Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Monday, November 07, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Monday, October 03, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Oh, dang! Speaking of my man...today is his birthday. Happy birthday, Honey. We love you!
Saturday, August 20, 2011
In the past I have had my long-suffering husband tie a tie before he deployed and then tried to keep the knot neat as my son pulled said tie on and off during the months Dad was gone.
Pathetic, I know.
This year, my daughter had to have a tie for her summer reading project, so I was on the hook again before the school year even started!
Learn to Tie a Tie ap to the rescue. Yes, there is an ap for that.
And here is my little photo journalist report of the outcome.
My first attempt. Eek.
My second attempt. Marginally better.
My third and final attempt. Good enough for a girl!
And that is how I make it through all the challenges of a deployment, big and small. In this case, very small.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Friday, August 05, 2011
This is classic.
My husband has enjoyed teasing me about the last video I posted. But he grew up in the Top Gun generation (there is a whole generation of military aviators who were inspired by Top Gun and my husband is old enough to be one of them) so lets see what he can say to tease me about this one.
Hi, Honey. Miss you! ;-)
How am I going to make it another 45 weeks?
I haven't felt this desperate in a long, long time.
Every guy I see gets checked out. Even the way the guy near me at the movies today laughed was grabbing my attention.
Is this how men always feel? Or is it only seventeen-year-old boys?
I have a whole new understanding and appreciation for the way men are.
51 days down. 314 to go.
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Never mind that the topic only came up because my own daughter wanted to ask her son to dance at cotillion. But all I could think was he's in the seventh grade! That is too young. What kind of mother lets that happen.
But, oh...people in glass houses and all that.
About a month later in the Spring my daughter came home from play practice and told us that one of her best friends was "going out" with one of the boys from the theater group. Now, since this best friend also happens to be the daughter of one of the school heads (who didn't even let his daughter go to cotillion) my husband and I both asked the same question.
"What do her parents say about that?"
Well, as it turns out, after the boy asked her to "go out" she asked her parents permission. (Smart kid.) And her parents quite reasonably asked her what it meant to be "going out" with someone.
Apparently "going out" in my daughter's sixth grade universe meant...well...pretty much absolutely nothing. They don't actually see each other or hang out together or do anything different at all. I guess knowing that they'll all be graduating high school together in a few years they are just staking their claims now. I don't know.
So, yes we had heard that a certain boy (I wish I could use his real name because it is oh so perfect, but I must protect the innocent and all that)...(let's call him...Neal, shall we?) had told my daughter he was "into her" a few months before. But we hadn't heard much about it since then.
Neal, did however have my son's seal of approval of not being a bad kid. So that was good.
But not long after her friend started "going out" with her costar, Neal asked my daughter to "go out" too.
So my daughter asked our permission. (Smart girl.) And my husband (surprisingly reasonably) asked, "What does he mean by "go out" with you?" And of course it means, well, nothing.
And now my daughter is going out with a boy.
My daughter who just a couple of weeks ago turned 12-years-old and still has to be reminded to wash her hair has a boyfriend.
My glass house is shattered!
For years our friends and families and I have been joking about how intimidating my husband will be to any boy crazy enough to try to date my daughter. I mean, he knows what boys are like. I was 15 when he started dating me! And he's afraid that she'll turn out like me. (It's a very valid fear for a dad, believe me. I spent so much time trying to get my 16-year-old future husband in bed. Or to give it up in the car or wherever! Unsuccessfully, I might add. At least for a few years.)
But I was actually genuinely worried about how he would take her teen years. He's a very stubborn guy. And more than a little intimidating. Plus, his first meeting with his own future-father-in-law involved a gun, so...
I was worried.
But he has totally rolled with it. He's asked her a few times, "So, was Neal there?" or "So, did you tell Neal any of this?" and things like that. But mostly he has been totally fine with it.
I'm the freak.
I had to know more about this kid, so I broke out the kids' yearbook. Honestly, I was expecting kind of a geeky theater kid (sorry, guys!) like her best bud's boyfriend. But he was actually pretty cute and non-geeky.
So, I went on the school website and found out that he has two older twin brothers who just graduated from our school.
And now I know where he got his gutsy, sixth-grade manly man ways. (Can you imagine the conversations he had with his brothers?)
But his last name, and his dad's name seemed really familiar to me. (Never mind that his last name is as alphabetically as close to our last name as you can get and Neal and my daughter will have adjoining lockers for the next six years!)
So, Google, here I come.
It turns out that I had seen his dad's name on a wall in an art gallery. When he had his own show. As it turns out, his dad is kind of a famous sculptor. And he has got mon-ney! Serious money. Plus, he's the director of a very big charity in town.
Yes, I am completely nuts. I Google searched my daughter's sixth grade boyfriend.
But Neal was starting to look like a better and better candidate as a future son-in-law. Plus his dad has aged very very well, so there was that for my daughter to look forward to.
(See, completely nutso!)
A couple of weeks later I went to school to have lunch with my son. I was curious to watch my daughter in her native habitat interacting with her boyfriend. My son pointed out the pre-teen Lothario to me.
And I saw what was possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life.
At one point during lunch, my daughter was on one side of the deli line all by herself. And Neal was on the other side. Neal kept staring at her. And flipping his hair back at her. And trying to get her attention without actually saying anything to her.
And she completely ignored him
And now I know why Neal is interested in my daughter.
Guys love that chase, right!
My son and I thought that it was hilarious, but poor Neal. When I asked my daughter about it she had no clue what I was talking about. She hadn't even noticed him there making eyes at her.
But poor Neal did get to play the Gypsy King to her Gypsy Queen in the play. And they got to sing together and hold hands. (Eeeeeeek!)
Other than that I have no idea what they have done while they have been "going out".
Though she did write to me from summer camp and ask me for Neal's address. That is a letter I would have loved to have read. I wonder what his parents thought of it. Did he ask their permission to go out with a girl? I doubt it. Of course they also have eighteen-year-old twin football players, so they are probably used to a lot.
When she got back from camp I asked her about the dance they had with the neighboring boys camp. She didn't enjoy it. "Too many random boys asked me to dance," she complained.
"Did you dance with any of them?" I asked her.
"Of course not," she replied.
But I couldn't imagine why not. So, I asked her, "Why not?"
"Because of Neal!" she told me, like I really should have known that already.
And right there and then I knew that my husband has nothing to worry about. She is nothing like me.
I would have danced with every single one of those boys who asked me. Cute or not. No twelve-year-old playboy would keep me from having fun. In fact, I would have asked a few boys to dance with me.
So, we'll see how long Neal lasts. No matter what, I hope it ends well. Because the lockers could get quite awkward for the next six years if it doesn't.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
I totally stole this from Tonka. Oh, and just ignore what I was saying about middle aged men. Sometimes, you must make exceptions.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
But I'm not. I think it is so hot. I especially love the gray in his beard.
You know, it's funny...not in a "ha ha" kind of way but in a "you've got to be fucking kidding me" kind of way...but my libido has pretty much been dead for at least three years now. I think I had to turn it off so many times while my husband was away that I forgot how to turn it back on.
(I also think there is probably something wrong with me, but let's not go there right now.)
But now that my husband is gone for a year...A YEAR...my libido is back with a vengeance.
I don't know where it came from. It totally just hit me out of the blue.
That is so wrong.
But it has been a long time since I actually checked out men online (if you know what I mean) and I had forgotten how young they all are.
I'm not really attracted to guys in their twenties, or even their thirties. Somewhere along the way, without realizing it my tastes shifted to guys in their forties. Maybe even early fifties.
But you try finding hot guys in their forties to ogle.
Ugh. This all makes me sound kind of sick.
With so little online options, I'm left checking out real men. And that's not cool, or productive.
So I'm left checking out that one hot cowboy guy in that Viagra ad. Which, maybe, inspired me to read a few erotic cowboy novels. *ahem*
And then maybe I noticed how hot a lot of the guys in those Viagra ads seem to be.
Doesn't that just seem sad and wrong somehow?
When I do see a hot celebrity (Like Joe Matarese who I saw on Chelsea Lately) I maybe do a few more Internet image searches then are really seemly.
But with 48 and a half weeks to go before I can ogle my husband's gray stubble again, I'm just going with it. And if searches for "silver fox" show up in my Internet history more than they should, hopefully my man will find it encouraging (and stop shaving his head).
Monday, June 20, 2011
I had just started getting used to having him around again after his last deployment, and now he's gone again.
But we're doing fine. Actually, it is a little scary just how well we're doing. Should this stuff really be normal to us? Should we really be used to it?
Maybe it is easier this time because we chose this. My husband volunteered for this deployment to do a pretty cool job in a not so horrible place so that we can stay here until his military retirement and the kids can graduate from our wonderful school.
Truthfully, I'd rather have him do a year in Qatar than another six months in Iraq or Afghanistan.
And he's the type of man who does this stuff without an once of regret or resentment. He's finishing up twenty year of service to his country by contributing to the safety of his fellow warriors AND putting his family first.
I'm not sure how he does it.
So, I always find farewells and homecomings to be awkward and sort of weird. I think this is my husband's sixth deployment and we have never had a big official send off. My husband always insists that we just drop him off wherever he needs to go. The flightline on base, the airport, or the terminal on the Navy base...it doesn't matter.
He always drives us there, hops out of the driver's side, gives us all a hug (sometimes leaning in the window, sometimes on the curb), basically just says, "Goodbye, love you, I'll call you when I get there," and he's off.
I always figured he was just avoiding a big scene, especially back in the days when media was hanging around with cameras. But last week we were just going to the local airport and dropping him off for a commercial flight, so I asked him if we should park and walk him in and say goodbye at security.
But he didn't want that. "Why prolong it?" he asked. And he's right. It's inevitable. Thirty more minutes in the airport won't make it easier. Besides, he shows us he loves us every day.
So we were standing on the curb saying goodbye and there were about six or seven people standing around staring at us. One woman walked by and said, "Thank you for your service."
Part of me thought, "That was nice." Part of me thought, "Um, hello, whore. Private family moment here. Mind your own fucking business."
But I smiled inanely.
With just a few tourists and businessmen watching us, I felt like I was putting on a show. The Poor Military Family show. And I did not like it.
I've always understood my husband's need for the hurried drop off. But I never saw his point quite as clearly as I did last week.
I've spent ten years avoiding the media at all costs. But I got through what will hopefully be our last big goodbye with grace and relative privacy once more.
Driving away from that curb always goes exactly the same way.
I get a little teary eyed, mostly because I can't stand to hear my daughter cry. And then my son manages to say exactly the right thing to her to comfort her (even though I have no idea what to say to her, even after all these years). He's been doing that since he was four or five years old. And then the tears fall on my face because I have these amazing kids even though I've been given free reign to mess them up all by myself for about half of their damn lives.
So we're back at it again. And the first five days have flown by. Here's to the next 360 of them going just as fast.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
And I never finished it.
I just had too much to say. I couldn't wrap all of my words around what I was really trying to express. So I decided to let it all go. (I mean, seriously. If I can't choke something to death with words, who can?)
I'll just sum up by saying that it was really hard. Very hard. And it is still ongoing. But we've all learned a lot. We're making it through.
My husband was home for a little more than two weeks when he had to leave again. He is currently nearing the end of a three week long TDY to train for his next deployment.
Somehow, this short TDY has been harder than the entire sixth month deployment. Isn't it funny how that happens? Maybe it is just because I know he'll be gone for a year pretty damn soon and if things stay this way, I'm not sure how I'm going to make it through.
But I'm just so sick of doing everything on my own. I'm mostly sick of sitting in audiences all alone while my kids perform on stage. I'm sick of going to concerts alone. The kids deserve more and I deserve someone to share it all with.
He'll be back Friday and then we'll make the most of our time together until June. And then I'll survive another deployment. We'll all be just fine.
And come June 2012, I'll be looking forward to another reunion and chastising myself for whining about what I'm going through now. But after eight reunions (Eight! Seriously?) I hope I can start to get them right.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I have given birth to the most independent child on the face of the Earth AND the most dependent child on the face of the Earth.
How is it possible that two eggs from the same basket could produce such polar opposite offspring?
I'm blaming the sperm.
The carrier of the sperm is on his way home, finally. It will take all of my will power not to dump the problems of the dependent child in his lap immediately. I can hold them on my own for a while longer. I can. I swear. I am strong. What difference will a few days make?
Thank god the sperm no longer have a means of escape. Another offspring would break this mother's back.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
A few years ago I made friends with a really wonderful former military psychologist. She was one of the most down-to-earth people I ever met. She dressed simply and never wore make-up. She was a lot like me.
And then she invited me to her house.
It was a friggin' Taj Mahal! It was all marble and huge windows and staircases and more rooms than you can count. It was full of original paintings by artists you've probably actually heard of. It had it's own lake.
Her home was so unexpected and I loved it. It is nice to see really awesome people living so well. Rich people have such a bad reputation.
This past weekend we went to a violin concert at the home of one of the families in our studio. They live in a lovely historic home in the trendy part of downtown. Again, I was surprised.
This women is really outgoing and nice. She's bubbly and happy. And in her home is a portrait of her flanked by her small children in which she looks like death's bitch.
She apparently liked that portrait a lot because she has it displayed in three different places in her house.
It reminded me of something that happened when my son was a baby.
I was just getting to know one of the wives in the squadron. She also had a small baby and she and her husband seemed really nice. And then she invited me to her house for a baby shower.
The first thing you saw when you walked in her front door was her wedding portrait. It was a little more formal than I like, but it was a decent picture.
It was also larger than life. Literally. The portrait was at least 6 feet by 8 feet. It barely fit on the wall. In the picture her head was bigger than a beach ball. Big headed much?
A couple of years later she and her husband divorced. I'm dying to know what she did with that portrait! Oh, then she renamed her daughter (who was five-years-old by then) after herself. Yeah. Like she was named Mary and then she renamed her own kid Mary.
I don't know. It's fun to get a glimpse into people's homes. They say a lot about a person. But sometimes, what they say is kind of scary.
I wonder what my house says about me.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Until this week. See, I made a huge mistake. About a week ago (when we hit the 4th month) I stopped and took a moment to reflect. And I thought, hey, we're doing pretty damn well here. I kind of rock.
And then the universe decided to prove to me just how much I don't rock.
Why didn't I knock on wood?
It's been little things and big things. It's been food poisoning and flat tires. It's been pre-teen drama and a stuck front door. It's been scheduling conflicts and missed deadlines.
And all of a sudden I go from perfectly fine to oh, my god, this sucks. I'm done with this now.
To top it all off, I didn't learn my lesson. Because last night I thought hey, it's been months since the boy banged his head in his sleep. I thought man, it's nice to be past that worry.
And of course, you guessed it, his nocturnal head banging woke me up at 2 a.m. last night.
It's kind of like the opposite of "Be careful what you wish for." I wish I could twist it around and make it work for me.
Hey, I love how I haven't been able to sleep through the night for the last month or so. Yeah, that totally kicks ass.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
I don't miss the parenting magazines and books. (Though I never read many.) I don't miss the impassioned advice about everything from breast feeding to picking preschools. (Though I never listened to much of it.) I really don't miss the intense and often forced or strained relationships with fellow stay-at-home moms.
I especially don't miss all the judgement. The intense judgement.
So many new mothers are so fearful of messing up that they develop these strongly held beliefs and anyone who doesn't jive with those beliefs is harshly judged, mostly so the insecure new mother can look and say, "See! I am such a better mother than her!"
What? We've all done it.
People look at a stay-at-home mom with babies and toddlers and they want to share with her. They want to teach her and give her advice and lure her over to their ways of thinking so that they can feel right and vindicated!
People look at a stay-at-home mother with school-age kids or preteens and they think...
Well, I don't know what they think.
And I don't care!
Woo hoo! Freedom! It is so freeing not to care.
For the first time in my life I am feeling a bit old. But that's okay. I feel like I have gotten to a place where I know so much. I am seeing the results of my sacrifice and decisions. And I feel good about them all.
I am one of the few stay-at-home mothers left in the car pool line. And I am the only one without a doctor or entrepreneur for a husband. And I am happy. You know what? We were smart. And lucky. And good planners.
I know without a doubt that we have done the right things, made the right choices, not just for our kids, but for our marriage and ourselves too.
It feels so good to be on the other side of the playground. I know this may be the lull before the storm of parenting a teenager but I have faith in the foundations we built. And as always, I am enjoying the present and looking forward to the future.
A future that in a few years will not include deployments.
That's the most freeing thing of all.