Thursday, September 24, 2009

Protection and Forgivness

First, a confession from a weary mom of 2 who is in desperate need of the presence of the husband and father of these 2 young boys. On Wednesday morning before Bible study (Oh, why does it always have to come out before church?), we were rushing to get out the door. The reason we are always rushing is beyond me. I go so far as to lay out everyone's clothes, make the coffee, lay out our breakfast and load the car with the necessary things. After everyone is dressed, I ask Jackson to get his shoes on, which he is normally capable of doing alone. I'm used to repeating myself several times so I sang that song oh, about 20 times before I had to raise my voice. Sadly, I admit, it goes downhill from there. While holding the crying baby and an armload of stuff, Jackson proclaims he can't find his shoes...the ones I LAID OUT! I leave him with the threat of finding them and load the baby and the necessary cup of joe in the car. I come back in to find Jackson daydreaming and NOT engaging in that shoe hunt I left him on. So, I'm past raising my voice which sounds so polite. Now, I'm yelling. I'm yelling at a 3 year old because he can't find his shoes and he's going to make us late for my Bible Study. I certainly cant' claim perfect, maybe I can claim to wear matching earrings MOST of the time but perfect parenting is usually a fasad. We were able to locate the missing shoes and arrive 5 (unimportant) minutes late to Bible study today. In the midst of Bible Study on "Esther, it's tough being a woman" I start to feel an overwhelming sense of guilt for the shoe finding episode at home and I know just what I need to do. I go to the preschool class and call Jackson (who is of despite our altercation, happy to see me). I told him that I wanted to say I was sorry for yelling about his shoes and that it was wrong for me to handle it that way. I asked him if he would forgive me? That is a new tactic we've been working on. I'm sorry is no longer the end all, it must be followed by "Will you forgive me?". I like the principal it teaches and it was quite humbling to say it myself. We followed Bible study with a trip to the Mexican Place as Jackson calls it. I hope we both learned a little lesson here, 1) know where your shoes are and 2) mommies make mistakes and also have to ask for forgiveness.

I think this photo says a lot about how Jackson has stepped up to the plate in home protection with his Daddy gone. Nobody and I mean NOBODY is going to be stealing our silverware or our dishtowels. I took the gun down and handed it to him to put away and he said, "No, leave it there, that's my gun rack."

Still the One

See that guy up there, the one in the knock your socks off white prince charming ensemble? Yep, that was August of 2000 and I knew even then that he was "the ONE." So here we are 9 years, 3 deployments and 2 kids later. This isn't the blog for our love story but it is a testament to our commitment. I have recently calculated the percentage of our married life that he has been gone and it lands somewhere around 40% (I'm a "glass half-full kinda girl"). I always say our pre-married life was conditioning us for our future together. We wrote and called long distance from Auburn, AL to West Point, NY more than most people would have been willing to do. At least then I got to see him every 6 weeks or so. I love that we spent the first year of marriage paying off those plane tickets! My recent Bible study eluded to the fact that there are No coincidences, only instances in which God chooses to remain anonymous. I love knowing that despite the hardships, I'd always rather be married to him half a world away than be married to anyone else. Today a rather large bouquet of flowers was sitting on my doorstep delivered from the other side of the globe just for me! There was no holiday or occasion, just flowers. Funny how songs always seem to say what you are feeling and recently I was listening to the newly discovered Pandora and I hear the song "Lucky" by Jason Mraz and Colby Caillat. Here are the lyrics that seem so fitting and needless to say, I think I'm "LUCKY."

Do you hear me,
I'm talking to you
Across the water across the deep blue ocean
Under the open sky, oh my, baby I'm trying
Boy I hear you in my dreams
I feel your whisper across the sea
I keep you with me in my heart
You make it easier when life gets hard

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
Ooohh ooooh oooh oooh ooh ooh ooh ooh

They don't know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I'll wait for you I promise you, I will

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
Lucky we're in love every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

And so I'm sailing through the sea
To an island where we'll meet
You'll hear the music fill the air
I'll put a flower in your hair
Though the breezes through trees
Move so pretty you're all I see
As the world keeps spinning round
You hold me right here right now

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
I'm lucky we're in love every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Resume Building: Potty Fixer

Mowing grass...check, paying bills...check, vehicle maintenance...(almost)check, trash collector...UGH check. Along with all my wifely and mommy duties, these are some of the husbandly duties I must take on while Jason is gone. Some of them I don't mind too bad. SOME of them (TRASH)... I ask for a written promise that I will NEVER have to complete these tasks when he returns, true story! So while fulfilling my duty of raising these boys is never dull (or on time for that matter)some days a just simply more of a challenge. You may thing I take on those challenges with a smile and earrings but some of them can only be described as DIRTY JOBS! I can change diapers and potty train with the best of them. I can clean up after dogs and cats too. But when your three year old is yelling again from the bathroom..."MOM, MOM...the potty is broke again, Come here", I automatically cringe. This type of crisis requires my immediate attention. Jackson is completely self sufficient in the bathroom now and this has led to a stopped up toilet on a couple of occasions. I saved the days with the trusty and oh so nasty plunger those times. So as I quickly enter the bathroom, I just say a little prayer that there is no moisture on my tile floors. I walk in to see my three year old standing on a stool with the plunger inside the toilet. THANK GOODNESS, I see that it's a clean toilet. I immediately see that it is not another clogged potty and proceed to help him flush it when I realize that it won't flush. Now I see where his problem lies. So Jackson and I pull our pants down a little in the back (plumbers crack) and remove the back of the toilet. I see that the chain is broken but I have not a clue as to how to fix it. Next move: Phone call to Daddy. He explains that I must stick my hand down the back of the toilet and let the water out and remove the chain. Are you kidding me? Do I look like the kind of girl that is going to stick my hand anywhere in a toilet? He then explains not only is the water clean(whatever!) but I can also turn the water off and drain it before removing the chain. I take off the part and place it into a zip-lock bag for a Lowe's run. After choosing my earrings of the day and meeting the girls for a Vietnamese lunch the boys and I walk into Lowe's and ask for help finding one of "THESE" while holding up the baggie. I find my potty part and we're on our way, feeling somewhat domestic and successful at attempting to fix the potty. I'll be honest, I've considered waiting on someone else to come and do it or just waiting on the sweet husband (5 weeks till R&R). I mean, we have another bathroom, right? But tomorrow I'll probably put on my big girl pants and pull the down in the back of course and attempt to fix the broken potty. But I mean, seriously, talk about DIRTY JOBS? That's just not in my job description...until now.

Wanted: Dead or Alive

Jackson has become quite a hunter around our house. He regularly shoots bad guys, dogs, cats and good guys (when he IS the bad guy). Deer and rabits don't have a chance around these parts. Sometimes he chooses the rifle, sometimes the pistol and sometimes it's buzz light years laser gun. As of late, he's even used a large plastic dagger to cut me when I don't please him. No matter what the weapon of choice, Jackson is learning to live up to his role as man of the house!

I recently went into Jackson's room to check on him at his nightly request. Little does he know I've been checking on him every night of his life before I go to bed. This is how he was sleeping when I checked on him.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Labor of Love

Nana, my mom, came to visit over labor day weekend. She is our personal photographer and I'm so lucky that she has such a great eye to always take awesome pictures of my kids! And thank goodness for photoshop to make me look a little better! You know the camera adds 5 lbs right? Their Nana seriously loves these kids. I mean she let us move in with her over the summer and we BRING the baggage(a uhaul full). You can't possible image how many images it takes to get this many good pictures of both of them together. And I mean it is WORK! 1000 images and a bag of skittles later, we finally had something to work with. As great as these photos are, I can't shake the feeling that something (or someone) is still missing ;)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blog, blog, blog

Status Report

Life has been busy, yet uneventful at the deFoor house. We are in the midst of this year long deployment where all conversations are "What are you doing?" "Nothing, what are you doing?" "Nothing." Yes we are inching closer to R&R but the days are long and seem to be dragging. Not as much so as they will be in Feb. and March I know! This "status report" is blog-lifted right off of my good friend Mari's page. She is to whom I credit my inspiration to blog. my permanent fixture the kitchen table with my husband's replacement (a red hot laptop computer) Some friends and I considered making an ellipitical machine that you can somehow attach your computer to the front so that I could spend all this time on here while also working my buns!

Drinking...the last of my Diet Dr. Pepper from Dinner. It can sometimes curb the cravings for dessert. And sometimes NOT.

Noting... my ever-growing to do list. The grocery list, the sites to look up, the jackson-isms to blog about. And the fact that every night I say once I get the house cleaned up, I'm going to work on my scrapbooks that are currently taking over my once fancy dining room and never seeming to do it before the clock strikes midnight.

Weighing...physically UGH, do I really have to go there?
Literally, whether or not we should book a character breakfast at Disney in October and if so, which one?

Tired...of HIM being gone. I can't even begin to describe how tired I am of my best friend living half-way around the globe.

Thinking...about our busy week ahead. I enjoy the "fast pace" of life around here and how something always seems to find a way to fill my evenings. I'm so thankful for the neighborhood I live in and the girls that are always willing to keep me company!

Wondering...if I should try to wake Jackson to go to the bathroom. He cries at night to not wear a pull-up but when we've tried the no pull-up in the past, he's woken up wet, changed clothes, gone back to sleep and STILL woken up wet again in the morning. To wake or not to wake? That is the question.

Reading...Beth Moore's bible study: Esther, It's tough being a woman. It seems like it's going to be an awesome bible study and I'm going through it with my MOPS moms at church.

Recently finished... a slice of curried Nan (Trader Joe's flat bread) and a cup of Campbell's Soup at Hand-chicken and stars. It's pretty good and only 70 calories. I may forget how to cook all together.

Also wondering...if it's possible for a mom to squeeze in a child-free run this week. It's my best form of stress relief.

Needing... to get the groceries on the list. Also to hang the mounds of clothes in the kids rooms. That's a testiment to a mom who is somewhat addicted to kids clothing!

Not liking...that nearly every function I attend somewhere between 70-90% of my friends husbands are currently deployed. I always wonder, where does that leave the safety of OUR nation?

Feeling silly... for ALWAYS staying up too late. Also, for getting so stressed out about my crying 3 month old. He is obviously perfect in every way as he lay in his little bassinet quietly whimpering from his 2 hour crying bout this evening. Why do I always want to pick him up and squeeze him right about now?

Ok, more to come in the life of deFoors (at least the ones on this continent.)
Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cry me a River

We've all at some point cried ourselves to sleep for one reason or another. It may have been for a good reason or (when you're pregnant) for no reason at all. I can say I've never heard of crying your brother to sleep but Lincoln somehow managed to do so! Lincoln has decided the car is for crying. He doesn't yet understand that we live 30 minutes from ANYWHERE and this momma likes to travel. He and I will surely have to come to an understanding but for now we are at a standoff. I travel, he cries. He cries from our house to post, church, shopping and all the way home. For Lincoln, there is no consoling. You can stop the car and get him out but the minute you think you are going to place his precious bottom back into that carseat, the floodgates are once again opened. I've used tricky tactics such as turning the radio up so that it drowns him out but when you turn the Disney songs, or whatever is playing, back down it starts again. Oddly enough, Jackson doesn't seem to be bothered by his crying. He dilligetly tries to give him his paci but gives up when he sees he's getting no where. So right now it's Mom versus Lincoln in the car and I'm not sure who's winning the battle but I WILL win the war. I am a "stay at home mom" but the last thing this momma's going to do is stay home! I just might have to invest in some noise canceling headphones for the sake of my sanity and social life!
I might add that Jackson has recently decided that he's "too big for a nap" and it has led to him being in a state of exhaustion on busy days.

It ain't over till it's over

We are finally back in North Carolina and I am so happy to be back here. I loved being in Alabama all summer. I loved the help I had with the kids. I loved being with my family. In all the same ways, I love being back here at my house. I love being back here with my friends. I love being surrounded by women who are going through the same situation that I am and allowing me to see I'm not the only one. I may be alone but I'm not "alone" all by myself. At any given time there are 10,000+ ladies in this town that go to bed alone every night. That means there's a lot of lonely wives around here. That also means there's a lot of ladies just like me looking for ways to fill their time until (insert possible date here). We share so many of the same emotions that you just can't help feeling surrounded.

Tonight my attention was brought to a news website. Most military wives know, we NEVER watch the news for our own sanity. The website proclaimed that part of the 82nd would be extended for 52 days longer than their expected 1 year deployment. In a moment of a mini-heart attack, I made a few calls/emails and apparently this will not apply to our unit, not right now anyway. However, sadly, it does apply to someone. Someone had their countdown extended and when you have a countdown extended, it's sure to be the longest 52 days in history. I'm thankful that it's not us (not yet anyway!). I just can't help but let my heart go out to that mom/wife that found out that she had to endure 52 days MORE of this utter loneliness and press on for her children, her husband and herself.
Make no mistake, this job of being a military spouse is not an easy one. My heart aches nearly every day for a different aspect of my military mommy friends going through a different hardship. It never gets any easier. Another famous phrase comes to mind in reference to those extensions, whether it be 2 days or 2 months.
"It ain't over till it's over". Until they all come HOME!