Sunday, May 27, 2007

Just so ya know

Hey guys. The boys and I have been in Virginia for the last week or so, and since the trek required great preparation (what with the gremlin brothers tagging along and all) I haven't put any new stuff up in forever! But never fear, your beloved shall return. I'm driving back to Raleigh on Monday and then back home Tuesday, so hopefully I'll get some writing done asap after that. I'll need the therapy after the car trip! -Aside from all the other sorts of therapy I need, that is. (I totally read your mind, huh Katey.) Anyway, I'll have a bunch of new photos too, so check back with me and let me know what's up. I love y'all's comments! Can I say "y'all's?" Damned southerners are wearin' me down...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Meet the Cool Kids

Hey look! It's a bloated Whale! Oh, it's just Gabey. Nice bunzos, eh? There's psycho Jesse and his disemboweled dill pickle, then you see the famous "I can fit in my dump truck-wanna see?" trick. Beautiful. Just beautiful. They make me so proud.

Here They Are!

Here are the most incredible kiddos on the planet. Meet the Spectacular Sleeping Jesse (and his lovable side-kick, Morris Bear), and Colonel Milkmouth himself, Mighty Gabe the Contortionist! Notice the unbelievable thighs this dude is rockin. Then there's Jesse's "CHEESE!" face and the new kid, also known these days as "The Colonel."-(see sentence #1)

Monday, May 14, 2007

There's a Reason I Keep These Things Unplugged

First of all I'd like to thank my mother for buying Jesse a lightweight stool he can carry around and put to use wherever he sees fit, allowing him to access all sorts of nightmares I'd been trying to shield him from. While writing for this very blog just a second ago I looked over to see Jes up on his stool (as usual), fidgeting with the dials on our counter top toaster oven, which he had turned up to about four hundred degrees. Why? you ask, was that necessary? Well to cook the baby carrots he had loaded in there, of course. And now I would like to thank Jim for moving the computer into the kitchen for me.

Matt's Gonna Kill Me, But...

Okay, so Matt is currently in a position to be eating a lot of seriously spicy food, and not much else. Now, all the time I've known him he has been fighting a fierce battle against heartburn. Poor guy. Well, the stuff he's been consuming lately has apparently brought it on like nothing before. He says the regular stuff like Tums doesn't even touch it, but he has discovered through desperation that popping vast amounts of Mentos somehow provides some substantial relief. I guess the other day he was sitting down to eat and decided to get ahead of the game and pop a couple before his meal. Unfortunately he didn't realize until after swallowing the Mentos that his stomach was completely empty, except for a half a Diet Coke he had just downed. Now for those of us who don't already know, the explosive effects of Mentos mixed with Diet Coke have been published and filmed countless times due to the, shall we say shock and awe they inspire. You guessed it. Matt knew immediately he had just made a rather regretable mistake. Luckily what followed was not as severe as it could have been had he ingested bigger portions. I am happy to announce (brag, really) that for once I was not there for the unpleasantness (violent and powerful gas, and probably more) to which he was damned for who knows how long after the ordeal. The world finally shows some mercy. (For more on the Diet Coke/ Mentos phenomenon, I highly recommend visiting and doing a search for video footage if you haven't already seen it.) Loads of fun.

A Matter of Taste

Every now and then I am able to describe something well enough to satisfy my longing to really be understood; I somehow manage to choose words that describe my opinion adequately, and I just love that! One of these moments came yesterday when my mom commented on the beauty of baby Gabriel's cellulite. And it came to me- I think those little dimples are so great I could just eat French onion chip dip out of his little thigh divots. That is exactly how I feel about them. They're incredible; both useful (as potential serving bowls), as well as asthetically appealing, pleasing to the eye. And all this has naturally brought me to the realization that these interesting grooves are just not as appreciated on my own body. Why is that? Anyone? ...didn't think so.

Finally an Awnser to the Mystery of the Missing Sock

I would never have guessed it; neither would you. We're all familiar with the age old question: What happens to the other sock? It's one of laundry's oldest perplexities. Well this morning I was witness to a vision in which I found the answer.
Jesse, my strange, screwy child... We were watching Happy Feet for the forty-seventh time this morning and I was feeding the baby when I looked over and saw something interesting. Jesse was walking over to my pile of clean laundry and picking out socks. He then would take these socks over to the couch, select a throw pillow, unzip it, insert the socks, and zip it back up. He was very methodical about it, really. (See, this is why I sometimes just watch without letting him know. I've learned quite a bit in my time spent this way.) So there it is, folks. Check your couch pillows; find the answers to your sock-pairing prayers. Dare to dream. Sometimes miracles just happen! Although, I have to say, the average kid may not be as... special(?) as mine, and maybe you should just check beneath your washing machine.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Let's surprise Daddy.

Ok. So it all went down yesterday. I'd have written it then but at the time I just didn't have the stomach for it.
The email subject read: Big Tool Sale. Whenever Matt goes away for a while I like to try and find him something special to surprise him with when he gets home (besides the kids' recent growth spurts). So I clicked on the ad and read that the national Guard armory across town was having a big sale on all things manly. This is perfect! I thought as I read over the driving directions and (fifty minutes later- a new record) threw the kids in the car. We were off. Now I've always been... unique in my navigational abilities. It's been speculated that I was born without that particular portion of my brain. But I was motivated, for Heaven's sake, and we were going to make this happen.
I still maintain that the three and a half hour detour was the fault of the five different idiots I asked for directions. Meanwhile Gabe had pooped (again), and was desperate to stop for a third feeding. (Or was it a fourth?) Anyway, we eventually made it to the armory. I unloaded the boys in the pouring rain that hadn't let up since we left the house and we made our way up the grass and into the building. I saw the bathroom and my bladder just about leaped out of me and ran to it by itself (I'm nursing the baby so by this time I had drunk just over two liters of water), but I pulled it back in and assured it we'd go before we left. I didn't have the energy to handle the two-kids-in-the-bathroom-while-I'm-trying-to-pee scenario.
Now, I'm no novice when it comes to tools. Growing up I had "helped" my parents remodel house after house all by ourselves, becoming experts on every project imaginable. (This is where my mother would insert the infamous quote of mine, "Ugh! I am so tired of watching you guys work!"- but whatever, I was their slave.) Anyway, I know a thing or two about tools. Or, I thought I did.
We walked inside and the deeper I got into the place the more confused I got. There are seriously 58 different heads for a screwdriver? What would you need 300 drill bits for? What the crap is a rotary-gurter? (Okay, I made that last one up.) The point is I had never heard of most of these things in my life. Most were big machines, I guess for woodwork or cars or something. Clearly I had no clue. But Jesse, helpful boy that he is, was very interested in helping me pick things out and put them in my basket. I guess two year olds have a sense about these things. So to keep his hands busy I handed him a kite on sale for $1.99. Like a good kid he carried it around and it held his attention fairly well. So I'm combing through the rows, shelf after shelf, clueless as to what Matt could use. That was until I saw it. It was perfect! A two piece set, one chair thingy with wheels on the bottom, and one of those things you lay down on to slide under the car to break things and get all greasy. I yelled behind me to Jesse to get out of the people's way for the 16th time and I thought, Let's get out of here.
I felt good; I had found the gift. Then, Crap. We don't have a garage. It just wouldn't be the same trying to use these things on the gravel driveway. Oh well. At least I had found a headlight for Jesse's bike that I knew he'd love, and an emergency crank-powered radio/ flashlight/ cell phone charger. I'd been meaning to pick up some things like that anyway and besides, it was the church's message this month to prepare for a disaster. Consider this purchase justified. And maybe it would ease my anxiety over the upcoming hurricane season.
I'm still having hormone issues from my last pregnancy so I used my shirt to blot up some of the sweat falling down my back, then readjusted the hundred-pound baby I'd been carrying for the last six confusing hours, and made my way, dripping, to the checkout. As I approached the counter I actually looked at Jesse for the first time in way too long, and saw that all that remained of the kite he was carrying was the plastic stick from the center and the crinkly wrapper, which I handed to the man to ring up. The guy in line behind me, seeing the situation and hearing my sigh, told me he thought he had seen one of the kite pieces on aisle whatever. I thanked him, but didn't have the energy to corral my herd back through the store to find it. I payed for everything and headed for the exit, realizing too late that I couldn't get back through to the bathroom without going all the way around the front of the store and going back inside. I unfastened my belt and fly to relieve some of the bladder pressure, pulled my shirt down, and went to the car. After nursing the baby (again) I got the kids all strapped down- oh, I mean buckled in- and threw my junk in the trunk.
I drove away, looking for a good place to stop and pee before heading back to whatever freeway had finally brought me there. Then, off in the distance, I saw a heavenly light: the Dairy Queen. I've become addicted to their latest dessert despite my recent pathetic attempts at losing weight. So we passed it (of course, there's that navigational brilliance again) and managed to turn around and pull in. Only I was confused. (I'm getting used to that feeling.) I circled the building and saw only a staff entrance and a window where the dairy queen herself was leaning out helping a man standing outside. I parked the car and Yippie, the rain let up! The kids and I strolled up to the window and I asked how to get to the potty, and the Queen told me that location was walk-up only, no entrance. Are you kidding me? Oh well, we were starved after driving around lost all day so I ordered the special dessert and some fries and- what? That location serves ice cream only. Of course it does. So I told myself Eh, ice cream is like milk, which is good for you, so, great. "Here's my card." We got to the benches and sat down on the wet seats, just in time for the rain to start up again. No problem; we'd just take it to the car. Jesse jumped in a big puddle on the way there and soaked himself from the waist down. I pulled him onto my lap in the front seat, with Gabe in the back. He pretended to drive while we started sharing the sundae, and Wham. The kite stick came whipping across the ice cream, splattering it all over the car interior. I couldn't find any words. Oh well. I silently cleaned it up along with Jesse's face as best I could with the four cheap napkins I got from the Queen, and set the nearly-full cup of melted ice cream on the front passenger floor. I've got to remember to grab that out when we stop to pee before it spills all over the car. New plan: I'll just spill it while trying to wrangle Jesse into the car seat. Then I remembered the paper towels my mother (thanks, Mom!) so wisely stashed in the back. I did my best with the spill and we set out to drive thirty seconds down the road to the dirty bathroom at Burger King. I nearly burst as I grabbed the boys and ran into the stall and barely avoided an "accident." Jesse then punched the stall door open and it swung and smacked into the carrier of the formerly-sleeping Gabriel. I shrugged it off, buttoned my pants and attempted to change Jesse's diaper while he was standing, since there was no changing table and the floor looked completely nasty. He must have thought so too, cause he didn't even hesitate to empty his bladder all over it between the time I removed the first diaper and managed to apply the second one. He immediately bent over and splashed the pee everywhere before I could grab his hands, and Of course there are no paper towels. I looked toward the sink at the useless hand dryer and knew I'd have to sacrifice the baby's blanket. I wondered if I should risk letting go of Jesse's hands and try to wash us up, then thought Yeah, right, and wiped his hands on his pants, surprising even myself with this new low. We headed to the car, having forgotten completely to wipe up the floor pee. I spent fairly little time lost entirely, and drove home, determined to put the entire day out of my mind. Maybe I should stop trying to... do stuff.

Friday, May 4, 2007

My life is all about stinky boys.

Today I'm starting a blog to let everyone in on the secret goings-on in a house filled with field gear, meat, and my GOSH did I mention the dirty diapers. I knew when I married Matt that the military was going to be a large part of our lives, but it turns out it has a tendency to dominate even the smallest of daily events- (kind of the way kids do, but we'll get to that later). To make things quick, the US Marine Corps has landed us in San Diego, 29 Palms, and finally in North Carolina, where we currently live. Matt's been everywhere from Iraq, to Kuwait, to Italy, to Germany, to Hawaii and Alaska... like thirty-something different countries and almost every state in the union. He's trained in foreign & domestic weaponry, navigation, shooting, escape & evasion, urban warfare, insane stunt moves while driving... mostly how to kill people without being killed yourself- a dream come true for any man's man. He's achieved amazing feats and set records wherever he's gone, and has earned the respect of nearly all who have worked with him. But you really get to know him when you see him around his kids.
Our oldest son, Jesse, will be turning two in July. He's... busy. I've heard the phrase "God bless the mothers of little boys," and Jesse has brought me to a higher understanding of that very idea. Many women have big plans to properly rear their children: I'll wake them at seven and have them bathed, dressed, fed and ready for the day by eight. I'll have gotten up beforehand to shower, dress, style my hair, apply makeup and prepare a healthy breakfast. After a civilized meal throughout which the children sing me songs of praise, we'll all gather for learning time to review the alphabet, numbers, and memorize the abbreviations on the periodic table of elements... Well, good for them. My life is different.
When Jesse was born we had scheduled an induction, and his dad was to arrive from Japan the day before. Jesse had other plans. I went into labor in the middle of the night, literally the very minute I finished finalizing my preparations for the birth. (At least he gave me a head start in that department.) Not long after I got to the hospital my water was broken and the baby went into distress. Two grandparental heart attacks and less than three minutes later we had a healthy baby boy, thanks to a no-nonsense doctor and a big scalpel. Joy of joys, our boy had arrived. Before his father. Had we known this was a foreshadowing of how things would be run in our family, we might have tried to pawn him off on some unsuspecting couple in Wal-Mart who thought he was cute. Oh well.
So he HAD to be held, nursed every hour, and was walking by seven months. Not to mention Dad had to go back to Japan after the birth and didn't return till five months later, what fun. Oh- and let's not forget the cross country move we then made in Matt's grandpa's old truck for three days, while Jesse was sick and couldn't keep anything down, and was also going through the lovable "I HATE my car seat," phase. It was lots of fun cause the air conditioner wasn't working, Matt was cranky, and the truck door actually fell off. But we made it, eventually, to what would be our new home, Camp Lejeune. We managed to buy a house just before the lease was up on our rental, and moved again. Ourselves. With a (newly walking!) baby. 'Nuff said.
And I was pregnant. We found out just before the move. Believe me, there were many seemingly-endless nights of "Why did I do this again? What was I thinking?! I change my mind!!! I have to puke..." Then a while later one fat, sweaty, pregnant Sunday afternoon, my water broke. But this time was a little different. We weren't packed, the car seat wasn't ready, and when we finally brought our little Gabriel home he was wearing nothing but a diaper and a size 24-month, white, short-sleeved onesie. In January. Hey, at least Dad was there this time to "comfort" (read: neglect and ignore) me throughout the surgery. I guess my bloody uterus was more interesting than my face at the time. Again I say, oh well. (I find myself saying that a lot these days.)
So this is my life, three pooping male children of varying ages. And it's the best thing in the world. To you traditional good wives and mothers I say: you must be bored to tears. -And that's certainly something I never am.
There are times I sit and watch my husband lovingly tell the baby what a nasty fart-faced monster he is, as Jesse runs screaming into the room with a glass mug and beams Matt over the head, thus initiating the first of the day's wrestling matches. I smile as I dream of the vision I once had: me in my apron, Dad in his robe, the little ones playing quietly on the floor, all together in front of the fire sipping warm mugs of hot cocoa and reading the paper on a Sunday morning. I am awakened from my daydream when a sticky piece of fruit roll up hits me in the face and stays there. It's then I realize we're a half hour late for church and we're all in our underwear (or diapers, as the case may be) and I still haven't showered or ironed Matt's shirt. We make it to church just after they stop serving the sacrament. We listen to the talks as best we can while trying in vain to keep the baby quiet and doing our darnedest to distract Jesse from his vigorous flirting with the girls in the pew behind us. Toward the end of the meeting I realize the fruit roll up is still on my face and I pick it off, leaving a nice red stain across my chin to greet the teachers as I take Jesse into nursery. But I don't give it a second thought; I know these people understand.