Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You remember ME, right?

Today Jackson had a short (as usual) conversation with his dad. It went something like this:

Jason: What are you doing, buddy?

Jackson: I'm playing with my race track. You don't remember it, do you?

Jason: No, buddy I don't remember it, I bet it is fun.

Jackson: But you remember Me, right Dad?

Jason: Yeah, buddy, I remember you, you're my best friend and I love you.

Jackson: Yeah, Yeah you Do!

Later today Jackson and I were finishing a project about letters. I gave him a disposable camera to make pictures of something that started with each letter of the alphabet. We were on "W". I said, "Jackson, what is something that starts with the letter "W"? while making the "W" sound. He thought for a minute and sounded out "w-w-WAR! War starts with the letter "W". I asked him how we make a picture of war and he said you just make a picture of Army men.

We don't know how these frequent deployments will effect children. I'm lucky to have young children who have been sheltered from the largest effects of the separation. Jackson was 18 months old when he left for 15 months and 3 when he left for these 12. I've found it much harder to raise on older child through a deployment than a baby who doesn't know the difference.
Jackson is fortunate to one have a FANTASTIC memory, he doesn't forget ANYTHING. He is also fortunate to have a father who knows how to make a big enough impact when he is home to make up for the majority of his life that he has been gone.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Very Scary Doorbell

It is Sunday morning. I wake up and get completely dressed for church while my infant yells in protest in his crib. This is the only place he is safe and girls gotta have a shower sometime. I mix my coffee concoction and begin to feed the natives breakfast. On to dressing the wild indians and packing the car. I then find myself to have 20 whole minutes before I need to leave for church so with baby on hip, I clean up the kitchen and prepare tomorrows coffee (always getting ready for the next day). Right before I begin my "get in the car" mantra...


First thought, Jackson is messing with the doorbell. Then he walks from my bedroom. Wrong.
Next thought, my great neighbors ALWAYS call before coming over.
WHO could possibly be ringing MY doorbell at 9am on a Sunday morning?

I don't have a large house but with baby on hip, I walk through the kitchen and dining room. In these milliseconds, my poor deployment focused mind has convinced everything in me that I will be rounding the corner to the door and peek out the window to see 2 green suitors (bearers of the WORST POSSIBLE news!) standing on my doorstep.

My hands were shaking and I nearly dropped the baby and ran the other way. I shuffled past the door a little with one eye open to see it was...

My neighbor from next door. (the one that always calls) He was bringing me banana bread and coupons from his wife. My face must have been transparent as he protested, "We TRIED to call you first!" I thanked him and closed the door. It was time for church, if my spaghetti legs would get us there.

ENTER deployment paranoia. This is a condition that can be developed at any time during a deployment. It can concern, you, your husband or your children. It could be illnesses, accidents or scary late night sounds. It seems to reach its heights as the deployment is nearing the final miles. It can range from paper cuts and bruises to overwhelming unexplained anxiety.

It's in these moments, I realize that military wives are set apart from others and in many more ways than this. That feeling is not one I want to relive. EVER. I told this story (it was a little humorous later) to a few others and one female soldier was particularly compassionate. She was very sorry I had felt that way and was sure my husband would never want me to feel that way about him either.

I know many have experienced The Very Scary Doorbell but for me, this was a first. A true sign that the end is coming but it's never ever soon enough.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Surgery? on my BABY?

That was my first thought when I had them take a look at the fact that little Lincoln's tongue was attached all the way to the front of his mouth. I had asked the pediatrician about it and she sent me on a consult to UNC. Although this was far from home, I knew the best of the best came from this school and they would know what they were doing. I was completely impressed with the bedside manner of the pediatric ENT surgeon that we saw there. She calmly explained to me the ease of this procedure and the possibility of doing it without putting him to sleep but told me she'd be more comfortable doing it with him unconscious in scheduled surgery because of the risk of clipping the salivary glands under the tongue. I did have a moment of panic when she used the words "unconscious" and "take him back into surgery". But we all want what is best for our children so I quickly browsed my phone for dates I could call in Super Nana for backup for both Mommy and Lincoln. I knew I couldn't do this alone. I just imagined me standing there as they rolled my youngest son back into surgery as I just melted into a blubbery mess. She came to the rescue and it was set.
On Monday Feb. 15, we went in for an "excision of the frenulum" as they called it in surgical terms. The whole procedure took about 30 minutes, the recovery took about 1 hour tops. I'll admit I was a little alarmed when they gave him the Michael Jackson drug (fentanyl)while in PACU but it was just a precaution and to help him rest. It was far more emotional stress for me than it was distressing for him. I can't attest to his pain level but I'd say the hardest part for him was not eating from 10pm to 10am. Boy LOVES to eat!
I had a great prayer circle every end of the country all the way to Afghanistan (thanks daddy!) and everyone is back to normal already.
Tongue-tie or ankyloglossia is caused when the membrane under the tongue (the frenulum) extends excessively toward the tip of tongue. Sometimes this membrane is an intact piece of tissue attached to the floor of the mouth and extending down the length of the underside of the tongue. Sometimes this membrane is interrupted, leaving a small strand of membrane, which attaches close to the tip of the tongue. In either case, this frenulum limits the mobility of the tongue, often giving it a characteristic heart shape when extended.(

Southern Style Snow Cream

This has been the worst winter the Northeast has ever encountered. Snow swells in areas like NYC and DC that have shut down the city for several days. Even the pentagon was closed one day last week. Although we've had some cold and miserable days, we've had nothing like that. Our little ice-in last month was bad enough to make me not wish for it here. On Saturday morning, we got an unexpected little blanket of the fluffy white stuff. It was the BEST kind of snow. A solid 3 inches on the ground. Big, Wet Fluffy stuff that never even stuck to the roadways. It made great snowballs and a cute snowman. It wasnt' really the sledding kind of snow and it was melted by the end of the day but it was fun to play in while it lasted. Oh, and it made for some tasty snowcream. Nana was smart enough to place my large bowl outside on the grill to catch the new falling snow. I had always just raked it off the top of the car. I don't mind eating a little car dirt. Apparently from my google search, snowcream is somewhat of a southern thing. Funny because snow is so rare for us from the south. I read in one place the reason it is a southern tradition is because the vanilla that is added used to have alcohol in it and the alcohol added would calm crazy kids who were a little over excited about the rare snowfall in our neck of the woods. Anyway, if you need the recipe to cook up some snowcream, here is one version:
Snow Cream

Large mixing bowl of fresh snow
1-2 c. Milk (any type is fine, but whole milk is best)
1-2 tsp. Vanilla Extract or other flavoring
1/2 - 1 c. Sugar

Take your large bowl of snow and stir the snow around a bit to fluff it up. Now quickly stir in just enough milk to make the right consistency of ice cream. Start with about 1/2 cup and keep going until you have enough to make the snow creamy. If you add too much milk and it becomes runny, just add some more snow. Then stir in a little vanilla and sugar, and Viola, you've got yourself some homemade snow ice cream!

i ♥ nana

First of all, I'm a proud user of google for everything my mind wonders. EVERYTHING! Sick? google, phone number? google, clingy baby? still looking on google! I found out how to make the cute "♥" symbol and of course I found it on google! If you need to know you type & hearts ; without the spaces!

So this year I have to admit, Nana was MY valentine. She flew in and rescued me in more ways than one. Thanks to her photo journaling, you'll have pictures to detail every event!

Beginning with the tale of the cast iron heart shaped pan. These cast iron muffin pans have been a part of my valentines day for as long as I can remember. They are my Granny's and she has always made me these cupcakes for valentines. As a child, I would help her with them and when I went off to college, they would show up in my mailbox or in my car on my way home from a February visit. Even as an adult living here in NC, I could count on the mail man delivering these confections to my door in early February. As of late, she acquired another pan totaling 3 and this year, I got my very own pan to keep. It's a smaller 9 heart pan and it's just perfect for making heart muffins or cupcakes. I had to get a short lesson in seasoning a cast iron skillet. This consist of soaking it in oil and heating it several times to make sure these adorable hearts come out perfectly. Jackson and I had consumed several batches of heart shaped muffins and we waited until Nana came to make the cupcakes. Wouldn't you know, in her luggage, she still came bearing Granny's cupcakes all the way from Alabama.
Jackson and Nana mixed up a lovely box of red velvet heart shaped cupcakes. Jackson loves to cook and likes to taste even more. He even iced them, tasting the icing after each smear! Mmmm everyone likes double dipped cupcakes!
From the photo, you may think we gave Lincoln a taste but not quite yet. Not that he wouldn't LOVE it, I'm just not ready for 2 sugar monsters to run free in this house yet.
We ♥ Nana
We ♥ Granny
and we ♥ "♥" shaped cupcakes.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

When mama's sick...

When mama's sick...

-the laundry piles up HIGH!

-there are yogurt containers and fruit snack wrappers amuck.

-the kitchen becomes self service = junk food

-"rest time" becomes all the time

-there is an official movie marathon on TV

-the babysitter is called in to feed and diaper the infant

-the trash overflows, shamelessly

-there is a funny smell in the refrigerator (still unidentified)

-pajamas are appropriate for any outing

-rainboots are also approved

-coats are optional (for the mouthy toddler, not the baby)

-hourly care works are SAINTS

-tempers are short and days are long

that's when it would be REALLY nice to be a dual parent home.

I miss him at Christmas, I miss him on birthdays, anniversaries, and other sappy holidays but I miss him most....when mama's sick!

Breakfast with 16 of your closest friends!

What do you call 24 eggs, 12 pancakes, 8 slices of french toast, 6 biscuits, 3 lbs of sausage and 2 gallons of orange juice? That would be what takes to feed the Higerd party of 16 at Cracker Barrel for Saturday morning breakfast. That's right, Northridge Plantation took on Cracker Barrel this morning with 8 adults and 8 children. True bravery stood in placing all the children at ONE table ALONE! Everyone ate their fill and even escaped any major meltdowns thanks to a genius grandma (Thanks Mari's mom!)and a tube of play-doh. Now the floor and the poor waitress probably didn't fare so well but we hope she was well compensated with a tip.
Where are the pictures of this circus you ask...Seriously, who has time to make pictures while corralling 8 toddlers in a crowded restaurant?