Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Life in the slow lane

Everyone knows that in Alabama, they talk slower, they walk slower and generally things pass by more slowly. I can attest that I am experiencing "life in the slow lane". It's not a bad thing. Yes my speech, along with Jackson's, upon returning to NC will have become slower and things will be pronounced with more of a drawl ("dawg" and "ink pin" and "coke"). I'm just noticing that life has slowed down for me here. . I have full time "child care" for Jackson in my parents and other relatives. It's wonderful to have that kind of mommy break and be able to stay on the computer for hours on end! I even waited in the doctors office for 2 and 1/2 hours today just to meet the delivery doctor and have him say "come back in 2 weeks". I'm also grateful be living in the kind of small town that you can be anywhere in less than 10 minutes. I'm talking about the mall, Wal-mart or the doctors office. You can leave the house and have 10 minutes to spare! My decisions have met the simple life as well. I've gone from deciding who'll babysit or if the function is babysitter "worthy" to deciding what time I want to get my nails done or what sonic drink I want for happy hour. This kind of slowdown is unusual for me. I'm a go- go girl and I have gotten used to the fast paced life that we lived in NC. There it takes 30 minutes to get ANYWHERE and that's not counting traffic or post delays. I'm still walking as much as possible and its funny that even that has slowed down. Obviously, that has little to do with Alabama (other than the heat) and more to do with my continually growing belly at 34 weeks and counting. On Saturday, my sis, mom, Jackson and I participated in a 1 mile fun run. We definitely weren't in it for the race, just the atmosphere, but I'm happy to announce that we finished the race (1 mile) in a mere 18 minutes and get this...we weren't last! We were, however, next to last! I know that in a matter of 4 weeks or so, "this too shall pass". So for now, I'll relish in the slow lane of life.

Jason is 9 and 1/2 hours away from me right now. He too is experiencing a slower pace. He is busy with classes and briefings but his communication for news and online access has come to a complete hault. Luckily, I'm hearing from him regularly and his daily phone calls often come with a request to check out his stocks ( one of his online passions). I know the "" website misses his lurking and occasional comment but again, "this too shall pass" and he'll be back in the bama know again.

On a side note: as Jackson is adjusting to the 1 hour time difference, he's been waking at 530 to 6am here. He's a happy guy in the morning, usually walking in and announcing LOUDLY, "It's a pretty day!" before he's even looked outside or asking "Did I pee-pee in my pull-up?" and awaiting my approval. This morning, he walked in my room and got in my face and said "I heard the's ready...don't you want some?" Yes, at 6:09 ,as a matter of fact I do!
Thank God for naps while in this "slow lane" of life!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fish out of water

The 12 hour drive from NC to AL was about as exciting as any drive with a dog, a cat, a 3 year old and 4 fish could possibly be. Daddy drove my car pulling a u-haul with all the essential baby gear in it. It's amazing that an 8lb baby could ever need so much stuff! The stops were not as many as we had anticipated but even so, it was LONG and boring. Somehow the scenery never seems to change on that road. We did have the honor of passing the Taladega Super Speed Way on race weekend and had a great roadside view of the worlds most redneck campground. We actually saw a pick-up truck with a tarp covering the bed and extending out to form a makeshift tent. I guess that's taking the "bed" of the truck literally! We saw flags of every color (mostly U of A and TN, of course), tents, campers and always a converted school bus or two! It is truly a sight to behold. I have actually been once. It was my first and last race at the same time. I quickly learned, racing is NOT the sport for me. Anyway, we arrived home around 9pm and had to unload the u-haul of baby gear, clothes and check on the fate of the 4 fish Jackson insisted on bringing with us. They were carefully placed in a pitcher with a top on it for the ride. As Daddy rose the door slowly, water started leaking out of the u-haul. This was not a good sign for the fishes. As he continued to raise the door, the pitcher they were in turned completely upside down and dumped the little remaining water and 4 fish onto the concrete driveway. Things were not looking good for Doggie, Penny, Bug and Hummer. They were in fact still ALIVE! Though their water had been significantly reduced during travel and then ultimately made their AL entrance with a pretty hard landing we picked them up and rushed them inside to greet mom with a "fish emergency". Luckily she'd brought home a tank and set it up so that they could be rescued. I'm happy to report, that all the fish are happy and healthy in their new AL tank. They've even been upgraded to a 10 gallon tank for the summer at least. We're contemplating what to do about the return trip. How many lives does a fish have anyway?

As an update on Jason, speaking of fish out of water...His unit has arrived at their base but have found it to be a little less than accomadating. Yes, it is a war zone but living conditions in his words are "either crap or non exsistent". I know they will get better as his unit builds up the base there but for now they are sleeping in 3 areas of 100 man tents and have virtually NO internet access. On a better note, he does have an international cell phone using calling cards that he can call me on fairly often. The calls of course are priceless but to keep us out of certain financial ruin, we'll have to space the calls appropriately. The weather there is more humid than his last deployment and temps are in the 80-90's. He is making plans to take the GRE which is offered there in June. Hopefully after this fun filled year, Grad school will be our next stop on this roller coaster we call Army life.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's not in her head!

This is a story from a few weeks ago but it's worth writing about, if for nothing else, to help me remember it.
Roxy is our 6 year old Lhasa Apso. She's my first baby and everyone knows she means the world to me. She's always been like a child and that hasn't changed. We're talking a total girlie fu-fu dog. She goes to the groomer every 2 weeks, religiously, sleeps in my bed and walks around with mostly pink bows in her hair.
So, after a recent trip to Washington, D.C. on which Roxy accompanied us (and used a public doggy potty area) she had a few "accidents" in the house. She's always been house broken and has NEVER had an accident so it seemed strange that she would and she would even go so far as to do it right in front of us.
I was convinced that something was wrong and made her an appointment to the vet right away. A few days later at the appointment, I went over her signs and symptoms and they ran a test. The vet came back into our room and simply explained that with all the new "baby stuff" I had been getting out that Roxy was showing signs of stress and acting out in response. She told me it was "all in her head!"
I was appalled that was all I got for my 50 bucks spent on the vet's "expert" advice. In the car on the way home I was gabbing on the phone to someone about the diagnosis I had received saying "the vet claims her pooping issue is all in her head" and Jackson interrupts me saying politely, " Mom, the poop is not in Roxy's head, Mom, it's in her BUTT!" Ah, the infinite wisdom of a 3 year old!
It turns out, $120, a few minutes of Internet research and earning my amateur vet degree, I returned to the vet, requested the medicine I had researched and Roxy was amazingly FINE in one day! So I guess, if you really think about it, it wasn't "all in her head" after all!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Courage

So, my first attempt at a blog and unfortunately, it comes on a VERY sad day in the deFoor house. After this, I will try my best to include only the funniest and most significant details of our "la vida loco".

Today began a journey he didn't request to take. Today began a mission he intends to carry out. Today began a separation he will endure with courage.
He had the courage to accept his commision knowing it would lead him into war.
He had the courage to return a 3rd time into what is known as a war zone.
He had the courage to leave a 3 year old with an unnatural understanding of the danger there.
He had the courage to leave his wife right before she gives birth to their second child.
He had the courage to walk away... and look back to leave us with a smile!

Today around 730pm, we left Jason bound for a plane into Afganistan sometime in the next few days. It's been hard for me to even accept this deployment so closely on the heels of the last one. I know that I will have all the support I need and I'm grateful to have such loving friends and family. I just can't help putting myself in his shoes and think of all the things he's sacrificing in the name of freedom. For that alone, our troops are American Heros!

Before you really begin to feel sorry for him, you must be informed. This poor child isn't crying because we had to leave his daddy. Oh no, he's crying because his bubble gum fell out of his mouth and we wouldn't let him pick it up and chew it again...Oh, the despair!