Sunday, April 28, 2013

I'll give you something to cry about

I'm wondering, despite what all of my girlfriends tell me, if all the ridiculous drama-filled crying is going to magically stop when Abby turns 4-years old at the end of this summer.  I think I might be kidding myself if I think it will happen...but can't a Mama hope & pray?  Here's a list of reasons Abby has cried this past week (no exaggeration, no kidding):
  • She had to eat potato salad at dinner one night.
  • She couldn't decide what to wear {too many tights possibly?}
  • "That's the wrong kind of bubbles for my bath."
  • I wouldn't carry her upstairs.
  • She couldn't have a lollipop for breakfast.
  • The wrong song came on the radio while we were driving in the car.
  • I wouldn't let her wear her snow gear when we went for a bike ride.
  • I wanted to take her picture.
  • She didn't get the right color cup for her drink.
  • I made her wear her winter jacket out to play because it was 23*F.
  • She didn't understand how to play a game on the iPad.
  • I tightened the straps in her car seat so that she wasn't able to slide her arms out while we were driving.  
  • Marilyn took her spot on the couch. 
  • She snatched something away from Thomas & he then he took it back from her.

  • Being 3-years, 8-months old must be excruciatingly difficult.

    Saturday, April 27, 2013

    Summer Hairdos

     Summer time is around the corner - so what better way to get ready than to get a new summer hairdo!
    And now?
    Short & Sassy... to match her attitude and personality!
    We can't forget the other half of the duo...
    little curls popping out everywhere complete with a purple girly bow!

    Next up?
    With the girls looking so cute with short dos, I think this Mama is gonna get one for the summer too!

    Friday, April 26, 2013

    Friday Night Leftovers (snow & grass edition)

    I've neglected the FNLs for the past few weeks, so I'm gonna pour it on today:
    • I'm proud to say that the transition from crib to toddler bed has been a seamless transition.  Peace of cake!  I owe it all to the blowup toddler mattress from our FL vacation last month.
    • We now must pull down our black out shades in our bedroom before we go to bed due to almost 16 hours of daylight.  Sunrise today is 6:05 AM and sunset is at 9:50 PM!  Yes, you read that correctly... the sun doesn't go down until almost 10 o'clock at night!  Love it.
    • On our side of the street, all the houses have grass growing in their yard.  On the opposite side of the street, those poor fools have piles of at least 2-3' of snow in their yard.  It pays to have a house facing South/Southeast!
    • There are only 20 school days left (if you count today)!  Holy Moly!  That means two things are certain: 1) I'm about to have a 1st grader and 2) I need to figure out our summer schedule ASAP!
    • Brian starts his new job in the next week or so.  He'll be going back to his roots in the civil engineer world.
    • Marilyn says so much.  I'm blown away daily with, not only her words that she says, but also the short sentences that she raddles off to us.  Girl is a talker.
    • Speaking of our little Chatty Cathy, I can not even believe she will be 2-years old in less than a month.  How do I slow the hands of time?
    • Thomas never ceases to amaze me - he tells us his favorite part of the school day is math (more specifically, doing subtraction), his talent of drawing now includes detailed dragons & fancy racecars, and he sits with Marilyn and reads her stories.
    • Brian and I are relieved once again that we have found good renters for our house while we are away.  Peace of mind goes a long way!

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    Asking the difficult question

    With an estimated 270 million civilian-owned firearms in the US - nearly one for every man, woman, and child - the odds are good that there's a gun (if not several) located someplace where your child spends time.  In fact, more than 1.5 million children live in households where firearms are kept unlocked and loaded, and sadly over 100 innocent kids are killed every year
    (The American Academy of Pediatrics)
    For the record, we own guns.  But we take the right steps to keep guns away from our kids and their friends.  We store the guns unloaded upstairs behind closed doors.  We keep the ammunition in a locked case downstairs. Additionally, we have already started teaching gun safety to the kids - whether its about a real gun or a Nerf gun, we (but Brian especially) have taught the dos and the don'ts. But to some parents, it has never occurred to them to ask others whether they do the same.  Unfortunately, very few parents raise the issue of firearms before letting their kid play at someone else's home.
    Before allowing a playdate at someone else's house for the first time, it's essential to ask the parents about guns.  For many people, they just don't think to ask that question or assume that all parents who own guns take the necessary safety precautions.  You just can't be sure.  Like many families up here in Alaska (or anywhere for that fact), we like to hunt or even target shoot.  Guns are sold everywhere and the safe assumption is that most every household has one.  You can bet your bottom dollar that we will ask the question when the time comes for our kids to attend birthday parties or sleepovers.  For some parents though, that seems too forward or not appropriate or just too sensitive of a subject.  But I assure you that your child(ren)'s life is worth that question - it's as simple as, "For peace of mind, do you have guns in your home, and if so, can you tell me how you keep your guns secured?"  As one of my dear friends put it - if another child had allergies, the parent wouldn't feel weird about asking if we had dogs, or cats, or peanuts, would they?  I'm certain they wouldn't.  Remember, if an adult is offended by your questions about your child's safety, you might want to reconsider your child spending time in their home.
    Teaching gun safety and also trying to explain to our young children about the tragic school violence that has happened in our country in recent years is no easy task.  But it's far better to have these types of conversations with your child(ren) than to ignore the issue of firearms entirely, as too many of us have done in the past or might still be doing.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    Photo Dump from the week

    Life is loud; Life is busy; Life is fun
    Life as we know it...
    Our 3 Amigos eating Mexican yummies
    Daddy Jerry-rigged the tricycle so that the big people (ie: Mommy & Daddy) would't have to bend down to push Marilyn. Every. Step. Of. The. Way!

     A special present (embroidered with Brian's SMSgt line number) arrived in the mail last week from some great Air Force friends!
     Frick & Frack
    (aka: Thelma & Louise)
     The joys of instant gratification on the iPad!

     Abby told me that this is what Daddy looks like...
     ... and this is what I look like with my morning hair. 
    Gheez, I can't get a break at all!
     Someone decided to cook up some yumminess in her own kitchen one afternoon!

    Monday, April 22, 2013


    Yesterday was a blog milestone.  Not a big one, just a tiny one.
    Matter of fact, no one noticed but me... so I took a moment with myself & celebrated.  Well, who am I kidding?  I didn't celebrate, I just reflected. 
    You see, yesterday's blog entry marked #1500.  Yes, as crazy as that sounds, I have written 1500 blog posts over the last 5 years, 11 months.  
    Over all of those years, I've shared much about our adventures, life's ups & downs, the challenges & joys of Air Force life, and the craziness and happiness that motherhood brings me.

    Many people still to this day ask me why I blog.  My response is usually short & sweet - "To keep track of what has happened in our lives - the good & the not-so-good.  But most importantly to remember all the little things in life that often get forgotten." 
    I assure you though, its not nearly as much for others as it is for my kiddos one day.  So...

    To my three sweet and hilarious children, this is why I blog..

    1. Because I want to remember when you were little. I just never seem to take the time to print out photos or fill-out your baby books or make elaborate scrapbooks for you. So this, this is what you will have someday along with tens of thousands of pictures I’ve taken of you.  My hope too is to have the blog published into a book for each of you to keep and share with your own loved ones and families.

    2. Because I want you to know me as more than a mom. I’m not a great verbal storyteller and I don’t want you to wake-up in your 40′s and wonder what your mother was like. All you have to do is find me here and you will know who I was. There are so many questions I never asked my grandmothers.  I don’t want you to one day regret the questions that were never asked.

    3. Because I want to remember stuff and if I don’t write it down I’m afraid that I will forget it immediately. Because it happened here right in this little life we are making. And it’s the little things, not the big things. We will remember your first steps, your prom and graduation. You will remember your first kiss and the first time you drove a car. I’m talking about times like the other night when Thomas told a joke {What do you get when you mix a sailor with a snail?} and we all really, really laughed because he finally figured out how to tell a good one.  {Oh the answer?  You get a "snailor!"  Ha-ha-ha... wasn't that funny!?

    4. Because I like to write. It feels good to do it and to read it, and it makes my mind happy. I don’t want an old and feeble mind that cannot put thoughts to paper one day. I want to write on the day I die. Whenever that might be.  And I especially want to write about the 4 most important people in my life.

    Love you,


    Sunday, April 21, 2013

    Milestones: Thomas

    There are very few words that can truly describe how unbelievably proud I was of Thomas at this moment...
    Our little boy is certainly growing up.
    Way to go, Thomas! 
    Mommy & Daddy are so proud of you & so exited for you!

    Saturday, April 20, 2013

    Best Snow Removal Team!


    This is what you get when Daddy tells the troops that if they help shovel yard snow into the street, it will melt fast and the grass will grow quickly.
    I can't believe he got them to enthusiastically do this for about 20 minutes.
    Some how it seemed so wrong, yet it was hilarious to watch!

    Friday, April 19, 2013

    Derailed & Disappointed

    I'm not a whiner by nature.
    I don't usually air my personal laundry be it to casual friends, on FB or even on my blog.
    I'm not typically the one sitting off in the corner feeling sorry for herself - but today I just feel like putting my frustrations and disappointment down in writing.
    Please no comments or emails... just be my sounding board.

    I've recently started training for my first 1/2 marathon that I plan on running with Brian in June.
    Despite working out for months, as soon as I began a running program, my Plantar Fasciitis in my heel began acting up again.  At times, it is down right painful.  I went through this same thing late last spring also.  Unfortunately, I know all too well that the only way to help it heal again is rest (ie: NO Running), as well as regular icing and stretching.

    I'm a planner by nature.  I like to follow a schedule.  In this case, for a race of this magnitude, I want to follow a training plan.  And now, even with rest & no running, when I do get back on the running program, I will not have been able to follow the entire program which I'm already feeling is going to put me behind the curve ball... and not be ready to tackle 13.1 miles.

    I know I was up against the odds.
    I'm an outsider up here.
    Getting into the system is not easy.
    I know that my record, my education, and my experience are tremendous.
    But that doesn't change the fact that I'm not being given a shot.
    I was at hoping for a chance... at least.

    Don't get me wrong, what I've been doing for the last 2 years has been perfect for our family.  The time spent with the 3 most important little people in my lives is irreplaceable; it has taught me so many lessons that I have missed out on in the previous years with them; it has allowed me to just slow down and savor the "now" moments with them.
    But like so many, I want to succeed professionally, too.
    I'm so ready to stretch my professional brain again and do the other thing that I love doing.
    I would be remiss too if I didn't admit that I want/need to help provide for my family - I want to help us "thrive" and not just "be OK and get by."

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    All about the teeth

    This morning's exciting highlight was bringing the kids to their bi-annual dental cleaning & checkup!
    I say that with an enormous grain of sarcasm - not because the kids don't do well, but rather because I detest going to the dentist.  No worries though, I keep those sentiments to myself so as to not taint the kids' outlook on going.
    On the contrary, the kids did FANTASTIC & they loved it!
    The patients
    Although Marilyn didn't get a turn "officially" she did get herself a new toothbrush and a goody bag filled with stickers and a small toy!  This girl will have her first exam next time we go... when she is a big 2-year old little gal!
    Abby had a great dental report - super pearly white teeth with no cavities!  Way to go, Abbigail!
    They tried for his first teeth x-rays, but we all know how that feels - awkward & irritating.  Not to mention a 5-year old's tongue doesn't exactly cooperate either.  So... maybe next time the hygienist will have better luck.
    A certain little Nosey Rosey was keeping notes on how everything happens.
    Thomas' dental report had both smiles & frowns; the bad news is (although we have known this for quite some time) we need to start saving for braces now.  His teeth are so squished together you can hardly get floss between his chompers!  However, the great news is he has no cavities AND has a few wiggly teeth both on the top & the bottom!  Oh, it looks like the Tooth Fairy better put Thomas on her radar for the next few months!
     Although the super-duper dental reports and our school lunch date with Thomas today weren't related, it was still a fun way to end the morning and share the exciting news with Daddy!


    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    Wordless Wednesday: More Fashion (non)Sense

    Just in case its not clear enough, yes, that IS a Halloween shirt coupled with a purple zebra skirt and accented with heart tights.  Oh wait, and because it was 23* F this morning when we headed out the door, she put on her purple vest... for warmth?
    Sorry - this wasn't very "wordless" now, was it?

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Milestones: Thomas

    Folks, for months now we have had a reader on our hands. 
    I don't just mean a few sight words. 
    I don't just mean meeting the kindergarten standards for Alaska.  He's WAY passed that.
    I'm talking about full-fledged, sounding out words he doesn't know, comprehending, above-grade level reading.  Real reading, peeps!

    I know this is gonna sound like a proud mama just bragging about her baby boy, but it's not.
    I know you might be thinking that just because I'm a teacher that I must think my son is advanced, but it's not.
    Not only from my heart did I know he was ahead of the curve ball, but from the words of his kindergarten teacher as well - "He is actually reading more advanced books than the rest. He really is an advanced reader because he takes the time to sound words out and remembers words after you have told him what it says."

    Thomas loves books about dinosaurs and space.  Every night his book selection is almost guaranteed to be one of those.  Throw in books on trucks, superheros and even the Bernstein's Bears and you have rounded out some of Thomas' favorite kinds of stories.

    My hope is that he continues to love reading for the rest of his life - a life long reader, if you will.  With weekly library visits this summer, books in every room of the house, seeing Mommy & Daddy read our favorites, quiet time built in for him during the girls' nap time... I hope his thirst for knowledge, his curiosity to know, and his excitement about books continues to grow each and every day.

    Monday, April 15, 2013

    Electric Mower

    Another email this morning from Thomas' teacher...

    To set the record straight, Brian gave Thomas a haircut (with his electric clippers) last night in the bathroom.  It was really messy, so Brian ended up putting Thomas in the tub to finish it up.

    Thomas: "Look at my hair, Mrs. W!"
    Teacher: "Oh, you shaved it.
    Thomas: "My dad had an electric mower and mowed my hair in the shower!"

    I love how the story gets twisted up.
    Have I mentioned that I love that she shares his funnies with me?