Friday, December 9, 2011

And Introducing...

Just lost any strand of remaining cool points that I had left after becoming a Mother of 4. After nursing my sweet son, I burped him on my shoulder, praising every pass if air like it was his greatest accomplishment yet. Then we stood up and walked out the front door to check the mailbox on the porch. We came back in and I bent way over to place him in the bouncer on the floor and my exposed left breast came swinging from its untethered position, swooping past my child's face. I caught it in midair and quickly asked it "how did you get out?". Then I realized it had never been put away and yes I had just flashed the neighborhood.

Three weeks ago I still had a few points, three weeks ago I was so cool, I was about to give birth and was in such denial that it was ever gonna happen I had given up on the idea and was searching the want ads for a part time job. But those around me love to point out, I was right on schedule and falling into my personal end of pregnancy patterns. Mr. LbF and I even got into "heated marital discussion" which ended in him saying "You must be getting close because you always seem to piss me off right at the end". Thanks again darling for that wonderful prediction! But how right he was.. I had an appt with our wonderful Midwife here at the house at around 1pm. She looked me over head to toe and concluded, as we were suspecting, our bun in the oven was very high and other then enthusiasm I was not showing signs of labor. So she reached deep in her bag of tricks and gave me a homeopathic pellets to place under my tongue. We discussed more "in the event of" details and she promised to come by later that night to dose me up again with her homeopathic pellets. Somewhat disappointed at her concluding what I was already thinking, we moved on with our day. Kids came home from school, homework, dinner, kids to church. My neighbor invited me for a brisk walk around the block to encourage the few contractions I was having. I was glad for the distraction and even tried walking on and off the curb. Sure I would hurt myself I stopped. By 6 pm I had been contracting on and off most of afternoon however this was nothing new. For the past 3 days I had done the same thing only to go to bed still pregnant. At 7 pm Midwife stopped by and left a contraption she called a birthing chair, dosed me up with homeopathic pellets and said to call anytime. Oh and she did say she thought it would go into labor soon but not tonight. Mixed messages on her part as far as I am concerned.
By 8 pm Mr. LbF said I needed to think of something else so we both drove to pick up kids from church. I only had one small panic attack on the way and texted Midwife asking what we would do if I was still pregnant by the weekend. I had to pause every few text to breath through a contraction.
Hubby got kids in bed and we settled on sofa to watch TV. I could not concentrate past contractions so we went to lay down. By 10 pm I began to pace the house. I had myself so convinced it was going to just fad away that when Mr. LbF asked me to tell him when he needed to start calling folks I laughed and assured him it would stop any minute. At 1 am I figured it might be good to have the tub set up and at the very least it would be ready for whenever I really was in labor.... Soon after that I let the man make some calls...
Midwife came blowing through the front door in such a hurry she almost went right passed me standing in the kitchen. This point of it I was having a hard time staying on top of the contractions and needed to really focus to remain relaxed. The stage in our home my husband set for me was so nice. There were lit candles in every room, soft music, and a rumbling fireplace on his computer screen. He had done everything I had talked about.
 I got into the tub and it became very clear that keeping the water hot was gonna be a chore. In full labor I hung half in and half out of the birth tub, rocking with the water to ease the discomfort. Mr. LbF became a one man bucket brigade and was making what ended up being 100x trip from the kitchen stove to the tub in our bedroom carrying stock pots of hot water. I knew he was near when my buns warmed behind me, so I would call out words of gratitude. When the tub was warm enough for the time being he would sit by my tub and kiss my forehead.
The Doula showed up out of midair. I had been out of the tub for a while pacing and meeting up every so often to hold on for dear life to my supportive husband, who would hold me up and whisper encouraging things. I looked up and Doula was sitting on the sofa in my bedroom. Labor really can be a vortex.
My biggest fears while in labor have always been the same. This labor was no different. I worry that it is all just one big joke and that labor will stop. I will not only have to do it all over again another day but that all the work my body has already done will be in vain. I will have to start back at the beginning. Kind of like when you die in a video game and instead of using a new life and starting from where you fell off the cliff or touched the ghost, the game kicks you back to the beginning. My second greatest fear is that when it comes time to push I will be so worn out I will not have the strength to get the job done.
My support group assured me that this was only fear talking, I was indeed in full blown labor and when I reached the end of this video game I would find a gold coin and power up! Or something like that.

The definition of the word transition is: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. When in labor transition refers to moving from the laboring to the delivering. The definition when used for this can be changed to: when the women in labor starts to really lose it, by ie speaking in tongues, cussing at innocent by standers, and/or making primate noises with nostrils flaring. When I am in transition, I am a textbook example of all of the above! It was about this point I huffed and puffed my buck naked self through my dining room stopped in the kitchen and buckled to the floor, unable to keep my cool or stay on top of the contraction. Mr. LbF left my side and ran to the stairs to intersect our daughter Moe who was calling from the landing. Midwife had brought me a dining chair and I was on my knees leaning on the seat. Then my water broke and out came that gold coin. Mr. LbF reappeared as Midwife looked me right in the eye and said "You need to be in the tub now, get up and get back in the tub." Part of me wanted to tell her where to put her tub, but instead I took a deep breath and stood up and huffed my way back into the bedroom. Mr. LbF said something about going to get Moe something and I looked at him through bloodshot eyes and in the deepest monster voice you can imagine burst out "STAAY". Midwife instructed me to squat on my feet and lock arms with Doula. I could feel the daunting pressure building inside my tired body and knew that one of two things was about to happen. One: I was gonna dig deep and tap into all that makes me a women, calling on every women in my genes that has done this before me, calling on Eve to give me strength. Or two: I was gonna die, right there, in a blue blow-up pool, naked. In a split second I decided I was not going to go  out like that, I needed to live and to fight. I rocked back onto my heals and planted them firm. I closed my eyes and bared down as hard as I could stopping to breath I gritted my teeth and pushed again. I could feel that amazing burning that is perfectly named the ring of fire and I was filled with a confidant wave of deja vu. I had been here before and knew this pain well. I also knew what was on the other side of that ring. One more push and there it was, that massive release. Midwife said "there he is Dad, grab him, reach in and grab him" Mr. LbF bent over the side and reached down into the water. He brought up above the waterline a squirmy tiny pink body and placed him right in my arms. I grasped him into my chest and sat back against the wall of the tub. He made a little squeak as Midwife wiped his wet face and I gazed down into the eyes of my son. His little jaw quivered. Full of emotion all I could manage to say was "hi there".
I looked up to my amazing husband and thanked him. Then said "go get the girls". He rushed out and returned with 3 tired yet very excited little girls. Each one gathered as close as they could and became soft with their words and movements. They got to touch the umbilical cord and watched as Dad cut it to "make a belly button". They all looked at their own to see his previous work! Baby was placed on Dads bare chest and he took all his children out to the living room so I could finish my part of the job and get cleaned up. By then I was over being in the tub. 
He was born at 5:20 am on the 17th. He weighed 7lbs 8oz and was 19 1/2 in long. All checks were done on the end of our bed and the whole family got to lend a hand. Dad held the scale to weigh him. Larry held the tape to measure him. Curly and Moe helped put on the first diaper and watched as he got his foot inked for the stamp in his file. I may have carried him for the last... forever, but it took just moments for him to belong to all of us.
He latched on to nurse like a pro. In 3 weeks he has put on almost 2 lbs. Nursing takes up the majority of my day so I have had time to sit and gaze into what I am calling an amnionic pool of reflection. I set out to achieve peace in our birthing experience. What I have come away with is peace and so much more. In our home were 2 very experienced confidant women, who trusted me to trust myself. I had my best friend and partner who held me at my weakest points and allowed me to shine at my strongest. He wiped my tears, rubbed my neck, swayed back and forth hour after hour and never once doubted my power. We were wrapped in a blanket of support that was sewn with treads stretching from Germany to California to North Carolina.  I could feel my own Mothers spirit cheering us on without even hearing her voice. At one point I laughed out loud through the pain, as the music in the room flooded my ears and it was a song she has sang to me my whole life.
Someone asked me if I would recommend water birth. This was not as easy to answer as I thought it would be. The best I can say is I would only recommend it if the family had a support system like we had. And also as long as the women understood that her cool points are in serious jeopardy.

Now I am pleased to introduce our son that will be known in my blog world as the 4th stooge, Shemp!






Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Over Due and Done!

I'm over due..... or he, is over due. However you want to look at it there was a fantastic date on the calendar in which my child was considered "done" in the oven, and the date is past! This comes as no surprise to anyone who had bothered to track a pregnancy of mine. But for some reason has once again caught me off guard. Then again I am the sucker that is still surprised that tv shows cut to the commercials right before they announce the winner! I am leaning into the screen poised with childlike anticipation and BAM they cut to a talking dog sitting at a desk. Mr. LbF gets way to much enjoyment out of this.
Larry our first born was 4 days past her due date. A respectable and understandable amount of time. Curly started off in true Curly form and at 13 days past we had to pry her out with a crow bar. Later I asked why she did not wish to join the breathing world she said she had been busy watching Sponge Bob and drinking a juice box. I was relieved to hear I get good reception up there. Moe surprised us with a grand entrance, past due on day 11. I joined the only 4% of women that get to experience a little pop followed by waterworks that can't be stopped not matter how many kegels you pride yourself at being able to do.
At this point my dear son is keeping in tradition with his sisters and making us all wait to see how much he looks like his handsome Dad.
What still fascinates me is the attention that is paid to a pregnant lady when the world around her knows she is near the end of making a person. If you have ever used your uterus you know that for some reason you automatically become public property! Strangers jump right over any lines of common decency that usually apply and ask you the most personal of questions.
Stranger "How much weight have you gained?"
My response "Enough"
Stranger "Have you had problems with leaking when you laugh?"
My response: "Yes, watch your toes"
Stranger: "Did it take you long to conceive?"
My response: "You asking minutes or months?"
Stranger:: "Is this your first?"
My response: "Fourth"
Stranger response: "Wow, are you Mormon?"
And then the question of when am I due.. If I were a smarter person or at least not so jacked up on hormones, I would lie at this point...... the response you get when you tell someone you're way past due seem to go something like this:
Stranger: "Oh man"
At this point they take a quick glance at my belly sizing me up and turn their head slightly to the right, which I can only assume means I did not pass. This is followed by a step backwards or to the side which I assume means they are beginning to fear for their safety. After all pregnant ladies are cute, over pregnant ladies are scary. The most bizarre of experiences came from a stranger when I was over due with Moe. In front of the daycare I was dropping Curly off, this women called across the parking lot and offered to fight me to get the baby out... To this day I am puzzled why on earth she would even suggest this to me and also why on earth I did not go beat the crap out of her...

Now to the part about what to "do" about being over "due". There are no shortage of suggestions when  it comes to this. But keep in mind that I am about going at this in an "all natural" fashion.
Hospital induction rocked my world when evicting Curly and therefore is off the table.
I have done what anyone would in my situation.  I asked my "friends" on FaceBook! But because I am a multi-tasker I decided to try any two of the suggestions at one time. Matching up, what to do with what, became the challenge.
Consuming caster oil seemed to stand out as the big controversy! Some folks swear by it and others had the same response I did when I tried it with my first pregnancy... I managed to have 2 good contractions and spent the rest of the evening sitting on the white throne! Plus even thinking about multi-tasking with this one painted some not so nice pictures. Sure drink a laxative and then go for a jog... or drink it and bounce while walking a long way with one foot on the curb and one foot off. A few of the ideas I could picture happening, like eating crab while Mr. LbF rubs my feet, but as soon as you throw in a breast pump it seems to get a little weird.
My favorite suggestion of course has to do with what got me into this in the first place, after all, I'm told what gets them in, gets them out!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Date Day

So tonight in our backyard as I am holding up a soiled bed sheet and Mr. LbF is using the garden hose to spray off chunks of vomit into the grass, through pains of laughter I manage to say "This is the stuff nobody tells you about". His response "shore-don't"!

Mr. LbF has been back in my arms for 3 weeks and 5 days. But who's counting? The girls and I went to pick up Daddy in the late afternoon. We had a 2 1/2 hr drive which was just enough time for 2 of 3 to get car sick and one to spill applesauce all over her beautiful dress. When we pulled in to the parking lot Curly woke up from a nap looked around and said "This is Iraq?". We shuffled in to a packed gym and all heads were bowed in prayer. The only seats left were front row. A sea of soldiers stood respectfully, eyes closed. I pointed to the bench and we settled in. The crowd chimed "Amen" and I looked right in front of me. There as he lifted his head stood my heart. We locked eyes and mine went blurry with tears. His kind face creased into a grin and he looked not at me but into me. I later asked what he was thinking at that moment (total girl question) and he said "I fell in love with you all over again". Someone was speaking on a microphone but I could not tell you a thing they said until "dismissed". Moe had spotted her prize right away and ran through the crowd leaping into her Daddy's arms. The big girls not far behind held him where they could reach as he seem to glide to me. He put his only free arm around my neck and kissed my forehead then my lips. How he knows how to do stuff that makes the rest of the world around me disappear is a mystery I hope to never solve. We made our way home and were greeted by sweet treats and a cleaner house then I had left it. Great friends with a key to your front door is always a good thing! A giant sign the girls had made themselves read exactly "Wecome home Dady".
And then life went on, and it has been so fun and so full of love, more then any other time in my life.
I asked him just a few days in, if it was weird or wrong that we seem to just pick up where we leave off, no matter how much time has past. Him being the simple man that he is said "no baby, other folks just walking around with problems".
Not that reintegration is all fun and games all the time, we just call those times sandpaper, rubbing just a little rough. And we don't ever fight.. we have "heated marital discussions". I have to get used to having him around by changing a few habits such as talking to myself in the kitchen or picking my nose while driving. When he walks into the room without me noticing and I turn an see him and scream bloody murder, he is mostly patient with me. In turn I was patient with him when he used my carpet cleaner after the dog crapped all over. His idea was to just drag it back and forth over the pile in hopes it would disintegrate. You should have seen his heart sink when I had him turn it over and dammed if it weren't all smashed right there. He then began to explain to me how he would redesign the whole thing to be able to pick up chunks. Which brings me back to the bed sheet. So little Moe's life has gone through so much in the last month! She is completely potty trained and is going to big girl school (preschool/daycare) 2 days a week! On the days she is there Mr. LbF and I dubbed those days "date days". We start with McD's for breakfast and usually end up wondering a store like Home Depot holding hands. Real wild stuff as you can tell! This last weekend we made plans for tuesday to go to Barns and Noble so I could dig through the bargain bins and he could look through comics. I was soo looking forward to this I just knew we have been pressing our luck a little to much. On sunday night I asked him which kid he thought was going to throw up and ruin "date day". He remained optimistic. Tuesday came and he was so sick with a head cold he asked that we rain check till thursday and then he slept for 4 hours mid-day. So here we are wednesday night spraying Moe's puke off the sheet so I can put it into the washer and not have another carpet cleaner mess. We could not get over the irony of the situation. I do not have to leave the house to have a good time. I am so happy to be anywhere my husband is even in the backyard cleaning up vomit.
You see he does these things that make even the most stressful times seem not so bad. He rubs my feet after he puts on my socks because I am so pregnant I cant reach my toes. He changes the channel really fast when a scary movie trailer comes on because he knows I cant do scary.. He makes me breakfast in bed on saturday mornings and not just cereal, but stuffed omelets and french toast with butter and hot coffee.. He sits with Larry and goes over every math problem, then makes a game out of her spelling words that ends in her sitting on his back snickering as he does push-ups.. The other night after dark he and the kids had not come in from playing out side and I found him spraying 3 fully dressed giggling girls down with the hose on the front lawn.
He looks right into my eyes and says that everyday with me is an adventure and that he is loving the ride.
But this is also the stuff that nobody tells you about.....
Welcome Home Baby....

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dear Heavenly Father

This was written the night before we went to pick up our soldier.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this deployment.
Thank you for every second that I spent in the last 16 months that has brought me to this day. I pray that I have learned the lessons that you placed in front of me.
Thank you for everyday that I had the chance to hug our children not only for myself but for my husband too.
Thank you for the times I had to be more then I ever thought I could. I am humble for your understanding when I doubted that you gave me the strength to do this. I ask your forgiveness for the times I did not turn to you first, but let the worry and fear overcome...
I thank you for the people that you placed in my life, right when you knew I needed them. I pray that you used me Lord. That you also placed me where you knew I could touch someone with your grace. I pray that our sweet girls were examples to those around them of your light.
Thank you for giving our children patience to deal with having just one parent at their little fingertips and one that they could not reach. Help them to be understanding of the time that their Daddy spent away and know that it has so much to do with the love he has for them.
Thank you for opening my eyes once again to how amazing a marriage built on Christ can be even when forced to show love and passion in nothing more then a letter.
Thank you for the 72nd wind I needed to catch by 3pm on most days.
You blessed me over and over and over and over....
Every tear that stained my face and every bruise that blemished, every weight that I put on my own shoulders, in the moments that it felt to hard to breath.. you were there...
I can do all things through you, who strengthens me.... even this.... one last day.... amen

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rubber duckie, your the one...

I hate a mess, I mean really hate it. I am not talking about clutter, no, I love clutter! I am talking about a gooey, sticky, wet, mess. So much that my Mom even told me she thought I would be a virgin forever as soon as I found out how messy the process was..... we will leave that one alone for now.  We are not the household that finger paints, that is why I pay big bucks for preschool.  Letting my kids "help" in the kitchen makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and my face get hot. I know there are the parents who are amazing at this. That is why I bring them to your house. They let their kids up on chairs next to the perfectly clean counter and hang their booger nose heads over a bowl of something yummy. Then they allow the kids nasty hands to touch cooking utensils right next to a very hot surface. I have tried and tried again to get comfortable with the idea. I even bought them little aprons and "cook with your kid" books. But in the end the kid ends up ruining everything and I have lost all interest in eating whatever they touched. My husband is great at letting them "help", another reason to have him around.  I even get upset at my kids for doing dangerous stunts over hard surfaces because I know when they fall and crack their heads open it will suck not only because they will be hurt but also because of the mess it will leave. OK maybe I am not that bad but the fact that I even thought of that goes to show how much I don't care for a slippery mess. Which leads me to the subject of this blog. I have never ever been interested in the prospect of having a home birth mainly because the picture it paints in my mind. A total mess...
I was raised in a household where we were all born at home and it was considered the "norm". But when it came to my own birthing it was not something that I was willing to look into. Our first born was the guiny pig anyway and I think we were both so nervous the hospital was a good place for us to be. The 2nd born we were in another country and I knew it was gonna be a mess. The third one my water broke while I was sitting in our living room recliner watching Diners Drive-Ins and Dives! Talk about a mess,  Mr. LbF came around in front of me lifted up my skirt and said "man it is like a guiser down there". His love for that chair runs deep however and a day later he spent hours shampooing it till the water ran clear. Off to the hospital we went so they had to clean up the rest of the impending mess.
The fourth time is just around the corner and we have made the choice to do the unthinkable. Not only are we having a home birth but we are planning a water birth! To be better prepared I have compiled a list of things that the midwife said she will not be bringing, I imagine we may need for such an event.

1. Rubber ducky's because they are "lots of fun"
2. A snorkel for the midwife to keep a close eye on the goings on down below, she said that this was completely unnecessary, but better to be prepared.
3. Mr. LbF has shown interest in guiding his little man into the world through the watery entrance so he may need waders and a net.

I wonder if we need to take water safety classes?

4. I would like to find floaties for my ankles in case I get tired of holding up a leg.

 I asked my midwife how we keep the floor clean and un-messy and she said vinyl table cloths from the dollar store. I asked how she empties the tub, a long hose to the toilet is fashioned... So much of this process is going to require a little classing up! I think I may wear pearls and get a cashmere bathrobe. After all the word Hippie does start with Hip!

And last but not least before the the big day, personal grooming is a must! Cant have any short and curlys floating to the surface and throwing off my chi......

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trip A 1957.5 miles






Go ahead and ask me how my move went and here is the short answer... "It went and we are here". For the long answer read on...

My husband and I made a master plan to get our family from CA to KS. But like all our master plans... Nothing was mastered.

Step one.. Four days before packers come, trade in your Perfectly Good Car for a New, Perfectly Good Car.
This step sounds easy, as many of them do, but in this process it was discovered that my driver's license had expired last February. This was only discovered after I had test driven and brought a car home!... Trip number one to the DMV. I raced in the door leaving 2 kids watching a dvd and one sleeping baby in New Perfectly Good Car. Grabbed an application and a number. Filled out app on hood of car, shuffled 2 annoyed kids and one, not so happy to be woken up baby, back into DMV. My number got called, shuffled kids to counter, paid fee, got handed test, shuffled kids to test taking area, still holding not so happy baby. Took the test... missed 3.... passed! Put down baby long enough to take picture for license. She, of course, throws a fit at my feet while I smile at the little birdy. Left DMV praying my new license would arrive before I put the mail on "hold".

Step two.. Depend on loving friends to help organize everything you own before packers come.
A small workforce of amazing people came and bagged and tagged in anticipation of the impending chaos. This step was necessary for the master plan in my head that said that the more organized you are on that end, the easier it will be on this end... This is where you LOL.

Step three.. Sit back and try to relax while guys you nick named, Toothless Tony and Convict Kenny, rifle through your dedicates. Why is there always one packer who sweats so bad that you have to get over the fact he is working really hard and can not focus on the fact that every thing he touches you want to make a mental note to wash as soon as you see it again? We will just refer to him as, Sweat Faucet. Oh and throughout the entire move, his hair never went out of place.. Kind of like Trump's. After 2 days they left us in a cardboard jungle that completely scrambles your sense of home, but always makes for a wicked game of hide-n-seek!

Step four.. Watch your household goods get loaded onto giant truck for a safe trip to your new home. This step, someone from Mayflower Trucking forgot to read! On Saturday morn the truck did pull up but that is where the plan went south.. I was standing at the back of the truck when the driver opened the back door. I took one look inside and turned to him and said "We are gonna have a problem here, aren't we?". The truck was over 2/3 full of someone else's stuff. He said he thought that maybe I did not have as much as the paperwork said and that it would fit. But after looking around my house... it was time to make some calls. None of the emergency moving numbers reached anyone and after being on hold for an hour and a half all I got was a message saying that they were open M-F. By afternoon, I was a wreck. The driver convinced me to let him load what his crew could so that at least that portion would make it to KS by the time I got there. They picked through my carefully organized mess and played Tetris with my treasures. Late in the day, the driver had gotten ahold of the packing company and they were sending down from OR another truck and a guy to load it! Relief was short lived as soon as I saw Sweat Faucet pile out of a small trailer. They filled that trailer full and still had to come back the next day and fill it again. I even got tired of looking at my own stuff. None of it was packed to go into storage and the majority was loose and not in boxes. The packers and the driver and Sweat Faucet kept blaming each other for what a mess the move was and a few of the guys almost went to blows in my family room! Needless to say as I stood in my featherless nest I knew I needed to take my kids and blow off some steam! So we piled into the New Perfectly Good Car and went to float the stress away in the river. My dear sister and brother brought their Honeys and a picnic! It was so nice 'til we went to leave and I found my keys locked inside of New Perfectly Good Car....

Step five.. Finish a laundry list of things to do before you head out. Monday, I hit the ground running! I loaded my cargo car topper, not on the top but inside the car and took it to the locksmith. Because, of course, the keys I had kept out from the move were the wrong set. I took the dog to the vet because she had been shaking her head all day Sunday. I thought she was just as displeased with the move as I was, but it turned out she had fox-tails in both her ears and needed surgery the next morning. Tuesday was trip two to the DMV. It did not go smoothly as planned because I found out to register my New Perfectly Good Car, I needed to have it smogged. After a quick smogging, went out to lunch, got my toes done, grabbed munchies for the road, picked up a tired dog and a prescription! We finished off the day with a small farewell dinner at my girls' favorite place to eat, Bob's Ranch House!

Step six.. Drive across country with 3 kids, one dog, and a pregnant lady.This might be the hardest step to imagine so I will do my best to paint the picture... Wednesday, I woke really early, packed the final things in the new car including kids and picked up a Decausemaker on the way out of town. For those of you that may not have a Decausemaker, let me just describe for a moment, what I am talking about. Think of the best "partner in crime" and times that by 1000, now, put a smile on her face, a chop-saw in one hand and a gallon of milk in the other. THAT, is a Decausemaker. Some call her Michelle. For the past year I have called her Battle Buddy! I half jokingly asked her if she wanted to make this ridiculous cross country trip with me. A day later, while sitting on her back porch, she told me she was game! Her husband John, on the other hand, when I asked him to go, asked me if he had the word stupid tattooed on his forehead... I wonder what he meant by that... We got 15 miles out of town before our first stop and another 15 before our first potty stop. This was a foreshadowing of the next 5 days. First night was Reno, NV. It was a whirlwind of buffet food and acrobats. We pulled out the next morning with an extra $45.00, 6 stuffed creatures and 4 free pens. By the late afternoon we were in Elko,NV. Michelle who is always full of surprises was commenting on how pretty the museum was as we drove past and in the same breath said "I think I have been here". Turns out, she has! And not only that, but that her cousin lives right near there, so we called her for an impromptu family reunion! Day three, we planned completely around the Ikea store in UT! We got the dog settled at the hotel and the big girls Larry and Curly settled in the play area! We left there with tired feet, bellys full of Swedish meat balls and goodies for the new house! We did not get out the door fast enough to make a smooth escape though. On the elevator to the exit, Moe pushed the emergency red button. The alarm sounded and lights flashed and a very nice person from behind the panel assured us that help was on the way and to remain calm. I turned to the poor stranger who had made the mistake of getting on to the elevator with my 3 stooges and asked if she had any emergency. She stared at me wide eyed and shook her head no. So I held the door open for her and shuffled my crew toward the exit of the store. Almost free and clear, Curly was not looking forward as she walked and did a flying leap as she tripped onto a display stage...By the time we belted the stooges into the car, Michelle and I were holding each other up from laughing so hard...Day four.. Ogallala, NB will be scared in our memories and other places, forever. It was our longest driving day yet and we collapsed into our Best Western beds.... well some of us did.. others like Moe instead decided to run around the room like a crazy person. No sooner had I said "stop running" than she tripped over her own feet and went smashing head first into the corner of the night stand... We met some very nice locals at the emergency room that night. The Doc who sewed 4 stitches into her perfect forehead, the nice nurse who wrapped her in a warm towel and held her down to the table like a clawing cat, or the gentleman who came in from his weekend off to perform the CAT scan to look for any bleeders. Just real, nice, middle America folks. Moe got to pick out 4 stickers and was prescribed meds for the sinus infection they found from the scans. After a crappy, very late dinner we spilled ourselves into bed to prepare for what ended up being another 9 hr day on the road. Day five, was the day that would not end. We were so close but so far away. After the drive-through pharmacy for Moe's meds, it was a blur of corn and soybeans fields. The signs that read Kansas were a sight for sore eyes! We got settled for the night with pizza delivery and a dip in the pool to wash off the road.

Monday Aug 1st, I signed on the dotted line for a house on Fort Leavenworth and then had to re-sign, not my name, but that of Mr. LbF, reminding me right away that I was back in the "Army world". The housing lady even rubbed it in by saying it was not about me anymore.... witch...
Tuesday the 2nd we got the first shipment of household goods. Michelle was an packing machine and I tried to keep her fed and stayed out of the way. It was the hottest day on record since 1928(!) making it impossible to be comfortable. I made the mistake of taking off my bra when the movers left and my breasts suction cupped to my baby belly. Using powder made a paste, so I gave up. In true Army wife fashion, we had welcome meals delivered and invites to parties by the end of the day. When the dust settled, we had no broom. Curtains, but no rods. Beds, but no sheets. Six lamp shades, but not one lamp. All of Mr. LbF's clothes, but not my dresser. Which, of course, does him a lot of good from Iraq. So, here I am, 2 weeks later. Michelle made parole and was safely returned to her very smart husband. Larry and Curly started school. I am slowly getting my bearings and feel better after locating the Starbucks and Target. The 2nd half of our stuff has still not left OR and there is not a thing I can do about it.

Step.....whatever..... Settle into new house and make it a home... wait for the not so far off day, when he wraps his arms around me and that sweet first kiss melts me into a puddle named Worth the Wait..


Sunday, July 3, 2011

A breast post

My girls love to snuggle with me but instead of looking forward to this I find myself bracing for the inevitable elbow to the jaw. They all pile on top of me in what seems like a contest to see who can re-enter the womb first through my armpit or belly button.  Today I was again at the bottom of my giggly pack of gals. There are soft loving moments in between the moments of my left nipple being plastered into my hipbone. Larry who is all elbows and knees right now, wants to snuggle less and less, so anytime she is willing I pad my vitals with couch cushions and put on a welcoming smile.  As my growing belly becomes more of an obstacle, the girls want to include their brother into our snuggle sessions. They each spend a moment patting, poking, or cooing at a different part of my abdomen.  Moe calls to him and then patting my breast looks puzzled and asks "another brother Mommy?" This reminded me of the time I was nursing Moe and Curly sat next to me observing. Without missing a beat she pointed to my other breast and asked "does this one make apple juice?"!
Larry suggested that I swallow a small pair of pants so her brother does not have to be in there naked. Curly thought this through. She said it would not work and that I would have a hard time pooping out pants. Although if anybody could figure out how she would be the one. She announced to me yesterday "I am an evil genius". And I have no doubts about this!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Luck of the Irish

Driving home tonight with my sweet girls. We were greeted at every bend in the road by rainbow after rainbow! The gray sky hung low but the sun had pierced through. Larry my 7 year old was so excited by the beauty and mystery of these colorful giants. She asked me if there was really a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and I pointed out the window at the place in the alfalfa field that the mist had touched down. "What do you see at the end?" She replied "ah man there is no pot of gold, someone must have taken it already....."
Sweet innocence...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sixth Sense

As a kid when my Mom would ask me "Don't you see what needs to be done?" Only now after becoming a Mother do I know exactly what she was talking about. At the time, when I told her no, I really was telling the truth. I did not have the super power of walking into a room of our house and spotting right away the rubber lizard sticking out from under a couch cushion, the suspicious looking substance staining the floor board behind the chair or the fact that someone had stepped on a mandarin orange on the carpet and left it for dead. It is a sixth sense that women began to grow in pregnancy. Some people have us fooled and have tried to name it "the nesting stage" but I am here to inform you that it is actually the beginning stages of the sense that should now be know as the "You have got to be freaking kidding me" sense. I have named it this because that is what you will find yourself saying when you walk into a room that your kids have just left. Even now as I sit in my living room I have been forced to turn out all the lights, trying to fool my YHGTBFKM sense into thinking that I am in a wonderfully clean room and that nothing needs to be done before I finish this blog and go to bed.
One big thing to note is that most Men are immune to this sense and even after you have pointed out what you can see needs to be done they may still need you to write it down. I am a list maker. Everything from the normal stuff like groceries and todo's to pros and cons of everyday decisions. But when I make a list for Mr. LbF he thinks that the things on the list are the only things that need to be done..... ever. This is just another good reason for the name of the sense.


On this Mothers Day I want to thank my Mother for not only always seeing what needed to be done but when she did, for doing something about it. I love you Nona!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Batter's Up

The already receding standards in my home are falling faster then my personal hygiene.
I knew that the beginning of this pregnancy was going to be a challenge but it was one I thought I was better prepared for. Why I thought that is beyond me at this point.
I am so far behind the power curve I can say with out a doubt that our 2 year old Moe is running this place. I start out the day the same place I finish it. On my giant comfy couch. We have watched more Mickey Mouse Clubhouse then any adult should. Signs I know I am losing: with the one eye I could get open I saw Moe scurrying from the kitchen caring 2 snack zip lock bags filled with water. I did not get up. Another day she came walking in to the living room greased up like the prize winning hog at the county fair. This qualified getting up to investigate. I picked her up and licked her belly to determine the glaze. It was butter. Puzzled at how she could possibly have reached the butter dish on top of the bread box, I went to the kitchen. That little twit had fashioned a ramp to the counter top using a sofa cushion from the family room and the baby gate I had set up to keep her contained. I have said it before, she is small, mighty, and organized. And there for, can't be trusted.

Spring fever has hit our house. My sweet girls have traded in their ballet slippers for base ball cleats. This being our family's first organized sport, I knew we were in for a few laughs. I was proud to have made a trip to the store and purchased gear for Larry and Curly. Their cleats matched their gloves which matched the pink bat! If it turned out they had no sports talent at all at least they were gonna go down looking good! They were so surprised and excited up in till I caught Curly trying to shove her glove on her right hand. I am up for Mother of the Year on this one, Curly is left handed and no I did not get a left handed glove. Poor thing put on the glove and was throwing the ball from inside the glove. Looked kind of like someone throwing a shot-put while wearing a pink and white mitt.
First practice did not fail to delight. Curly is fast, I mean really fast. She lead the pack on the teams first attempt to run the bases. She flew to first base and grinned as the rest of the pack caught up and joined her. Then the coach yelled for them to run to second base. Curly took off like a bolt of pink lighting. She ran right out toward the back fence of the field, at that moment it was pretty obvious she had no idea where second base was. But let me tell ya, that did not slow her down one bit. You know what, none of the other kids knew either, because as she took off so did 8 other energetic bodies following close at her heals. It was a really long half mooned run to second base. The coach stood at third with her hand in the air to guide the pack in after that.
Larry surprised me. She has taken to baseball like a fish to water. She even wore her team hat to bed the first night. Team pictures are this Sat and I will be sure to post them! Larry did say she wanted to get a picture of herself on a coffee mug. I told her that was taking it a bit far.

Things covered in poop before I could finish this blog post:
Moe neck to knees
babywipe container
my shirt
my hands
hallway floor
bathroom floor
toilet
sink

Friday, March 18, 2011

She's gonna blow!

The term "Morning sickness" is total bull crap. I would love....just love... to only feel ill in the morning. In fact if I ever met the person who coined the phrase I would.....(censored).  It was most likely a man.

If you know me then you have known me pregnant/nursing. I have been pregnant for the last 85 years. A huge part of making a womb prize for me is puking and feeling like puking. I can get a wave of nausea from a stiff breeze. The other day I had to stop sweeping because watching the broom move so fast made me sick. This being my 38th pregnancy I have no short list of outrageous puke stories. Once when I was driving I had to pull over and open the door just in time. Another time I sat up in bed in the middle of the night. My friends and family all have their own stories of me. While vacationing in Kohln Germany, I jumped out of a taxi in front of the restaurant we were on the way to and leaned against a column out side the front door. The patrons leaving the restaurant commented I may of had my fill, they had no idea.
My husband walked in the front door and asked our then almost 2 year old Larry "where's Mommy?" Larry pointed toward the bathroom and said "blaaaaaaahhh". I have had to stop every road trip multiple times. Which no matter how understanding folks seem you know part of them just wants you to knock it off. It also brings back not so fond memories of summer camp. It was a curvy road up to the rafting point on the river and I was the poor fool that had to flip my biscuits in front of a whole bus of campers. They called me "Upchuck" the rest of the summer.
But of all my personal vomit stories no one takes the cake like my dear friend CV! It started with a road trip that sounded like such a good idea. Minivan, 4 small children, she is pregnant and we are pulling a u-haul trailer. We went to visit a dear friend and pick up some furniture for CV. The trip was mostly smooth, but we did learn 2 lessons, glow sticks can be bitten open and it will make the roof of a van and the inside if a toddlers mouth glow. And that two ladies should not go far off the beaten path for gas no matter how tough they think they are. So we had a great visit and the last day we are loading up the u-haul. CV cant lift the heavy bedroom set so our friend and I take on this task as CV stays inside with all 7 kids. We are just about done when CV comes out of the house looking pale and as if something awful had happen. It had. Worried we ask and then she describes the events something like this... She knew one of the kids had a dirty diaper and discovered it was my Curly. So she set up on the floor to change her and got half way through when the smell just became to much for her.  Frantically looking around for a receptacle she grew desperate. In a split second decision she puked right into the open dirty diaper in her hand. The best part is she folded it up and went on changing the diaper! What a great friend! When she came out to tell us we could not stop laughing. I am sure she regrets repeating the event to us because I know I have not let her forget it.
This pregnancy I thought if I could just ignore the nausea, or even rebuke the devil that I may have a chance of a peaceful first trimester. But like clock work it hit me like a ton of bricks. Cooking is almost out of the question because after a while the sight of any food makes my stomach turn. My sweet kids are so patient with me. The fact that they had raviolis from the can and a hard boiled egg for dinner does not seem to bother them. In fact Larry seems to have grown a little to comfortable. We are eating out more so I don't have to cook and tonight I told her I was cooking and she said "are you sure we cant go out to eat, you look awfully tired".
I have a feeling that before this phase of the pregnancy is over I may have to pull out the "deployment card" and get a few meals out of the local support! Is it rude to ask for help if my only real excuse is that the thought of looking in the fridge makes me cry?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Addicted

My breasts are sore, the smell of lunch meat makes me nauseated and at any point during the day I could cry while laughing. Yes you guessed it, I am the wife of a deployed soldier. Oh and I am pregnant. We in the Army call this an R+R baby. Which stands for "what the hell were they thinking?". So in blog talk here is the best answer to that question.
Mr. LbF and I have always done our best to keep the Army as his "job" and what goes on behind our front door our "real life". Even as a commander he was changing yucky diapers and eating a small piece of cake so everyone got one. These things are not a sacrifice for him. My dear friend Megan said the other day that when my husband is home with his kids he is "in his element". The title "Daddy" is his highest honor. In short we are addicted to our kids. They are the coolest thing we will ever do together.

If you had told me 10 years ago I would have 4 kids, I would have spat in your face. So to be having our 4th child I have gone through many changes. For instance my standards have declined in most things. I wake up fully expecting to be puked, peed or sneezed on. That way if I go to bed at night dry, it was an even better day!

Let's make a few things clear.

No, we are not a part of an organized religion that encourages litters.

Yes, we know how this happens. All Mr. LbF has to do it seems is leave his combat boots on my side of the bed.

No, we are not "going for the boy". We know it will most likely be another girl and we are cool with that.

And most importantly we are not having lots of kids because we just love kids. In fact I find most other peoples kids to be quite annoying. I will never be part of a babysitting co-op. Standing in a pre-school for too long makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Just because you're under three feet tall and 2 years old, does not exempt you from being an asshole.

And if it seems that I have put my kids on some kind of pedestal then you would be absolutely correct. And why not? This world can and will be hard! They will be exposed to evil at some point. But not on my watch. I consider my children my life's work!
As for making the decision to be pregnant while my husband is deployed, well I don't know what the hell we were thinking...

Monday, February 28, 2011

This is WAR

My 2 year old daughter Moe just came down stairs from her nap....naked. And handed me a small Christmas tin filled with urine. The lid was on and as she handed it to me she did say "Here go Mama, pee pee".
That pint size pisser has no idea what she has gotten herself into. She may have taken the first strike, but I always win! I consider this act a declaration of Potty Training Warfare.
Lets dig into the file on this to-cute-for-her-own-good opponent.
First, we now know she can hit a 3 in hole with a considerable amount of urine. A toilet bowl should be a walk in the park! Second, the skill of pulling off her pants in one motion she already comes by honestly, thats how we got her. She can already be found most days naked as a jay bird. So nothing will hinder access to the parts. Third, as an insider, I happen to know that this particular female has a weakness for chocolate! And can be bribed into almost anything. It is crucial to go into battle knowing your foes vulnerability.
As a veteran of this kind of war, I had already begun to stock the necessary ammunition. My arsenal includes pink "big girl" pull-ups. Although having Disney princess faces on them always seemed weird to me, I guess I may be able to work it to my advantage. If I fear I may be losing a battle, I am not above saying things like "Now don't pee-pee on poor Cinderella's face".
I also have hand soap in a colorful foam, flushable wipes, and the softest tp ever made! For the battles I know I will lose I have stocked up on carpet cleaner, rag towels, baking soda and waterproof mattress pads. My secret weapon is the port-a-potty seat I keep in the car. That way no one has to crouch over a coffee can or wipe container, like some people had to when they were little....
When all else fails I am prepared to pull out the big guns.....a Sticker Chart. Kids are almost powerless when faced with earning a shiny gold star!
And now a warning for the locals. If you happen to pass my car on the side of the road anytime soon, don't worry I am not out of gas, I may just be grasping small ankles and pointing down hill!

Tornado Warning

During a deployment there is a time that is more sacred then any other during the year. It is referred to as R+R. 14 days that a soldier is given to take time off doing what ever legal thing they feel like doing. Airfare is on the Army and they get a ticket to fly!
My handsome Man got that golden ticket and lucky for me he booked that flight, straight to my arms!

The first embrace and kiss when you see each other is true magic. For me the whole world melts away and his face is all I see. It reminds me of the day I became his wife. Like standing in the center of a tornado.
As soon as we entered that state of bliss our sweet kids ripped us back to reality.. Our 3 stooges each took their turn. Larry ran and jumped into her Daddy's arms, Moe reached as high as she could squeezing his left knee cap. Curly without skipping a beat crossed her tiny arms and said "All I have to say is, Mama wont let me have any lollipops"!

The first few days we floated on air. All of us so eager to show off what we have been up to for the last 5 months. The girls had certificates they earned at school and I may have torn a few holes in the walls of our new house.

We threw a party for my birthday and had some of our best friends come and laugh with us! My sister graced us with her wonderful company and made a punch called Knock-ya-Naked!

Every day for us was like a dance. Our kids twirled from one of us to the other. Every now and then we come around a corner in the house and "bump" our lips together.

By mid leave we caught the kids trying to play us against each other. The chores divided and everyday things like bedtime at 8 did not seem so important.
I got to sleep in..... multiple times. We stayed up later and later watching trash tv and laughing till we knew we must be delirious.

I fell in love with him... again.

Family came to stay and it felt like any other vacation.

As the time drew to an end it became clear that we had been granted not 15 days but 17. I did not want to say it out loud for fear that some one would figure it out and come knock on the door in the middle of the night to take him away. But they didn't.
What did happen was a little different. Mr LbF got a wake up call to what it is really like to be a wife of a deployed soldier.

By day 14 the rose colored glasses fell off. It started with the dishwasher, which died. Then the kitchen filled with ants, so that battle began. His truck would not start. Curly got the 24 hour flu which triggered the endless pile of nasty laundry. Moe woke up every hour through the night crying. The next day our fence practically blew over and our neighbor came knocking on the door saying that our dogs where running the neighborhood.

His last night we reviewed his final days at home. We laughed and I may have cried. I explained how typical all this was for a military wife to go through and asked what he had to say after going through it with. My not so complicated man replied "This is some bull".

I have heard some wives say that a deployment might be easier without getting R+R. They say, that good-bye for a 2nd time is just to hard. Not in our case. For me the good-byes are just the few steps that happen before the tornados!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

OK

I just had a monumental birthday... I turned 30.  Came out of no where I swear.. It was a hard transition for me. I have always wanted to be 30 and as it loomed over me I panicked.. All of the sudden there seemed to be a whole list of things I did not do in my 20s. Mr. LbF asked me to tell him my list and at that moment I could not remember one thing... so I lost all credibility in my pity party. Damn old age memory loss....
He says "well it is better than the other option" What kind of comfort is that supposed to bring anyway?
Thinking about how I pictured myself to be in my 30's, I decided major changes needed to take place! My master plan came to me while lying next to my hubby.. As my favorite sounding board I attempted to explain my plan.

Me: "I think I need to run"

Mr LbF: "ok"

Me: "No I mean become a runner like those skinny bitches that get up before the sun."

Mr LbF: "ok"

Me: "I am gonna need a few things..... like a baseball cap, but not one for a sports team just one from a place like the Gap"

Mr LbF: "ok"

Me: "And a smoothly maker and some of that powder they put in it, what is that anyway, maybe its magic motivation powder, it would have to be to make me get out of bed before the sun"

Mr LbF: "Its protein, not magic"

Me: "I need cute spandex shorts too and a real bra, the last bra I bought did not fit so good, I tightened the straps to the point that my breast were so high I was afraid my nipples might get airsick. "

Mr LbF: "ok"

Me: "I think it would help if I made friends with one of them first, sort of like an "in", Where do they hang out? GNC maybe, I bet that's where they get the magic powder? Where have you seen them?"

Mr LbF: "I've only really been around one once. I was running up this hill and I looked over my shoulder and all I saw were boobs and ponytail. I picked up my pace and by the top of the hill she was passing me. She looked over her shoulder and said "Thanks"!

Me: "Yeah its gonna be a llllooooonnggg time before I am passing anyone."

Mr LbF: "ok"

So the first thing I plan on doing is dusting off my workout clothes and using them for their intended purpose. The next thing is to get back to basics!
A big thank you to all who have been so patient with me. Pound for Person here I come!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Shhh be very very quiet, I'm hunting wabbits!

I have been wearing only my left slipper for 3 days. It is not my intention to have "cold foot", but for the life of me I can't find the right one. So what does one do? Live with 10 chilly toes or 5? This seems like a "glass is half full" moment but I am funny, not deep.

Our recycling is taking over part of our basement. I don't think I have hauled it to the bins since Mr. LbF left for his camel back adventure. It just seems like soooo much work. I start to think about it and already feel sticky from sorting number 1 and 2's.. But if you know me you know I do my best to do my part. I even spoke about it at a ladies luncheon once. I thought maybe it was time to go back and re-read what I said that day as to light a fire under my own compostables! Here's what I said:

Good Afternoon OCSC and thank you so much Melissa for having me today. If you came here today to get expert environmental advice you should get your lunch to go! The working title of my speech today has been "Going Green is a pain in my ass".
Go ahead and bring up the subject of "going green" in a group and enviably someone in that group, usually me, is going to feel inadequate. This of course has nothing to do with anyone else but everything to do with my jewish quilt. I am going to go out in a limb here a little and assume that I am not the only guilty one. But why? Trust me! This is not a complete guilt trip for I already know the answer. It has everything to do with finding the issues that are most important to you and making changes so that it works in your household. Sounds easy right? Well then, to start with I am going to need someone to explain to me... what the hell is a carbon footprint? And why I need to worry about the size of mine?

Changing the world is not a new concept for me and neither is worrying about the things I have no control over. For instance... saving the whales... This worry was instilled in me early on as I watched my Mother crawl on the supermarket floor searching the shelf for the can of tuna with the "dolphin safe" symbol. I knew then, that it must be an important thing to do, for my Mom to go to such drastic measures.

I think of myself as a good person and some might think that that is enough. I am a person who really is trying to live "Green". As a matter of fact I know almost all of the words to Jack Johnson's Song Reduce Reuse Recycle! Through out the year I painstakingly separate all the packaging to be sorted in to the appropriate containers. I even have a giant bag of old batteries and cords that I will someday find the time to take to the hazard waste drop off point here on post. And still, with all my sincere efforts, that nagging feeling of guilt comes rushing back for past indescrepancy's, For example... cleaning out the fridge. Historicaly I have been known to trash whole containers of new life forms that have grown inside my tupperware. 3 full sets and countless pieces of glad-ware have made their way through my kitchen. In order to make it right with Mother Earth I buy recycled paper products. Specifically toilet paper. I figure if I have to wipe with TP made out of last months newspaper plus take the much needed extra step of brushing off the little paper kernels left behind on my nether region then Mother Earth and I are even.

I do admire many other people for the things that they are willing to do to live green. However I know myself well enough to know, some of these things I will never do regardless of my guilt or commitment.
Here are 3:
1. Make homemade paper
2. I will not use cloth diapers, I did concider one disposable type, until I saw that after you dumpthe diaper's contents in to the toilet you must then use the complementary swivel stick to stir said contents before flushing, Yeah...I was out right then.
3rd and last, Composting, can you see me trying to explain that to Army housing, "but you don't understand... I am trying to get right with Mother Earth"!

Now, I'd like to take a personal moment to speak with all of you about... the big "O"... ...Organic! We all want to feed our family's what is the best for them. So I have compiled a short list of the biggest offenders when it comes to pesticide residue. The first one is Milk, obviously because of the growth hormones and anti-biotics given to the unsuspecting cows. Also peanut butter and apples. In 2006 81% of peeled and washed potatoes were found to still contain pesticide. Strawberries, spinach and ketchup. In fact Organic ketchup was found to have 2X the antioxidants then regular. Going Organic with just 5 foods can have a huge influence on both your family's diet and health. One big Green question I have is... why do Organic, veggie fed free range, brown, chicken's eggs come in styrofoam containers?

Another part of the "green" life that has come to my attention is the snobbery that rears it's ugly head. And not always just from others but from me..and my friend Megan. She noticed and brought to my attention that a mutual neighbor of ours did not use her blue recycle container. So of course we jumped to the outragous conclusion that she did not recycle! And then, based solely on that we determined that we could not be friends with her!!!...It's ok though... she moved . It was a case of what I am now calling "Eco Profiling".
This in turn led me to the question, why are some folks so resistant to going green? If there are small changes that we can do with in our daily routines that will help save the whales why not get on board? One answer came to me while doing research for this speech. And may have also become clear to you as well..........It can be totally overwhelming! With all of the endless possibilities out there... it's hard to know where to start! So this is what I have done and I hope that it can inspire and help some of you as well. I made yet another one of my lists. This time, it is of what I am calling my green goals. Those things that I would like our family to commit to doing. We will chose 3 to start. When those goals become habits we will chose 3 more.

Here are my family's first three goals
1...Reduce the use of plastic by buying eco-friendly kitchen trash bags
2...Start using reusable shopping bags, so I don't have to lie to the strangers behind me saying I forgot mine again. Why do I think they care?
And 3...Continue to seek out and purchase products that are Fair Trade Certified. Fair trade of course means that the product was made by people receiving fair wages for the work it took to make the product. So that as Megan so elequintay pointed out, no one has to suffer so I can moisturize.

The most important ways to go Green so that it is not a pain in your ass depend on you, your household and your ability to take one extra step in your day. It can be as easy as drying your clothes on a line this summer, or to stop trashing hazardous waste. I think that Most importantly we can teach our children the importance of Reduce Reuse Recycle!

In conclusion I can happily confess that I have gotten so into Going Green that I am wearing Organic Hemp underpants right now! Get on board lady's this Green Train has left the station, and I'm not feeling guilty!!!



And for my 2nd conclusion, I will share that I am no longer buying the shredded cardboard on a roll to use as tp. It was brought to my attention by my oldest daughter Larry that it is ok that some things in this life are a luxury. We were at a friends house and she followed me into the bathroom to use it after me. As I stood at the sink washing my hands I caught her out of the corner of my eye carefully unrolling some tp. With out looking up at me she said "oh Mama, Ms. Deana has the softest toilet paper." She then folded a few squares up into a bundle and put them into her pocket saying "I am gonna save these for later."
I want my kids to learn the good lesson but we are blessed and if they want to wipe their butts on live white rabbits that is what my babies are gonna have!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Rainbow

While driving along with the Stooges in tow, I pointed out a beautiful rainbow that was painted across the afternoon sky. Feeling sentimental I asked my crew if they know what the rainbow represented. Larry answered "something about God, right?". This of course sent me into a 20 minute monologue of the story from the Bible of Noah and the Ark. This being one of my favorite stories I went into great detail of how I pictured the animals 2 by 2 all living peacefully together. There was only one moment where I lost my zen, and it had to do with a question of what was done with all the poop there must of been. Skipping over this as fast as I could with some spur of the moment answer that involved a drop hatch. I concluded by pointing at the rainbow and repeating "Gods promise". It was freaking beautiful.
Fast forward to today. Larry age 7 was reading our children's picture Bible and came upon the story of Noah. She was joined by her sisters and curled up by my chair so I could read it aloud to them. In this simple explanation of the story it reads that "the people of Gods earth did not know about him and had grown selfish and evil, they fought and did bad things to one another". When the story was finished Curly age 5 stood up and said "Mommy there is this girl at my school that does bad things and is mean to me, I think she needs to get flooded!"

On to the stories regarding forgiveness....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dip no chips....


Next time your at my house stay far away from the Ranch dressing in the squeeze bottle on the 3rd shelf down on the door in the fridge. Story behind this of course has to do with my 2 year old, Moe. I got up from the dinner table to clear my place and turned around just in time to see her standing on her chair in just a diaper (not important to the story just for the visual). She had crawled across the table swiped the dressing and had it up to her face squeezing the bottle with her freakishly strong tiny hands, sucking the white sauce into her beak. Every time she let loose her mighty grip the plastic popped and the reverse suction came into play, siphoning a drool concoction back into the milky bottle. I dashed over as quick as I could snatching the bottle. After sitting her down I cleared her place as well and put the bottle safely away in the fridge. Hence the fair warning at the start of the story. Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Three Down

My daughter, Curly, age 5 says to me today "Mom, I'm pretty sure I like you more then anybody".
And you know what? It was the nicest thing that anybody has said to me in a while. Tugged my heart and made me laugh! My girls have that ability, to knock me off my high horse and bring be back to reality. For the past few months I have been in "survival mode". Mr. LbF is off in the desert "enjoying" an all-expense-paid year long excursion to Iraq. Also know as deployment, also know as the time when everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Writing a blog has just not been in the cards. But one way or another I am back in the saddle and excited to be writing this!
Let's go over the list of what has gone wrong so far just to give those that have no clue what goes on, a clue and for the {if I'm not laughing I'm crying} factor.
I have had a dog need surgery, a child need an MRI, the basement leak in 2 different places, a truck that would not start, Larry had strep, Curly threw up and Moe managed to get a temp of 104.8! Throw in 5 dentist/Dr appt, 2 parades, 13 overnight guests and a partridge in a pear tree. No really! I set up 8 trees for Christmas, there had to be a partridge in there somewhere. Have I mentioned yet that hubby has only been gone for 3 months?
Let me go on record now as saying that I had NO idea what I was getting myself into when I married a soldier! Oh I thought I had it all figured out. I pictured myself swelling with pride as I watched my hero marching in step with his fellow Army men, all dressed and pressed in crisp green uniforms, under the flag blowing in the breeze, just as a bald eagle flew over, screeching in delight. Reality is not as romantic of course. Because in that fantasy what I naively did not think about is when he goes marching off in step, that he is marching away from me.
This being our second deployment the "sting" is not as bad. At the 3 month mark before, I think I was still in shock. Throw in a little postpartum depression and Mama was a whack job.
Pre-planning for success seems to be really paying off. We made the decision to move the stooges and I back "home" for this one. There was no way to prepare for the adventure of that. I seem to have been gone just long enough to not remember anyone. Picture me at the grocery store, I am mostly minding my own business standing next to the rice-a-roni. I make eye contact with the person pushing a cart in my direction. We both smile and that is when it hits me, do I know this person? How do I know this person? Have I just seen their face so many times over the course of growing up that I feel like I know them? Were we old chums and shared a deep meaningful moment that only they remember? Did I date their brother or cousin? Have they seen me naked? It would really help if everyone where I grew up weren't so damn friendly. I have to be nice to everyone, it is exhausting.
It's fun seeing the folks that I do remember that are all grown up. You would not believe the people that have hooked up that would not have looked twice at each other in high school! That really does happen. Plus they all seem to take themselves so seriously. The older I get the more I know, I know nothing. Ok enough gossip, it only gets me into trouble. Last time I got into trouble is when someone introduced me to this very nice lady and then they told me who she was married to. I did one of those try- to-hold-it-in laughs, it came out more of a snort and I spit a little. Needless to say she has not responded to my FB friend request.
Not being with my "battle buddy" army wives is my one and only true complaint! However we have had a humbling out pouring of support that I just never saw coming. This small community has wrapped her arms around my little family and seems to be there to help before I even know what to ask for. From the schools, to the girl scouts, to neighbors and strangers on the street, this amazing place I get to call home has a vested interest in the well being of me and my family.
My friend Callie says she breaks deployments up into blocks of 3 months at a time! That makes this a milestone!
So my goals for the next block is to continue to smile at everyone, take joy in my children, be proud of my husband no matter where he is marching and write every chance I get!