Thursday, November 15, 2012

Do Not Try This At Home

Some things in life are best left to professionals. There are experts in every area of any trade you can imagine. And I strongly believe in supporting and being a patron of their business. My devotion lies not in my loyalty but in my own shortcomings...and hence subsequent debacles. I mean no disrespect to those capable of fulfilling their own needs. I admire those resourceful, creative, handy people who can change their own oil (or tire), make their own clothes or accessories, or remodel their house using their own skill set and sweat equity. Those are very admirable abilities.

I, sadly, am lacking in the do-it-yourself arena. My dad attempted to equip me with knowledge regarding checking or changing my oil and how to change a tire....unfortunately I was most likely not listening as he was imparting valuable knowledge upon my teenage soul. My mom sewed our clothes as children, and my Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids had enviable wardrobes thanks to her amazing handiwork. I, however, am unaware as how to properly sew on a button. And I don't even attempt painting let alone anything else within my home.

Before I sell myself short and have you thinking that I am close to incapable, let me toot my own horn just a little. I cook; I clean; I do laundry; and very often, I parent alone and everyone (so far) has survived without stinking, going hungry or getting lost in a messy house. But if we were required to list all of our personal skills in order to get married, get a job or vote I may have to resort to listing x-rated skills versus nonexistent life skills. Sad? I know. And I'm quite ashamed considering the long line of do-it-yourselfers from which I matriculated.

Since I am seemingly well aware of my shortcomings, one would (wrongly) assume that I not only know my limits but that I would no longer attempt any do-it-yourself/at-home procedures. would be wrong. A well-meaning friend, full of ill-advised faith in my abilities, suggested I perform a certain task on my home...unsupervised...and completely on my own. See...with the looming unemployment around the corner, we are trying to tie up some loose ends and snip any unnecessary spending out of our budget. With that goes my always-enjoyed trip to the salon. Some may see it as an unnecessary, frivolous expenditure. However, I am not one of those people. I see it as being as vital to my existence as air or sex....who's kidding who, it's way more important than sex! But that particular visit is never without cost...let's face it, it costs money to look this good!
Hence, I launched my mission to achieve radiant, shiny color without the use of an expert. I wouldn't consider my attempts a total and complete failure...if you consider slightly orange tinted and somewhat overly processed hair a success. Lt Hubby says it looks good...but I'm pretty certain he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. I don't know what makes me more sad my initial belief I could actually not FUBAR my hair, my subsequent failure or that I still can't afford to go to my stylist to have her fix my egregious error. All of it upsets me.
The bright side is that even though the color turned out poorly, it did cover some of the hairs that had a very undesirable color (what with all the stress I have been dealt, its no wonder my hair is turning a very, very, very muted shade of black!) I either need to learn how to pick the right shade to begin with or figure out how to correctly follow the 4-step instructions. Either way, I'm going to reiterate...don't try this at home!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Take Me To Your Leader

My youngest is not technically a toddler yet. He is only 10 months old, but he is already incredibly mobile, into anything and everything and full of a little more spunk (ie...piss and vinegar) than I was secretly hoping for dude #5. For months now he has been crawling, and as baby-dom goes, he's already trying to take steps, has gumby-go-go-gadget arms that reach everything that used to be in a "safe zone", and is becoming quite a little dare devil. Go figure. I guess it was somewhat naive of me to expect him to be quiet, docile, and an along-for-the-ride kind of dude. Luck doesn't roll that way.

Dude #5 may be a tiny mobile terror, but he doesn't have much of an extensive vocabulary...yet. He's more of a grunting, drooling, weird-sound making creature from the black lagoon. Don't get me wrong, I think all babies of this age probably do more grunting than actual speaking, but I think my little dude just may be tapping into a language from another world. He not only speaks like the Yip Yip Martians, he seems to comprehend their sounds!

"Aaaaaap! Tttttuh! Fffft! Hhhhheeee!" All are noises that my tiny terror regularly exudes. And I don't understand any of it. The older four dudes, however, seem all to eager to engage in this foreign conversation seeming to not only enjoy the sounds...but understand and sometimes obey the incoherent noises! I, for one, am baffled at the exchange that regularly takes place between my alien-speaking dudes. I am becoming more and more convinced that they are indeed extraterrestrial life forms posing as tiny people simply biding their time until they slowly take over earth. They already run my small's only a matter of time before their cuteness lures all of you into their dubious plan.

And to top it off, I think the baby is the leader! The brothers seem to respond quickly and obediently to his grunts, mumbles, and chatters without hesitation or question. You be the judge:

Innocent Baby?
Or Yip Yip Martian sent here to rule the world?
One can never be too certain. So until I have a little more evidence, I'm going to keep my guard up...and try to convert my little Yip Yip Jr into an english speaking human. Otherwise, I fear my Mom-dom is doomed to be the next Area 51!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gotta Have A Little Faith

I'm not gonna lie, getting in any sexy time with Lt Hubby around our 5 kids is not any easy feat. We are up early getting kids on the bus and to the weight room, and by the time the last one finally succumbs to their designated bedtime, the hubster and I are not far behind. Let's face it, at the end of our busy day the only thing either one of us wants to do between the sheets is sleep. Spontaneity for this particular juncture is a laughable suggestion. we have 5 kids...5! They seek us out! We've resorted to stolen moments in the laundry room in the past, but since Lt Hubby bought me my new, bigger, shinier washer and dryer there is no physical way the two of us could accomplish such delusions of grandeur in the tiny area that is left.

Maybe it's a rut...or a phase...or necessity due to circumstance...I'm not exactly sure, but my lingerie is starting to get dusty, my bedroom boots haven't been out of their box in over a year, and we haven't used our "code word" since before war!  I think we've "lost that loving feeling". But in our defense...raising 5 kids is utterly and completely exhausting! Plus, I'm a little concerned about the idea of another stick turning blue, quite frankly. Fool me once....well, you know the saying! 

I wasn't completely concerned about our status quo until I discovered something during Sunday night football. Yep, you read that right. Sunday night football! Apparently, Lt Hubby is harboring some inappropriate feelings toward a one, Ms. Faith Hill with her taught legs, 4 inch heels, and barely-there skirt. I understand the allure...I probably wouldn't kick her out of bed for snoring either. But the excitement and subsequent shushing of the children once her little pregame diddy started has me somewhat...jealous and worried...and jealous. I mean, I would look pretty darn amazing too if I had my own hair, makeup and wardrobe team. I would love to greet Lt Hubby at the door with perfectly coifed extensions, sultry smoky-eye makeup, and just-barely-covering-my-secrets mini dress...not too mention sexy, black designer stilettos.

Unfortunately, I don't have any of those resources at my disposal. Lt Hubby is lucky if he gets greeted at all when he comes through the door let alone from a primped and preen take-me-to-bed-or-lose-me-forever wonder he's daydreaming about Faith! In my defense, however, I doubt that Mrs. McGraw greets her hubby at the end of the day with boink-me heels and bedroom eyes but reasoning with the sex-kitten illusions of man has never proved to be successful. I may be forced to step up my game and take matters into my own hands! No longer will I be overlooked on account of Faith! She may be able to sing and strut her perfectly styled self and ignite football fans every Sunday night, but I'm pretty sure I still have a few tricks...albeit crotchy, boring wife tricks...left up my own slinky black dress (ok. I don't actually have a slinky black dress...but I'm pretty sure I'm going to start looking for one now!).

Watch out Lt're going to rue the day (actually, you're probably going to bless the day) you oohed and ahhed for Faith!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Silly Mommy! Playgrounds Are For Kids!

Playgrounds are a kid's best friend. They epitomize the joy and carefree nature of which childhoods are made. Always welcoming, they never judge, leave out or pick you last. Twirly whirly or speedy straight, the slide promises the same amount of fun for boy or girl, introvert or extrovert, young or old. Regardless of size or shape, the swings offer an all-too-fleeting feeling of flying free like the birds. And the merry-go-round never holds a grudge even if on a previous visit you left more than laughter in its wake. A playground,big or small, is the great equalizer and the delight of anyone's childhood!

Kids of all ages and sizes are attracted to the playground's promise of fun and laughter. And my crew of dudes are no more immune to its sweet welcoming call than any other child. My vehicle is barely allowed to come to a complete stop before my posse of dudes bail out and run, scream, giggle, and race to get there first! However, there is one playground that delights my boys like very few other things can. Maybe it's because we frequent it rarely, or maybe it's because of its grand size. Whatever the reason, my boys squeal with spectacular intensity and excitement when I announce our planned destination. 

To be honest, I am actually quite in love with this particular playground as well. It beckons to my inner child, and reminds me of giggling, running, and playing until I would fall into the sweet, soft grass to rest and watch the clouds pass overhead. 

Doesn't it make you want to run and jump and slide and spin?! Me too! Unfortunately, I'm much bigger and less agile than I remember. I took the 4 year old and 10 month old the other morning and decided that I was a fun, active mama who could navigate this playground with the greatest of ease.........

I was wrong.

It turns out that playgrounds truly are for kids and kids alone, and they are very aware of the participant's age. I'm pretty sure that playground is still chuckling over the debacle that befell my attempts to be a playful mom. I think I was set up. Warning...Tunnels are NOT made for adults. I repeat...tunnels are not for adults. 

This is a picture of the intersection of three tunnels that my boys thought were lots of fun. However, the baby doesn't understand the words "drop off", "gravity", or "concussion". Hence, I needed to man either the entrances or exits of these tunnels. The 4 year old proved to be much less help than this situation required so the intersection seemed to be my best bet to ward off injury. Getting to the intersection, however, required climbing through the tunnels...tunnels that are clearly built for smaller bodies. Once in the tunnel, reversing and/or U turns are all but impossible for any person over 3 1/2 feet, and getting the baby to commit to any one particular path was a laughable suggestion. I have since learned that I'm much less limber than once believed. People...I got stuck...more than once. I'm pretty sure all that could be seen was two boot-clad legs and my adult-sized a** sticking out of that tunnel ( I wonder if this is similar to what childbirth looks like...only no boots and hopefully a head!).

However the predicament transpired, it was a lot less fun than I remember as a child. I guess that's why there are several benches and picnic tables off to the sides...for the parents. This playground should read "NO MOMS ALLOWED...DOGS WELCOME!"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

She Thinks My Tractors Sexy

  I'm a Midwestern girl born and raised. I've worked cattle, turned winrows, hauled silage, and spread cow manure. Now of course, my main role in these chores was helper or, what I like to call, "supervisor". Ok, ok, who's kidding who? My dad (or anyone with sense) wouldn't let me supervise anything on the farm. I may have grown up on a farm, but I rarely, if ever, did any physical labor that resembled chores. I do get some credit, however. We were forced...I mean slave, often referred to as "help", in the garden (to this day I'm still scarred from that particular opportunity!), on a couple of occasions I scooped feed bunks ( this is a horrible, hot, stinky job...I get two stars for this one!), and we were always included in the dreaded "corn day".

 That last one still makes me shudder. Imagine being awakened extremely early, jammed into the pickup, and hauled to the hot, full-of-bugs cornfield. We were then offered the opportunity to lug 5 gallon buckets to and from cornfield to truck filling it with just-picked ears of corn that we had to make sure were smut free and not gnawed on by raccoons. Not so bad? Oh contrare! Grasshoppers love these steamy hot fields, and they would jump/fly at you and stick to your skin! I just had a horrible was awful! And there was always the very real fear that one would indeed get lost in the sure-to-be-infested-with-monsters cornfield. And this torture didn't even stop once the trucked was filled. Nope. We then got to participate in the husking, desilking, blanching, shucking and then bagging the bounty of corn that would sustain us through the frozen winter. I was tortured people! Tortured!!

Anychildhoodtorture, I digress from my point. I want to point out the fact that this Midwestern farm girl isn't new to the idea of a pickup truck. Quite the contrary. I've ridden in many, made out in some (good times, good times), and don't think twice about seeing a country-strong cowgirl driving one. My point is that I'm not nearly as cool or tough or farm-girl as I'd like you to believe. Do to a vehicle issue, I've been granted the usage of Lt Hubby's truck...and I don't like it one bit! I'm carting 6 kids...3 of which require a booster or full-blown carseat. I look like a total buffoon trying to maneuver kiddos, bags, gear, accessories and myself in and out of that fricken truck! Heels aren't even an option! Are you kidding me? I'd break my scrawny neck trying to negotiate this torturous task! Im sure passers-by are getting quite a show. Not only is my arse sticking completely up in the air as I force dudes into carseats, but I have as many clowns waiting to get into the clown car as their are trying to get out! It's madness, I tell you! Madness! The will to shop, because of all I have to conquer just to get to the store, has been sucked right out of me! Part of me thinks Lt Hubby may be plotting against me; maybe this was part of his master plan. Between the 3 carseats and 6 kids, where in the Midwest am I going to put any shopping loot!?  If he is indeed innocent of this accusation, then fate seems to be on his side! 

Men (and women who are clearly tougher than me), you can keep your trucks, tractors and anything else in that arena. I do just fine in my mama-mobile!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Captain Underpants matter what your story, age, gender or hard. Challenges surround us on a daily basis. Stress can sometimes be waiting around every corner. And bumps...or potholes...are surely to be waiting for you down the road. This shouldn't come as news to anyone...if so, what Utopia-esque Rock are you dwelling under, and can I come and visit?! is complicated. Now what? Well, I propose putting on your big-girl (or boy...depending upon your preference) panties and greeting the day with a more positive, albeit hidden and secret, "outlook"! And that "outlook" should consist of......superhero underwear! I'm not kidding. My 4 year old dons superhero underpants everyday, and his self esteem and confidence is off the charts! He always believes within the depth of his bones that he is right and is completely confident in defending his case; he always has a whimsical (and slightly suspicious) bounce in his step; and the world never seems too heavy to bear. It's gotta be the underwear!!

Ladies, instead of spending our pennies (who's kidding who...Vicki's Secrets are more than a pretty penny! We're talking beautiful $20's and sometimes $50's! Yet,  I STILL don't look anything close to one of those "secret" models!!) on lacies, cheekies, thongs and the such and start investing in our inner superhero! I need me some Batwoman and Superwoman underpants, people! With which, I can arm myself for the daily challenges, stressors, inconveniences and let-downs and handle them with Superhero confidence and ease.

"The car won't start? Oh well, I'm sportin' my Green Lantern briefs...I'm good!"

"The basement flooded? No problem is too big for me today...I'm cruisin' in my Spiderwoman panties!"

"The school wants a meeting with me? I'd better put on my Captain America underwear!"

I don't think we understand just how powerful superhero underpants are. Everyone needs an alter ego, a secret identity, an under spoken demeanor...and Superwoman knickers are the perfect way to achieve it!

So the next time you see me laugh in the face of danger, smirk at the idea of "holding up the world", or walk into a store with all 5 of my dudes without even a twinge of better know that I'm wearing my Captain Underpants!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Little House of Horrors

"Trick or treat! Smell my feet!"...actually that smell might be coming from somewhere slightly north of feet (my posse is 5 fart-tastic dudes), but you get the gist. Halloween had nothin' on us! We came, we treated, and we conquered! Now our home is littered with overflowing candy buckets; empty, discarded candy wrappers; and a slight aroma of yummy, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. Mmmmm...chocolate. You actually have to say "chocolate" like Sloth on Goonies ("Ruth! Ruth! Baby! Ruth!) because that is what I have apparently been reduced to! Three months of grueling workouts to get back into my skinny jeans may all be for not since I can't resist the call of the FIVE Halloween buckets taunting me throughout my day! Fun-size or not...nobody can eat just one!

Reese's peanut butter cup? Uh...yes please! Snicker hunger attack? Absolutely! Hershey's chocolate? Don't mind if I do! Kit Kat break? I never thought you'd ask! And nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger! What the heck is wrong with me?! I tell the kids, "only two pieces and then an apple" while I'm hiding in the garage with their hard-worked-for bounty, now my contraband! I'm the Halloween pirate, that's what I am! What's yours is mine! Or maybe I'm reverting back to toddler-dom...It's all mine! The nine year old tallied and charted his candy. He knows the drill...boys work hard trick-or-treating, parents don't let them eat it because "it isn't good for them" and make them ration it. All the while, the parents (aka PIRATES) sneakily devour said candy once the kids are forced to go to school hence leaving their treasure unattended. We parents are sad, sad creatures!

Horrible chocolate hangover aside, Halloween is one of my favorite days. The excitement and giddiness of my kids to get the biggest "score" and landing the best costume is infectious! I look forward to this night all year. And this year proved to be just as amazing. My 13 (almost 14...gasp!) year old even walked around the neighborhood with us...which warmed my heart like no other. Our family of trick-or-treaters got ready together, assembled with buckets in hand...together, and walked around...together. It truly was a family event!

This Halloween, the 6 year old proved to be the most motivated. He ran to excitedly rang the doorbell, and very festively chimed, "TRICK OR TREAT"! I don't think we missed one house-lit or not- as we made our way around the neighborhood. After an 1 1/2 hours of trick-or-treating that little dude was still not ready to call it a night...although mommy begged to disagree since Iron Man no longer wanted to ride in the double stroller and Captain America's bucket was starting to get, "really heavy". Supper, after all, was needing to be eaten, baths needed to be given, and bedtimes were already past due.

Our night ended victoriously with happy, sugared-up kids, tired legs...and crusty face paint! The Avengers reigned Minion spurred many giggles...and the 80's basketball star- well, he froze his "Rastafarian na-na's" off!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bond...James Bond

I love getting dressed up. I love picking out the NEW, fancy outfit (with all of the necessary accessories and fabulous shoes). I love outfitting my dudes in semi-matching attire. And I love trying to get that perfectly perfect picture where we all look pleasant, happy, and attractive (honestly, I would really like myself to look something close to "hot"!) But who's kidding who...getting all of us washed, dressed, and smiling simultaneously isn't always the easiest feat to conquer. It's practically impossible! However, once I have come as close as I can to achieving it...I'd like to consider it a Kodak moment!

In the last 2 months, we've had the pleasure of attending two weddings of cousins that mean an awful lot to us...they are practically big sisters to my crew; except without the annoying-big-sister-part. And on such an occasion, the Queen, the King, and all the king's to break out our "fancy" clothes ("fancy" is how my 6 year old refers to anything other than jeans and a jeans and a collared shirt is "FANCY"!)

Case is point:

Here we are looking especially "fancy"!

But for the second wedding, my oldest two princes had the honor of being the ushers...a task they didn't take lightly. The boys got to adorn their athletic frames with "fancy" tuxedos (side bar- those are super, duper expensive!). And since Lt. Hubby was busy coaching, I was in charge of assembling my soldiers SOLO! Do you have any idea how many pieces there are to a tuxedo?! I thought the ladies get-up was difficult. Nope! The dudes have it way, WAY harder. And I didn't just have one dude to assemble...they both needed my assistance. In my defense, I've never put on a tux; I've only ever taken one off (wink, wink)!

Apart from the 9 year old's shirt being about 2 sizes too small (seriously...funniest thing I've ever seen. Think "fat guy in a little coat"...only my dude is far from fat.) Anyshirtsize, I successfully got my oldest men locked and loaded...and ready to walk some "peeps to their seats!" Unfortunately, looks are the only thing tuxes are made for. My boys were very uncomfortable...and they informed me all the way to the church. They did ponder, however, how on earth James Bond made fighting crime look so effortless and "fancy"! As they practiced their introductions/impersonations, "Bond. James Bond." I kicked them out of their get-away car (minivans don't say crime fighter, by the way) and managed to snap a few photos of my undercover agents...before they dutifully marched those ladies to their seats!

Here's my 5 special agents.

Here are my special agents coming up with their game plan. Everything about their mission was a competition...I think including who could seat the ladies the fastest. (Tyson's first guest...could barely keep up with him in her super-high-fancy-party heels!)
Let the games begin!
My special agents weren't approved to fly solo quite yet. Here is their supervising subtle words of advice about "s-l-o-w-i-n-g   d-o-w-n".

And last, but certainly not the head agent Mama and her boss, Tucker!

All in all, the mission was a success, even though, the unmonitored 6 year old was discovered sipping his very own strawberry daiquiri...which was quickly confiscated!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Life Goes On

I'm sure at this point, most are wondering how the last couple months have transpired in our Mom-dom. Lt Hubby is home and recuperating! And for one brief moment...things went our way. He actually surprised me just before the 4th of July...very romantic...very much a relief...and very much a page of our journey turned. I should have realized that a crap storm was headed our way...the foreshadowing of events-to-come was all too blaringly obvious.

Of course the reunion of soldier and family is romanticized...and for that moment; when they are finally holding you, kissing you gently, and sharing a sigh of relief; it truly is romantic, whimsical, exciting and overwhelming. But the reality is that many times post-deployment and reintegration is just as hard and painstaking as the actual deployment itself...only in a very different, isolated way. Most people have no idea what happens when the soldier returns, and quite frankly, I think it is the unspoken secret that we all keep hidden behind closed doors. The romantic, happily-ever-after is much more fun -and comfortable- to believe.

I can't speak to any other military family's experience...except for my own. I only know what I know. For me, change is not easy. Months before my soldier leaves, a transition happens in our home...I became the highest ranking officer and sole decision maker out of necessity, and this go around, I remained the commander in chief for longer than intended. But their is no manual as to how to behave, feel, and transition when that title is taken from you. It's a hard adjustment to say the in which I don't always gracefully and successfully accomplish. As I've mentioned before, my hubby married a strong, stubborn, headstrong, mule of a woman...and sometimes, I feel really badly for him that I'm the one that he got stuck with.

I wish I could say that things just "go back to normal"...but there is no normal anymore. The normal my boys and I knew was mommy in charge and one conversation with daddy a week; a conversation that was all fun and games via the blessing of Skype. The normal we knew before the deployment no longer exists for us...I mourned the loss of pre-deployment Mom-dom a long time ago. It never really is the same after an event such as this.

So the adjustments, changes, and challenges are ever present and sometimes painstaking and slow. I very often feel all alone. When my soldier came home, my friends and support all kind of....left. I'm sure most wanted to give us time and space...which, of course, is very much appreciated. But this- this new "normal"- is just as hard. The world didn't get any lighter; the weight of my load just shifted.

As if the changes of welcoming Lt Hubby home wasn't enough, we've been dealt a really hard hand of cards lately. What we thought was one tough hurdle to conquer...became two. Sometimes the weight and magnitude and possible outcome choke the breath right out of me. I'm scared a lot; I cry quietly in the closet, or the laundry room, or as I'm taxiing kids to and from.

Reality has never seemed so real...or unfair...or scary...or uncertain. But goes on...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's All Coming Back To Me Now

Elvis has left the building! Well, maybe not Elvis so much as my regrown virginity. Nonetheless, hubby came home, stole my innocence and fled back to his broken soldier barracks! He came...he saw...he conquered...and a round of applause is required! The sighs of relief from my friends were audible, and I'm sure Lt Hubby is walking a little taller around Post. I'd like to think that spring in his step is attributed to his amazing wife and my "talents"! Unfortunately that "spring" is more along the lines of a limp, and instead of being injured in the throws of passion, he sustained his injury in the line of duty...but we're splitting hairs. This mama got hers and that's the moral of the story!

To be honest, I was a little worried about how this would all go down. I mean, 13 months is a really, REALLY long time. You know what they say about "use it or lose it"....well, I was worried that maybe we lost it! Before Lt Hubby arrived I was going to arm myself with tutorials, graphs, and videos (and costumes, alcohol, and "toys!)...but it turns out that our city is a little too small for me to me waltzing into an adult store without blushing and giggling like Beevis. I'm not nearly mature enough for anyone I know to see me carrying those purchases to my minivan! Plus, my kids are always with me...and I don't want to be THAT mom! They would certainly be scarred for life after helping mama buy the latest musings in the Kama Sutra!

So I was left to my own devices, and thankfully, it is much like riding a bike...only no training wheels were required, nobody fell off and skinned their knee, and helmets were completely optional! It all came back to me, and I think a good time was had by all! Of course, my lady bits have standards and she did require the lieutenant to tip his hat and remove his combat boots...but the pleasantries stopped there, and the introductions were simply a formality.

The only downside was that Lt Hubby was only here for the weekend and then had to vacate the premises yet again. So wham, bam, thank you ma'am was all I got, and then he left once again to fulfill his American duty. To be honest, I'm not sure what he misses or "me"?! Probably "me" but who's kidding who, GI Jane needed her boots polished, and I know just the soldier she likes to salute!


Thursday, June 7, 2012


It's no secret; when one spouse is gone for any length of time, the other spouse is left with more than their fare share plopped onto their plate. Responsibilities, chores, and "to-do's" all increase, but when you add kids to the mix, sometimes the weight of it all can be overwhelming at best. When said absentee spouse is in the military and gone for extended "vacations", the weight of the world can sometimes border cruel and unusual punishment! Our very own superhero has been "detained" for who knows how much longer to address further medical issues (frankly, I think he's being held against MY will!), and our current count without Lt Hubby is 391 days...but who's keeping track, right?!

With all of that said, I think my family of "supers" has faced (and conquered) this never-ending challenge pretty successfully. We've had ups and downs, broken bones and ER trips, laughter and tears, the house has tried to fall apart on more than one occasion (as we speak the kitchen sink is leaking), and we've even added a new "super" to the mix. I think it's safe to say that Superman ain't got nothin' on us! No problem has proven to be too big or small for us to handle (dear universe, please don't take this as a challenge.)

There is only one main issue still needing resolution. Kryptonite so strong it threatens to blow this mission out of the water. I believe I've mentioned it briefly before: the issue of my government mandated abstinence! It's an inhumane experiment that looks to be ending this weekend. You read that correctly...Lt Hubby is escaping from his broken soldier barracks, renting a car and coming home for a quickie -er- a less-than-48-hour hangout with his kids, of course! But let's be serious, we don't know when he gets to come home permanently so we need to make this weekend count...2 or 3 times! It's been 391 days (did I mention that already?!) since hubby left for his 365 day deployment...this is much less a case of potato/pahtato and much more a case of potato/Ineedtogetlaido! You've heard of going postal, right? Well, I'm about to go...postal (or something along those lines!) My friends are starting to shield their husbands from me for fear I will make them my chosen sacrifice. People are starting to worry...and avoid it's only fair that hubby go AWOL for a weekend and take care of "things" at home!

Now the only question is what to wear? Superwomen, French Maid, Trophy wife...Ha! I'm pretty sure it isn't going to matter since the only foreplay needed will be "goodnight kids" and our "ahhh" will be on before you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious three times!! But, just the same, it HAS been almost 13 months, and I think Lt Hubby wouldn't mind some spice. Plus, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious times three doesn't sound so bad. Don't judge...I'm making up for borrowed (or stolen!) time. I'm just going to make sure everyone is properly protected! This soldier is definitely going on a mission...battle-rattle better be worn! We don't need a repeat math problem!!

Krpytonite be gone! Mama's about to get her "groove" back!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

We are on day 3 of summer vacation, and I am already losing my ever-loving mind! It turns out that the mess makers, chaos inducers and instigators of noise are indeed my oldest two dudes. Everywhere I turn there is trouble brewing: laundry reproducing sporadically, food disappearing mysteriously, little two crying and tattling that the big two did something or other, things leaving their designated "homes" and appearing in the middle of the floor without assistance from people (because nobody claims the offense!). I've come into the kitchen after killing myself on the treadmill to find a Rice Krispie explosion, the gallon of milk warming itself on the table, cereal bowls full of soggy cereal sans of an snap, crackle, or pop waiting to be addressed...and always somebody's stinky socks discarded under my table! For the love of dirt! Do I look like the maid?!?! (seriously, don't answer that...actually, if Lt Hubby was here, a French maid's outfit would be quite enticing...wait, I digress!)

Don't get me wrong, the other's contribute to my craziness-er frustration- just as much as the smelliest-er biggest two. If I find one more haphazardly discarded sucker stick I'm going to boycott the "Dum-Dum" company! They appear in the most random of places; in between the couch cushions, in the diaper basket, stuck to baby brother's play mat, in my plant! What's wrong with the garbage receptacle?? The concept actually keeps me up at night! Why am I the only family member that remembers where the garbage can is??? I pick up wrappers of all kinds of wonderful treats just lying on my floor and in the backyard: tootsie roll wrappers, fruit snack bags, Mr. Freezie tubes, Popsicle sticks! Apparently, I forgot to cover "waste management" in our summer orientation!

The atrocities don't stop there! The closet fiasco actually gives me involuntary eye twitches! Shirts hanging sloppily by one sleeve or clipped into pants' hangars; underwear EVERYWHERE ( do they know what's clean or dirty?!!!); here's a sock, there's a sock, everywhere a sock SOCK!; clothes jammed into dresser drawers preventing the possibility of said drawer closing. I'm not sure why I even fold their clothes. I could simply dump all clean laundry in the middle of their floor and let them dig for whatever they desire on that given day. It could be like a treasure hunt! Saves me time!!

Speaking of treasure hunts, why do I always have to hunt for the remote control? Where can it possibly go?! But nobody ever knows the answer to that question. All I want to do is turn on my dvr'd episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and unwind, but I am never able to win at this torturous game of hide and seek! And of course no one is ever to blame...they actually blamed their dad this most recent time for the missing remote. WTH!?! We all know where Lt Hubby has been for the last almost 13 months now...AWOL!!!

And last but certainly not least, let's not forget my sometimes overlooked sixth child, Itwasn'tme. He seems to emerge when all of my fabulous five are together, and it turns out he is one heck of a trouble maker! He leaves hats, hoodies and stuffed animals in the dirt; his nut-cup is always on my steps or middle of the floor; he broke the kick-stand on his brother's bike and busted my sprinkler; while he was playing in the garage, he dumped out all the of the sidewalk chalk and squished it; and last night he spilled juice on the just-recently-shampooed carpet. I feel a spanking coming on but I can never catch him in the act. It-wasn't-me is my sneakiest one yet!

What's a mom to do?! No one else seems to be phased in the least by the afore mentioned disasters. Suddenly, a short stay in solitary confinement doesn't sound so bad...just leave me with the darn remote and a glass (or bottle, whatever) of wine, and I'll be good to go! OR send Lt Hubby home and we can put that French maid's outfit to better use!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Back In The Saddle

I know what you're thinking...but no, Lt hubby isn't home. Stand down soldier...Zorro will ride again soon enough! What I AM talking about requires a lot less mmm's and ahh's and a whole lot more ohh's and uggg's. I've been sweating and panting, and panting and sweating...and none of it has left me in a very euphoric state of mind. Oh I am still plenty light-headed once the deed is done, but the work it took to get that "after glow" was a lot more "work" and a lot less "fun" than the other thing I know you're thinking!

Creating, and the subsequent housing of said creation, for 40 weeks takes a toll on one's body...well, not just any took a toll on me, my body...and I'm not fond of the "new" body that was bestowed upon me after my loving creation fled the premises. I realize every mama has to deal with the aftermath of "creation", but we don't have to like, love it, or want more of it! I'm on a mission to bid adieu to the new and a hello to the old. Unfortunately that mission takes a lot, LOT longer than I would like. I'm an immediate gratification kind of girl!

I've dusted off my treadmill and workout DVDs and have made a delayed New Year's resolution: "Get in Shape, girl!" (please, tell me some of you remember that particular product from our youth!!). I'm ready to kick butt and take names...unfortunately my mind and body have different ideas. My muscles are stiff, inflexible, and a little creaky. No pain, no gain is my daily mantra because I can barely move! This tin lady needs some oil! I'm pretty sure my leg muscles atrophied during pregnancy because touching my toes seems to be an impossible feat (I blame this on the inability to reach them for 7 months...I just simply quit trying...and now, I'm paying the price!). And my abs give an audible groan when I attempt to challenge their resistance to "bounce back". The a** seems to have gone south for the winter and is refusing my phone calls, and my once shapely arms are flapping more than I would like to admit.

It's truly a sad state of affairs in my kingdom especially since my oldest warned me not to break a hip as I attempt to reclaim my inner athlete. So bring on the squats and lunges, welcome in the push-ups and pull-ups, and I will greet the treadmill with a smile. I have clothes to get back into, after all...clothes for which Lt. hubby has spent some hard-earned money! Plus, swimsuit season is on parade around the corner...and it scares the hell out of me! No child should be subjected to the pale whale beached at the edge of the pool! As I search to find the most flattering, miracle bathing suit (for $200!!), I comtemplate the idea of a head-to-toe alternative. Truly, there's nothing in this world that can crush a mama's self esteem like trying on a swimsuit.

So sweat shall be my new body spray; grunting, groaning, and gasping for air will be echoing from my basement; the zumba will beckon my name...Brazilian butt-lift will be my friend...and flirty girl fitness better guarantee results!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Maybe...Just Maybe

I've been doubting my mothering skills, or lack there of, lately. While hubby has been away, I've had several individuals (I'm sure completely well meaning albeit incredibly annoying) inform me of the many, many things that I'm doing wrong. The who's, what's, when's, where's, why's, and how's are all addressed, picked apart, and informed how to do differently...correctly. The hits have come from every angle leaving nothing to chance. Every part of who I am and how I'm doing life has been observed and torn apart.

Being a self-professed people pleaser, I am not one to ever disagree with or correct. Basically...I just take it! And then boil and stew over it later. I'll be the first to confess that I have most assuredly screwed my kids up to the point of necessary intervention and therapy in later years. Mistakes, blunders, and faux pas happen daily in my house...and mostly by me. I'm cranky, moody, temperamental, and kind of bossy. It's true...just nod along (ask my hubby...but I'm certain he will answer 'no' to that question mainly because he hates the dog house). But I'm "mom" (and "dad" for the last year and counting) and all things -ALL THINGS- run through me. I mean...I AM running an empire of one-day kings, I have lots to do!

With all that goes into my 5 princes, I admit some things fall through the cracks. I like to refer to it as "picking my battles", but to the outsider it must look like slacking off, and when that judgemental you-know-better-than-that glance or "I told you so" demeanor slaps me in the face, I doubt my track record in this game of life. I recount everything I've done wrong as a mama, every moment that was less than angelic, every growl directed at my child, every frozen meal or drive thru supper I've divied out to my crew. All of it makes me doubt my success at mothering...maybe God gifted the wrong mama with these boys. Raising boys into men is no easy task, after all, and I may be messing them up.

But every now and then, something brings me back, centers my thoughts, and squeezes my heart; a random snuggle from a 9 year old that's growing up way too quickly, goobery kisses from my 5 year old that can't seem to get his fill of "loves", the unconditional smile from my 4 month old when I look at him, a 3 year old that "needs" mommy to kiss every single owie because it makes it better......or an "I love you" from my 13 year the baseball front of the other players. Yes, I've made plenty of mistakes and am bound to make hundreds more, but I think my princes are my ultimate success. A teenage boy proclaiming "I love you" to his mom in her minivan seems pretty victorious to me.

Maybe I'm not the one that's here for them...maybe they are here for me...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I Ain't Too Proud To Beg

Becoming a new mommy, no matter if it's the 1st, 5th or 10th (dear God, please don't bless me with 10!), brings with it the dreaded all-nighters, late-nighters, no-nighters and whatever else you want to call the sleep deprivation cycle. It starts the moment that little blessing rips a hole through your "secrets". No honeymoon phase allowed...let the sleep-less nights begin! Those demanding little bundles of joy have zero care about the hour(s) of night and even less care about your need for uninterrupted sleep. All they care about is "me", "me", "me".

Good thing God created this to be a joint-force effort between the mother AND the father...wait...I almost got through that without choking on my coffee beans! This particular duty should have been agreed upon before one said "I do" because more often than not, according to any women I have ever talked to, the night-time duties fall on the "To Do" list of the mama. No 50/50 split in responsibility, no turn taking; just "good night, love you, see you in the morning" and the hubby sneaks quietly off to the comforts of laying horizontally in a cushy, soft bed. Jerks!

Sleep deprivation in and of itself is torture enough, but when you add to it all of the other daily tasks as wife and mother, life becomes borderline insanity dipped in delusion sauce. At that point, the only humane thing is to put the poor woman down...if for only an hour of uninterrupted, horizontal sleeping! There has been many a night when trudging through the hells of infant induced sleep deprivation that I have begged, pleaded, and bartered with God to grant me an hour or two of sleep. I've even offered Him sacrifice if that is what He needed to grant me the sweet relief of sleep. Of course, the soul I am always willing to sacrifice belongs to the man sleeping soundly in my bed!  On more than one occasion, that man I call the love of my life has claimed to be "sleeping" and unaware of the screaming, crying fits the baby and I were throwing just a few tiny feet away from his body.

I'm calling your bluff! Women aren't the only ones who have learned the art of faking!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Vagina Chronicles, Part Deux

54 weeks and counting...that's how long my hubby has been gone. The return date came and went without Lt Hubby being given back to us due to an injury. He is now lost in a sea of paperwork, protocol, and policy. I fear he may never be actually coming home. There are many reasons I was looking forward to the return of my man; he was supposed to join forces with me as my partner in crime against the uprising of our 5 boys (they are planning an overthrow, I can feel it!), I have been waiting patiently (and complaining loudly) for him to reclaim ownership of the chores that I hate, and I was counting down the days for him to rid me of my re-grown virginity! Yep, that's right. I fear my hymen has actually grown back! 54 weeks is a really, REALLY long time!

I'm honestly starting to fear for my own health (and his a little...let's face it!). There's nothing like a little abstinence in the name of patriotism to make you appreciate your spouse in a whole new light. God bless America, indeed! I think I get the patriotic award...Lt Hubby can have an honorable mention. I know he's the one who served, but I think my vagina is taking more hits than she signed up for. Fifth baby was not on the war-time agenda (however, we wouldn't put him back, obviously...he'd never fit!), and the never ending boycott on sex is bordering cruel and unusual punishment! "We the people"....NEED SEX!

My girlfriend even pointed out that I am emitting an "aura" as of lately. It's the I-need-to-do-the-hokey-poky aura! It's so strong I'm even attracting men in the grocery store...with an over flowing cart and 3 of my littles hanging all over me. The glow I'm emitting must be blinding. I either look smokin' hot or my gotta-get-me-some aura is on super charge!

"What about mid-tour?" you may ask. My lady bits were only 8 weeks post trauma and sleep deprivation over runneth. Plus, the other 4 dudes consumed all of the hubby's time, energy, and attention. The poor fella needed sleep more than me! The horizontal mambo didn't even make it onto the "possible" agenda. My poor hubby may be the only soldier (married or single) that didn't get to participate in the "rockin' robin" while home on leave. Obviously my heart goes out to the guy, but in my defense, I'm not gettin' any either!

Any man in camouflage better watch out at this point. I was promised at year end a wham-bam-I-missed-ya-ma'am kind of reunion...but the military kept my sex-er man- with no apologies or promise to give it-er him- back! Oh I'm gonna get me some....I just can't be expected to be responsible for my actions at this stage in the abstinence game (by the way, this game is NO fun) Be warned...I may just "jump" the next camo-clad soldier I see. Take one for the American team, dude!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dandelion Bouquets, Pockets Full Of Rocks, and Windy's

Motherhood isn't always easy...or enjoyable...or full of gumdrops and rainbows. I often find myself feeling guilty for NOT enjoying all things diapers, tantrums and endless activities. We lift this "motherhood" role up to be the image of perfection. Gentle kisses from mamas to babes, a toddler grasping his mama's hand as they walk through the park, and quiet cuddles on the couch before bedtime. Of course, motherhood is all of those things, but it is also the most labor-intensive (pun intended), dirty, exhausting job a woman will ever have the blessing to do.

Very often I get overwhelmed with my brood of young men, frustrated with their constant, never-ceasing antics, and annoyed that they need my approval and attention for absolutely everything that they do. I complain about never having any "me" time, rarely occupying my throne without witnesses, and the extreme, overwhelming exhaustion that has befallen me this past year sans the hubby. The "mommy?", "mommy!", "mommy" parade grinds my nerves, teenage drama causes me to secretly roll my eyes, and 9 year old jokes seem to have hidden humor that I just don't understand. Tattle tales fill my house and seek my ear for the latest and greatest house-rule debacle. And hiding never seems to work...they smell me out like hound dogs.

Through all of that craziness that can make a mama put Kahlua in her coffee...there is also the sweet, simple moments that keeps us coming back for more. The dandelion bouquet squished in my toddler's hand as he proudly shows me the prized possession he picked especially for me; the pockets full of "special" rocks that make their way into my home and into designated treasure boxes, and the "windy's" that cost an outrageous $4 but provide hours of amazement to my "littles".

Yes, motherhood can be mind-numbingly exhausting...but it is also heart-warmingly intoxicating. From the excitement of bubbles in the backyard to the simplicity of flying kites together, it's all of those simple moments that mother's treasure. My treasure box will be filled with memories of slobbery kisses, dirty little hands that want to be held, late-night teenage talks about girls, and giggles from a 9 year old's jokes. Being a mommy is full of many, many moments...moments that encompass the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly. But it's what we put in our own treasure boxes that matter most.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Anatomically Correct?

I love making snowmen in the freshly fallen snow, and I think most of us can summon up childhood memories of snowball fights, snow angels, sledding, and snowmen that we lovingly tied scarves around, topped with hats, and adorned with whatever we could find to make a happy, smiling face. You can drive through any neighborhood in the winter months and find front lawns proudly displaying their snowmen. Each looks similar with three tiers of snow atop each other. The only differences are accessories each snowman boasts. Not in my yard, however! My brood of dudes are unique in every...single...way, even down to how they "accessorize" their snowman.

Hence, the snowman to be found in my yard this past January:

Obviously the top carrot is Mr. Snowman's nose, you can't see the rock eyes very well through the "dirty" snow. Blueberries were the mouth (a certain 3 year old ate them, though, before I could snap the picture). And the bottom carrot? Well, this particular snowman is a very well-endowed snowman! Yep, my boys made sure everybody knew this snowman was indeed a MAN. Hence, the "wiener"(my boys' words, not mine!). They proudly insisted mama exit the house to see their snowman...their anatomically correct snowman!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Let Me Tell You 'Bout the Birds and the Bees

Most of you by this point probably already know a thing or two about the birds and the bees...but what about the birds and the birds?? Don't get all excited...I'm not switching teams or anything crazy like that. I like my men ( Just one man. I love you honey!)  just the same as all of you. But let's be honest, as women we can admit that another woman is beautiful without anyone doubting our femininity or sexuality. Guys aren't allowed that luxury. I doubt any of you have heard your hubby, father, brother, guy-friend talk about how "hot" another man is. He would most assuredly get looks (good and bad, I suppose!) from every direction!

I'm not too proud to admit that there are some hot women out there. And, yes, I have some mom-crushes! (Don't have them too!) I think all of us, men and women, can agree that there are some amazingly gorgeous celeb moms. Anyone can look hot with an entourage of "yes men"! With that said, there are some undeniable freaks of nature that, even as a woman, I don't think I would kick out of bed: Miranda Kerr- um, hello! I hate her...but I secretly want to be her; Heidi Klum- she is nicknamed "the body", need I say any more?!; Brooke Burke- humina, humina, humina!; Halle Berry- she could totally be the chocolate on top of my sundae! I could honestly go on and on. (I'm sure all of you just added 2 or 3 to that's judgment!)

It's unfair for that level of perfection to be the standard, and I'd like to think the universe will get it's revenge someday. What's more unfair, however, is to know actual real moms that could rival some of these beauties! You can find them at the grocery store, little league, soccer fields, and even at your work walking around looking amazing! I love them as people but secretly I wish them acne, stretchmarks and hemorrhoids! Bitterness aside, I still appreciate their beauty...and harbor an ever-so-small crush (all of my mom-friends out there...please don't avoid me like the plague now. Just enjoy the fact that I think you're hot!)!

Face it...the woman as a creature is beautiful (some more so than others...but still!). I can't blame men for being intoxicated by their wonders, wiles, and ways. As women, the cards are clearly stacked in our favor, and our poor guys don't really stand a chance. God clearly broke the mold when he created woman...and as a society, I think we should thank Him for that!

Honestly, there are some women that I want to lick chocolate sauce off of (you do too, you're just too ashamed to admit it!). So the next time you see a hot mama pass your way, just thank her creator...and then curse her with wrinkles and bloating. It only seems fair!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hey Big Spender

I'm all for new stuff...actually shopping, any kind, seems to soothe me (I think my hubby really hates this idiosyncrasy about me) especially when the hubby is gone on an extended "vacation". Something about the excitement of "new", even if it's as simple as a fun, flirty scarf or dangly, sexy earrings, gives me something on which to focus and consume my mind. However, at some point enough is enough. From day 1 of this "vacation", we have been inundated with expense after expense, problem after problem, unexpected purchase after unexpected purchase (but only one trip to the ER....hmmm...interesting). My hubby tends to grow weaker and weaker every time I swipe our card (I have told you that he is allergic to spending money haven't I?) So I am starting to get very concerned about his health!

Case in Point:

* Leaky skylight (took 7 months to finally get someone to actually fix it...awesome!)
* furnace/air conditioner dying without notice (those were some hot June days!)
* Kitchen light and ceiling fan spontaneously malfunctioning...and smoking (Yikes!)
* new washer and dryer (ok...not totally necessary...wait, they really were)
* new water heater and water softener (ahhh...the luxury of a hot shower!)
* passenger window in the mama-wagon (seriously! $500 so it will go up, down, and up again. Eek! Add mechanic to my brother-hubby list.)

Can anyone else feel my hubby's pulse starting to slow?! I'm seriously worried about him. Deployment is dangerous for one's more ways than one. If a future deployment rears its ugly head again, I may have to plead my hubby's case. We can't possibly afford for him to continue to "vacation" abroad (his wife is wrecking the home!)

You would think after that mega list of mishaps I would be done. Nope! The "Service Engine Soon" light came on in the family vehicle, the driver's side window is now being a beyotch and I fear may need to fixed much in the same way the passenger side was repaired, the tie-rod and shocks need replaced...but I'm tired of throwing money into my mama-wagon, the garage door seems to be on its last days...and I fear that will not be the end of the list since I still have almost a month left before hubby comes home from his extended "vacation".

I would ask "what else could go wrong?" but I'm worried about tempting fate (and my hubby's health)! What if fate sees that statement as a challenge??!? I think fate and Murphy (you know..."Murphy's Law") have a personal vendetta against me.

The next expense I want is for hubby to "spend a little time with me"!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Brother-Hubby Plan

As I sat awake with my babe last night, wishing I was laying flat in my bed sound asleep, I pondered how on earth I was going to successfully tackle this next month on my own. Several evenings require me to be in 2 or 3 (or more!) places at once. Now, I know I'm amazing and all, but how am I going to master teleportation?! It's a conundrum is what it to which I need to find a solution.

A light bulb went off last night sometime between the hours of 2am and 6am. It could quite possibly be delirium induced by severe sleep deprivation but my current state of mind thinks it's brilliant! I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of it before...guess I've been a little busy to indulge myself with spontaneous ingenious plans. It seems obvious now in the light of day what needs to happen. I'm just sorry I didn't think of this 11 months ago!

I need to get myself some sister-wives...actually I need the male brother-hubbies! Isn't that a great idea!? I know all of my military wives that face these same predicaments (being in 2 or more places at once, endless lists of things to do, constant household issues, and exhaustion and stress worthy of a trip to the psych ward) are nodding in agreement right now. How silly that none of us thought of this before! It's perfect! This should just be another step in the process of preparing for deployment: "Equipping spouse's home with ample brother-hubbies"!! Check!

Now...I'm going to have to move quickly on this process since my tour of duty is almost over. I don't want this great idea to go to waste...waste not, want not! With that said, on to requirements. I may be tired, stressed, sleep deprived, and overwhelmed...but I still have standards! I'm going to need 2 or 3 qualified, talented (and hot) applicants. Preferably, I would like at least one to be quite skilled in the handyman area (no...that isn't code for anything...sickos!) I am also going to need one that is great with kids and doesn't mind being awake with the babe all night long. And while I'm making a list, I would really like one to be quite skilled in the kitchen (again...not code for anything...get your heads out of the gutter!) Don't get me wrong, a year without a tune-up, and I am more than eager to reintroduce myself to my one and only, true hubby...but I prefer (as does he) that the brother-hubbies aren't granted that high a level of security clearance. My tune-ups are left to my partner in crime!

I can see no real issues or hiccups in my plan. It's flawless! Flawless, I tell you!! Brother-hubbies are a perfect way to end this deployment. All qualified applicants can send me their resume and references along with a current picture. What's love gotta do with it?! We're talking about survival!

Match. Set. Point. Winner- Crystal. This deployment didn't know what hit it!

*Obviously this is more humorous than serious (although, part of me thinks it's a great idea). Please DO NOT send me your information. Take a joke crazies!! Although, David Beckham, if you are reading this, you don't even need to apply...just come on over!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Just A Moment

Ah! The spring is upon us here in the Black Hills....and I love it. The smell of the fresh cut grass and families grilling in the neighborhood. The feel of the warm sunshine on my skin. The sound of the birds singing and children playing. It is a pleasure to my senses. For just a moment today I had the privilege of sitting quietly outside...all by myself. Just sitting...feeling the sunshine, listening to the birds, and watching the clouds dance across the ever-so-blue sky. Only a moment...

Every season offers something new to behold. A new treasure to be found in the midst of the change. Here, the spring promises longer days, brisk nights, and evenings filled with hustle and bustle to and from baseball. Far off are the lazy days of summer that we will bask ourselves in. Now is consumed with schedules and busy-ness...and far too few quiet, gentle moments.

But just for a moment on this Easter weekend, I sat by myself. The moment was fleeting and quickly interrupted by my crew, but for only a moment I breathed in the new, spring air letting it fill my lungs. The slight chill in the air was refreshing. And in that far-too-short moment I watched the clouds travel gently across the perfectly blue sky as I listened to the excited and constant songs of the birds busying themselves in the trees. Just for a was quiet and calm. A perfect stolen moment to renew and refresh my spirit...a spirit that has been broken and tired. A spirit that has been certain that God mistakenly laid this burden on the wrong woman. Just a small, secret moment...where I saw and was gently reminded of the perfection in God's everything...

Even if for only a was a moment that God had my attention...a moment that a King held His princess...and moment in the presence of God. Maybe a moment is all it really takes...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth

We may say that the truth is the best policy...but do we always believe that statement. The truth isn't always what it's cracked up to be. It can be dirty, harsh, and a little messy. And when it comes to telling the truth about emotions, frustrations, and fears surrounding a deployment, I think the truth is best left somewhere in between black and white. I can't speak for all military families but I know mine prefers to leave "the truth of the matter" in the background. But lately, I've been struggling...and I'm too sleep deprived and over extended to attempt to put on my strong, brave face and conquer the world today. So I'm about to purge a whole lot of truth. You might want to turn back now!

I'm tired. I'm lonely. I'm tired of being lonely. I'm exhausted from holding up the world. I'm overwhelmed from the never-ending list of things to do that I never seem to have time to address. If one more thing goes wrong, breaks, or otherwise malfunctions I am going to lose what's left of my sanity. And quite frankly, I'm not nearly as strong as everyone thinks I am.

Nothing about this twelve month deployment has been fast or easy. The last month is just as hard as the first, the fifth, and the ninth. It may have gone quickly for those around me...that statement is best kept to yourself. Because for my boys and I, THIS HASN'T GONE FAST! I miss my husband Not one day have I NOT thought about him, wondered what he was doing, worried about his safety, and prayed for his return. His absence affects our daily, hour-by-hour lives...I'm just really good at making YOU think I've got this all under control. My smile and brave face isn't for anyone other than my five princes who are forging this journey with me.

And after I'm done feeling sorry for my tired, over-extended, out-of-shape, would-sell-my-soul-for-a-nap self...I feel guilty for complaining. Because, quite frankly, my hubby would slay dragons to be here to ease my stress and take on the burdens I face here at home. He would face the evils of Hell to have these last 11 months back with his children and to have been present for the birth of his fifth son. And for that, my heart grieves...for every moment of the last 328 days that my boys have missed their daddy and their daddy has missed them. Make no mistake...these last 37 days will be just as hard as the rest.

Make no mistake.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

They DO Exist!

It's a bird?! It's a plane?! No, actually it resembles something along the lines of...Big Foot! And "it" is me! That's right. I'm talking about my appearance. That once beautiful pregnant glow has faded into the unsightly image of sleep deprived, rarely showered, at-the-end-of-her-rope, new mama! It has been 4 days and counting since I basked in the world's fastest shower. Without another adult and 4 kids plus one demanding baby, showers have become a sprint! Things don't really get washed as much as it's an attempt at a less-than-thorough rinse to make myself feel better. It's been so long since I've properly applied makeup that I may have forgotten how to do it. And much to my chagrin, my hair has become much more "wash and wear" than I would like.

Have I ever mentioned that I'm not much of a natural girl?? Beauty, at least on my behalf, must be worked for...plucking, coloring, depillatating (not quite sure if that is a word...but in my overly sleep deprived brain it actually makes complete sense!), exfoliating, primping, blow drying, straightening, applying. You get the idea. I'm most assuredly a work in progress. "Beauty is skin deep" my a**! Looking good takes time and work...and lately time elludes me, and I'm too tired to apply the work necessary to show my face in public. The four walls of my house have become my prison...I mean my sactuary!

If anyone has the delusional idea that staying at home with your minion- um children- is glamorous...they should peak in my windows (actually...please don't do that.) Some days I can be found at 3pm still in my pj's from the night before...which were actually the outfit from the day before! Gross? Nope...just being energy efficient and cutting down on laundry. Let's use that reasoning for my recent tendency to avoid bathing: I'm just being environmentally conscious! My house is disheveled, my appearance is scary, and my once desperate attempt to control my portion of the world has flown out the window.

I'd cry for calgon to take me away, but we all know I'm not going to have time to sit in that bath anyway. So until I actually figure out how to duplicate myself, afford a nanny and/or housekeeper, or hell finally freezes over...I'm going to continue to scare the neighborhood children with my saskwatch resemblance!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Can't Buy Me Love

I'd like to say that I can't be bought...but it turns out that I can! Actually I kind of have a sneaky suspicion that my loving hubby already knows that little tid-bit, but I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is not "in the know" on this deep, dark, little secret. After all, gifts should be given without any expectation for "payment" in return, right?

Let me back track momentarily and explain to you that laundry (as mentioned numerous times prior) is an on-going to which I never, ever win! I'm constantly behind in that particular chore. Now one might say that our family is reaching the point at which it could be classified as "large". And with a growing, busy family comes piles, mounds, and heaps of dirty, smelly laundry. And baby has added to the laundry-quandary that has befallen my home (truthfully, how does something so cute and tiny make SO MUCH LAUNDRY?).

Even though my laundry (and family) continues to increase and washer and dryer have not. They're really designed for a much smaller family...of 2 or 3 maybe! They've been repaired several times, and even though they were trying their hardest, they were not able to keep up with my multiplying minion! Hoodies and jeans could only be washed at a maximum of three at a time. Towels were maxed at 4 or 5. And bedding would take an entire weekend...and STILL not all of the beds would be serviced! was time. Out with the old and in with the new! I am now the proud mama of a shiny pair of blue Samsung, front-loading, energy-efficient washer and dryer. It kind of turned me on, quite honestly (my hubby's gone for a year, cut me some slack!). Hubby set it up with another soldier back home who hooked me up. I would have kissed him...but that would have been all kinds of inappropriate. I left it at a "thank you"..the kisses (and then some *wink *wink) may have to be saved for hubby when he returns.

Oh yeah...I can totally be bought!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Baby Got Back

I'm a firm believer that every woman should love and embrace her matter what the size or shape. Curves are the new black and sexy as...well, a 50's pin-up girl. Sexy, beautiful, and worthy of a bootie shake...except when I see them in MY mirror; that's when I no longer "feel the love tonight"! I like my boyish, athletic frame. It's a straight line from my shoulders to my ankles...and I like it like that. However, the baby bump that was once so cute is now lacking in its appeal. And I'm not sure who's backside keeps following me around, but it has got to go! The blue moon that's risin' scares the hell out of me, quite frankly! And what on earth happened to my thighs?! My sexy thigh-high boots aren't nearly as sexy when it looks like my thigh is going to eat them!

I know that the Kardashian/J.Lo booties are worthy of coveting thy neighbors "assets", but I prefer to be a lean, mean, fighten' machine (it might only be Laila Ali in my head, but leave me's  my delusion; let me have it!) I brag about push ups and pull ups and would accept most physical challenges. But my post-baby body is letting me down. The only exercise I'm getting is walking new babe around the house trying to get him to just...stop...crying! Carrying the over loaded baskets of laundry up and down the stairs leaves me winded. And on the rare occasion that I actually find myself laying horizontally on my back, I struggle to sit up or roll over without assistance thanks to my no-longer-existent abdominals.

All of that can and will be corrected once I am able to consistently work out again. But what bothers me now is the idea of hubby returning from war to a curvier, more voluptuous wife before I have time to get back into shape. I fear I may scare him back to the war zone! I pray that my hubby embraces "some cushion for the pushin'", but quite honestly I'm afraid I may hurt him. He's not used to handling so much woman!

My plan is to "trick the eye" with Spanx, cinchers, and layers...but what happens when we start removing "the ties that bind"?! I'm not ok with the jiggle or the cushion quite frankly. And let's be completely honest, my curves don't exactly resemble those of a Kardashian...the boobs are not for touching or even being unharnessed (those babies are loaded!), the bootie is about double what I would prefer, the thighs jiggle in a very unflattering way, and the tummy- well it just housed a 9 pound baby! Let's not forget the trauma that just occurred to my girly parts! She's still scared to death to have any visitors!

I hate to break it to my hubby...but I'd say this body is off limits for a good 8-9 months.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Devil Wears...Spandex?

Being a mama is tough; being a single mama, even if only for a year, is even tougher. However, I'm not usually one to admit defeat...or even accept it. But lately, with the addition to our family, I've started to doubt my "everywoman" status (you know..."Everyman"? the play about how you need to live to save your soul? Come on peeps! Get with the literary program.) Anycrazyplay, back to my delusional I-can-do-all-manage-all-handle-all mental state. What I once thought I could conquer is now my daily Everest, and it never goes away or gets any better. Clothes...always dirty; dishes...always needing emptying and reloading into the dishwasher; house...constantly in disarray; mommy...never showered, shaved or properly groomed! I'm sleep deprived, malnourished and on the brink of a mental breakdown!

Apparently, without my consent or knowledge, I was dethroned...about 5 weeks ago. My ruler is now 23 inches long, 11 lbs 14 oz, blonde hair, blue eyes and a dictator of the boobies. Milk must be constantly on tap and at his disposal...24/7! Not only are my breasts being held hostage (you DO remember what happens to the boobs once baby has staked his claim, right?), but my nether regions may never, ever recover from the natural disaster that blasted through them. Like Hurricane Katrina, that 9 pound bowling ball that came rolling out of my vagina blasted through and destroyed everything in its path. My hubby's favorite playground may be out of commission far longer than he would like! And my post-baby body (which my children so lovingly informed me looks like "another baby is going to come out"...seriously!?! I wasn't even in real underwear yet when they "complimented" my curves!) leaves me frustrated, annoyed, and ready to cry at the drop of a hat.

My older children have learned, unfortunately, that a sleep-deprived, malnourished (baby doesn't like ANYTHING that I eat...I've resorted to bread and water), hasn't had sex in 8 1/2 months (honestly, I'm totally ok not having sex while preggo but I AM starting to think that the possibility of my hymen growing back is highly likely), never gets to have a hot, regular shower mama...isn't one with whom you should mess, irritate, or disturb if eyes are closed!

Generally, I would say the devil wears Prada..or at least a red dress. But in our appears the devil wears size large yoga pants, granny panties, and a big, baggy t-shirt, void of makeup or groomed hair...and answers in a growl to the word "mom"!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Welcome To The Family

Sorry for the delay. I've wanted to share our exciting news with everybody sooner, but mommy being split 5 ways has left me with little to no "free" time...Ok...NO free time. I don't even pee very often, and I rarely shower.

I've learned that multitasking while sleep deprived is ill-advised. So since the 8yo is loving on his baby sibling, I thought I'd steal a moment to share with you our baby news.

We had a.......................................boy! Yes, another one! Now I have 5 little princes (but I'm still the Queen!) He was born the night of December 27 at 9lbs 2.6oz and 22 inches long. Quite a big dude!

Please welcome to our Kingdom, Tucker Casey!