Thursday, February 28, 2013

What to Expect: Your 30's Edition

I think my anti-wrinkle cream is actually hair growth fertilizer. I've been in my 30's for only two years and can't believe the crap that is happening to my body. Why did no one tell me this was gonna happen. All any of my older friends said to me was "Just wait..."!

I knew about the time frame my baby would be ready for solid foods or when my toddler would take their first step, because of two things. Everyone who has ever had kids would not shut up about it. And there was the book, What to Expect When Your Expecting, followed by What to Expect the Toddler Years! At any point in my kids development I could turn to page whatever and see a guide on what to watch for and look forward to!

My question is, where is the freaking book for the gal that just turned 30? There is plenty of stuff to write about! I am currently a wealth of information and I have only been going through this for 2 years.
I should be able to open the book, and reference by the weeks. Here is how it should read:

Your 32 years and 1 week:
In this eventful week you may be experiencing some hair sprouting up in unexpected places. Do yourself a favor and invest in good quality steel reinforced tweezers. Spend the money for the "good ones" as this tool will become your go to gadget as hairs begin to pop out of places they never have before. Look for these unfriendly follicles under your first chin but not quite to your second. Around your left and right nipples. Be sure to lift up and pull out your breast from your body as some hairs may be hiding. Try hanging upside down off the end of your bed, with one hand holding the magnifying mirror. With the other move your breasts out from your armpit. Pluck all unwanted guests, repeat as needed.

Your 32 years and 2 weeks:
Do not be alarmed this week as you begin to notice your ass is not where you left it at age 29. Also know that your butt is not actually bigger this week, it is just that your back fat and upper cheeks have began the wedding dance and by the time you are 40 they will have mated and become one. This week you must make the decision whether or not to invest in Mom Jeans. These nifty pants have been designed to stuff in all that you are packin'. Don't be alarmed by the 12 inch zipper in front, by the time you get used to it you will be making the move to elastic banded waist pants anyway.

Your 32 years and 3 weeks:
The checker at the grocery store, your bartender, and your waitress will all suddenly look 12 years old to you. Please refrain from referring to them as Sweetie or Honey. They are actually in their 20s. That is what you looked like too. Don't hate them, hate grows wrinkles. (See chapter 35 week 4 for more on Eyesight).

Your 32 years and 4 weeks:
Water and lotion are your friends. That supple skin you had in your 20's is a thing of the past. All the laying out on the beach and time in tanning beds you spent is coming back to bite you in your butt. You will be thirsty all the time. You will also need to invest in a multitude of lotions for every part of your body. Try pinching your upper eyelid, if it does not spring back into place you need to find a giant barrel and fill it half way up with lotion, coconut oil, oatmeal and any other quick fix cream on the market. Get into the barrel and spend as much time in there as you can, while drinking 10 glasses of water. This will buy you at least a year until you are complaining that you can feel a storm coming because your hands are so dry.

Your 32 years and 5 weeks:
Now is the time you need to start thinking about your yearly well women exam. (Read these references before your appointment: Hormone-monster, Mamo-what, KY spells Fun) 

Your 32 and 6 weeks:
The answer is YES, you would much rather watch Scandal on TV then have sex. Your drop in libido is a natural state that will reset itself when you get over the fact that you are now a 30 something with dry eyes, a droopy ass, rough elbows and hair on your left nipple.

I am sure that more chapter ideas will come to me. And being the good friend that I am I will fill you in on all the wonderful details. Right after I go wax my chins.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Eighteen to life

HELP! I AM BEING HELD PRISONER! (Not a genuine emergency)

Don't be fooled by my warden's size and smooth smile. He speaks a language I do not understand and only gets what he wants by pointing and screaming at me.

I am forced to wear clothing covered in snot, drool, and the leftover remnants of what ever my keeper had to eat last. I know it must be the uniform of this prison because within minutes of having on a clean shirt I am sneezed on.

When I place a peace offering of food in front of him at his throne he takes what he wants and then pitches the rest at the floor and I am forced to clean it up.

My pint size jailer refuses to walk and requires I carry him everywhere, until my arms fall asleep and my back hurts.

He has tactfully separated me from all my single friends and made it seem like I have nothing in common with them anymore.

One of his many ploys of control is sleep deprivation. I start out the night thinking I am going to get to sleep all night and then by surprise my presence is demanded in his chambers.

There are locks on the fridge, stove, and cabinet doors. He follows me everywhere even into the bathroom.

As punishment for something I must be doing wrong he goes around undoing everything I have just done. He knocks over piles of freshly folded laundry or pulls all the books off the shelf onto the floor.

The challenges get greater as he seems to wake up smarter everyday. He can also sense when my defenses are down and exploits my weaknesses to his cutie-pie face.

The greatest trick this coy overseer has played on me is that he has charmed me into falling in love with him. Even with the prison doors wide open I am blinded by joy just to hear him laugh.

Please come rescue me! Oh and bring bananas, His Royal Majesty requires bananas.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Snow Daze

I had only enough energy today to move from the bed to the couch.

Yesterday 10 inches of beautiful snow was dumped from the sky onto our house. The school and even Mr. LbF's work called a "snow day". The night before the storm hit I fell asleep with dreams of marshmallows floating in mugs of hot cocoa. And my little family sitting in front of the fire together under one blanket playing footsie. That didn't happen.

Sleep did not come easy that night. Mr. LbF fell ill with a nasty head cold. Just the sound of him trying to take in air was enough to wake the neighbors.

All to soon the sun was up and so was the baby. I reluctantly dragged myself to the kitchen and fixed the first of many meals. The rest of the day crawled by and consisted of making meals, shoveling tons of snow from the driveway, picking up after ungrateful children with cabin fever, and caring for a man with a real fever.

I was so tired and mad I took it out on the only person that could not get away from me. As I bitched at him Mr. LbF said there was a total double standard and that when I am sick he is much nicer to me. He was right.

I was not excited to find out that today, at least for the children, it was going to be another "snow day". By the time my cold meds had kicked in I had used up an entire box of tissues. Now I was sick.

This morning after Mr. LbF (who was feeling better) left for work I corralled all our kids into the living room, turned on the TV and curled up on the sofa. Every once in a while I would open my eyes take a head count and bark an order. Toy Story the movie was still on the TV so I knew I could get away with a few more winks. My big girls sat side by side in the big chair hovered over my lap top.

I sat up like a hungry bear after the winter and observed the end of Toy Story. But something was wrong. It was not the same movie. I looked at the clock and it was 1 pm. I had slept through a Pixar marathon. It was then I started to notice other "wrong" things. The big girls were now sitting side by side but they were hovered over my husband's lap top. The baby was playing sweetly with blocks on the floor next to me but he was sporting a greasy Jerry Curl hair do. I asked Larry what happen to his head. "Oh Moe rubbed lotion on his head, we told her not to." I stood up and stepped into an empty bag of Goldfish crackers. Cracker dust stuck to my foot. I walked into the kitchen. There had been 1/2 of a sheet cake when I had laid down, it was gone. A bag of toaster waffles had been left open and thawed out on the counter. There were 4 containers of yogurt each with only one bite taken. Two plastic cups of lemonade had overflowed when poured and were stuck to the dining room table.

My reliable children had fended for themselves and the house reflected it. I was very proud of them. Not one thing had happened that could not easily be wiped away! And that is when Moe came running in to the kitchen. The kitty robe she was wearing fell open. There it was, the undeniable evidence that she had been left to her own devices. She was marked and I would have to explain myself. I asked her what she had written in blue marker all over her chest and she told me it was her name and a little picture. I asked why she had used herself as a canvas and she said she could not find any paper. If nothing else my resourceful clan had kept themselves well fed and creatively entertained.

I'm booting my children out to play in the snow and will heat up the cocoa as they play. I will drink mine with a side of dayquil and 3 marshmallows!

My snow angels:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hunting Wabbits

My soldier is a city mouse and I am a country mouse. So the other night he caught me off guard with  an announcement. The man who says he won't go camping because that is what he gets paid to do says to me:

Mr. LbF "I think I am gonna pick up hunting."

Me(Falling into fits of laughter) "What would you hunt?"

Mr. LbF (Thinking way to long) "Turkey"

Me "Do you even know what to do with a turkey after you've shot it?"

Mr. LbF "Yes, you get the feathers off."

Me "And...?"

Mr. LbF "And you cut off the head."

Me "And?"

Mr. LbF "And the legs."

Me "And?"

Mr. LbF "And you cut it up."

Me "You know they are covered in mites sometimes that crawl up your arms when you get the feathers off."

Mr. LbF (Thinking this over) "Maybe I'll hunt deer."

I was laughing so hard at this point he started grumbling and said the conversation was over. 

I am not naive about what my husband does for a living. Or what he has been trained to do when he is deployed. But when he is talking about hunting this, is what I picture:

In his job he does not hunt Wascally Wabbits. He hunts who ever the chain of command tells him to. And he looks like this:

Thank you for your service Babe, but lets say you stick to your day job and I'll get our turkey from the store.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lunch Out

Adding up the time I have spent as an all day Baby buffet is alarming, over 3 years! As a direct result from this I can fold one breast in half like a giant pita bread. Slap on some tzatziki, shaved meat off a spicket and you have lunch! I mentioned this to Mr. LbF and he said "I could go for some greek."

I had the profound privilege to nurse all four of my children. Not for one second will I take for granted what a blessing that really is.
Last week I nursed my child for the last time. Even typing this statement my emotions are torn in 100 directions. There are feelings of release and freedom. And then overwhelming sorrow as if I am mourning the loss of a friend. Nursing and I had a love/hate relationship. Bonding with my sweet babies while we snuggled in the wee hours are some of my fondest memories. On the flip side I am no stranger to dealing with emergency room visits while suffering from mastitis, 6 different times. I secretly loved "having" to take time outs during my busy days, forced to sit quietly, breath deep and take my top off.

I walk away from my "Noonie" years feeling accomplished no matter my nursing battles. In the first few weeks of nursing when I would bleed because my baby ate every hour. To when they were a little older and I began to resent them for needing me so much. I am looking back now, thinking what else could have possibly been more important.

I am so YEA BOOB that I helped run a breastfeeding support group. I have held perfect strangers tits in my hand. This rewarding endeavor was also a humbling one. For not everyone is successful at breastfeeding, even with my magical fingers demonstrating the "pinch method".

I got real good at multi-tasking and could do such feats as change their diaper on my lap, get their older sibling dressed, or make a meatloaf at the same time as they nursed. I would use a sling and nurse while wandering a flea market. By the time I was nursing the second child I could sit next to the rear -facing car seat and whip it out on the road. We referred to this as Go-Go-Gadget Titty.

My bountiful bosom has quite the passport too. Planes, trains and automobiles. I have nursed at the Eiffel tower and the Louvre museum in Paris France. They have suckled in the south, on horse and buggy, a Nascar race, one MLB and two NFL games. Church pews, bar stools and plenty of Army pomp and circumstance. I pumped in Poland and fed in Frankfurt!

As I come out from under my Hooter Hider, we will retire my nursing bra number.  No need for a speech or bright blue ribbons. However lunch with Mr. LbF sounds grand!

Mama cow Image courtesy of chrisroll at

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Side show Curly

Curly looked up at me with big eyes as I cut off her hospital bracelet. I had let her sleep wearing it and now before school insisted the show was over and it needed to come off. "I would like to keep it as a remembery." Straight faced as not to hurt her feelings I reassured her that none of us were going to forget the events of the day before.

It was just after noon when I got the call that Curly was in the nurse's office at school...... again... As soon as I heard it was a legitimate reason I was stricken with guilt. But if you have heard the story of the boy that cried wolf then you have a pretty good understanding of the story of Curly that cried ouch. When we moved this last time the school nurse got a little choked up as she hugged Curly goodbye. They had spent enough time together to form somewhat of a bond.

I pushed the stroller into the office and spotted my girl's tear stained face. The very nice nurse explained the fall she had taken on the playground and showed me the bloody knee. I hugged and kissed and hugged again. Curly bounced like a pin ball through the phases of being a hypochondriac in shock. From shaking to puking to making jokes to wanting to sleep. I managed to get her to the car and on the way to the ER. It was our first trip there since our move and Lord willing our last!

We walked up to the front desk and my Drama Queen asked the clerk for crutches. I looked down at her and reminded her she just walked in. She hobbled into the triage office and sat down, s-l-o-w-l-y. The nurse began her checklist and asked Curly what had happened.
Curly said "Well you see I was at Kansas Elementary School and I am in the 2nd grade and we were at our second recess, the one after lunch. And I was gonna run a race and you see I am the fastest girl and I was winning and this boy was cheering for me and well he got in my way and I tripped and went right to the ground." Quite impressed the nurse looked up at me as not to laugh out loud. Curly continued to talk. " And you know what the funny thing is, today at school we had a lesson on safety and how to not get hurt at school, but here I am."

In the waiting room I called Mr. LbF to fill him in on where we were in this process. I also reminded him that it was his "turn" to take the sick kid to the Dr. and that now he owed me two. With four kids you do that kind of thing.

Sitting with Curly she informed me that she was not surprised we were in the ER because earlier she had been sitting on the toilet that day and knew she was gonna get hurt at some point. I asked her to please picture me winning the lottery the next time she had to go.

Back in the belly of the ER we were put in a tiny room with many drawers I wanted to pilfer. Another nurse came in and asked Curly what had happened. Curly started in, word for word, her wild tale of the race that was not hers to win. "Well you see, I was at Kansas Elementary School and..." Impressed with the story the nurse then asked to take a good look at the injured knee. "I need you to take down your britches."
 Curly shot her a look that read "what did you just call me". Seeing my daughter stiffen up I said "your jeans baby she needs you to remove your pants."

The Dr came in next and after hearing the day's events that took place at Kansas Elementary School, determined that 4-6 stitches would be necessary. Curly was a champ and did not shed a tear as he numbed the area. All she did was rattle her teeth and speak jibberish. The Dr looked at me and asked about the bump on her head. I said the bump was superficial and she was acting normal... well normal for Curly. We both watched as he finished up his work cleaning and sewing. When he finished Curly asked if he could fix the hole in her jeans as well.

Daddy and Moe walked through the door as we were checking out. Curly took very very deep breaths with each movement when she was sure someone was watching. The Dr said no bending for two days and no running till the stitches were out. Curly looked up at her Daddy and said she really thought that a new Dolly and some ice cream would make her feel better.

When we were sure the ER had enough drama we got home in time for Larry to get off the school bus. Through the grapevine she knew Curly had been picked up but when she saw her sister limping she was shocked. She said " I thought you had just thrown up because they were giving out seconds on hot dogs today."

Throughout the evening the list of activities that Curly decided she could not manage on her own grew longer and longer. At one point she had her leg up on a chair and said "well I guess I better get used to this, this is how things are gonna be now." Mr. LbF carried and propped her up in our bed with some pillows. She rested her hands under her head and told him "I could get used to this."
I tucked her in and kissed her forehead. She asked if it was ok that she had gone to the nurse's office. I let her know yes that was one of the times it was ok to go to the nurse's office.

New family word "remembery"!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Do As I Say Not As I Do

I was on the phone with my Mom and within 3 sentences I spelled out a four letter word and then dropped the f-bomb. Confused she said "the kids must not be around." I said "no, they are downstairs." She asked "then why did you spell out the four letter word and not the f-bomb?"
"I spelled out the first one? Man, I don't even know when I am doing that. I wonder how often in public with adults I defer to my ABC's for my choice words?".
I should start with the fun fact that I learned how to swear from my Mother. A fact I am sure she is cringing about while she reads this. My Mom is and was a hard working DIY'er before there was the term DIY. Back then she just called it Do It Because It Needs To Be Done. I guess that would be DIBINTBD'er. By her side I learned how to re-wire a lamp, hang sheet rock, hammer a nail straight the first time, use plumber's tape, and unleash the frustration, under your breath. I also remember many a night I would fall asleep to the hum of a sewing machine and the sharp mumble of "Piece of sh......".
I did not catch on to the art of profanities till I was an adult and even then I stumbled. At age 19 in a group that was laughing at someones expense I played along and smugly said "yeah that guy is so SOL, sorta outta luck.". It took 2 seconds for them to realize that I really did think the S stood for sorta. The joke was then, as it should be, on me.
When we were pregnant with Larry, our oldest, I was obsessed with what she was doing all day inside me and read everything I could get my hands on about my developing fetus. I set the deadline that when she had developed the sense of hearing that we, meaning I had talked Mr. LbF into this craziness, would stop cussing. Without ever skipping a beat Mr. LbF has never muttered another obscenity in our home again. Going cold turkey was not so easy for me. In conversation I would slip in a quick blight and he would shoot me the evil eye and point at my belly. I created a monster and it had turned on me. At some point I did find out that he was cheating and cursing while at work. When I challenged him he explained that as a soldier speaking to other soldiers he had to talk in a language they would understand. Apparently when you tell a young soldier he made an oopsy and needs to think about his actions it does not have the same affect as saying he f@$ked up and will now set that sh!t straight.
I have yet to curb my potty mouth.
Some people have found it alarming when they hear that I cuss when I pray. But I figure that the Lord already knows what I am gonna say before I even say it so trying to edit is a waste of time. I find it important to edit in front of children. I secretly judge people that cuss like sailors no matter who is around and have even been the crazy lady that leans over to strangers pointing out that my kids can hear the trash falling out of their face. I am oddly proud of that.

Even spelling the words out backfires when you least expect it. I recently spelled out a word and turned around to see Curly standing behind me with her eyes as big as dinner plates. I walked past her saying "so glad to see Power Reading is working out for you kid.".

In our home shut-up and stupid remain "bad" words and I will ride that out as long as I can. Larry came home from school and said a boy had gotten in trouble for saying the "H" word. I gave her a free pass to tell me what she thought he had said. She explained that is why she had told me because she had no idea what the "H" word was, and was hoping I would tell her. I told her my best guess was that it stood for hairyhinnyhippos. For the rest of dinner as a family we came up with combination H words that we were sure had landed the boy in Hot water.

After Mr. LbF got home from deployment we were driving and found that the store we were hoping to go in to, was in fact open. Larry, who was age 2 at the time, squealed in delight "YEA, DAMMIT!"
As her Mother, when it is her turn I will share the art of reupholstering a dining room chair and a well placed expletive.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Privacy please

Privacy and personal space go out the window as soon as you have a child that moves. I have not done anything alone in 10 years, no matter how private the deed. Being in the bathroom is no exception. If someone is not walking in on me they are crawling on the floor unrolling toilet paper, or they are walking and trying to look past my knees into the water or sticking their fingers under the door from the other side. One time Curly thought she would give me a hand with breastfeeding and I looked down to see her supporting my nipple into her sisters mouth. I learned the value of wearing underpants the first time a toddler shoved a tiny fist up the back of my nighty while I was standing at the kitchen sink.

With these people all up in my personal space it is a small miracle that Mr. LbF and I have been able to keep our marital privileges a very private part of our lives... so far. It is proving more difficult as they get older. The other day Mr. LbF told me an interaction that happen between he and Curly. They were driving down the road and she asked "Daddy why is there a picture of Mommy's noonies (family name for breasts) on your phone?"
Daddy thinking fast said "I think the real question here is why are you looking at pictures on my phone, why do you have it?"
Curly: "You gave it to me."
Daddy: "I said you could play a game. Give it to me. Now how are you doing in school."

I have heard all the stories of friends being walked in on by their children. Each more terrifying then the next. But none takes the cake more then our dear friends, we will call them Mr. and Mrs. XXX. This happy and very loving couple, as you will see, were engaging behind closed doors, their more adventurous side. When all of the sudden in the dark Mrs. X felt something soft with her foot. Glancing back over her shoulder to see what it was, to her horror, she saw her foot was not rubbing against Mr.X's arm but it was the soft hair of her young daughter. She was at the side of the bed staring into the dark at her loving.. very loving parents. Mrs. X bolted upright trapping Mr. X's face between her butt cheeks. She then quickly got up and lead a sleepy and most likely confused, little girl back to bed.
After my dear friend shared this story with me I knew I needed to be supportive and say something reassuring. The best I could do through tears of laughter was to ask "So I guess you would call that a 69 1/2?"... Yes we are still friends.

Empty nest is a blink away but in this moment I don't see showering without someone staring directly eye level with your privates as a bad thing.