Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Patience my a$$

Tail end of a deployment, still have no clue where we are going. I mean its not like there is much to do, just moving, buying a home, trying to fit in a trip home, enroll kids in school, transfer mail, transfer doctors, blah blah blah. Piece of cake. Who needs time and any sense of anything whatsoever???? NOT ME

I am such a patient person ;)

Maybe I need to frame this and put it somewhere :)

Love A

Monday, June 27, 2011

Over the hill, the world looks different!!!!

The clock has struck midnight, I am officially 30 years old. After years of worrying, and stressing about it, its finally here. I am here now, what my 20yr old version thought its the crossroad, between fresh-new-hip to ancient-classic-old. :O

I don't feel like an old fart, I don't have any extra wrinkles or white hairs and thank God I didn't magically grow a hairy wart on my nose. I am still the same as I was yesterday, except I have crossed that "over the hill" invisible line. You know the one in which everything moves at warp speed, your back, knee and hips and calcium levels starts to enter your mind. Yeah THAT line!!

You know lots of people set up "30 before 30" lists of things they want to accomplish, kind of like a last hoorrah at trying to cross that line feeling a bit better about where their lives are going.

Considering this birthday has fallen at a tailed of a deployment, unless that list would have included survival without loosing any more sanity or working facial muscles or fork lifting, no way I was going to accomplish anything, and I am okay with that.

See, I am now 30 years old ; I have never owned my own home, I have not traveled nearly enough, I am not a fit size 6, I am not famous, I haven't discovered anything, became a self made millionaire, 401k is about how much I would love to have in my bank account, and I haven't even graduated college for that matter……and now I am going to jump off the nearest bridge.

Where was I going with this again?? Oh yeah, all joking aside, there is a lot of things I don't have or haven't done, but yet I feel extremely blessed and I actually satisfied with everything.

Want me to prove it??

Okay :

I have an amazing husband who has been kicking ass by my side for the past 9 1/2 yrs and counting. My life is so much better because of him, and even though he is 8k miles away, he is just as involved and a reason for my happiness as if he were sitting right next to me.

I have 2 healthy amazing children, who even though drives me insane at all hours, are another gift from God.

I have 2 parents that are still married and in love today as they were 30 years ago. I have learned what love is and how to love from the best example possible. They also drive me nuts, but are so wonderfully amazing, I wouldn't be half the person I am without them. Who would have cooked for me an amazing meal that I love and they don't really care for if they didn't really love me??

I have friends that I consider friends. The good kind that are there for the good and the bad, that will laugh in the good times, and hold you in the bad times without booking.

I have grandparents, cousins, aunts, that even though separated by distance, every time we talk or see each other, is like no time has ever passed. I can call my grandmother anytime to rant and rave and she will listen and cuddle me over the phone.

I have integrity, honesty, and peace of mind. I am healthy, loved and adored. I know the value of a $$$. I have faith.

So, even though it seems like I haven't accomplished much/anything of what society dictates on what you should have by the time you turn 30, I have accomplished even more and have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. If by 30 I have all of this, I cant imagine what all I will have by 40, 50 or even 60.

Now instead of dread, I am actually excited to see what comes next, and that is by far the best gift the universe could have given me: Excitement over turning pre historic ;)

Love A

Friday, June 24, 2011

Home Land 101 :

I didnt become a citizen until I snagged a sweet half blind white boy, married him, gave birth to his children, and became worthy in his mama's eyes. It took me years of planning and finally putting into action that plan. I am a slow planner and it took me 15 years from the time I stepped on US soil to actually become a citizen. But I did it.

No more worrying about Mimi (immigration in case you are not an import). No more checking over your shoulder. I could now vote (although presidential elections has just passed a couple months before), and I could do so much more including getting that shiny blue passport. Oh so pretty. Prettier than the dark green Brazilian one I carried (except that Brazil also switched their passports to blue a couple months after I acquired my new American one, but we wont let bother us). Life was great. Except that really it wasn't.

Becoming a citizen did nothing for me. I didnt feel more American and I didn't feel less Brazilian. I just felt the same. I love both countries because of specific reasons. There are pros and cons to both places.

So without further ado, I am going to share what I love the good and the bad about my home country.

1. Cachaca.

Cachaca is the best alcoholic drink in the world. Its made from sugar cane. Its considered a type of rum. Cacacha is also the base for Caipirinha. One of the best most orgamisc drinks in the world. Its just cachaca, lime and sugar. You are not Brazilian or havent really visited Brazil until you have experienced Caipirinha.
I have drank a lot in my 17 years of legally and illegally drinking and I have never came across a better drink.

2. Brazilian food.

OMG get ready to wet your pants. American food doesn't even compare and what is American food anyways?? Mac and cheese, hot dogs and fried chicken?? Sorry that is an easy win for us. We love our food, are completely foodies and there is a reason for that. Food solves everything for us. I remember my last trip home...I wasnt feeling good my grandmother told me I needed to eat. Never mind I was 5 months pregnant and absolutely nauseous. A nice big plate of food was the answer.

My husband indulged too much on Caipirinha and this hot milk dessert we have. The most assinine combination ever, but a white boy in Brazil doesn't have much self control and common sense. Anyways, he was huffing and puffing and praying to the gods inside the porcelain bowl and my grandmother knocked on the door with a plate of fresh black beans. Because everyone knows there is nothing better on the tummy than a plate of black beans full of pork.

Happy, sad, stressed or feeling joyfull, food is the center of our lives. Most people eat to live, we live to eat.

Its funny looking back now that when we firt moved here we were invited to a bar b q. We were all excited. Brazilian bbq is sirloin meat rubbed with some sea salt and thrown on the grill, drumsticks and thighs seasoned with a mix of garlic and olive oil and spices, and chicken hearts. Our mouth were watering.

We get to our friends house (who are American) and they served hot dogs and burgers. Talk about a disappointment. Days later, my father invited them to a bbq at our house Brazilian style. You could see the drool pooling around their chins. They laughed and said never again they were inviting us to a bbq but that they expected an invitation from us every weekend.

3. The closeness of neighbors. I have been here 16 plus years and I have never and will never get use how people are so reserved and how people live next to their neighbors and dont know them. I truly miss knowing our neighbors and everyone in the street. I grew up playing soccer in the middle of a dirt road while the parents chatted. Someone saw you doing something wrong?? They had every right to pull your ear, give you a pinch and then tell your parents so you could get your other ear pulled and your other arm pinched by your parents. I truly believe its takes a village to raise children and if I ever decide to pack up and go back home to raise my kids, that will be the number reason why I have done it.

4. Ipanema and just the beaches in the general.

Brazilian beaches are a sight to see. Absolutely gorgeous, crystal clear water, and just lots of half naked people around. Whats not to love.

Now for the things I dont love.

I dont love Favelas. Favelas is little run down shacks built by the extreme poor through out the mountains of our beautiful country. Its filled with crime and corruption surrounding the cities. The police goes up the mountains rounds people up, conflicts happen, many lives are lost by lost bullets, and then the next day everything is normal like nothing happened.

That brings me to my number 2 most hateful thing about my home land. The corruption and inflation. The country is absolutely gorgeous, almost completely self sufficient, filled with natural beauty, it could easily be a number 1 country, and yet the corruption is running amok. You can buy off a police officer, senator and president with a little more than a candy bar. You get stopped by a cop for a traffic violation?? Just throw him a couple of bucks and you are on your merry way. It disgusts me when Americans complain about their judicial system. Your system is not broken. Slap your mouths the next time you say that. Yes there are mistakes, its not perfect, none is, but your system is not broken, the one in Brazil is an example of a broken system.

Also the inflation. Here you want that brand new ipad. You can save your money and a couple months later it will cost the same or even less. In Brazil a couple months later it will cost 4 times more. The inflation is killer.

The rudeness of people and the self centered mentality. Its only considered a 3rd world country because we have done that to it. Here people wont throw a cup on the floor. I dont know if its because of manners or because of fines. I think it has to do with manners. A lot of brazilians are not that. They have this mentality of the world revolves around me, bow down to me, I want the most for the less amount of work and I am going to get that, one way or another.

That is why the crime is high (you think I wear my nikes, coach , wedding rings, necklace, or even my earrings when I go home?? You are insane). I have had many cousins getting robbed at the bus stop for a crappy pair of sneakers.

So that is it for now. I hope you now have a better understanding of Brazil and that what I said wont ever deter you from visiting. Do, you will enjoy yourself, just make sure while you are eating that succulent steak, someone could confuse you for a homeless person and you will be good to go :)

Love A

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Paranoia sucks...

I sleep horribly while dh is gone. Every noise, wind rustling leaves, is definitely a sign the boogeyman is coming to get us and therefore I need to sit there staring at the ceiling plotting an escape plan.

Most of the time I go upstairs at around 10pm, brush my teeth, and lay down in bed. I wait for the hubby to call (he usually calls as he is getting into work. Afghanistan is 8:30 hrs ahead of Fl) by reading or messing with my phone. After dh calls, I put my kindle down, turn off my phone, go check on the kids, and get ready for bed.

It's extremely bright in my room because I leave the bathroom or the closet light on and the hallway light on, because everyone knows boogeyman's are afraid of the light. I lay down, adjust all 6 pillows, and get ready to enter dreamland. I wait and wait and wait. Nothing is happening. Then I start worrying : did I lock the door??....did I pay the cable bill??...what is that noise??...I am cold...I am hot...I am thirty....Are the children okay?? (Even though they been sleeping for about 2hrs and I just checked on them something could have totally happened and I would have failed in the number 1 only job I have..To keep the children alive, happy and healthy while my husband is 8k miles away).

Of course after the worry about the kids enters my mind, there is no way I can push it aside. Everything I can push it aside, but not when I worry about the kids. So I get up, yawn for the 10th time, and go check on the kids. Everyone is snoring peacefully and quiet. Since I am already up, I decide to go downstairs and check the doors and drink some water. I do all that and even make a quick stop to make sure the stove is off and so is the crock pot and so is the sink because everyone knows a sink dripping could be fatal in the middle of the night.

The cable bill I decide its not a big deal and file on my to do list tomorrow. As I am climbing up the stair, I check on the smoke alarm because after reading about so many carbon monoxide deaths, I am extra paranoid. The fact that I checked on it 2 days ago doesn't enter my conscience.

One more pit stop to check on the kids because in the last 5 minutes something major could have happened. For a split second I don't hear Juliet snoring, my stomach drops. I rush inside her room stubbing my toe in her crib, holding my hand over her chest and after a couple of seconds of deep breaths from both of us and reassurement that she is still breathing, I slowly tiptoe out of their room. By this time the pain in my toe has reached by brain.

Now I am mad. I stomp back to my room, giving myself a scolding for falling prey to paranoia again, and lay down in bed to finally sleep,I adjust my pillows, but at this point I am so worked up I cant sleep, I cant read either, so I am going to spend this time killing some pigs. I play for what seems like 5 minutes, just enough to calm me down, and finally try to sleep again.

I glance at the clock and its 1am. Oh fuck!!! Now I am only getting 6:30 hrs of sleep if I fall asleep right now, which most likely that wont happen. I put my phone on charge, roll over and decide this time I am going to sleep.

1 sheep jumped over the fence, 2 sheep jumped over the fence....75 sheep jumped over the fence....*OH crap now I got to pee shouldn't have drank that glass of water...90 sheep jumped over the fence.....*Fuck this I am not going to pee. I am going to sleep....*125 sheep jumped over the fence...wait did I miss a sheep?? No I didn't dont worry its okay......*OKay I cant hold anymore...fuck the sheep and fuck the water...I need to go pee.

Back to bed, the last readjustment of the pillows, one last look at the alarm clock to inform me its now 2:30 am. I groan and feel at the point of tears. My children *knock on wood* ,asides from being sick or climbing on my bed somewhere around 5 am and sticking their bony little elbows on my back are great sleepers. They will sleep through the night and not bug me, why cant my conscious do the same thing??

After another half hr of self pity, I fall asleep.

Or at least I think I did because the alarm is going off and its telling me its 7:30 am. Didn't I just wallow in self pity two seconds ago?? How can 5 hrs have possibly passed?? I don't feel rested. I hate being a heavy sleeper.

Oh well. About my day I go, with many pit stops at the coffee machine. By 4pm I am so awake and wired and have peed the 8 cups of coffee I have drank so far.

By 10pm, as I lay down in bed to go to sleep, I have a better chance of understanding the laws of gravity than I do of sleep and the cycle continues on and on and on.

I use to be a great sleeper, I use to be able to sleep through everything without a care in the world. Now I can still do that, except I cant fall asleep. No matter what. Gruesome scenes that would make the latest horror flick seem weak plays through my head. I take this whole " keep the children alive happy and healthy" to the extreme even more during the night.

3 more months and I can go back to snoring and actually getting some good sleep, until then don't laugh at these cold cucumbers as my pathetic attempt to erase some of these dark circles around my eyes or the fact that last night I spent 3 hours scrubbing my kitchen floor ;)

Love A

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy father's day....

Sometime in the late 80's there was a baby boy born. His parent loved him a lot, but it wasnt the right time for them to have a child. They accepted the blessing this child was and held on trying to make the best of it. Not too much later, their relationship fell apart. The mother now pregnant with the 2nd child, packed her up her little boy and went to live in another state closer to family.

The little boy continued on growing while the mother battled her own demons. The next couple of years brought a lot of pain, hurt, and situations that left deep scars on that boys heart. Many tears were shed. Mommy was gone, daddy had been long gone, grandmother did the best she could. Just got to believe it wasnt their intention to hurt such a precious little child.

Mother finished battling her demons, and came back. They packed up and moved to FL with a brand new daddy. Now the broken family had finally become a family of 4. That little boy learned to love this man that his mother loved, and he became someone this little boy could look up to. This man wasnt perfect, but who is?? This was good enough and way better than nothing.

The little boy, grew and grew and grew. He shed many skins that represented years of hurt and pain, and he only kept the colors that he liked, anything else that was tainted was shed. He learned the immense power it takes to forgive and now his ol daddy, got welcomed back in his life.

This little boy, now a man, found a woman to love, and love her, he did, so tender and so well he ended up saving her life.

He was so kind to so many friends and touched so many of their lives, he has no idea how. He is extremely modest and doesn't realize the burst of happiness and sunshine he leaves everywhere he goes.

Towards the end of 2006, he became a father. His first father's day, he wasnt around for his son, he was fighting a greater cause. But dont worry, by the time he got home, he took it up to fatherhood like a pro.

Again in early 2009 he became a father, to a little girl this time. Oh how he loved her. So many times he mentioned to me how he felt his heart was going to burst at the seams with so much love.

This little boy with no father, then a stand in father, has grown up to be one of the best father's around. How he has accomplished something with no example or training leaves me in awe, day after day.

He is truly an amazing man who has done extraordinary with very little.

We love him, I am lucky to call him husband and my children are blessed beyond their imagination to call him dad.

We love you boo. So so much. Thank you doesnt even begin to cover it!!!!

Love A

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"I dont have to do anything??? Sign me up...:)

Weekends are my worst. I have mentioned it many times.

This weekend is a short one. Tomorrow is father's day. We will spend the whole day at the grandparents, one less day for me to come up with something to do with these kids. Always a plus.

So yesterday night, I sat on the computer for my friday night ritual, of a glass of vodka cranberry (the beginning of the deployment was wine. I have upgraded ;) ) , a paper view movie, and my computer on searching for things to do with kids in the area. I have already done museums, splash pads, inflatable lands, the beach, the pool, and if I see another zoo again I might just upgrade to a glass of gasoline.

Since the forecast showed a high of 98 I decided it either had to be water or indoor. I didnt want to do another water play, I just want to check in a spa and get a massage, hot stones, acupuncture, hair cut, or any other form of pampering, but the kids wont agree to that so I am left scrambling to look for another kid friendly place. After lots of searching I found a indoor playground about 30 minutes north of us. To find this place I had to be creative in my search. Just searching indoor playground didnt yeld anything. Searching for playgrounds alone did the trick. Go figure!

Anyways, we left the house bright and early, did all of our errands in record time and with everyone on their best behaviors, just the thought of going to a indoor playground and not getting to play at all makes everyone act like angels.

We got there, ate and let them loose. What a great find this place is. Its called A Latte fun. They have a kick arse cafe with pretty expensive but healthy food, a delicious raspberry iced latte that I indulged in twice, and a huge indoor play area. Everything from a bouncy thing on the floor just like a trampolin, a huge slide that empties into a ball pit, a big section with all kids of ride on toys, puzzles, kitchens, books, dress up area full of costumes, and everything in between. There is every single kind of toy to make a child happy.
For $15 cover fee and some socks, you get to plop down your plump ass into one of the comfy couches that lines the wall and let the children loose. There are so many employees running around making sure every child is happy and have someone to play with that they dont even remember who mommy is.

I sipped on my latte, read almost 60% of my book and had a grand old time. There was a point in which Ju was getting tired and climbed on my lap, this girl that works there, came over talked to her and invited her to play barbies. I have never seen my baby scramble out of my lap so fast. It bought me another hour of bliss.

By the time Ju came back and was getting cranky, it was time to leave, I looked up at the clock and it was 4pm.

Holly crap. We have been here for 4:30 hrs. No wonder she is cranky. Her nap is at 1 or 2pm...lol. The peace and quiet and moments of bliss went too fast, but it was so worth it.

In case you are ever looking for me from now until Sept, if its a saturday, check out A Latte fun. That is where I will be :)

Love A

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Not every keepsake is a keeper!!

My mother keeps everything.

Thank you God I didnt get that trait from her. The only thing I keep is pictures. Anything else I could care less.

Well on my 18th birthday, she tried to hand me a box with my baby teeth, belly button and a piece of my hair. As a young 18 yr old brand new mom, carefully wrapping this stuff in tissue papers, I bet her visions must have been completely different from the way it turned out. She probably thought on my birthday she was going to hand me this keepsake, I was going to Ohh!! and Ahh!!! and we were going to share a moment.

Since I defy normal from the beginning, she handed me the box, not knowing what was inside, I was excited. Oh presents!!!

The next couple seconds were fuzzy, I remember her smile, I remember my smile dropping, dropping the box and just screaming. There was no way to even try to hide it, I was blindsided and hit by shock. What could possibly possess her to save my teeth and give them to me?? That was the absolute last thing I ever wanted in life.

Why couldnt she give me all my baby pictures and family pictures?? No she had to hand me teeth, belly button and a piece of my first hair cut.

What transpired after was a couple of accusations, some more words changing and another dirt pot at the back of the cabinet.

I kept asking for the pictures year after year and she never gave it to me and wasnt going to give me anything else anymore.

Well finally during my 28th Christmas, she kept telling me my present was special, not remembering what the heck I asked for or even if I had wanted anything, I was curious.

She handed me this big box. Inside were a folder full of my school work. While I appreciated it, I could care less to have seen a police car I drew when I was 4. Dont get me wrong, the thought was nice, but I am not that sentimental. I am on some things but not that.
But since it wasn't teeth, hair or gross body parts, I was able to see the gift for what it was, a sweet gesture and I graciously thanked her. I told her it was a very nice thing.

I guess I passed one of her hidden tests, because she hurried it back into the room with a skip in her step and handed me another box. Not expecting anything else I carefully opened. What could this be?? One of my stitches from when I cut my knee at 5 yrs old?? One of the various xrays from when I broke my arm?? Or even worse a piece of my ear that I ripped it out when I was 3?? She was too excited, and instead of her excitement filling me with excitement it filled me with dread.

I stalled, took a couple of seconds, and mentally prepared myself not to scream. I had no desire to act how I did when I was 18 and have another argument or fight. I wanted to enjoy this gift and the rest of our Christmas. Even if it was a piece of my ear. Well okay, if it was a piece of my ear, I could scream and freak out. Anything else, I would suck it up and act graciously.

Thank God it wasnt none of the above. It was my baby book and my pictures, and family pictures from when I was younger. The gift I have been asking for a good 25 years.

You see, there is not a lot of pictures from when I was younger, side effect of having very poor parents and growing up on a 3rd world country. These pictures were very few and rare. I had offered many times to borrow them so I could scan them and keep the copies. She never budged. She held on to them under lock and key.

Finally she gave them to me, and what did I do?? I acted like any mature 28 yr old and freaked out. Why was she handing them to me now when she said I would only get them when she died?? Was she dying?? Did she have a diagnose that she wasnt sharing??

After berating her with questions, and she reassuring me for the last time that no she wasnt dying, that she actually felt fine, and the only reason she was giving them to me, was because she felt it was the right time, and wanted to be able to give it to me, and so forth.

I enjoyed and appreciate it the gift. I looked through every picture and reminisced about my past.

That is to today one of my most prized possessions. I love looking at those pictures, and everything she wrote on my baby book. It brings me back, and I have never felt more loved, reading that baby book, in which my parents wrote in 28 yrs ago. Their fears, dreams and hopes for their baby. I am getting misty eye just writing this.

Anyways, the school papers, I didnt keep. I told her while it was sweet I had no desire to keep, she didnt want them back, and I decided to throw them out. The pictures and baby books I have in a very very special place.

I thought we had come full circle. Oh no!!! When my son and daughter was born, she berated me to keep their belly button, I didn't. I gave it to her and I have no clue if she kept, I also didnt keep their first lock of hair. That to me is creepy with a capital C.

The other day we were talking about how ds is getting older, will be starting to loose his teeth and she mentioned it again that she just cant comprehend why would I not want to save something so special??
We are on such different sides of this issues, its like we live in completely different realms. I am never going to understand her desire to keep it and she is never going to understand my aversion to it.

So I did what any peace keeper would do, I promised her I would give it to her, instead of throwing it in the nearest trash. She actually smiled, graciously accepted and very sweetly said.."One day the kids will thank God they have a sentimental grandmother and they will love receiving this"...

I took a sip of my drink and thought for the millionth time.."I definitely came from an egg "

Love A

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Present fun..

I pride myself in giving good thoughtful presents. No I dont have loads of money and I am not lavishing all my friends with exotic vacations and gift cards for one night stands with Calvin Klein models, even though deep down that is what they want.

I am just very observant and if you spend any amount of time with anyone, you get to know that person, and subtly they give you clues on what they want or need. Even though I love receiving gifts, the smile a person gets when they open a good gift is priceless.

That is one of the reasons I don't like gift cards. Unless specifically requested for a reason (like amazon ones, so I could trim down the 192 books on my wish list), gift cards seems like the person forgot about it, and at the last minute grabbed something.

Well my parents have decided to stress me to a maximum. I listen to them and know what they like and yet I cant come up with a good gift for them. They don't really have any hobbies except watching movies, going out to dinner, grilling, kitchen gadgets, wine and cheese and now the harley.
He has everything he could possibly want to have a better movie experience at home than at the theater, since he is a really good cook there is very few restaurants he likes and will enjoy without winning and complaining about the food. If he gets one more grilling set, he will spork someone. If they get one more kitchen gadget, they will have to start cooking in the living room. All that is left is wine and cheese and harley. Sad to say the last gift they got was a wine and cheese basket :(

My father has hit a midlife crisis at 51, and went out and purchased a used harley, and then sold that one and bought a brand new one. With it he got the boots to go with it, the jacket, the shirts, the nice cool helmets, and even borrowed my sewing machine to sew on a nice harley patch on the back of his leather jacket. This new hobby is time consuming. Before they use to keep the kids the whole weekend, now they take them on friday night and give them back Sunday afternoon because late sunday they have to go for a ride. They have taken trips to Key West, Port charlotte, St Augustine and are even planning a cross country one to go see the Grand Canyon.
Even though, I am extremely afraid of motorcycles (I lost a cousin in a bike accident when I was younger) and there is a clause in my marriage that states dh is not allowed to get a motorcycle ever. Even though he was well aware on when he signed it, its been a clause he has been fighting for 10 years on it. I still haven't broken ;) While, I am deathly afraid and have prayed more for their safety in the past couple months than I did all their lives, I am very happy my dad got one and my mom loves riding it. They just look so cute in their harley gear.

But anyways, back to the present giving. Every holiday or birthday has become a nightmare. I have absolutely no clue what to give my parents. Their harley hobby is too expensive....uhh $75 for one harley shirt?? Are you kidding me??

I have searched high and low on what to get them and have listened to them and racked my brain. They have absolutely everything they could possibly want and what they don't have, I cant get it for them without a small loan.

I have resorted to asking them what they want, and like every parents they say the norm.."Don't spend money on me I don't need anything save your money". Well that is no fun. You are taking away my joy of buying a thoughtful present.

So back to the drawing board we go, me racking my brain and coming up empty.

I personally think I should start buying off the wall gifts, so maybe next holiday, they will tell me. Reverse psychology kind of deal.

I know buying my dad a massage will take care of that. Even though he could really use one since he has back issues, my dad is very old school and going to a massage is right up there with getting your nails ripped off. No fun at all. There is no way he will let anyone rub him down. If I add some mud or oil to the package, oh man. He will try grounding me until next week.

And for my mom, conservative one that she is , a nice pretty see through lingerie with some hooker heels, will freak her out and make her blush until next week.

Unless I come up with a very very good idea soon, I really think I am going to have to resort to giving them a gift card, or even worse another wine/cheese basket. How sad is that??

At least I can count on my husband to give me the high I get from giving a good present. He just received his box for father's day, and in it was a hand held portable ac. How awesome am I?? The perfect gift for someone that is sitting inside a office in 109 degree temps with a crappy ac that keeps shutting off when its about 92 degrees inside. I couldn't see his face, but the excitement in his voice, was all I needed to know I hit jackpot with that one.

Are your family members hard to shop for??

Love A

Friday, June 10, 2011


I just finished a book called "The Shack". Its a must read for everyone. It's a fictional story, but pretty much this guys daughter gets kidnapped, he gets a note from God to go meet HIM at this place. He ends up meeting God, Jesus & The holy spirit and they have a wonderful conversation about a lot of things, including relationships, reason for pain, forgiveness. Its not a normal religious book per say, Uh hello...God is a big black old woman.

Anyways, this book has touched me in many ways. The way the author writes, the way the answers are explained, just a very touching book that I will read it again for sure.

There is a quote in there that goes like this :
"Each relationship between two persons is absolutely unique. That is why you cannot love two people the same. It simply is not possible. You love each person differently because of who they are and the uniqueness that they draw out of you."
— William P. Young (The Shack)

That has resonated to me on such a deep level. I have never loved my husband the same way I have loved my children, and the love I have for each child is completely different.

The love I have for my husband, while it started from a friendship, now its a completely different kind of love, its based on understanding, respect, memories of what we have gone through, he is like my knight in shinning armor that has slayed many of my dragons.

Before my son was born, I worried about the logistics of things. What if our personality clashed was a big worry in my mind. What if I have to love this child but I dont even like his personality??
The fact that I threw up from the moment sperm met egg, until the time he took his first breath and a little after and the fact that I had dreams of little bows and pink dresses and not once did I think in my life I was going to have a son, didn't helped the situation at all. What helped his case is that a child was very much wanted. We prayed and hoped for years. He fulfilled our dreams in so many ways.

Well motherhood is a magical thing. My mother loves to tell the story that as soon as the doctor pulled Tyler out, I started crying and screaming that "I really like him, I love him...I want to keep him, please let me keep him, pretty please, we will get along, I promise". My drug induced sobbing fest caused the whole operating room, lots and lots of laughter.

Although I did love him almost instantaneously, we clashed a lot. As a night owl, I have just done given birth to a morning little person that didnt think sleep was important. Our first year was difficult and the fact he didnt sleep through the night until about 6 months old helped strain our relationship. Also he wasnt much for kisses and cuddling. He was curious and wanted to see the world.
But it was just us, hubby was deployed, and here I had this little guy that I never expected and someone insane enough thought I had abilities to raise into a fine member of society. He loved me unconditionally and always reached for my hand and gave me the biggest smile around even when I screwed up and made mistakes and caused him pain.
As he grew, we bumped heads even more, but the instant love I had for him started to grow into something so much deeper. It wasnt just "I love you, you are my child, I have to love you". By becoming his mom and doing things for him that I had to, I shed layers and layers of my former self. I became a completely different person and have made many more changes in my life because of the responsibility I had for him. My heart open and flourished in ways I never once thought possible.

Before dd was born I had the same fears about not having enough love to love another child. But she fulfilled my dreams of bows and dresses. She came home sleeping through the night and was just a joy to be around. Also from a very young age, she is extremely cuddly and affectionate. She is always touching us, hugging us and kissing us. While he brother rather be running around the house, she rather sit in the couch and pet us. She cant walk by anyone without touching or rubbing them. She showers everyone with love and affection. So easy to love and while sometimes is hard, there is no such thing as personal space with her, on a hard day its very welcoming. Also I made less mistakes with her, Tyler took the brunt of my learning, while her, I already had a sense of what worked and what didn't, and I was more calm. I had a 2 1/2 year old in front of me as a proof that I could do this and not royally screw up.

I have issue, every single one of my child's birthday, the first thought in my head when i wake up is a celebration of "OMG I have done this. They are another year older and pretty normal and sane and alive. I can maybe do this for 18 years". Its such a high I get from that.....yeahh therapy is needed I know, I know ;)

I always felt bad and worried I loved my kids, my husband and my parents completely different from one another. I always under the impression, love had to be the same. If you loved someone you should have the same feelings and butterflies that comes with it. I tried to wrap it into little packages. I have felt bad many nights, and worried even more that I loved my kids completely different. While I love them both with all my heart, the love I feel for each one is different and burns different for different reasons.
Another preconceived notion I had, was that I had to treat everyone equally. Well, after reading that quote, something rippled inside myself and I felt like a light was finally shinning in the darkness.
I dont have to love everyone equally, the love you feel for one person is completely different than the love you feel for another because of their uniqueness and what they draw out of you. Seriously I feel like I was blind before, tracking along and finally someone turned the light on. I don't need to feel bad anymore, I don't need to try to wrap the love I feel for everyone into the same kind of box. I can just enjoy the love I feel for them without trying to make into something that it isn't.

Oprah use to love and talk alot about big AHA! moments, and I just had a big one in a very long time, and it feels good.

How ironic to think it came from a book that sat on my shelf gathering dust for months...lol

Love A

Thursday, June 9, 2011

9 month dread....

You ask any woman who survived a deployment, and chances are she will tell the 9th month was the worst.

I dont know why, but that is the truth.

All I remember from the 9th month of our last deployment, is a lot of crying, cussing, screaming, pouting and pouting some more.

I am about to enter the 9th month of this deployment, and I have a feeling it wont be any different than the first time around.

It makes no sense, you have survived 9 months, there is only 3 to go. 3 months seems like a piece of cake in theory. You hit double digits while on month 9. Seeing the numbers dwindle from 100days to 99 days left is magical, yet none of that matters.

By the 9th month, you are done. You patience is shot, you dont want to be strong anymore, you just want to sit down and cry and sob. Every happy couple enjoying a saturdays beautiful sunshine is met with your death glare.
You dont want to be like that, you want to be happy, you want to to enjoy and soak every moment. You want to be thankfull you have a husband who loves you. You want to appreciate the little things that comes with a husband gone. Less laundry, a full bed to yourself, unlimited time of trashy reality shows without any sights of the latest games around.

Yet by the 9th month, you would gladly give up that big spacious bed for your tiny small spot, with huge hairy leg on top of you heating you up, you would sit thru hrs and hrs of the stupid Steelers game, you will welcome the profanity that ensues when the Steelers is loosing, you would do loads and loads of more laundry, just so you can feel complete again. Just so you can have someone to give you a hand when all you need is 2 more seconds, someone to be bad cop and discipline the children. Just someone you can have a good adult conversation with.

At the end of 9 months, a pregnant woman brings home her cute little bundle of joy, at the end of 9 months, all a woman with a deployed husband gets is the notion she still has 2 more months left to go.

The concept of time is so strange and odd to me. 1 hr is and has always been 60 minutes. Yet 1 hrs of children whining seems like 10 hrs. 1 hr of children laughing seems like 5 minutes.
The 3 months we have left seems so much longer than the 9 we have already survived. The next 3 months seems like an eternity compared to anything.

I would love to say that this year I will do things different, I will enter number 9 with a big smile on my face, I will gather strength and shine instead of just surviving. I would love to break the cycle, yet I doubt I will.

I just don't have it in me anymore. I am on autopilot. Wake up, feed the children, do this do that, survive another minute, one foot in front of the other seems to be my mantra and I am sick and tired of it.

I want the next 3 1/2 months to rush on by. I just want to get to the finish line and go back to living life.

ps...Sorry for all the whining and the depressing thoughts, but this is one last attempt to get it out of me and out there in the world so maybe, just maybe I will feel lighter and try to find joy in the fact we have survived 8 1/2 months and there is little left to go. I dont know if it will work, but hope is eternal right??


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Out of debt.....

so we can go right back to it....OH the irony!!!!!!!!!!!!

We started off young with great intentions, we got credit cards, bought simple little things, and every month that we wrote the check for the full amount, we felt so mature and responsible. We did that for years, then life started to get in the way, one month the car broke down and wiped our savings, than someone needed a trip to the doctors with no insurance at the time and instead of paying off the full balance, we paid the minimum, felt like that crap and defeated, next month would be better. Well it wasn't. One thing led to another, a messed up paycheck from the military, a sudden plane ticket to another state because of the death of a family member, another credit card to keep us floating, and we became the horror stories that we heard.

We were just another statistic. Young couple with no money and too much debt. We would pay it off then charge again, pay it off, then charge again. And whats really sad its not like we were out buying big screen tvs, or the latest prada purse. All of our charges were groceries, or gas, or cigs, day trips with the kids. Basic stuff, but nonetheless stuff. Everything came crashing down when dh got out of the army. We just couldn't handle our debt and everything went to collection. We hit rock bottom. So many fights, so many sleepless nights, so much stress. There is absolutely nothing I know of that can strain/break a marriage faster than debt. Just like weight, its just a number, it doesn't dictate what kind of person you are or even if you are going to enter in heaven or not. Yet debt is an all time consuming thing. It seeps into your life, robs all kinds of enjoyment, just like a cancer.

Well after the hubby got this job, we paid off every single thing in our credit report. Since all the accounts were already closed, there were really nothing we could do, except pay it off and put little notes in our credit report.
After I wrote the last check to the last debt we had, I called dh crying tears of happiness. We had finally done. All our sacrifices had paid off. We had no more debt. None. Nada. Zilch. I could scream from the rooftops.

Our savings started to grow and life has been so much better. Because it only happened about 6 months ago, the wounds are still fresh and I still remember everything like yesterday.

Today while talking about houses, and house prices and what we could afford when he gets home in Sept, I mentioned to him I dont want to buy anything we cant afford and if he is willing, I would so go for the 320 sqft new little homes, pay it off and have no mortgage either. Dh mentioned to me that with 2 kids and 2 adults in a 320 sq footage home, while it seems amazing in theory, in practice, it wont work. And he is right, so I pulled up our credit report. I was expecting high numbers to be dancing in front of me, also some rainbows and butterflies, hey I wanted validation.
I didnt get rainbows, butterflies, or high numbers. I got hit with numbers only 10 points higher than 7 months ago when we were in the middle of our whole mess and everything being sent to collection. WTF???

Everything has been paid off, it has been only 6 months and all we go was 10 points?? So after doing some more reading, I found out the culprit. While there is nothing bad showing anymore, there is nothing good either. The car was purchased cash, the credit cards were paid off, there is nothing proving people we can handle debt and therefore our only option to raise our score quickly so we can buy a home is get another credit card.

I have known this information for about 2 weeks and every time I try to apply for one, I get cold sweated and back off. The wounds are still healing from all the hell we went through with debt. I can still hear although faint, but still hear nonetheless our stupid fights about it. Why oh why do we have to tempt this again?? I feel like a recently clean junkie, walking inside a junkie store (not that I would know that feeling, but I have read enough depressing shit to understand it).

Our starting position is completely different, we now have savings, are not living paycheck to paycheck, but still you cant predict lives twists and turns, and while I know I wont take that shiny credit card and hit the nearest coach store, I don't know if tomorrow the car will break down, so will something else, and something else entirely different that I never thought possible will happen, that will make us drain our savings and start relying on cc's again. Life's curves, are the stuff you never can think or prepare for. How do I overcome my fear, and do it quickly?? Because suddenly, 4 months that will take for him to be home and for us to hopefully start house shopping, doesnt seem enough time. How do I know we wont end up right back in the hole that we just crawled out of it so recently?? I dont know and that scares me so much :(