Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wild Hair

In the middle of the night last night I spent about two hours online researching how I can become a school teacher in Virginia.

Why? Why the fuck would I do that!?

I'm worried about money. Like, a lot.

But after taking ten years off to raise kids (never mind the two years before that when I changed jobs three times because of moves) I'm not really qualified to do anything in my degree but an entry level job. (if that...who wants a 35-year-old "marketing girl"?)

Which I would hate. I at least have enough experience to know that.

I still want to be a stay-at-home mom. Desperately. I don't want to leave my kids during those all important before and after school hours.

Freelance writing works for me, (I've done it successfully before) but building a client base takes work and I don't have the energy or patience anymore.

Teaching seems like a good fit, because it would still leave me free for the summers. I've always enjoyed coaching (actually, I've always loved it...high stress though it may be).

I'm good with kids.

I'm just freaking afraid of them.

I could get a Masters in Teaching with initial liscensure and be a teacher in about two and a half years.

Which does nothing to contribute to our bottom line now.

I don't know. Is this something to think about?

Or have I gone off the deep end.

Me? A teacher? That's fucking insane.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Update on House

I'm still only about 40% unpacked in the new house. I'm still living out of a suitcase. Pathetic, I know. I guess I forgot that I still had to live life while I was unpacking.

So last night I spent an house really scrubbing and organizing the kitchen, breakfast area, and family room just so I could take a picture of that space and stick them in a blog post entitled Light at the End of the Tunnel.

But when I came downstairs this morning, the family room looked like this:

Must remind myself:

a) Train tracks are a great toy for kids

b) My son is developing his mind as he plays

c) I'm lucky my kids will play so quietly and happily together

(The tracks are his doing, the animals and people are her doing.)
Check out those wood floors though.

Clean and nice homes are only worth so much. Even if I am going to kill the dog for peeing on our brand new (expensive) area rug AGAIN!

While I'm at it, here is the front of our house. I never have been able to get a good shot of it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'll Be There For You

I know my husband goes to work everyday. I know he works in a cubicle farm.

I couldn't tell you what he was doing if my life depended on it. And neither could he.

I'm married to Chandler Bing!

Oh, he could spew a bunch of meaningless Air Force jargon and acronyms at you, but even he doesn't know what that shit means.

And he's already planning on doing this shit for the rest of his life. Or, as he corrected me, "Not the rest of my life Just until the kids are out of college." Which is (twelve plus four, carry the one...)16 more years!

He says he likes it here so much that he's willing to do whatever it takes to stay here until his military retirement in seven years. Even if it means taking a year tour of Iraq or whatever country we tear up next.

I find it hard to believe that my warrior can truly be happy working in a cubicle. I'm worried about him.

His work used to be all consuming. He was about family and the mission, in that order. Now I'm worried that he needs more.

For the first time in years and years, I'm worried that I need more. It's funny because he'll do anything to make me happy. And I'll do anything to make him happy.

I hope we're not cancelling each other out!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Slipped the Surly Bonds of Earth

We lost three friends in Sunday's B-52 crash.

An old friend we went through aviation training with
An old friend who was a squadron-mate for four years
And a young student of my husband's

My heart is breaking for their families, especially their young children. And the other three crew member's families as well. It is a sad time in our corner of the world.

It all hits very close to home. May they live on in the hearts of their fellow aviators.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Born on the Bayou

I have found myself in the unimaginable position of defending the bayou more than once lately.

I never thought I would feel defensive of my old bayou community. If you've been paying attention at all, you know that I used to live in Northwestern Louisiana. And I hated it there but after...what?...nine years there, I developed certain roots.

Now whenever people in our new community ask where we moved from and I say "Louisiana" they look at me with pity.

It wasn't that bad.

One of the teachers at our new Suzuki violin school asked me, "Oh! So they even had a Suzuki program there?"

And I wanted to yell, "A hell of a lot better one than you have, snooty!" Which is unfortunately true. (Though we've ended up with a new teacher (and doctor's wife) who moved down here form Connecticut and I am THRILLED with her!)

So people are surprised that we did anything other than tractor pulls, chew and crawfish boiling down on the ole' bayou. And I have to laugh at myself for not agreeing with their characterization.

Hell, I do agree with their characterization. To a point. But it is my bayou to make fun of. Not theirs.

Besides, my kids were born and raised on the bayou. So now I will defend its merits until the day I die.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Flaw of Perfection

We all have flaws. Some of us have more than others. It takes a certain amount of maturity to recognize our own flaws. My flaw?

An all-too-often, overwhelming urge to say, "I told you so."

I guess it wouldn't be so bad if I weren't so often right.


This "I told you so" will cost us a decent chunk of change.

Dammit. Not much is going right lately. The last two months have caught up with me.

Do they still have a poor house?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Waiting for Word

I had some complaining-type, whiny crap floating around in my head to post about today. But then I got word of an aircraft crash.

Six friends from our old base crashed in the Pacific. Two have been recovered but we don't know what condition they are in. We're not even positive which crew it was.

Spouses are conditioned, particularly in our little corner of the aviation world, to think of our aircraft as crash-proof. There has only been one mishap since Vietnam. These little four month deployments to Guam are supposed to be the safe ones.

Today I am guiltily happy that we are here. My husband is only one little bridge away working in a cubicle.

My stomach is cramping with feeling for some of my fellow spouses today.

Update--10:45 PM: My husband confirms two are dead. Latest AP story says three. Still waiting on names. Is it horrible to hope that the names do not belong to our oldest friends?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Throw Rocks at Boys

Oh, holy hotness. I am standing in a puddle.

Are there any ugly servicemen out there? I never seem to have them visit my house.

First there was the hot plumber, and now...

The hottest man I have ever seen repaired my husband's windshield.

I thought he was a cutie when he had his sunglasses on. But then he took them off and I nearly expired.

Fit, handsome, beautiful smile and amazing eyes.

I'm going to go throw rocks at my car.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vertical Drop (just like giving birth)

It's hard to believe that I am the mother of a nine-year-old. That's only one year away from being the mother of a ten-year-old. And that sounds freaking old.

Since my poor baby girl hasn't had the chance to make friends yet, we decided to take her on a day trip instead of having a party for her birthday. But first we let her open presents and pick a place to have dinner the night before.

She was so cute because she wanted to tell the waitstaff that it was her birthday but she was a tiny bit too shy. My husband did it for her so she got her special dessert complete with singing waiters (cute ones too).

Then I helped her make her own cake. She chose to make a French Vanilla cake (from a mix, because I'm not a masochist) with chocolate fudge frosting.

She's quite the decorator.

Making and sharing the cake might have been her favorite part of her birthday especially since it was delicious. But the roller coasters may have topped it.

We went to Busch Gardens Europe and my little scaredy-cat rode every single roller coaster there. Including the Griffon. Which has a straight vertical drop. That they suspend you over for about five seconds. And we were in the front row.

My throat hurts from screaming.

It was nice to see my daughter so happy. Both kids claimed it was the best birthday of their lives (even though it isn't my son's birthday).

Next year...she'll have friends and a party. Hopefully, I will too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Free at Last

I got about 48 hours into my parents' visit before they started driving me crazy.

By this morning, I couldn't take it anymore. Just get out of my house. Get out!

I haven't had a moment to myself in a week to blog, answer my phone, even to clean my house.

And my husband and I didn't finish the work we wanted done last week by our own timeline so now we have to hunker down for another week and just work.

But in the meantime, I am taking a day off. Who knew that taking care of a six-year-old and a newly-nine-year-old could be so much easier than taking care of a fifty-nine-year-old and a sixty-one-year-old?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Something Wicked This Way Comes

They're on the Jersey turnpike now.

Da dum.

Da dum.

Da dum. Da dum. Da dum. Da dum.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


My parents are driving down to visit. It should take them about 12 hours. My father can't really fly anymore so they are ecstatic to have us living within a day's drive.

Last week they told me they were leaving on the 10th. So I figured I had until Thursday night to set up the guest room.

Yesterday they told me they were leaving on the 9th or the 10th.

Tonight they told me they are leaving at midnight. Tonight. They'll be here by about ten tomorrow.

And the guest room? It's completely full of boxes and crap. Boxes and crap I have nowhere to put yet.

My husband is a saint. He just busted his ass to move it all around. And he bought a mattress and box spring. And he moved them up the stairs. And he snuck out to buy a pink Schwinn for my daughter's birthday this weekend.

The parents will be here until at least next Monday.

I'm going to owe my husband big time.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Tongue Tied

A few years ago this blog was All Jaw Surgery, All the Time. But before the surgery came years of braces. Braces I had put on when my son was a little baby.

I didn't want to.

I feared that my son, who spent all of his time with me because Daddy was deployed for much of his first three years, wouldn't develop proper language skills. I was afraid he wouldn't learn how to speak correctly because of all my lisping and mumbling through braces, appliances, retainers, and wired shut jaws.

My husband thought I was nuts.

Today I was vindicated, in the worst way possible.

My son scored in the 1st percentile for articulation. Anything below the 16th percentile is cause for concern. The 1st percentile, people. The first!

My brilliant son who is always in the 99th percentile for every other freaking thing in his life has way more speech problems (relative to his age) than we thought.

And those speech problems are what kept him out of the fancy school we wanted.

But their rejection is what drove me to the speech pathologist office, so I guess it was some sort of blessing. At least now he'll get the help he needs.

My husband thinks it is the difference between the bayou and the real world. No one thought his speech was any where near bad enough to need help back on the bayou. But here they are planning therapy three days a week.

I learned a lot in the therapists' office today. (More on some of that later). But the most important thing I learned is that I am freaking lucky to have such normal kids. Even my daughter who we've always thought of as a freak. There were kids there with serious developmental, social and psychological issues and I listened to their parents in the waiting room.

God, I have it good. Even if my son is literally tongue tied.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Pity Party in the Trash Pile

In my quest to be the absolute last person to jump on any bandwagon, I've recently fallen in love with Ace of Cakes on the Food Network. I'm fascinated not only by the characters who work in Duff Goldman's bakery, but by the stories behind the cakes too.

If anyone ever cared so much that they had a beautiful and unique cake designed especially for me, I would be beside myself. But the Ace of Cakes' cakes start at a grand. So I think I'll be waiting for some time. (Maybe someone will order one to be served at my wake.)

My birthday this year was kind of horrible. It started out really amazing. My friends threw me a farewell lunch. When my husband happened to mention to my friend SW that the lunch was scheduled for the Friday before my birthday, she went ahead and arranged for everyone to surprise me with gifts.

It was all so sweet and overwhelming. It's the first birthday party I've had since I was a kid.

But my actual birthday truly sucked. Other than a phone call from my mother and Patrick (who is alive, by the way) it was completely ignored.

My husband didn't even get me a card. My own husband.

When I got down about it my husband ran out to Lowes and got me a gift card. Which he planned to use to pay for new flooring for our new family room. So not only was it a last minute gift, it was truly thoughtless too.

I don't know. The whole world could forget my birthday and it would be fine as long as my husband remembered. But for it to be just another day to him after he had been hinting at doing something really special for once...well. He hurt my feelings.

He ended up not buying the flooring from Lowes. That just occurred to me today while I was fantasizing about some of the things I'd love to buy for the house. I couldn't remember what I had done with it. But then it suddenly hit me.

It was in an envelope. And I think I threw it away yesterday.

Now I have to go diving through the bags of trash piled up in our garage awaiting a trip to the dump to find a valuable birthday gift I wish I had never received.

Maybe by my 40th birthday someone will pull something together. I guess that gives me five years to make some friends.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Prank

Yesterday I took on the biggest job in the house. I unpacked the kids' bathroom.

It was the room with the boxes marked "Upstairs Closet". In our old house, the upstairs closet was the place we stashed all those things that had no other home. And so I found pillowcases from college (gross) and prenatal vitamins (aww).

Occasionally I would knock on my son's bedroom door and deliver things to his room. The kids were in there playing and every time I entered they gave me little smirks and looked at me all squinty and weird.

Okay. That's usually best to ignore.

When I got to my very last box (woo hoo) my son came in and offered to help me. That's not so unusual. I was trying to figure out the size of a fitted sheet and he helped me locate the label. Then he helped me fold it.

As he backed up to have enough room, he casually shut the door. I looked up and caught him with a huge grin on his face, which he immediately wiped away when we made eye contact.

"What?" I asked him, suspicion in my voice.

"Nothing," he replied. "I just like helping you."

And then my daughter ran by giggling like a maniac.

"What are you guys up to?"

My son shook his head. "Oh, man. She ruined it by coming back all silly."

At the same time my daughter called out, "Don't go in your bathroom!"

My son just shook his head more.

Well, I had to go to my bathroom then. I knew what they had done.

Peeing with a fake lizard staring at you is creepier than you would think.

My son cracked me up by being so serious about his deception. He's such a little actor. I think it takes a certain amount of intelligence to pull off a prank when you're six. He had to make a plan and use teamwork. Plus, the fact that he volunteered to be the distractor is too funny.

Tonight I'm going to wait until they fall asleep and put the lizards on their pillows. They'll get a kick out of it.