Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just a Puppet on a String

My pal Bob, of Bob's Yer Uncle, is in some kind of ridiculous virtual Big Blogger game. This week's task is to pimp the most votes, and he's kindly requested that I pimp for him. Imagine.

Here's what you need to do ... Click here, then click on Bob (it's the poll in the right-hand column) then click on vote.

Then tell all your friends to do the same.

It's silly, yes. But like most men, he's silly too.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm not the girl I used to be.

I've had so much to say, but I feel like I'm living in the Stone Ages. Two days without a computer had me going bonkers. Today I drove over a half hour just to pick up a NetZero disk. Isn't dial-up great?

Yesterday I came down to the Cape to get our house cleaned up and ready for the kids. But not before I had it out with my parents. Now all I can do is sigh about the whole situation.

I'm hurt that my parents just can't seem to understand what I'm going through right now. It's just about impossible to explain. I feel almost like they're glad my husband is deployed because he's out of the way. They think they can control me when he's not here, mostly though their passive aggressive ways. They want to take the kids and do what they want with them, regardless of what my husband and I want.

What they don't get is that my husband and I are still a team no matter how far away he may be.

They also don't get that I'm a different person than I was when I left home twelve years ago. I've made my own family. And right now that family is more here for me than my parents could ever be.

I'm wallowing a bit, and I'm sorry for it. I had a great time in New York City and it sucks that I had to come back to conflict and upset. But the kids are happy and my husband and I are closer than ever. I'm trying to concentrate on all of that and let the rest go.

I'm sick of being this way already.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Jet Blue for One

Oh, did I forget to mention that I'd be in New York for a few days?

I have to admit that I'm more than a little sad. My husband and I had planned for months to make this trip together. He was really excited about it. He was going to run in the Pride Run with Patrick and he had been training for it for months.

Truly, he was making a huge effort on my behalf. He wants to get to know Patrick even better. And he wants to try to see why I love New York so much. He really wants to buy a place here someday and enjoy the city with me. He also wanted to experience a little bit of Pride.

Those are huge steps for a homebody like him.

But I'm here on my own and I certainly can't complain about getting to spend this time with my best friend. And I even got to see MAK, FARB and his blond bombshell last night. (All of whom are looking incredibly handsome.) I'm sure I'll see plenty more friends soon.

As for my kids, my mother practically tore them out of my arms. I was feeling guilty asking my parents to watch them for this extra long weekend and an extra long weekend in July, but she practically begged me to keep them even longer. It's hard to leave my kids, especially now that they're older and more fun to be around but...I don't know...

I'm going to have fun this weekend even if it kills me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Safe and Sound

One stressed out mom.

Two conflicted kids.

One poopy dog.

One aging mini van.

And seventeen hundred miles to drive.

It all adds up to...

Surprisingly easy!

I have to say, this trip couldn't have gone any better than it did. The weather was beautiful, the traffic was light, and the kids were pretty damn good. In fact, for the first twenty-six hours of our trip, they were angels. We had a couple of yelling moments in the home stretch, but I really couldn't have asked for more from two little kids.

I have to give myself a little credit too. I went into the whole thing with a very laid back (and unlike me) attitude and it worked out very well. I've learned a lot from the last two years that we've done this trip. And I'm raising some pretty damn good kids here.

Speaking of which, I will be raising them on my own for a few months now. Actually, that's not quite right. I may be the only parent who is with them, but my husband and I are still very much a team. Part of the team is just a little far away right now.

We dropped him off at the airport and said our goodbyes with surprisingly little drama. We briefed the kids on exactly how it would go down and that helped a lot. My husband isn't big on goodbyes and my daughter in particular has felt short-changed in the past. But having a goodbye plan helped a lot.

So did an immediate distraction of driving to Grandma and Grandpa's house. I highly suggest having a nice, distracting vacation planned for your kids whenever they have to deal with a separation.

As for my husband, in the days leading up to this deployment, he got quite sad. I've never really seen him that way before. It was like we had switched roles. But both of our mothers got emotional on the phone with him. And my daughter has been asking, "Why?" and "Why you?" for weeks. Mostly, he just wanted to go on this vacation with us.

I have so much more to say, but only so many firing braincells at the moment. So I'll save more stories for another day.

Most importantly, we've arrived safely. And my husband arrived at his pre-Iraq training safely. We're apart for now, but life goes on, supported by those who love us.

Thank god.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

And She's Off!

I can't believe it. I actually did it. I was packed for this trip before 8 p.m.

That is unheard of. And we had two separate, very long trips to pack for. Usually I'm up until 1 a.m. the night before a trip desperately trying to pull a few outfits together. Not this time.

We rock.

With just a few hours to go until we drop my husband off at the airport for his deployment, I am very proud of how we made it through this stressful time together.

Experienced military wives know that you usually face at least one big fight right before a deployment. Psychologist say that it is easier to leave or say goodbye to someone when you are mad at them. Plus, the stress of packing and planning can wear on even the best relationships.

But we got through it with our team intact and relatively happy.

Hopefully our goodbyes won't be too hard. And then the kids and I are off for Massachusetts.

Wish me luck. Twenty-eight hours driving with two kids and a dog. Woo hoo!

And she's off!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Torture! Tuna-Style

When I rearranged my summer plans due to my husband's deployment, I was excited to be able to fit one more laser hair removal treatment in before I left for the summer.

Did I say laser hair removal? What I meant was TORTURE by laser light.

This was my fourth appointment and except for one stray chin hair and three stray gray hairs my face is as smooth as a baby's behind. So I thought that it couldn't be nearly as painful as the last three.

I have never before been quite so wrong.

I slathered on the numbing cream extra thick, even though it makes me look like the centerpiece in a bukkake porn. It may be humiliating to walk in the hospital covered in thick, white goo, but if that stuff blocks any pain at all, it is worth it.

Usually a treatment lasts thirty minutes. The nurse pulses the light, applies aloe, and gives me a breather before each section.

This time the nurse decided it would be best to just get it over with! The entire appointment took seven minutes. Seven minutes of fiery, painful hell.

I learned that the laser isn't just zapping the dark pigment in my hair, but also any dark pigment in my skin.

Have I mentioned that I'm half-Irish, people? I have freckles, and lots of them. Fiery, painful, hellish freckles.

I also learned that my freckles may fade or disappear by my last treatment. And so may some of my moles. The laser also stimulates collagen and will help fight wrinkles and keep my youthful skin.

Huh? Suddenly, seven minutes of pure hell doesn't sound so bad.

Quickies are Good Too

As I was writing yesterday's post, I was also talking on the phone with Patrick. I told him that I was writing about my daughter saying, "But he wouldn't focus!"

After a few minutes I sensed a being behind me. I turned to find my daughter scowling at me with her hands on her hips.

"I heard what you said about me."

Busted! I say a lot of things to Patrick that my kids shouldn't hear, but I'm usually sure they're not around.

"Oh, mind your business, little girl," I told her as I gently pushed her toward the television.

Doesn't she know that her whole purpose in life is to provide me with writing fodder? Jeesh. Some kids.


My husband and I went on a date last night. Our first stop was to pick out new glasses for him.

I can now have sex with him again! Yay!

His new frames make him look hella cute. I'm so glad he's heading off to Iraq with cute, studious boy glasses.


After dinner and electronics shopping we headed to Barnes & Noble where I received a funny voice mail from Patrick. It was made even funnier by the fact that he left it while my B&N curse was taking full affect!

If you're new around here and aren't familiar with my B&N curse, well, I ain't gonna tell ya about it. Go read the archives and find out on your own.

Gosh, darn, farbing curse! Though, I did have even something worse happen recently. But I'm not talking about that either.

UPDATE: Here's the other side of the phone call story. Too funny!


Contrary to the fact that I've blogged about it twice in the past two days, I haven't been talking much to Patrick lately. In fact, I haven't been doing much of anything but spending time with my husband and kids.

It has been nice. I miss my friends a tiny bit, but I know I'll probably be driving them all crazy soon enough. But this family isolation has been very nice. If only we could become filthy rich and live the rest of our days just like this.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Irony Defined

As queen and supreme ruler of Tuna Land I declared these last two days as cleaning days.

Yesterday, I got out the back ho, handed each kid a shovel and set off to conquer that wasteland of toys and crap we call a playroom.

After picking up a thousand Legos and hundreds of trains, but still with heaps of dolls, games, and puzzle pieces to go, I got a phone call.

Now, I only abandoned my ho for a few minutes and left the kids to toil in what I thought would remain companionable silence, when I heard a screech.

I calmly asked my caller to hold while I asked my eldest child, "What happened?" But she couldn't get a word in edgewise when the injured boy immediately ceased crying to explain, "She squeezed me!"

Isn't it funny how they can stop their painful wailing once they have someone's ear to complain to?

"Did you squeeze your brother?" Ever the fair ruler I gave her a chance to refute the charges.

"Yes. He stopped cleaning."

"Go to your room. I don't care what he did or didn't do, you don't hurt your brother."

She was smart and guilty enough not to argue or pout and just trudged up the stairs. I returned briefly to my phone call only to hear the guilty party start crying.

Apparently she had found a judge to hear her appeal. And Daddy is much more susceptible to girlish tears.

I pulled the phone away from my ear in time to hear my daughter implore, "But he wouldn't focus!"

This is when I dropped the phone and convulsed in laughter. My husband bent over clutching his stomach and barely saved himself from falling down the stairs in mirth. I could even hear my friend on the phone gasping for breath through his chortles.

That is the definition of irony. That is what the phrase pot calling the kettle black was invented for.

Our little fairy-watching, unicorn-dreaming space cadet was upset because her future-accountant brother wouldn't focus?

It's these little gems that make having kids worthwhile.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hard Times

Okay, guys. Time for a little honesty here.

I'd love to be cute and funny right now, for a lot of people's sakes, but I am too overwhelmed with my own stuff.

I spent most of this weekend in bed, sleeping for five hours at a time, almost around the clock. I have a cold, or maybe allergies, but between my sinuses and our almost daily storms, I've been having debilitating headaches.

That was not how I wanted to spend my last weekend with my husband.

I've gotten to that pre-deployment point that I've learned to dread. Three previous deployments have taught me what to look out for and what to expect. And that at least assures me that I'm not losing my mind.

I think that people assume that the worst time of a deployment is right after he leaves, and maybe in the middle when it is stretching on. But that's not true for me. The hardest times are right now as he is getting ready to leave, and near the end when people start expecting you to be "normal" again, and right after he gets home when the adjusting is so hard.

Because during all three of those times you are not just worrying about getting yourself and your kids through each day usually within your well-established routine. You are worrying about other people's feelings.

My husband had to take care of a lot of morbid stuff last week, like his will and custodianship for the kids should something happen to both of us. He had to go to the required briefing about Family Readiness.

So last Friday night, when we were just sort of hanging out he turned to me and told me that he loved me. He told me that he appreciated me more than I could ever know. He told me that he is lucky to have me and that it felt good knowing that he could leave and not worry about anything here.

I mostly appreciate that I have a husband who can say those sorts of things to me. I've seen too many marriages die while they suffered through separations. I've seen wives go back home to their parents. I've seen wives just give up, and leave their kids and husband behind.

He leaves in less than a week. We both have so much to do before that time. I am overwhelmed and sick and tired.

But I'm secure. And that is the most important thing to be at this time.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Satisfaction of Stripping

I was cleaning out my medicine cabinet last week and I found one lonely, little Biore Pore Perfect strip.

Do you remember when those were all the rage?

I couldn't throw it away. I love those little buggers. So I washed my face and slapped it on my nose.

When I emerged from the bathroom, my husband started laughing at me. "What are you doing?"

"I'm cleaning my pores. Don't judge me."

I cuddled up with him in bed and set my watch timer for fifteen minutes. When it beeped I braced myself, gripped a corner, and pulled that bad boy off in one fell swoop.

Then I spent a good half hour marveling over the little forest of pore dirt left on the strip. I mean, it's like a tiny little dirt rain forest sprung up out of nowhere.

My husband suggested I include my fascination with dirty pore strips on my list of Seven Weird Things. I ignored him and went to sleep secure in my pore's state for another week.

In the last two days, Mount Vesuvius has been growing on my nose. And it hurts. A lot. Maybe it hurts because I legion of little pore dirt people are gearing up to make a demand for a virgin sacrifice. Or maybe this will be the zit to end all zits and I'll make it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

"You need a pore strip," says my husband.

Tonight he ran to the grocery store for ice cream, cereal and Diet Coke. And what special treat did he pull out of the bag? You guessed it. I shiny new box of ULTRA Biore Pore Perfect strips.

But they weren't all for me.

No, my big, bad warrior decided that he should probably clean his pores before he heads off to the sandbox. Maybe it will help his gas mask fit better. Who knows.

He disappeared into the bathroom and I tucked into my mint chocolate chip. But that mint chocolate chip almost came out my nose when he returned with his pore strip on upside down.

"Way to read those directions," I told him. "Can you make sure you point your M16 the right way? Do those have easy-to-read, illustrated instructions too?"

He waiting his fifteen minutes and eased his strip off a section at a time. Wimp.

And his strip had no little pore dirt forest! What fun is pore stripping if you have no little dirt forest to marvel over?

So I took a turn stripping myself. I thought my pores might be cleaner this time around, but, no. This time my dirty, little strip resembled the New York City skyline! So many dirt buildings. So pretty.

But my nose still looks like an eruption is waiting to happen.

When I kiss my husband goodbye next week, I'll have to do it around the giant growth on my nose. And I'll have to trust that he'll operate his warrior-boy machinery better than a little girly-boy adhesive strip.

At least I know he's leaving me all fresh faced and clean.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

These Friends of Mine

A while back I wrote on this very blog about my decision to make new friends. I had spent too many years isolating myself in a military world and had a circle of military-only friends to show for it.

I think it is easy to fall into that pattern. Especially when you live on base. And especially when you are a stay-at-home mom. It's just that another military wife and mother can so easily understand your challenges.

Don't get me wrong, those friends were great. We were all there for each other during those first post-9/11 deployments and CB especially was there for me during some of the hardest moments of my life.

But I felt an elemental disconnect with so many of them. I just didn't feel like anyone really knew me and I truly thought that most of them wouldn't like me any more of they got to know me.

Which is why I started to blog. Blogging was my outlet and my connection to the rest of the world. And I've made some wonderful friends through blogging. Some of them have stood the test of time and our relationships have evolved way beyond blogger friends.

But still, it just isn't the same as having a core group of good local friends. Everyone needs friends they can see regularly, and laugh with, maybe even share a hug with once in a while. Maybe. Everyone needs someone they can turn to when they need a hand.

Making friends as an adult can be hard, especially when you're not sharing a workplace. But I accepted the challenged to put myself out there and see what connections I could make.

And, man, have I made some connections.

I think I was very lucky to find myself in close proximity to some great people. And I'm going to pat myself on the back just a little and say that I totally rock. I'm really very shy (I swear) and sort of a loner (no really) but I overcame those inborn traits. I also went out on a limb and took on some leadership rolls in volunteer committees that really helped me get to know more people.

One of the hard things I'm going through right now is telling all of my new friends about my husband's deployment.

Because they're not military, a lot of them just don't know how to react. And they hurt for me. I can see it in their eyes. It pains me to see them hurt for me. I am way too empathetic for it not to effect me.

But the upside is that I have friends coming out of the woodwork to show their support.

It's satisfying.

These relationships evolved so slowly over time (like good relationships probably should) that I hadn't even really realized how many friends I had. And then, boom! There they were.

When you live so far from your family, you make your own. These people may not be like my immediate family. Yet, anyway. But I suddenly feel like I have a great big extended family of cousins, aunts, uncles, and crazy ass in-laws.

And this loner isn't feeling so alone anymore.

Anatomy of a Meme

Sometimes I feel left out.

I see memes come and go and nobody ever tags me. I mean, come on, people! I get as much writer's block as the next guy. Sometimes you need a little fluffer filler.

But I learned back in junior high that the best way to get the cool kids to make fun of you is to emulate them, so I just sat here in my little corner...all meek and the dark.

So I was really happy when my friend Aza tagged me with this Seven Weird Things About Me meme. I'm weird. I can rock this one out of the park!

*Ahem* Yeah. I just lost my cool kid cred, huh?

So I sat down and started writing.

Seven Weird Things About Me

1. I have geographic tongue.

2. I have a fear of buttons.

3. ...

I didn't get very far. And I got distracted with all the information I found about geographic tongue. I finally have a medical reason for not being able to eat spicy foods. See! I'm not just a wimp!

But I was seriously stuck on something that was supposed to be a quick and easy post.

When my husband came home that night I told him all about my meme thing (which was hard because I have no idea how to pronounce that word). I asked for his help.

"You know I'm weird. What else can I put on the list?"

He thought and thought and occasionally shouted out his ideas.

"You have an expensive purse fetish!"

"That's not weird," I argued. "Lots of women love purses." Admittedly, it's kind of weird that I dress like a lesbian but carry designer purses, but still.

"You leave hair all over the house," he accused. "You're always snipping your split ends. You're always right. You tell your best friend everything. You can't remember shit. And you get moody when you have PMS!"

Okay! Enough!" I stopped him. "This isn't a list of Things That Annoy My Husband. These are supposed to be weird things."

Clearly, I needed a more expert opinion. So I called Patrick.

"Name something weird about me."

"You can only masturbate under the covers," he replied, without a second hesitation.

"Damn you! You know too damn much about me. I can't write that. My husband thinks I tell you too much as it is."

(Let's hope my husband doesn't read this particular post.)

Through his laughter Patrick started ticking off a list of extremely embarrassing things I've told him over the years. His memory is too damn good. I told him that the two of them were having way too much fun at my expense.

"I don't think you should write this list yourself," he suggested. "I think it would be more fun to leave it up to your friends and family."

I don't think my fragile ego can handle it.

So, let's see. So far we have:

Seven Weird Things About Me

1. I have geographic tongue.

2. I have a fear of buttons.

3. I can only masturbate under the covers

4. My husband

5. My best friend

6. My blog


Screw it. Next time I want a quick and easy post I'll put up a picture of a puppy.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Thank all that is good and holy for the wonderment that is soccer camp.

I am alone! Alone! Alone! Alone!

My husband is at his physical (poor not fun), Buffy is at the groomers (getting fresh pink bows) and my kids are at indoor soccer camp (offspring relief, rain or shine).

I've learned that at seven and fiver years old the kids can only go so long before they are absolutely sick of each other. And once they're sick of each other, mommy suffers. This does not bode well for our twenty-eight hour drive to Massachusetts.

I should be using this alone time to clean, or run, or write, or something. But I think I will curl up on the couch and watch a DVD. Maybe it's time to pop in that Eroscilator instructional DVD.