Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kindergarten Stevie

I had a dream last night, Stevie was at his first day of kindergarten. While he was there, I was at the doctors...apparently pregnant. Anyway, I peeked in on him. All of the kids were working on letters on laminated pages. They could trace the letters and then write their own next to them on the lines with a dry erase marker or something. My little Stevie (who is super large for his age) looked like the littlest in the class. He was not much bigger than he is now. He was just working along without a care in the world (I'm sure his little legs were just swinging under his seat as he happily worked), and that's when I realized I hadn't taught him his letters yet! He made all these squiggly lines and tried to do the outline of the letter A. I was panicked (umm, and horrified) due to my lack of teaching letters to him. He was not. He started tracing the little bicycle picture when I came to pick him up. He proudly told this mama, "I'm going to stop now. This is a good stopping point!" I picked up my boy with brown curls and blue eyes and gave him a big hug and kiss.

That's when I woke up laughing hysterically and crying. Him telling me he was going to stop because he'd made it to a "good stopping point" was extremely funny to me. The fact that he was a kindergartener was too much though. My baby boy is growing up way too quickly, and I'm certainly not ready for it.

So, my Stevie, won't you stop growing older? This is a good stopping point. This age right now is my favorite so far. But, I'm sure your kindergarten age will be my favorite too. I'll just work on getting you a bit more prepared for that special day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Well, I wouldn't do that

I was too late posting for Not Me! Monday last week, so I saved it for this week, and she's not doing umm, can I still do it?

I certainly would not allow (er, put) my child to eat on the living room floor.

I especially would not allow my child to eat spaghetti on the living room floor. I would have to be nuts. I certainly also would not post these pictures only on my blog instead of other places to avoid ridicule from others about poor eating habits and spaghetti sauce flung about.

I may or may not say this will only be allowed for the first child...and possibly the tenth...since at that point, I really won't care! While going to prepare Stevie's drink, I certainly would not have heard muffled cheering and music, to come back in and find he had pulled his little basketball hoop over (yup, from in his chair...I underestimate his wing span apparently) and was dunking spaghetti. And, look at my boy's hair! I may not neglect to tame it after naps just because it looks so cute and makes me laugh.

During a quick trip to Target, I did not chuckle out loud when a pregnant woman and her husband were walking down the baby aisles having disagreements over what would be "best," and the husband, frustrated, very audibly said, "I wish I never had sex then!" I'm sure he'll feel better about all this when that sweet baby arrives. She'll probably be happier too. I would not be considering writing separate posts about "The things I hear at Target" (or ya know, some other better name) because I've heard a few more interesting exclamations during shopping trips since.

Speaking of Target, I certainly don't get more excited than my little boy when we go down the frozen food aisles. And, we certainly would not extend our shopping experience to go down those aisles...when we really don't need to. We (or maybe I...Stevie's just starting to catch on) don't zoom down at rapid speed just to watch the lights turn on. What better fun could we have on a blistering hot and humid day in blissful air conditioning? We also would not get bummed when someone has already gone before us, thus ruining the fun of seeing the lights turn on just for us.

In the heat this week, there is no way, I would crank the oven up to bake some cookies. Since I was already making a batch, I figured I would drop some off at the neighbors as a thank you for the ones they gave us when we moved in. I packed Stevie's belongings up to leave, started the car to cool it off before we got in, hiked down the road...Stevie in an umbrella stroller, me pushing with cookies in hand fearing for the cookies lives as they jiggled uncontrollably. I did not wish I had just driven up the street to deliver them safely. We did not get "all" the way there, to find no one home. In fact, they were on vacation. I decided to ring the doorbell a few times anyway because I was not about to have walked "all" the way there for nothing. I gave up, and we jiggled the cookies back home. We were dripping and getting eaten alive by mosquitos when we got back to our door step. Great... I had not locked the house door already, figuring we would be on our way after delivering the cookies. I jiggled Stevie over to the car, turned it off, jiggled back to the front door, through the front porch, dug for my key in my pocket, went to put the key in the knob, and did not watch in utter frustration as the door just creaked open, mockingly, because it hadn't been shut all the way!

All of this would not have happened the week after being hit with bird poop! And Stevie's swing would not be covered in bird poop at the moment either. The birds out here would not be driving me nuts. And that would not be how I end because I've been on here long enough.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Yup, I'm going to do this. I often write posts of "memories" from that dreaded year of Matt's deployment. You may be sick of them. But, I just have to make sure I remember.

I was just on "that social networking site" and came across a friend's picture album. She's in San Diego right now. One of her pictures was of Point Loma Nazarene University. A gush of memories and emotion flooded back. Matt had been recalled to the Marines. We found this out 3 months into our marriage. Thankfully (but also unfortunately), we were given about 6 months to prepare. We thought that we would move together whereever he'd be stationed, just as happens when in active duty. We had 3 possibilities (Hawaii, North Carolina?, and California). He ended up getting the one I preferred the least...we knew people in Hawaii because that's where he was stationed before, and North Carolina was so much closer to home. California... was just not what we wanted. (In the end, I think we both "enjoyed" it being there.) Well, because being recalled is "temporary," we found out at the last minute that his orders only included him. In a nut shell, I wasn't really allowed to be with him... even though he'd be put on a regular base with regular active duty who lived with their families. We had to scramble to come up with any way we could spend some time together before he shipped out on deployment. Like I said, we were newlyweds, and we were not rolling in dough. Because of his orders, we had to pay for ...everything. I couldn't even stay on base with him (to save money on hotel) because he was put in the barracks with all the single guys. (We cut that corner on my first weekend visit. I did stay in his room with him. We could not afford beyond the plane ticket...and just prayed. But, you didn't hear that rule breaking from me.)

Anyway, we had to pay for flights, food, hotel, rental car (they didn't move his car out...once again because this was considered "temporary"), etc. Matt wasn't to deploy for over 2 months after he got to San Diego, and I wanted to be with him while possible. I called all the military service numbers I had any idea to call (as prepared as I was by the military...cough, cough) to try to figure something out. I called asking for names and locations of any hotels that provide military discounts and was told to look them up online...individually, myself. I spent more time investigating, but even military discounts (which seemed to be rare and not in the right locations) were not going to cut it. I was stumped. There was no way I could visit my husband after that weekend in November due to financial limitations. I was devastated.

When I was about at the lowest during this time, the blessings began to pour in. A dear family we've known for years went through a similar time when they were young newlyweds, and they called thinking about me. They ended up providing us with the blessing of some funds. We were also able to connect with a couple living out there who my parents and landlord knew. They were able to hook us up with a wonderful church. Grappling for reasonable accomodations, I decided, why not call the campus where the church is and see if there is any way we can stay there? It would still be a little drive for Matt to get back to base each day, but we needed a rental car anyway, and it was worth it to us just to be together.

So, I called Point Loma. I believe I ended up talking with a student, possibly alumni (but she was young). I explained our situation and hoped for the best. I don't remember exactly what she said except that they had an alumni house with rooms, but it was only reserved for alumni. She asked if I could hold while she talked with someone about making an exception. I'm telling you, this girl was an angel. And, I don't usually use that word to describe a person. She just kept saying, "I want to help. Let me see what I can do." By the end of the call, I had found out they would make the exception for us and we could be provided a room for 5 nights. They were really sorry, but that's all they could give us because it was booked full after that time with alumni vacationers. We then spent the remainder of our time together at the on base hotel. The amount we were able to "save" staying at the house was nothing short of a miracle. If I remember right, the charge for staying there was like $30 a night. This is in San Diego...and I was looking at the high hotel costs. I cried over the phone. After a billion phone calls looking for some kind of help...any kind of help, this dear girl went above and beyond for us. I wish I remembered her name to send her a note. This is the girl you want representing your Christian college! Anyway, this $30/night wasn't for some sleasy motel. It was like a little inn. It was homey and simple but had air conditioning, cable tv, and internet...which was just what I needed to occupy some time while Matt was working. We had one bathroom to share between all of the rooms, but there was only 1 other couple there one night. No biggie at all. The campus was really pretty, but for some reason, we never took a full tour. I think we were busy going to beaches and out on dates around the area when Matt came home from work. Even the church had big windows with a beautiful view. And, the people there were so kind. Most importantly, I was able to spend those days and nights leading up to my husband's deployment with him. It was truly a gift I am forever grateful for. Point Loma Nazarene University will always hold a special place in my heart! If one of my children go "far away" to college, I wouldn't mind if that one was chosen. It would be really special to visit there again.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Stevie Sweeps

Some of Stevie's hobbies are sweeping, swiffering, and mopping. I don't know what it is about those long-handled things, but he's in love. And, where there's a will, there's a way. This is where I store such things:

Our laundry room is just a converted closet in a somewhat narrow hallway. He pulls the broom or swiffer or mop out...the end hits the wall across the hallway...and he somehow manages to manuever it around (he's apparently good with angles) to get it out in the open in the dining room. Here, he is sweeping in the dining room. I caught him in the act today.

I'm just hoping he'll enjoy doing these things when he's older! He'll be a great helper with all of these hardwood floors!

Friday, July 2, 2010

What a Week!

This week has been really busy.

*Matt's still taking his class, and it's been hard on us all but mostly on Matt. It's not so easy to have class from 6-9:30 3 week nights, and then have to be up between 3:30 and 4:30 in the morning for work...and try to squeeze in homework, have family time, eat, sleep...oh, and that little move we did. Tonight, he needs to get fitted for a tux for his friend's wedding that is ...well, really soon. I hope he doesn't "get in trouble" for being so late. He just hasn't had a moment to breathe. Seriously, my man needs a vacation. Thankfully, he's done with class next week. Wahoo! Or something.

*I tried surprising Matt at work one day during his lunch. Because he's an "early worker," his lunch is early. I had to forgo Stevie's morning nap in order to make this happen. Things just weren't going right that morning. I tried to print a picture Matt had never seen yet of him and Stevie on Father's Day, and we had run out of colored ink. I called my parents to see if I could swing by there first and use their printer. They also had run out of colored ink. I stopped in the gas station to pick up his favorite candy bar, and was blocked in by a gas truck filling up the tanks. I took a wrong turn and thought I'd be lost forever. The clock ticked on. Then I got myself headed in the right direction and thought I passed his work somehow (which baffled me) because the numbers started going the other direction. I called Matt. He still had a few minutes of lunch left, which was miraculous. He was really surprised, and we were relieved to have made it. Stevie had the multi-colored funky looking picture and candy bar in his lap for Daddy. Well, we tried. And, the rest of the day...we knew Stevie hadn't gotten his nap in. :)

*I finished my chore schedule. Since we moved, my last one needed revamping. There's something within me that really likes organization to a "t"...but it just doesn't always come out.

*I was pooped on walking Stevie to the post office a couple days ago. At least it wasn't on Stevie. Oh, yes, it was bird poop. It was pretty gross. At least it landed on my arm. I used some weeds from the yard of the crime scene to wipe it off. I hope the owners don't mind. I need to bring baby wipes from now on apparently, some hand sanitizer...and maybe an umbrella. But, then I might have to throw salt over my shoulder if I bring the umbrella....or something like that...if I believed in that stuff. I think we'll stick to the other side of the street where I haven't gotten pooped on. You try something new, and that's what happens.

*On a wonderfully, positive note: I became an aunt again yesterday! I have 8 nieces and nephews on my side and one nephew (with another baby coming soon) on Matt's side. I was once again invited by Pete and Laurel to the delivery. (Remember 2 years ago? My mom volunteered to get the balloons this year. Thanks, Mom. It's harder to swamp jump with Stevie in my arms.) Why I didn't go into nursing...I don't know. Yes, I do. I would probably only like to be a labor and delivery nurse, and there's all the training and clinicals in the other areas I wouldn't enjoy as much. That's probably why I didn't. Anyway, I made it literally in the nick of time. Laurel had started pushing, and Luke had already been barreling his way out. I mean it...he barrelled! (She was recorded as checking in (umm, checking in to the hospital) at 3:25 and he was born at 3:36. 11 minutes. Barrelled. Faster than a speeding bullet, he is. And Laurel, well, she's my hero! (Next time, she may need to spend her last month at the she doesn't have her baby on the kitchen floor like my other sister in law. I'll have to ask if quick deliveries are a blessing or not!) I wasn't prepared quite yet with the camera out, considering how late I got I missed getting those first few pictures. But, that's ok. He's a cutie and healthy 7 pound baby, and Laurel's doing well! I was privileged to be there the last few moments. There is nothing more miraculous than the birth of a baby. Nothing. To me at least. Seriously, gets me all choked up. I cried after he was born (though still a little flustered and shocked since I just got there)...and after Annabeth was born too. Let's face it, a good "Baby Story" on tv (ohh, and the adoption stories) can make me cry too! You can ask Matt about that. He laughs. When he's a mom, he'll understand. But anyway, being there for the experience, there really isn't anything more special. I can't wait to have another baby!

*I've been helping the grandparents out with the grandbabies during the week (I'm usually helping at least one day a week), especially with Annabeth while her parents were busy delivering her baby brother. I asked her this morning about Luke. (Don't you love his name...Luke Daniel?). She told me, "Matt held him." (Referring to our cousin Matt, Megan's husband...not my Matt...he hasn't seen him yet.) And, "I held him at the post office." I said, "Ohh, you mean the hospital. You held him at the hospital." "Yeah, the hops-pital. (Something, something) post office." "Ok." Then she went on to yell for the dog and "whistle" (her 2 year old version of the whistle, which is adorable and hilarious all in one).

*Now, we'll move into a busy holiday weekend with baby visits, tux fittings, a few errands, homework for Matt, homework for Matt, and more homework, and a trip to Camp on Sunday...possibly Monday too. Oh, I remember Pete got pooped on by a bird at camp a long time ago. I suppose that's another story. Oh, and that time the superintendent's son and I tried to help Pete, literally, escape from children's church at camp. I suppose that's another story too. I miss going to camp, but at least we're able to go for a day or two.