Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 17

We've been on the go around here lately.
You know, what with my weekend starting at noon on Friday and extended through Tuesday morning, we have a lot of living to cram into the other few days.

Of course there was Taco Tuesday. And Thai on Wednesday during Awanas.
No wonder the mirror was telling me that today is Fat Friday.

Yesterday after Derek was finished with preschool, we headed straight over to an outlet mall about 30 minutes from here. Josh needed a new pair of running shoes that would be more suited to the rough terrain at the base.
Naturally, while I was there I needed to hit all the other stores as well.


I have since renewed my decision: Zero Shopping is better than Shopping with Children.

Don't put your mouth on the mirror. 
Come out of that rack of clothes. 
Leave the mannequin alone. 
Indoor voices!
But we were JUST in the bathroom 5 minutes ago, why didn't you poop then?
The drinks are in the car. Be patient. 
No you may not have those. 
Please do not point at people, you can ask your questions later.

And that was just 5 minutes in one store.
Frankly, I'm sick of my own voice by the time we're halfway done. 

Once we made it home, we were all three tired and cranky. I was looking forward to relaxing in the evening, and putting Josh's box together so we could ship him his shoes and a few other things he needed. 

Then I checked my e-mail and remembered that 1) I forgot to pick up the snack that I signed up to bring to Bible study in the morning, and 2) Josh had sent me an e-mail with another item that he needed.
So at 7pm we got back in the van and headed to The Wal -Marts to get those two things. 

It did nothing to improve my mood. 

This morning we rushed around getting ready early so that we could swing by the post office and mail the box before going to Bible study. 

The two things with which I associate my worst moments as a parent are commercial airplanes and the post office.
So Joshua darling, please do not expect a plethora of packages in your future. I will do my best.

Today went fairly smoothly, but only because I was willing to go about my day with a pony tail.
Yes, I sacrificed my hair drying time to go to the post office at 9:30am, because the other option of going at noon did not appeal to me. You do not want to be at the post office with everyone else on their lunch break errands.

Or at least I don't.

This afternoon, I got the call that my friend Katie was in labor, so the kids and I ran over to her place to stay with her two boys while she got them a little sister.
I do love a new baby.

Especially one who doesn't live at my house.
I can't wait to get my hands on her!

A few weeks ago, I took some pictures for Katie of her cute preggo belly. She's one of those annoyingly adorable pregnant women.

Because I was not an adorable pregnant lady, and since she's in the hospital right now and can't stop me, I'm just going to go ahead and show you some.

See? She's obnoxious.
(Congrats my friend! So glad you've got your little girl!)

I've been terrible at taking pictures around here lately, but here are a few of Miss Alex in a new dress.

This one makes me laugh-- she wanted to be sure that her jewelry was showing. ;)
She is such a girl.

And she is also still awake at 9:30 because it is thundering out.

Oy vey.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 15

It's Wednesday Hodgepodge Time!

I've been out of the hodgepodge game for a couple of weeks, but I'm jumping back in today.
Here's the lowdown-- Joyce asks the questions, we supply the answers.

If that's too complicated for you, then you should consider getting some more education instead of reading my blog.

1. It is officially fall here in North America...I realize not everyone who participates in the Hodgepodge lives in North America but if you do, what's your favorite memory of Summer 2011? If you're not in North America, what's your favorite memory of the season just ending on your side of the world?

It's fall? Tell that to 85 degrees with 1,000% humidity. 

(Yes, I know that's mathematically impossible. But you should see my hair.)

I think my favorite memories from this summer are the times we spent at the pool as a family. We know that we will not always live in a neighborhood with a community pool, so I think that we relish it even more.

2. Your favorite nut? You know I mean the edible kind, right?

The kind that's hidden in the middle of my Almond Joy.

(I suppose that would make it an almond.)

3. What activity puts your sense of balance to the test?
Getting out of bed in the morning. It's stressful, but it has to be done.

4. How would you describe your sense of humor?

Sarcastic with a splash of cruel. 

5. September 28th is National Ask a Stupid Question Day...what's your stupid question?

Josh, can you come home now?

6. Roller skates~hula hoop~jump rope...which activity would you most enjoy? Yes, you have to choose.

I have a weighted hula hoop that I use occasionally when I'm watching TV. One of these days I'm just going to hula my love-handles away. 

Stay tuned for when that actually happens. 

7. What's your most sentimental possession?

I've been thinking about this for a while.
I got nothin'.

I'm not a very sentimental person to start with, and I don't own any family heirlooms or anything very valuable.
Though if we keep this TV any longer, it might become vintage.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
This morning I went with my good friend Ashley to her 20-week ultrasound appointment. Her hubby is away at an Air Force school for 6 months, so I got the honor of being with her to hear the big news! (I wont say what she's having since she hasn't had time to share with all her friends & family yet.)
Other than making a few inappropriate jokes about how we looked like partners and that I was going to be taken as the man of the relationship, I was on my best behavior. 
It was the same room that I was in when we found out that we were having our little guy. Fun times. 
Congrats Thomas family on a precious baby ______!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 13

Mondays around here are kind of like an extension of the weekend. We don't typically have anything scheduled, so we linger in our pj's for a good part of the morning.

Did I also mention that our weekends start around noon on Friday? Yeah. We don't have anything scheduled after noon on Fridays either.

It's a good life.
Only I need someone over the age of 6 to enjoy it with.

We were able to skype with Josh again today. It's great for the kids to be able to see and interact with him. I love being able to talk with him, too, though it seems neither of us have much of interest to share.
He mentioned today that his days are almost exactly alike, so he warned me that his end of the conversation is probably going to be a little dry.

Turns out I have the same problem. Most of my days revolve around three meals and lots of potty breaks.

And some of this, of course--

Excitement around here includes Derek peeing his pants in the TJ Maxx.

(I just threw his undies away and made him go commando, because I wasn't finished shopping yet. The replacement cost for the underwear will be taken out of his college fund. This is the real world. There are no accidents.)

Oh, and I bought something new that needed to be hung on the wall and I did it all by myself! I used a drill for the first time. No one was harmed.
Also, I believe I did not disturb the structural integrity of the house.

I didn't even forget to take out the garbage on trash day! I'm totally on a roll.

Back to our conversations...
There's also a lot Josh can't talk about over the internet, and quite a bit that he can't tell me, ever.
(This takes some getting used to! As wives we want to know everything, even though it has nothing to do with us. It makes me think it must be something really juicy if he can't tell.)

Usually we chat for about 20 minutes, with the internet dropping the call about every 5 minutes. A little frustrating at times, but we really are just grateful that we can chat-- quirks and all.

I've been celebrating from a distance with a lot of friends who are having their reunions this week. Once our guys got established over in Afghanistan, the T-Bolts were able to return to Idaho. It is wonderful to see the families back together, but it's also been a little emotional to watch the redeployment process from a distance over Facebook.

I see the disappointment when the jets get delayed, which always, always happens.
One friend, after finding out her husband was not going to return that day, posted that she was going to bed alone for night 205.

When I try to think about what I will be feeling when we're approaching Day 200, I do feel a little teary.

(The 180 days I allude to is not really very accurate, since that doesn't include travel time. 200 is probably a lot closer to the mark.)

So I pulled out the calendar and started writing in all the things I have planned for the next long while. October is filling up with a visit from my good friend Laura and her 3 kiddos in the first week. Then I'll be making a little trek up to DC to reunite with some of my college roommates in the middle of the month. Finally at the end of October, another good friend, Jen, will be in town for a week.

Sometime in mid-November I will head up to Michigan to spend the holiday season with our family. There will be plenty of picking on Pat the Bunny, having fun with cousins, and live-in babysitters.
Those weeks will be sure to fly by!

After that, well, we'll take it as it comes.

And I have a feeling it might look something like this--

And that's just fine.
Like I said, it's a good life!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 11

Another weekend.

Someone asked me yesterday what my plans were. I had to think for a minute before coming up with Alex's Saturday morning dance class.
That was it.
I almost included the DVR, Words with Friends, and eating from boredom on the list, but I was afraid that might come across as a tad pathetic.

But it isn't turning out so bad, after all.

When I woke up this morning, the first thought that went through my mind was My husband is my hero. 

You might assume that I was picturing him climbing into his jet for a mission over the mountains of Afghanistan, or considering that he, along with the rest of the men and women in the squadron, will work 7 days a week for the next 6 months without complaint.
(Bad news, the Air Force does not pay overtime.)
Many of the guys are giving up regular home-cooked meals in exchange for an endless supply of cafeteria food.

(Of course, since cafeteria food is far better than the stuff I serve around here, this is actually an improvement for my husband's palate.)

But no, those were not the things I was thinking of when I awoke.

I was thinking about how, before he left, Josh taught Alex to navigate the DVR menu to turn on a kids' program by herself. He also taught her to remind her brother to go potty before starting the show, and perhaps most sweetly, to slip into momma's room and turn on the bathroom fan for background noise and silently shut her door.

Thanks to Josh, I can claim Saturday mornings as my day to sleep in. My husband knows how to love me well.

And for that, my hero, I salute you!


Later this afternoon, I commemorated the fifth fortnight since last mopping my kitchen floor by actually mopping my kitchen floor.
Felt good.
I might have to increase the frequency of that task. I was amazed at how many things I thought were flaws in the tiling that were...not.

Then I caught up with our good friends who've been out of town for a long time over yummy pizza with a side of whiny children.
Can't win 'em all.

Josh and I missed each other today on the computer, so hopefully we'll have a chance to talk tomorrow.

In my head I know that his schedule is upredictable and his internet access is even more unpredictable. But when I don't hear from him by what I feel is a reasonable time, there is a small part of me that entertains the thought that something bad has happened. I'll check the news, pretending to myself that I was going to do that anyway.
It's the same concern that makes my stomach drop a little when I hear a car door close in front of the house, or when the UPS man rings the doorbell.

I wish the military method of delivering bad news was something other than a knock on the door. It takes all the fun out of package delivery.

But most of the time those thoughts are hidden far away, and I probably wont realize that I've been carrying them around with me until he's home and I breathe a big sigh of relief.

I'll let you know in March.


This post was brought to you in part by Children Learning The Difference Between "Mom, You're Number 1 In My Book!" vs "Mom, You Can Take These Pancakes And Shove It."

(She was so little! I want my baby back!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 9

Day 9 is almost gone, so I'm going to post quickly and get into bed.

This morning got off to a great start when we were able to Skype with Daddy first thing after getting out of bed.

This was the first time we've been able to connect since he's been in country, so it was a bit of a relief just to know that we can get a good enough internet connection to make it happen. He has to Skype from work for now, because the other place with internet is too slow. There's not much for privacy as other guys are in and out of the room, but I'll take it!

(And no, Derek didn't sleep in his Cubbies vest, he had to try it on for Daddy.)

Josh, if the whole fighter-pilot thing isn't working out anymore, you'd look really hot behind the drive-thru window!

But you probably couldn't wear your holster anymore.

Then Derek had preschool, Alex had college, and this evening I had a spouses' coffee.

Remember? No coffee. Light dinner, chatting, and squadron business.
My friend shared her sitter with me, and it was a nice break from being with the littles 24-7.

I actually dried my hair today, so I thought that was deserving of a photo.
(You know, like with a hair dryer and not just the 97% humidity air.)

My apologies for the weird smirk. It's hard to smile naturally when you're taking your own picture in the mirror.
And I think I've figured out why none of the pics I take in the mirror are very clear.

Good news-- a little Windex should solve the problem.

Sleepy mama, short post.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 8

Some of my favorite moments as a parent come when I overhear conversations between my kids.

Now, I'm not talking about the ones where my oldest tells her brother that if he doesn't do it her way, then she'll never play with him again. Those I don't count among my favorite moments.
Nor the copious amounts of conversations that include the terms booty, poop, and eyeball.

Yes, eyeball.
I can't say why exactly, but that is akin to a potty word with its level of hilarity around here.

But sometimes there are funny ones, and sometimes there are sweet ones.

The other day we were driving in the car, and Derek was talking about something that we used to do.
But he pronounced it "loosed to" instead of used to.

This was more than my Type A eldest could handle without correction, so she very kindly said to him, "No Derek, it's not luh-luh-loosed to, it's nuh-nuh-noosed to!"

Talk about the blind leading the blind. 

Tonight after Awanas I heard this particularly sweet one...

Derek: Awex, did you know God loves us all the time? Even when we do somefing weally bad? Even he loves us then. 
Alex: Yep. And Jesus loves us so much that he died on the cross for us so we can go to heaven! Do you want to go to heaven? All you have to do it believe in him.
Derek: I do!
This is something we talk about with our kids all the time, because there is nothing more important to Josh and me than that they understand their purpose in this world.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7
6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

To hear them talking about God to each other with their simple faith touches my heart.
And I am so, so grateful for the Awanas volunteers who give up their Wednesday evenings for 9 months of the year to invest in my kids in such a invaluable way.

Derek could not stop talking tonight about how he had received his very own Cubbies bag.
I believe it might qualify as the funnest day ever. (Which we all know doesn't really mean much.)

So I'm going to post this picture of me and my little man after Cubbies, but only after the following disclaimer--

1) The camera adds ten pounds.
2) The humidity is, prepare yourselves, 97%. That's ninety-seven. As in, almost 100%.
3) I had just finished eating a free steak dinner at the Outback, and if I wasn't greasy to start with, the Bloomin' Onion didn't help.
4) My family's hair genes are nothing to get excited about. (holla, mom and dad)
5) Do you know how fierce hippos are? I was about to be consumed. 

Now we can go ahead and see it...

Thing 2 melts my heart with his smooshy little face.

And even more when he comes out of the bathroom with his shirt tucked into his undies.

I'd show you some shots of Thing 1, but she wasn't in the mood to be photographed.

We all have our days.

It's now 11:15pm and I'm trying to stay awake a little longer in hopes that I can catch Josh to skype as his day begins.
The time difference is 8 and a half hours.
Now, I know that I'm no mathematical genius, nor is science my specialty. But how does that half hour increment occur?
Somebody 'splain it to me, I am simple minded.

My mom probably sent me to preschool on a bus or something.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 7

Also known as Taco Tuesday.

Today was a preschool day for the little man. This calls for all sorts of excitement, pomp, and circumstance.
 Only it was quite rainy, so it was a bit of a dreary circumstance. 

Alex and I found our usual corner to work in.

Excuse me for just a moment, while I address what is certain to be a concern of Pat the Bunny's.

(Pat the Bunny is my mother in law for those of you who are new around these parts.)

PtB, I do have regulation first grade lined paper for her. I forgot it at home, so we were making due with regular notebook paper. Cease and desist with having your heart attack.

(I have to throw her a bone every once in a while. She's pretty sure that Alex is going to be permanently damaged by this homeschooling adventure. Plus, if you remember her affinity for salt, it probably wouldn't take much more than a notebook paper miscue to actually give her a heart attack.)

Hi PtB! Are you ready for my constant abuse yet? Just wait till we make it up to Michigan!

Speaking of homeschooling, so far things are going well. I guess I don't really have anything to compare it to, but at least Alex doesn't complain about wanting to be at school, or give me a hard time when it's time to work. She definitely prefers hands-on activities and crafts, so I try to incorporate them as often as possible. We play sight-word B-I-N-G-O, and make things based on the read-aloud we're reading through.
Today we finished Gooney Bird Greene, by Lois Lowry. It was a cute story if you have kids in the 6-9 range.

So far, I am really glad that we decided to homeschool this year. The flexibility has been great. If I had to get her in bed at 7 each night like last year, I would have to say no to a lot more outings and fun events. And we aren't starting our days with "hurry up" arguments, and trying to squeeze in just a little bit of fun in the hour between homework and dinner/bath/bedtime.
So far, no regrets.

She finished her first reader today. She's read a story out of it for each school day, and it was a big deal to her to have finished such a long book.

Oh, and when we were leaving the house and I told her to get her black shoes on, I assumed we were on the same page. I didn't notice till we were already at the college, that we were definitely not on the same page.

Not cool.

If you were wondering how I'm doing without my tiny infant baby toddler being right beside me, well, I am faring okay.
This is the view from the window by our table in the college cafeteria.

Do you see that little glimpse of blue through the trees?

Here let me help--

There he is!

If he needs I need a hug I can run really fast to get to him.

We had lunch at a friend's house after school and then after naps "quiet" time we hit up Taco Tuesday.
(The quiet is in quotation marks for a reason. It's been lacking its primary quality of quietness lately.So I suppose I should just start calling it time.)

Here is our family picture. See me, Josh? I'm there on the right!

And here is the salsa. Mmmmmmmm.

I ordered 4 chicken soft tacos. 1.5 for me, 1.5 for Alex, 1 for Derek, and all the chips & salsa you can eat. Our total was $4 something.
Love me some Taco Tuesday.

I haven't heard from Josh in two days, as he's been flying from Spain to somewhere else, and then on to Afghanistan.

Tomorrow morning at 5am will mark one week from when we watched him fly off. 
I think I shall commemorate the anniversary by continuing to sleep for another three hours. 
Actually, I'm certain that's how I'll commemorate it.

But there is definitely a feeling that something is missing around here. Alex is still mopey from time to time, and Derek asked me if Daddy was coming home today. 

Overall, though, I'd say this week has really been as good as I could have hoped for transition-wise. 
I thank all of you who have kept us in your thoughts and prayers!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 6

Today was a stay-in-jammies, lounge around kind of day. Other than getting school done for Alex, we didn't have anything on our agenda.

I love days like this, but around 5pm it starts to backfire.
Everyone gets a little stir-crazy, the whining intensifies, and the need to get out becomes obvious.

Since I had a feeling that would be the case, I'd made plans to walk to the park with friends in the evening and burn off some energy.

But sometimes the effort of getting out of the house becomes more work than it's worth.

We all needed to get dressed (remember? Jammies!), but since I still haven't gone through the kids' closets, I found myself pulling things out of drawers left and right and having an especially hard time finding pants for Derek.
(I know I have some bigger sizes stored away-- I should probably make that a priority this week.)
I finally got him in some clothes and realize that last years' tennis shoes were cramping his toes. So we changed the shoes and were finally ready to walk out the door.

But first I had to call my friend to let her know we were ready.

I couldn't find the phone.

No problem, I just hit the "page" button to find it.
Well as it would happen, the children were both standing near the headset when the phone started beeping.
And it is also true that my children have a healthy fear of beeping noises-- they assume any beeping is a smoke detector indicating they are about to be consumed with fire.

So the phone beeped right near them and they freaked out. So much so that Derek peed in the pants it just took me 15 minutes to find.

So we started over again. And finally made it outside, albeit in pants that were much too short.

Apparently he hadn't gotten it all out in his pants.

 Can I just say this might be my favorite part about having a boy? Much less complicated.
And he has the cutest tushie as well.

I know Josh wants pictures of me, but since I hadn't showered or taken any other measures to make myself presentable-- this is the best I can do.

See me on the left? I'm waving.

And Derek wanted to tell Daddy all his Cubbies verses. So, you're welcome for that Josh. ;)
He got a little camera shy and needed some help...

Sorry Day 6 post is a little lame, but just think, if I hadn't scared my kid so much that he wet himself, I wouldn't have had anything to post about.

See? Glass half full!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 5

Today Alex and I were doing some school.

Yes, school on a Sunday.

Because let's face it, there is not much of a distinction in our world right now between weekday and weekend.
A strange phenomenon occurs when Josh is away in which I kind of dread the weekend. Without the weekday routine, the hours are sometimes very long.
Folks are busy with family stuff, and my facebook friends take forever to play their turn in Words with Friends.

Don't they know I'm just sitting there, clicking to see who's played?
The nerve of them!

Enter, school.
Today Alex's creative writing assignment was to recreate the old nursery rhyme One, Two, Buckle my Shoe. She was to leave the numbers in place and make up a new rhyme for each line.
She loves doing this kind of stuff, so she was all about it.

Here's what we ended up with:

Fun, cute, yadda yadda.
I really had to do some quick talking to get her to let go of her first idea for the "five, six" line.

She wanted Five, Six, have some dicks.
Or maybe she was envisioning dix?

 Either way, I have to admit that my adult-conversation-deprived self laughed a little.

Then, after lunch, I had the opportunity to act like an adolescent again.
While my little monkeys were eating, they were having a conversation about what Derek's toy monkey had done. They made up a story about how naughty it was being, and made some plans to punish said monkey after lunch.
When they were finished eating, Alex ran off to do something in her room.

Derek, with a pouty face and hands on his hips, yelled across the house: "Awex! I thought we were going to spank my monkey!"

Hee hee.

If you don't get why that's funny, then you are a better person than I am.
And I applaud you.

And now I'm off to do about a thousand sit ups or something to counteract the fact that friends have been giving me thoughtful care packages.

Which have contained these:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 4

I got an e-mail from Josh around 3:30pm today asking where his Day 4 post was.

Dude. At 3:30, we're still making Day 4 happen.

In his defense, he is dealing with a time change.
He is still en route to his final destination, which starts with an A and sounds like a sneeze.
His jet broke and he had to spend an extra couple days here:

Life's tough, eh?

I believe it's up and running again, so he'll soon be sending pictures from a sandier location.

Back to Day 4.
When I looked out the window this morning, I noticed our mailbox was laying on the ground.


Driving Alex to dance class, I saw that mine was not the only one. 
It would appear that there have been punks in the 'hood.

Don't worry, I took some tools out there and showed them punks that they can't keep me from getting my junk mail and bills.


Maybe I should have left it on the ground...


Early this morning, the last of the Chiefs flew out. My friend Amy's husband was among them. So we made plans to stay busy to keep her mind off it and to make the day special for her kiddos.

We started with Happy Meals for lunch, in which the kids got to pick whatever they wanted to drink. Do we live on edge or what?
Derek wanted orange soda. Alex has a more refined palate, and requested sweet tea.

Before I had kids, I never pictured myself as being the mom who would let her 4 and 6 year olds stuff their faces full of french fries and wash them down with sugary caffeinated drinks.

Old me was wrong.
There is a time for everything, is there not?

(And in my book, it's always time for french fries.)

After lunch we headed to the "train park" again for another ride with our friends.

(Derek's putting the moves on Emily in the backseat.)

And another round of this.

Sorry, Dads. The kids love you and miss you, but when there are happy meals, trains, and cotton candy involved, missing you gets pushed to the background.
And that's kind of the point.


And after. Here is 'ol Bluebeard himself.

Arrrgh, Matey.


So have you ever been picking up after your kids and had your hands so full that you just stuck your son's fireman's hat on your head so you could carry a few more things?

Me either.
Just asking.

But this was taken to please my husband who left this comment on my last post--

More pictures of you!


 Until the kids figure out how to take pictures, you might be stuck with me in a mirror with headgear.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 3

So my friend, also named Erin, has been labeling all of her blog posts by the number of days that her husband has been in Iraq. (She's on Day 163-- getting close!)

I'm totally stealing her idea and using the day count as my titles while Josh is gone.
Thinking up titles for posts is often the hardest part of blogging for me, so I'll consider this something to write in the "pros" column for deployment.

As you might guess, that column is very short.

It consists primarily of:
-Low expectations for mealtimes
-Less laundry
-Cleaner bathrooms
And now:
- Blog Post Titles

I'm trying to be a "glass half-full" kind of girl, can you tell??

Josh wants lots of posts and pictures while he's away, so I'm going to do my best. That means you are in for a plethora of nothingness, my friends.

A plethora.

I was hoping to wallow in self-pity for a few days after he left, but my schedule just wouldn't allow it. On Wednesday night the kids had Awanas so I met some girlfriends for dinner at a Mexican place we frequent.
 I could drink their salsa right from the jar. It's the best part of the meal, so I try to order just one a-la-carte enchilada to save room for more salsa.
I'm sure the waiter hates me.

But seriously, you should see the salsa-to-chip ratio I'm able to attain. You can't even tell there's a chip under there.

Plus they have 99-cent Taco Tuesday. I think I'm going to take the kids every Tuesday. We can have dinner for three bucks.
Who's with me??

Yesterday Derek had preschool & Alex had college so again I didn't have time for wallowing.

(Alex now tells people that she goes to college, since we do some of her homeschooling there while D's on the bus.)

In the evening, they were showing a free movie on base so I took the kids.

I assumed it was at the theater, but when I arrived to an empty parking lot I figured out I was wrong.
We found the right location-- in the ballroom of the club. They had mats up front for the kids.

It got a little crazy toward the end, as some of the kids were losing interest in the movie and kept standing up in front of the projector. Then other kids realized that the could make hand shadows on the screen. Then other kids began to run around the room like hooligans. 

Have you ever felt the desire to spank other peoples' children?

Me neither...I was just asking.

Alex has been having a rough time going to sleep at night. We haven't had a tear-free night yet. The good news is that she's talking a lot about how she feels during the day, and I think it's starting to get a little easier for her.

Derek, on the other hand, still thinks every day is the funnest day ever. And if nothing exciting is happening, he's pretty sure tomorrow will be the funnest day ever.

So yesterday the high was 91 degrees, and today's high is in the 60's! It's not supposed to stay that way, but it was a good reminder that I should probably go through the kids' closets and see what we have for fall clothing.
Here are Thing 1 and Thing 2 ready to leave for my women's Bible study this morning.

I told them to act like they liked each other and this is what I get.

Then they couldn't stop giggling.

Why yes, astute reader, those would be the same shorts Derek was wearing yesterday. If that bothers you, you don't even want to know how long I go in between washing my jeans.

 (I've been overusing italics in this post but I just don't want to stop.)

 And don't ask about the rest of his outfit. I have no defense, but I think he's pretty much adorable in everything he wears.

Tiny infant baby toddlers are just like that, you know.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 1

It's official.
And it officially stinks.

Josh flew out this morning.

I'm hoping that homeschooling, traveling, and the holidays will make the time fly until we get him back.

Monday night the kids helped Josh make the final preparations.

I'm not sure why the guys all feel it necessary to shave their heads and grow a mustache when they deploy.

Or in my husband's case, a pedostache.
(Also known as Chester)

But in any case, we have an agreement that hair on the head will be regrown and hair on the upper lip removed prior to our reunion.

So. Last night.
Josh had to take a sleeping pill and be in bed in the early evening to be ready for a 3am showtime.

This of course meant that I would be putting the kids to bed on my own.
No problem, I do it all the time.

Plus, if I were rusty at all, it would be a good time to get into a rhythm.
Unless they figure out how to put themselves to bed in the very near future, I'm kind of stuck with it for the next 180-ish nights.

But it turned out to be far more difficult than I could have imagined.
Derek went down easily like he always does.

But my poor baby girl. She laid in bed and just sobbed. She didn't want her daddy to leave and there wasn't a thing I could do for her.
I held her and let her cry.
Cried with her.

It was just one of those moments as a parent when you just don't know the right thing to do or say.

She wanted nothing to do with the reasons and justifications of why he must go.
And that's okay. At age six you can afford to be a little selfish from time to time.

The storm eventually passed and I know that we will get into a routine and she will be fine in the months to come. It was just a rough moment, and I'm glad for his sake that Josh was asleep.

This morning we all dragged out of bed and were out the door by 0250.
Mama no like.

When we got to the squadron we prayed together in the back of the van and had our more extended goodbyes.

Then Josh went in to brief for the flight.
We got one last hug as he was stepping to the jet.

Mmmm. I think I've made it clear that my man in a flight suit just does something for me.
But add a G-suit and harness, and, well...
I'm thinking I need to channel that energy elsewhere for the next 6 months.
Quick, Josh! Grow the mustache! The feelings will dissipate.

Then the families jumped on a crew bus and headed to the end of the runway to watch the jets take off.

Here is Josh's jet in the chalks.

There he goes! (That's him in the front seat.)

And here's a poor quality video of his takeoff, which resembles more of a ball of light going up into the sky.

It was around 6am when we got home, so we all headed back to bed for a few more hours of sleep.
I plan to indulge in a day or two of moping before moving on.

He has shoes in the shoe bin and clothes in the laundry. Once I clean his sink, it will be clean for a long time. Reminders everywhere that part of our family is missing.
But I am so thankful for the internet and the ability to communicate in a way that was unheard of in years past. I'm not sure exactly when we'll hear from him, but once he gets settled we should be able to Skype.

I joked before he left that the day he flew out I would indulge in a whole container of Oreo cookies-- eating just the "stuff", because that's the best part.
So as he was stepping to the jet, my thoughtful husband handed me this baggie.

Love him! He did all the work :)

Thank you all for your kind words and well wishes on my last post, and leading up to this deployment! It really means a lot to have your support and prayers. Thanks for walking this road alongside me.

If anyone is interested in sending Josh a note in the mail, just let me know at eschore@hotmail.com and I will get you his deployed address.

Also, I will do my best to bring back the happy because this place has been crazy depressing as of late. ;)