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


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!!