANT TO PLAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

Cooper: I am Cooper the 1st I am, Cooper the 1st I am I am...
Carter: zzzz zzzz zzzz
(mom enters room)
Cooper: Yo momma wassup? I just figured that since Carter finally fell asleep, it was my turn to wake up and play. Don't mind me, I'm just gonna chill in crib and sing to Pooh and the gang. But honestly, that Tigger is kinda freakin me out!

...and the cycle continued until I fed them at 0500, then they both fell asleep til 0630. It was a fun night...

When I took the boys to their 4 month check up (2 weeks late), Cooper weighed in at 15lbs 14oz and Carter at 15lbs 4oz. They are also above the 95th percentile in height at a whopping 27"! I wonder who they get that from :o)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The great debate cut, or not to cut...

Ever since we found out we were having boys, Eric keeps talking about how cute they would be with a high & tight (see pic to left or look at our wedding pic on the right). I agreed, but stated that they would need to have some hair first.

Well, they both came out with full heads of hair (and although Carter's fell out @ 1 mo. it grew back). Cooper's hair has been touching his ears since birth, and it's driving Eric crazy. He also has random hairs, on the top of his head, that are up to 3" long. He is now insisting that he needs a haircut.

I think it's a little early. I held him off initially by saying, "wait til their 3 mo." and now saying, "wait til their 6 mo."

I don't know if I can hold him off any longer because he is making comments about it on a daily basis. I have a feeling that one of these mornings when I come home from work, Cooper will have a high & tight. We both agreed that Carter's head isn't the right shape to pull off the same style :o)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Getting dirty with the girls

0600: wake up
0625: really wake...put on Eric's old BDU pants, one of his under armor shirts, and pull on my old work boots
0645: do a mental check, did I forget anything??
0655: meet Terri & Kayla outside
0700: load in the truck and head out to Camp Rudder...the Florida phase of Army Ranger School
0730: awesome breakfast in the DFAC...all for the low low price of $2.70!
0830: the start of an HOOOOOAH day!!

This year I once again braved the swamps in NW Florida, and brought along my neighbors, Terri & Kayla, for the experience. I knew that this would be my 4th, and final, appearance so I wanted to make it count!

We had a blast, and I have to say that Terri was probably the most excited person there! She was always at the head of the crowd when moving from place to place, and touched every snake and alligator she could get her hands on.

We shot guns...

crossed the water on a rope bridge...

attached to our safety lines...

ate MRE's...

paddled down the Yellow River in Zodiacs...

and brought a little of the swamp back with us...

We then headed to the showers to get ready for the BBQ. And...I jinxed myself. I kept telling the girls that every year I forget something (bra, underwear, shoes). I was so proud of myself at the beginning of the morning because I packed my bag the night before. So, all clean I take my bag to the bathroom to change...which is when I discovered I shouldn't have been so confident. I always say "go big, or go home," and I did just that. I forgot my jeans. I was mortified, and laughing hysterically. One girl suggested I just wrap a towel around my waist and people will just think I have a swimsuit on. So, I did that, but headed to the little shopette to hopefully buy some shorts or pants...and they were closed. I then did the walk of shame back to the truck, opened my filthy trash bag with my swamp clothes, and put my nasty pants back on.

We hung around for about 30 min but they were running behind on getting the food ready, so we decided to just grab our t-shirts and head home.

I had a great time, and look forward to this event every year. Thanks ladies for going with me!!

View all the pictures of our adventure here:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My very first GIVEAWAY!!!

(Can't you just imagine Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch?)

Since it seems that I'm the only one not doing, or entering, giveaways...I thought it was time to jump on the band wagon.

I've put a lot of thought into this, and after many sleepless nights I have decided to give away something very near and dear to my heart. Cool points!!

Yes, you read that right! The winner will receive 18,000 Cool Points (I always handed them out to the kids in my Sunday School class, and knew you would appreciate them as much as they did).

The following tasks are worth one entry (please leave a comment, birthday, & SSN for each entry)
*go next door and tell your neighbor that their haircut sucks
*if you have a dog
*if you think your dog is cooler than mine (must include 500 word essay, single spaced in APA format) *blog about how much you love giveaways (leave link and pin # for your highest limit credit card)
*tweet about the how much you love shoving bamboo shoots up your finger nails (leave link and spouses SSN)
*follow me to the grocery store and push the cart or the double stroller (no need to identify yourself before you run off with the boys)
*friend me on facebook (leave email address and password)
*honk and yell at a random stranger in a foreign language

2 entries
*call your mom and tell her a secret from your teenage years that she doesn't already know
*lick the ground (include picture and birth certificate)
*do the chicken dance in walmart (must include video and mail in passport)

100 entries
*join my blog frog community and don't be offended when I don't follow you back.

Cool points will be sent via ESPN or something (name the movie), no refunds or exchanges.
**Actual value of cool points are 1/100 of a penny, but are infinitely better than any monetary gain.**

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A License to Kill

I may be mistaken, but I swear in our wedding vows I heard..."to love, honor, and kill anything that freaks Mary out..." (actually I don't really remember a lot of what was said, but I'm adding this in if we ever decide to renew our vows)

Last night as I stumbled back to bed joyfully returned from the babies' room I realized nature was calling and turned left into our bathroom. This is when the assault started. A horribly nasty, huge, vicious bug was walking across the floor raced towards me. I yelled "Eric, there is a huge bug in the bathroom!!!" (I might want to point out it was 0200). He groaned and rolled over. Again I yelled, "ERIC!!" I was in dire straights with my life hanging in the balance and he was rolling over and groaning, where is the love??

He eventually stormed leisurely walked into the bathroom picked up the monster with some toilet paper and flushed it down the toilet.

All was well in the world...but I couldn't bring myself to use that toilet, so I went into the spare bathroom. I couldn't get the picture out of my mind of this huge bug swimming back up through the pipes to seek it's revenge (I get goosebumps and the shivers just thinking about it).

I thought that killing things was innately driven into the male species, but I guess it has a time clock, without 24 hr support.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Never say Never

My distaste for cooking is something I don't try to hide. My sister even mentioned that she told her kids to be grateful they have one home cooked meal a day b/c they could be living with me!

It's just not something that I've ever really enjoyed doing on a regular basis. I've always seen it as a mundane chore, therefore I rebel, kick, scream barter to get out of it. I admit that I have, on occasion, enjoyed making dishes for parties or functions. But, the everyday need for this has made me despise cooking like the ever growing piles of laundry that spontaneously multiply (and consequently never makes it out of the basket).

However, I made dinner twice in the past 4 days (and made corn bread & banana bread). Eric has a 4-day weekend, so I signed up to work all 4 days, and I've enjoyed switching roles. Now, I didn't make anything fancy (today I made chicken stir-fry) but when given the option of taking care of the boys or cooking...I chose cooking.

It's nice to have a change of pace, and after 5 straight days of diapers, bottles, and crying...the stove and work was what I needed. (What am I going to do when Eric leaves in September for 3 months?!?!)

Don't be alarmed, this isn't something I plan to take on full time, but it wasn't so bad. After all, I am not ready to give up my throne as the Queen of TV dinners!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The giggles and more

Times, they are a changing...

Over the past week the boys have really started to notice one another and interact with each other. Every morning when they wake up, I put them both in the crib together for what I call "brother-brother time." They always end up turning on their sides facing each other and talk & play for the next 30 minutes or so. This is what I have been waiting for. This brings me hope that once they start moving around more, they will be able to entertain each other...but also get into trouble together.
For some reason the boys enjoy being on the changing table. When we first brought them home they screamed every time their diaper was changed, but now they laugh and squeal. And, as you've seen in previous videos, Eric loves to be silly with them...and only he can make them laugh this hard (I just can't seem to get the same reaction from them).

Also, the boys seem drawn to this panda on their gym toy. We have about a million things hanging from there, but both boys grab (and as shown below) suck on the feet of the Panda...maybe it's the color contrast?