Thursday, November 25, 2010

through the years

On our first Thanksgiving I was 272 days pregnant and 2 days away from delivering my first baby. I had spent the previous 3 months on bed rest splitting my time rotating like a rotisserie chicken from my left side to my right, evenly distributing my time between the couch and the bed. Jason was TDY in Texas the entire time and I was allowed 1 weekly trip to Wallyworld to buy groceries and to the doctors office for a check up. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I missed my family, I missed my friends and I wanted to go home. Home was not Arkansas and I I could barely get out of bed that day without sobbing. Our friends invited us over to their house but didn't want to sob through dinner at someone else's house in front of strangers. I opted for a turkey-less thanksgiving of chicken parmesan and what would be one of our last meals just the two of us.

Our second Thanksgiving we tried to cram an entire years worth of time into two weeks. Jason came home for R&R for Isabella's very first birthday and of course, arrived two days before Thanksgiving. (See people sometimes those there is a bonsu to a holiday baby!) What I remember most about this year was wanting to stop time. It just couldn't go slow enough for me. 14 days really isn't enough time when you haven't seen your husband for 9 months and you still have 3 months to go before you know you will see him again. The actual Thanksgiving feast was the first time Bella had actual real food and of course wanted nothing to do with anything Gerber related after that. Still, we had a lot to be thankful for because we were actually together when so many of our friends and their families were not that year.

Our third year we celebrated in our first house here. We celebrated with a ham here and Bella's birthday. The theme this year was a Dora birthday cake and I remember she recieved a Dora tricycle. We completed the day hanging Christmas lights in 70+degree weather. I remember sending family and friends pictures of our lights and the clothes we were wearing during the adventure and people wanted to know where exactly we moved to. It was sunny and we weren't wearing coats?? Welcome to the south.

Thanksgiving number four found me pregnant for the third time. Seriously are we sensing a pattern people? And because all bakeries in this city seemed to shut down after Thanksgiving, I was stuck ordering a cake from Sams. Who in their right mind attempts Sams one week away from delivery with a three year old and an eleven month old all in the name of a birthday cake? A complete moron that is who. (note: this is when a Thanksgiving birthday is not so helpful.) I am prepared though and take coloring books for Bella and toys for Amelia. Walking into the store, I immediately take a shopping cart to the stomach by a lunatic six/seven year old running down the aisle. I stood there in pain and looking between my legs just waiting for water to come gushing out like you see on TV, that's how hard he hit me. After I caught my breath and was sure I wasn't in labor and could actually move again, I waddle myself back to the bakery and begin my wait for the birthday cake I ordered. I'm waiting with about 30 other people. Of course, it's Thanksgiving after all. This is the point of my story, I should point out we were teaching Bella about manners. A lovely old man decided to pass gas. Loudly. Very loudly. Bella's little head shot up and she stands up in the cart and begins to look around to identify the culprit. No one is owning up to it. She knows who it is, points him out and just as loudly as the gas was passed announces "Papa pooted. Excuse him please."

I found out I was pregnant with Drew the week before Thanksgiving number five. Yep still pregnant..it's my lucky holiday I guess. Jason's mom, cousin and her daughter were coming into town and we weren't ready to tell anyone our news. I did the best I could and ate what I could but I had never felt so sick. Poultry is never my friend in my first trimester and this was awful. The smell of the cooking meat and the taste was not my favorite. I remember everywhere we went and everywhere we ate, praying I wouldn't throw up on myself. I was most thankful for Zofran this year.

The sixth Thanksgiving we broke one of our golden rules and traveled to Jason's mom's house. There were two weddings we always said we would go back for and this was one of them, Thanksgiving weekend or not. We enjoyed the wedding and enjoyed spending a lot of time with family that we don't get to see very often.

This year I am not cooking a thing for Thanksgiving. We have been invited to our friends' house and I am beyond excited. She is seriously one of the best cooks I know and has been cooking for two weeks. Five pies await my arrival. FIVE pies and only six adults. Pretty good odds for my sweet tooth. This year I am most thankful for the healthy children who call me mama. The husband who is finally home enough that we actually get on each other's nerves a little bit. To live in a place that finally feels like a home and for the amazing friends we've made here. I'll miss my family in Ohio but I'm happy to be home with my family here too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. Well I tuned in Sunday night for my regular scheduled programming and was greeting with the music awards. I can now tell you what Justin Bieber looks and sounds like. I swear that's a toupee he's wearing. I don't get fanfare to the voice or the hair. It's like Hanson all over again..terrible.

2. Black Friday shopping is this week and we're starting at 4AM. I'm completely finished accept for a few stocking stuffers but I can't resist the urge to go out into the complete madness with a few of my favorites.

3. We (I'm using the term loosely as my participation was limited to unscrewing and screwing in one bolt) finally hung the kids television in their toy room. I'm excited to get the tv off my closet floor. They're excited to have their own tv.

4. One of Will's favorite things to do at church/school is to ride "the alligator" known to most of the world as the elevator.

5. Bella is getting closer every day to reading. We play a little game every time we're in the car. Amelia asks how to spell a word and Bella spells it out for her.

6. Amelia loves playing school. So much that one of the mom's of her little friends at school asked her teacher who Miss Amelia is.

7. Bella has now memorized all 27 books of the New Testament..pretty good for a not quite six year old.

8. Will loves his cowboy boots. Loves them and wears them every chance he gets and stomps around just to hear the noise they make. Super.

9. A random orange cat has chosen our deck as it's new winter residence. Let me tell you the only thing I dislike more than my own cat pooping on my deck is someone elses. Oh that's right, I don't have a cat. I also really enjoy the cat scaring the crap out of me at night by jumping on the deck AND throwing himself at my back door. I mean, I think we're being robbed and have been close to calling 911 but oh now, it's the cat.

10. If you're going to squat on someone's deck and poop all over someone's toys, and slam your entire body repeatedly into someone's backdoor, you should at least choose a house that likes animals. We do not apply. I mean do animals not have a sixth sense about these things? Amelia's reply when she sees the cat "Daddy get your gun, that cat is back to poop on my stuff again."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

painting rainbows

Saturday we had Bella's birthday party at the art gallery. She invited 10 of her little friends from school/church and dance. It was a great group of girls and they seemed to have a lot of fun painting. Bella choose what they were going to paint beforehand and she chose to paint a rainbow. I must say it was the quietest birthday party I have ever gone to. All of the girls were concentrating very hard on their paintings. It was really interesting to see each girl's interpretation and artwork come to life.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

a rainbow for the birthday girl

I am not a crafty person. I also do not enjoy baking. Add those two things together and you have a miniature disaster. Bella is having a painting party for her sixth birthday and she has chosen to paint rainbows. A friend of mine (who used to bake all my birthday cakes) found these beautiful, lovely rainbow cupcakes on a food blog she follows. She thought they would be perfect for the party and she was right. What she overestimated was my baking skills. And patience. Still it was less than half the price of ordering a cake and they were super cute and absolutely perfect. So I thought I'd give it a try. How hard can it be? Says the novice, non-crafty baker.
I started the process on Thursday around 1pm and didn't finish my second batch of cupcakes until 5:30. I only made 22. I had to dye 6 different bags with gel food coloring and kneed it together. I was out of purple food coloring and instructed by the professional baker to mix red and blue together. Mine turned black. I was completely out of batter at this point and had to go back to the store for another cake mix. Restart for purple..ugh. The first batch I made ended up a little big and the food coloring made them really, really moist.

My friend came over on Friday night and helped me make the handmade chocolate rainbows to go on the top of the cupcakes. She also added the cloud frosting.
Bella thought they were the most beautiful cupcakes she had ever seen. Her friends loved digging into the multicolored rainbow cake. Amelia has already placed her order for her birthday.

a little more bling

Bella has been asking me since the beginning of school when she could get her ears pierced. After a little discussion, Jason and I decided that for safety reasons she had to wait until the end of soccer season. Soccer ended the last weekend in October and I decided to wait her out a little bit more. I wanted to make sure this was really something she wanted to do. More importantly I wanted to make sure that this time she was going to go through with it. You see, when she was about four she decided that she wanted her ears pierced.
Her dad was out of town, of course because when all drama related incidents occur Jason is always out of town. Bella had been asking to get it down then for about six weeks and one day at the mall she asked and I said fine, lets go. So off to Libby we go. She sits in the chair and they mark her ears off. All goes well. We pick out the earrings. We look at them again and make sure those are the ones she wants. She watches them pull them out and load them in the instrument. They put them up to her ears and she starts screaming like a banshee. I mean literally carrying on. I used to pierce ears. Lots of ears. This is not a big deal and is over in a split second. I calm her down. I have her sit on my lap. They draw the guns again and the banshee is unleashed. Again. She carried on so much that her baby brother and sister were now hysterical and I rode the elevator down with three screaming kids. Once I got to the bottom, the makeup ladies were talking about the screaming kid who didn't want to get her ears pierced. Hello, let me introduce you to the screaming kid. I swore that she would not get her ears pierced until she could sign her own legal paperwork permitting her to do so. I asked her about it every once in a while and she gave me an adamant "No. I am not getting my ears pierced. Ever."
Then we start kindergarten and she starts talking about earrings again. I have flashbacks to the Libby incident and just in case the Hulk comes out again, I sent Jason. Of course this time she is calm, doesn't even cry and gets her ears pierced. The Hulk is no where to be found and neither are the tears.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. Thanksgiving is in two weeks, a little crazy if you ask me. We're going to our friends house to spend Thanksgiving with them. She asked me what I would like to eat. I don't care as long as I'm not cookin'.

2. I finished my Christmas shopping for the kids in one final click on amazon last week. Now I'm just waiting for the wrapping party and then I can really relax.

3. I've now been subbing at the preschool for three weeks. I love it and the kids love that I am there too.

4. Drew has started saying a word that sounds like Amelia. He especially likes to yell for her when he is downstairs and she is upstairs to see how fast she'll come running. That really makes him giggle.

5. It is getting a little cooler here. My true southern gal is less than thrilled with the weather change and is throwing a fit every morning about the socks and shoes she has to wear. She wants to wear flip flops and no coat. It reminds me of the song "Some beach, some where".

6. A friend of mine just gave me some Bob books for Bella. She read two of them completely by herself as soon as she saw them

7. I am ready for the Halloween candy to be out of this house.

8. On the way to school today, the light turns green and yet we are still waiting for the people to finish running their red light. I hear from the backseat drivers in my car. "Do these people even know HOW to drive here?" "The light is green, GO mama."

9. What is the actual point of daylight savings time? I certainly can't find one.

10. The kids are all practicing for their Christmas program at school. Amelia won't tell me what she is singing. Will is pretty much an open book and sings the songs daily.

Monday, November 8, 2010

the veteran's daughter

A couple of weeks ago Jason went and spoke to Bella's kindergarten class during community helpers week. For those of you that know Jason you know 1)he doesn't like being the center of attention 2)he was a little leery of what types of questions he would get from kindergartners. As a three time combat veteran he has often heard, even from adults "have you ever shot anyone?". He was really nervous about the little kids. What would they ask him? How would they react? We pulled up pictures and he prepared his presentation about what it is to be a soldier and how the army helps the community, our country and other countries. He made sure to steer clear of combat related information even though that is a ten year part of his army past.
He said the kids listened very well and asked a lot of questions.

He came home with a piece of paper from Bella's teacher. She asked him if he would return it with a picture of himself to put on their veteran's wall at the school. Jason as you may have guessed, was less than excited. He put the paper in a place where I think, he thought I would forget about it. He moved it a few times and even thought I did ask him about it at first, I eventually forgot. I worked last week. I have four children to get here. And there. I think Jason was perfectly fine and honestly, a little relieved that I forgot. He was counting on it.

Isabella came home on the exact day that I forgot about turning in the paper and asked where the picture of her veteran was. I explained that I hadn't printed a picture yet and she explained that she needed one. Soon. Her veteran had to go on the wall. She was so excited and so proud that I stopped what I was doing and ordered the picture immediately. I sent the veteran himself to pick it up at the one hour photo shop. He was less than excited about the public attention. But this one's for the veteran's daughter and the many sacrifices she makes for our country's freedom. This one's for her first year..
If you're reading this blog, you most likely know our story. You know that this picture is the first picture I took of Bella with her Daddy in nine months. He left when she was six weeks old, saw her two weekends after that, two weeks before he deployed in February and then when he returned for R&R five days before her first birthday. 4 weeks with her Daddy out of 52. This Veteran's Day, I'll remember our friends overseas. The ones that just left and the ones that just returned. I'll also remember the little people in their lives who sacrifice just as much,if not more, for our freedom.

"The Soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the Soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war." Douglas MacArthur