Saturday, September 19, 2009

Take It Or Leave It But It Ain't No Suggestion

I'd like you to meet Slim and Shady. Or at least that is how I like to think of the two boys that Eli, my oldest, has decided to become friends with at school. There is just something that can rub you the wrong way when you meet a person and/or child and these boys definitely possess that quality. A day later it all made sense when Kevin, my husband, asked Eli to tell me what happened when he and Shady were walking home from Shady's house. In his own words he said,
"Well Mom, I know you are not going to like this but this is what happened. On the way home from "Shady's" house

(the names in this story have been changed to protect the anonymity of the Slim and Shady, Eli doesn't actually refer to them the way I do and I have never referred to them as such in his presence because I know kids can say the darnedest things and I don't want to have to defend myself from an angry mob of English mothers later on, so back to the story)

and we stopped at the store

(which is very small and about the size of a postage stamp which is ironic because they are the local post office as well, again I diverge, so sorry)

and he said to me, 'Hey Eli, you wanna steal something?'

(all my worst fears coming into realization)

But I (again this is Eli telling the story) said 'No way.' And then we came here and played."

Uggg. So we talk about how he made a good decision not to steal and how he would think he would feel if he did steal something and all seemed to go pretty well. Then the next day he comes home from school and says,

"Hey Mom, this morning "Shady" wanted to steal some Pokemon balls from a kid that was younger than us and I said that wasn't a good idea."
And I said,
"Eli, maybe it is time to find some new friends at school. One's that won't ask you to do that kind of bad stuff."
And he said,

"Yeah, maybe."

Again just another parenting suggestion. Personally I am putting my valuables in a very high spot to keep them from Shady McStickyfingers.

Adeline on the other hand is faring much better with her friend making. She got off to a rough start claiming that she was shy. I told her no way she was shy and we went over a few friend making strategies. She ended up gravitating towards the other new girl in her class. And since Slim and Shady got a picture I thought it only fair that she did too.

Unfortunately she has no older brothers.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Everything Is A Little English

I live in England. There I said it. Now maybe one day I will actually start believing it. It's not that I don't want to live here I am very excited that I do. In fact I couldn't be happier, but it is just such an odd feeling to wake up every morning and think "I just woke up in a foreign country" or to be driving down the road and think " This is not America." It leaves a surreal taste in your mouth. But I am just going to have to accept the fact that I do and move on with my life. I only have three years here and I need to start seeing some things and doing things that I am going to look back on and think "Oh yeah, I did that while I lived in England." So let's just get it all out there at once and be done with it. "I live in a little English house in a little English village where my kids go to a little English school and I drive my big American vehicle (some things you just can't give up) on the wrong side of little English roads where other little English cars are going way too fast and I am loving every minute of my little English experience."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Better Booger

My two year old son has an addiction. He likes to pick his nose and then "play" with the booger. I have tried to make him stop, really I have. At first I thought it was a harmless fascination as he gets to know his body. But very soon after it started he would become upset if I asked him to wipe it off and not long after that he would cry if I would take his booger away. Well knowing that this is not a socially accepted habit, I put even more effort into controlling it when we are in public. So there we were (a classic AF expression) sitting in church, AJ on his dad's lap and I was sitting next to them trying to wrangle the other two when I noticed that he had just pulled a fresh one out of his nose and starting to rub it in between his thumb and fore finger. I, knowing that there might be witnesses to his behavior, quickly snatched it out of his hand. Little did I know the response that this would bring on the cry heard round the church..."NO, I WANT MY BOOGER!" Seriously, I have to stop wondering why these things happen to me and just start accepting them.


I am an Air Force wife - a member of that sisterhood of women who have had the courage to watch their men fly into battle, and the strength to survive until their return. Our sorority knows no rank, for we earn our membership with a marriage license, traveling over miles, or over nations to begin a new life with our husbands.
Within days, we turn a barren, echoing building into a home, and though our quarters are inevitably white-walled and unpapered, we decorate with the treasures of our travels, for we shop the markets of the globe.
Using hammer and nail, we tack our pictures to the wall, and our roots to the floor as firmly as if we had lived there for a lifetime. We hold a family together by the bootstraps, and raise the best of "brats," instilling in them the motto, "Home is togetherness", whether motel, or guest house, apartment or duplex.
As Air Force wives we soon realize that the only good in "Good-bye" is the "Hello again." For as salesmen for freedom, our husbands travel far from home, leaving us behind for a week, a month, an assignment. During separations we guard the home front, existing until the homecoming.
Unlike our civilian counterparts, we measure time, not by years, but by tours - married at Lackland, a baby born at Travis, a promotion in England. We plant trees, and never see them grow tall, work on projects completed long after our departure, and enhance our community for the betterment of those who come after us. We leave a part of ourselves at every stop.
Through experience, we have learned to pack a suitcase, a car or hold baggage, and live indefinitely from the contents within: and though our fingers are sore from the patches we have sewn, and the silver we have shined, our hands are always ready to help those around us.
Women of peace, we pray for a world in harmony, for the flag that leads our men into battle, will also blanket them in death. Yet we are an optimistic group, thinking of the good, and forgetting the bad, cherishing yesterday, while anticipating tomorrow.
Never rich by monetary standards, our hearts are overflowing with a wealth of experiences common only to those united by the special tradition of military life. We pass on this legacy to every Air Force bride, welcoming her with outstretched arms, with love and friendship, from one sister to another, sharing in the bounty of our unique, fulfilling Air Force way of life.
Paraphrased from Debby Guisti ©

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Stranger Danger

Anxious is not a word that I often use to describe my feelings. But yesterday as I watched from down the street as the first set of strangers walked into my house to basically judge it, I pretty much thought I was going to die.
I have been working for the past several weeks and then at an even more feverish pace this last week to get our house in a condition where it was suitable to show to potential buyers. I have been okay with that, I don't mind the work. But the waiting as I saw the lady walk in with her real estate agent just about killed me.
They had a whole hour blocked out to view the house but I knew that there was the potential for them to turn around and walk right back out. Well they spent the whole hour in here, I know, I was watching. Which I am guessing means they loved it. And really who wouldn't. It is an awesome house. It pretty much sells itself.
Well that wasn't the only showing yesterday, we had four. And it was the first day it was on the market.
I realized last night after everyone had come and gone that I would much rather sell the house to someone I know who is going to take care of it. And then maybe they will let me come back and visit it.
I know that once I am in my next house that will be my home and all of this anxiety will seem silly, but right now I just wish it didn't have to happen and I wish is was over all at the same time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

If Only You Were

So we are getting ready to move. Which unfortunately means that we (and when I say we what I really mean is I) have to sell our house. This has raised mixed emotions in me most of them leading to anxiety/panic attacks. I really love it here and I am really excited to go to our next station. But with an absent husband as I am about to put the house on the market the up keep of the three kiddos has seemed to be all consuming lately. Usually if there room is messy and we are expecting company I just close the door and tell them that it is off limits and forbid them to open the door. Well the mess escalated and migrated to the basement recently. I couldn't walk down the stairs without thinking to myself "KABOOM" and because I couldn't help myself I always say it out loud. Well in my efforts to declutter for the selling and downsize for the moving I have recently tackled each room individually. When the room is sparkling and spotless I proceed to make threats about the upkeep of said room. That worked for a while, longer than I expected really, until just recently when I had to concentrate on other projects in the house to further prepare it for sale. One night last week, after a long day of projecting, my brother (he's here helping with the house projects while my husband is gone) and I were "encouraging" the kids to clean up the mess of the day. Warren, my brother, was talking to Adeline trying to motivate her to work quickly. Her response, "Uncle Warren I'm not a miracle worker."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yes Sir, Yes Sir

So bedtime is one of my favorite times of the day only because it signifies the end of another day. Ever since AJ figured out how to climb out of his crib it has been a bit more challenging. Not long after he discovered this amazing ability (none of my other two ever figured this out), we moved him into a bed so as to avoid the whole breaking of his neck as he scaled the crib walls. So last night was unique in that some very strange things happened. We had dinner somewhere between 6 and 6:30ish, the menu included a classic ramen with frozen veggies added (can you tell that Kevin is out of town), one of the kids very favorites. Well after dinner there was the typical scattering of youngsters each to their own corner playing games, watching tv, and the whatnot.
Well at bedtime I called to all the kids to get on there jammies and get ready for bed. The usual moans came from everyone except Eli. So I issued the bedtime ultimatum again and again no answer. Well that was just completely unacceptable so my warnings got louder and then I sent my youngest to look for him and tell him to get going (he's two but very resourceful and persuasive). He came back from his searching with an "Eli don't know."
Well hiding is absolutely unacceptable at bedtime and highly unusual. So I decided it was up to me to uncover the truth behind the missing "Yes mam" that is requisite to an issued command.
Now we don't live in a 7,000 square foot home. There are very few places in our home where my voice can't reach and that almost always involves some sort of noise interference like running water. After several more calls and a some searching I finally discovered him in his bed asleep which of course made me feel kind of bad that I had been yelling and could have woken him up. It turned out he wasn't feeling well and took himself to bed early.
So with one down I turned my attention to the other two and got them into bed.
Now Adeline won't get out of bed once she is tucked in and never has.
AJ is a totally different story.
Trouble should literally be his middle name. I am considering legally changing it.
Last night he ventured out as far as the living room. When I suggested (because with him that is really all I can do) that he go back to bed he gave me the "hold on, hold on" that I have come to despise (it was only cute the first time or two). I said again "off to bed" and this time, because he had retrieved what he wanted, he actually saluted me and said "yes sir, yes sir."
I wish I had a picture of my face at that moment. I am sure it was priceless.
He marched past me and went to bed and I didn't hear from him again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rise and Shine Mommy

So there is nothing that I enjoy more than waking up and finding that my children have been awake for at least an hour and doing their best to keep themselves "occupied." There is no limit to their creativity really. For instance, I woke just this morning to find that my middle child had turned my living room into her personal art studio. It appeared that she had been working on some sort of paper piecing project and left the proof on the floor. I am expecting a beautiful mosaic piece for my bathroom or the next animation hit of this century. My youngest likes to help himself to yogurt. I have only recently broken him of eating it on the carpet in the living room. My oldest's only crime is watching shows that he knows I wouldn't approve of (tsk tsk). He has suffered many tv groundings and somehow it still hasn't really sunk in. It's almost like he's... addicted. My husband often suggests that my day would go better if I were to wake up before the kids and be ready to go when they are. But that would put me up around, oh I don't know, 4:30 am and I just don't think that would make anyone happy. So I continue to accept the fact that I will continually wake up to mayhem until maybe they are teenagers wise up and sleep in.