Friday, January 30, 2009

There Is No Family In the Army

This week has been full of ups and downs for my family. Many, many ups and downs. I usually try to keep some of my personal business personal, but for this post, I think I just have to let it all hang out there.

We have been involved in a case, trying to get custody of my stepchildren. They are in a physically and emotionally abusive home and are being medically neglected. I will not go into the details of the abuse, but it is happening. Without any doubt.

Some of you may be thinking why didn't we report this to the proper authorities (CPS)? The answer to that is simple. We have. On numerous occasions. The nicest thing that I can say about the CPS in the state where the children reside is...well I can't think of anything nice to say. Let me tell you though, their investigative skills are mediocre at best. The caseworker interviewed a woman that was almost 9 months pregnant, but was unaware that the woman was pregnant. They were to investigate a person living in the household, but their report contains no information regarding that person living there. Apparently, investigation means different things to different people.

Due to the lack of response from CPS, we were forced to go through legal channels. We retained an attorney and have been diligently working towards removing the children from a bad situation. It has been a long and stressful process.

Now, on to the Army part of things. As has been mentioned a few times, the husband is scheduled to deploy. Very soon. Using the proper channels, we have requested that he be allowed to remain behind to conclude the case involving his children. Let me stress that my husband wants to deploy with his unit. This is not attempt to get out of a deployment. He is ready and willing to join his unit as soon as his children are safe. This week we were told that would be allowed. We were given a date for his departure that would allow him to take care of this. A day later, that was revoked. A day later, his flight moved up yet again. We are now looking at a deployment well in advance of getting his children out of this situation. It has been suggested that he leave his children where they are until after his return. In a year. It was also suggested that I fight for his children on his behalf. Trust me, I am more than willing, but it is not allowed. I have asked to be able to do just that.

The Army is suggesting that a soldier deploy to a warzone and leave his children to be abused. To be neglected. The Army expects us to believe that there are no flights to Iraq after a certain day. The Army somehow believes that this will not affect the soldier's ability to perform his job. The Army would also like the general public to believe that they support the soldier and his family. I would love to know where this support is now.

I understand completely that my husband signed the contract. I understand completely that my husband obligated himself to serve his country. I also understand that when doing so he did not realize that at some point in the near future he would be required to choose the safety and well being of his children or his career or jail time.

I won't even go into the fact that at this point in time, the husband is considered nondeployable for medical reasons. They have suggested that he find out if the required surgery can be performed in Iraq. In a warzone.

I am asking for your prayers, your thoughts, your advice, your experience, anything that you are willing to offer.

Feel free to link to this post :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Good Mom, Horrible Mom?

I read on another blog about how this mother spent her entire meal time getting up to get things for her children. I decided right then and there that either I am a HORRIBLE mother or I am a SMART mother.

Part of the difference between she and I is my oldest is big enough to get her own things, although she will occasionally try to get me to do everything for her.

I noticed about a year ago (when all 4 kiddos were with me full time, I was doing the married single parent thing), that these kids were determined that my food had to be cold. I would make 3 children's plates (the toddler was a baby) and set them at the table with drinks and utensils. By the time I started making my plate, the first kiddo was asking for seconds. I would stop making my plate in order to feed that kiddo. Go back to making my plate and here comes kiddo #2. Okay, you see this pattern, correct?

I then decided I would make their plates, set them at the table, make my plate and then call the kiddos for dinner. Of course, about halfway through my meal someone was ready for seconds. At least I got to eat half of my food while it was warm. At some point, I decided that eating cold food was absurd. The kids now wait until I am done with my plate before they get seconds. Sometimes DQ will ask for more, I am getting better about allowing her to get her own, but I have serious issues and am afraid she is going to burn herself on a hot pan. After all, she is the kid that managed to slam her arm in the van door.

The point? I do not interrupt my meal a million times a night. I definitely do not interrupt my meal to give the children seconds. There is absolutely no way I would interrupt my meal to give them dessert. In fact with DQ's age, she has been told if she does not have all she needs prior to my butt hitting the chair, she is outta luck.

Surely I am not the only mother that does this...right? Am I a horribly mean fatty mom that loves her food too much? Or am I smart enough to realize that patience is a virtue? Their patience, not mine.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Somedays It's Just Not Meant To Be

Today is one of those days. I am making a pot roast in my crock pot and decided so nice homemade rolls would be a great addition. I can not make bread by hand. Yeast hates me. It doesn't rise. So, I use the bread machine to make the dough and then pray I can make rolls out of it.

Let me set the scene for you. Bread machine on the counter, toddler under my feet, pan to bread machine next to bread machine on counter, cup of butter in microwave softening. Got all that? The toddler was whining mommy something or other and I am trying to get the dough going. I walk over to the microwave to get the softened butter, walk back to the counter and dump it in. For a split second I thought that's odd, I didn't hear a splash (the water was already in the pan). Oh crap! Yes. I dumped the softened butter into the actual machine...without the pan in it. Geez.

Funny little tidbit from our house the night of the pageant. We weren't actually watching the pageant, but the husband apparently wanted to know who won. He flipped to the channel after the crown was placed. I was buried in my computer or crocheting or both, but I do recall hearing him say something about who won? I heard him repeat the question a couple of minutes later. DQ was standing there, as innocent as children can be, and says "The one wearing the crown." She didn't realize what a smart ass answer this was, but I almost fell out of my chair laughing. The husband was not too pleased with her answer or my reaction. Men.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

One Crafty Lady

I mentioned a long, long time ago that I was making a present for someone. I can't recall if I said who for or not and I am too lazy to go look, so I will just tell the story again. Because I can.

I started making a purse for my super great MIL shortly after moving to Texas. That'd be in July. I finally finished (mostly) the thing in time to give it to her for Christmas. It was a birthday present though. Not a Christmas present. Her birthday is in...ummm...July. Better late than never. Here is what I made her.

I made this from one of the husband's uniform shirts. With his permission of course.

Then there was this other project that I started forever ago. I was looking for something in my totes of all things craft and found it. I decided to finish it in time to give it to the intended recipient...only a year or two later than planned. Again, better late than never. She has not received it, I just finished (mostly) it today. She doesn't read this blog so she will never know it's coming.

I crocheted this all by myself. My hands are now drawn up into fists. They hurt really, really bad. I still have some finishing touches to do. A few bows and a little feather fan thing, but the majority is done.
Now that I have tooted my own horn, I am off to soak my poor little hands!

What A List!

(TAG! YOU ARE IT! Copy and post this on your blog ASAP!) What is this?Well, you’re supposed to bold the things you’ve done so readerscan find out how you've led an awesome life so far.(wink,wink!)

I had to change it up a little so I could be different. The green things are things I WANT to do. The red are things I have done. The ones left black...not gonna happen.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16.Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing (caught a sand shark...I was just a wee lil one too)
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving - I am soooo on the fence on this one
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

There is a whole lot of green in that list. I really should get to is too short.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wii Fit Kicked My Ass

See...I have desired a Wii Fit forfreakingever. I finally got one using some creative purchasing to avoid the pukage that would ensue for spending a whopping $90 on myself. If I really thought about it, that is not really that bad of a price considering that a plain game can cost $50-$60. Whatever. That is a lot of money to spend on something to kick your ass. No joke. It is for the greater good though. Right?

I am a bit somewhat way out of shape. And fat. The Wii Fit said so. Actually it said I am the "O" word. As if I couldn't tell that myself. I got busy on it while the husband was not there to witness my utter mortification. It really was pathetic. I had to do each little "game" a few (hundred) times to get the hang of it. Not that they are hard really...I am just too "O" and uncoordinated.

Honestly? It was tons of fun to figure out how to properly play each little game. I had a blast with it. Worked out for 30 minutes and didn't even really feel like I had. However, in that 30 minutes I managed to break my good knee. Somehow. Not sure what I did, but boy does it hurt. I am going to attempt some more Fit action today anyway and see if maybe I can get past the broken knee thing.

Oh and the hula hoop game...TONS of fun. I am positive that anyone peeking in the window at that point would have been laughing hysterically, but it really was fun. Soccer head-butting-the- ball-game totally was too hard for my unbalanced, old, "O" self. I did manage to get above 30 points though. Yes, I was that pitiful. I am really looking forward to seeing how much progress I can make on reducing my BMI.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Toddler Poopypants

I am going to make this as quick as I can. Today we didn't dress the toddler. She wore her footed PJs that button up the front. All day. This evening, she apparently pooped. We were unaware of this. Usually she is pretty quick to tell us she has pooped. That or her stinch overpowers us. Anywho, she snuck into the backyard. When we went out a few minutes later she grabbed at her butt and said poop. I told her we would change her in a minute. Then she came over to me and kept fiddling with her side. I touched her and felt her PJs and her skin. No cushiony diaper. Strange. I felt the other side and same thing. She had managed to stick her little hands between the snaps on her PJs and unfasten her diaper. It migrated to her ankle. And yes, she had pooped. Lucky for me I had to finish dinner and the husband got the pleasure of cleaning her up.

Be happy that the only picture I took is completely G rated. If you look closely you can see a bulge in her right ankle area (that would be the foot on the left when looking at this pic). It was a mess in there. I am so lucky to be me.

Meanest Parents EVER

Well, I haven't been blogging much lately. I know why, I just don't know how to fix me. I am sorta preparing for the ugly, horrible, mean, lonely, sucky D word. That's deployment, not divorce! I didn't want my blog to be all pitiful me, so I haven't blogged. I have, however, been reading blogs so lil miss Derfina and Amber and Michelle and everyone else, need to get on the ball...or blog.

Had you been 'round my neck of the (not so) Great Place the other night, you may have thought we were murdering one of our children. Rest assured she is alive. I don't know how I refrained, but I did. She came in as I was taking my gourmet, fresh from the freezer, pizza dinner out of the oven and wanted to know if she could go to the park with someone and their uncle. Now, it was almost 6pm. It was getting dark, and it was dinner time. Duh.

Me: No, DQ, it's almost dark and dinner is ready.
DQ: Pleeeeeeeeease! I will eat dinner with T.
Me: No, DQ.
Tears and begging and pleading. She went out to let T know she wasn't going. The doorbell rings and it is T asking for her. Like that changed anything. DQ came back in.

DQ: Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease mom! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeaseeeeeeeeee!
Me: Go beg [the husband] because I am tired of hearing it! (I am soooo mean)
DQ: Please [the husband], pleeeeeeeeaaase! I will eat with T and I will never ask you to take me to the park again!
At that point, I am all for it. Never ask again. Wonder how long never is to an 8 year old?

TH: No.
DQ: Pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

This went on for like forever. I was ready to send her into the dark night alone just for quiet. I tried to reason with her that maybe T wouldn't eat dinner until after her bedtime. I mean, it was 6pm and they were going to the park. Who knows when they might eat. Plus, it's dark. AND I am mean. Also, I had made her favorite meal. None of it mattered. We are the meanest parents EVER. EVER.

Eventually, she stopped giving us the stink eye and went about her business.

I so love being a mom. Really. I do.

The parrot (AKA the toddler) is really killing me. She repeats everything. And then the husband tries to make her repeat the naughty words again. And again. It isn't funny. Really. Last night I told her to go tell her daddy that the bread tie goes back on the bread when he is done and she told him something that he couldn't understand (not unusual) and he said the only word he understand was the B word. Which I didn't say. Super!

I also got an award from AA and will be doing that post as well as some other crap here soon. I think I am having a good day. Maybe.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What Am I Gonna Do?

I am preparing myself to go back to school. It is something that I kept saying I needed to do and...well...I just didn't. Yet. I was given (pre-children) a year of tuition and books to college by my father one year for Christmas. I took advantage and went to two classes per semester (I worked full time) every semester that year. I also was able to get my employer to reimburse the last semester's tuition and used it to continue into the next year. And then...I got pregnant. I decided to finish out that semester and sit out for a while because the baby would be born and stuff.

I went back to school for a semester, maybe two, after things settled down (a few years after she was born). Then, I worked a horribly demanding job (50-70 hours per week) and between work and school I was unable to have any quality family time. Or I got lazy burnt out. Either way, I haven't been back to school in a few years...again.

I am attempting to prepare myself for a lonely year so I decided now would be a good time. Problem is that with all of my education, I could probably be pretty close to a degree...had I stuck with one field. I have gone through several different career ideas. I started out in Information Technology. I then switched to Business Management. Then it was teaching. Then it was Social work. I have no idea what to do with the multitude of classes that I have wasted time, money and effort on.

Today I started looking at the local college to see what programs they offer. Then I remembered that I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I really should determine this before I waste any more money. Truly. They had this little questionnaire thing that was designed to help you decide based on what you like to do, your skills, and the school subjects you like. Wanna know what I should be? Do ya? Here were my top three career clusters:

1. Education and Training - The 5 fastest growing careers in this cluster were: Special Education Teacher, Kindergarten Teacher, Self-Enrichment Education Teacher, Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor (hahahahahaha), and Art, Drama, and music teacher - Postsecondary.

2. Human Services - The 5 fastest growing careers in this cluster were: Personal and Home Care Aide, Preschool teacher, Family and Marriage Therapist, Education Admin (preschool and child care), and Medical and Public Health Social Worker.

3. Business Management and Admin - 5 fastest: Receptionist and Information Clerk, customer service Rep, Administrative Services Manager, Training and Development Specialist, Interviewer (except Eligibility and Loan).

Now, for those of you that missed it, I have already taken classes in each of these clusters. This just emphasized what I already knew. I would enjoy these careers which is why I took classes in them to begin with. So, I am no closer than I was. Craptastic!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Clean House...

After visiting with my OCD father and my immaculate housekeeper MIL (see, can't call her OCD cuz she might get me), I decided that I am a slob. Seriously. I wouldn't normally tell the world about this problem, but I have no morals anymore so I figured I might as well put it out there.

I probably shouldn't use the word slob. That's not really nice. I usually blame my "lived in" house on the toddler. This is not a lie. She destroys within minutes of my cleaning. She has gotten smarter in her methods though. While I clean the living room, she runs off to the kitchen or dining room and makes her messes in there. While I clean those, she goes into the living room and distributes her toys throughout as she sees fit. You get the picture. Either way, I am tired of living in a "lived in" house when everyone else's house is so CLEAN.

I just erased the paragraph detailing exactly what I did today because really? Who cares. I cleaned my house. I feel better. The End.

This afternoon, the husband put the toddler down for her nap at his lunch time. Did ya get all that? Anywho, before he laid her down though he had to change a stinky diaper (p.s. Do NOT tell the toddler she has a stinky ass...she will repeat). He decided to leave her pants off. After naptime, I was sitting her playing Guitar Hero (housework was done yo) and she walked up to me. I assume her finger was covered in poop (playing the game, duh!) because there was a HORRIBLE smell and said something then wiped it on her shirt. Super. She is no longer allowed to go pantless.

How was everyone else's Monday?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Horrible Coffee, Prayers Needed & Beautiful People

This morning, as with most mornings, the husband made a pot of coffee before he left for PT. For you civilian types, that's the military's exercise regime. Anywho, he got home before I made my first cup of coffee and informed me that the coffee was "really strong" for some reason today. I went about my business and made my cup. It was AWFUL. I mean really, really awful. I just poured it out and decided to go without my coffee this morning.

Later on, I was preparing for a grocery store trip and was taking stock of what I had and what I needed. I started looking for the coffee that he had picked up at the shopette yesterday and couldn't figure out where he had hidden it. I did spot what I thought was the instant coffee I had bought to make a coffee milkshake drink, but that was all I could find. Strange. I added coffee to my mental list and off I went. When I got home, he was here for lunch and I pointed out that the coffee was really nasty this morning. I also asked him where the coffee he had bought was. Yep. That INSTANT coffee I spotted? He had used that to make coffee this morning. I tried my hardest not to laugh at him as I pointed out the word INSTANT on the label. Poor thing. Good thing I grabbed some REAL coffee at the store. Tomorrow should be more caffeinated.
***By the husband's request I am adding that he gets up at 5am and is not really with it in the mornings.***

I am not going to dwell on this subject very long, but the situation that I have referred to a few times on this blog? Well, don't forget to keep praying and making your sacrifices or whatever for us. We had a setback in that situation today and I am just going to look at it as a speed bump. It will all work out the way it is supposed to. Right? RIGHT?! Since we all know that I am always right, this means that the situation will work out to MY way. Maybe I should start a separate blog just for this situation. Maybe it would help someone that was in the same predicament? Surely there can't be more than one person in the world like what we are dealing with though, right?

In any event, we had family pictures made while we were on our trip. We had our entire family together and went for it. They turned out really good...even with me in them! I am pleased with my beautiful family!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I'm Backkkkkk

For now. I won't go into all of that right now, but if I happen to disappear unexpectedly, I am alive. Just not here.

The trip is over. I am back home. It was a horribly long drive. Never trust Mapquest's directions. It stinks.

I miss the family already. Actually, I missed them from the moment that I got into the van headed home. Mostly because I was dreading the 16 hour ride back to the (not so) Great Place. Kidding. I missed them because I love them. Duh.

While on this trip, I became obsessed with something new. I am not one that can say I do not have an addictive personality. Unfortunately. For me, my husband and my MIL. I began reading Twilight on Monday, December 22nd. I finished the last book of the series this morning. Now, I don't know what to do with myself. The series was so good that I couldn't stop myself from reading constantly. The husband had to put his foot down when I was going to take the book with me into the restroom of a gas station along the route. Sigh. Anywho, I am sure you are all wondering what the MIL has to do with this addiction? You see, I was at her house when I read all of these books (except for the 4th) and as I finished them, I passed them on to her. Now, she is addicted. Oh, the 4th one will hopefully make it to the post office tomorrow, Mom. Unless I decide to withhold the "fix" for a while. hehe I am EVIL.

So, after I finished the book this morning, I decided it was time to take down the tree and put away the decorations. I also decided this was a good time to rearrange the furniture. The husband loves me. Actually, he wasn't too hard to convince because he wanted to be able to connect his stinking game system to the internet and we didn't have a long enough cord. That is, until we were halfway through rearranging and he found a cord I had stashed somewhere. hehe Evil.

Now, we have rearranged the house, put together bikes and trikes, and I am stuck with nothing to do so I thought I would entertain you. I know, you are so lucky!

I have to mention that I was most not happy about returning home tonight when I realized that dinner wasn't making itself. Crap! Think I could convince the MIL to come and live in Texas so she could cook for me every night? I guess I will survive...and resume my cooking duties. Sure was nice...

We had a wonderful, exciting, busy, and exhausting Christmas. We went to Gatlinburg on New Year's Eve and it was all of those things too. Ha! Had to throw that in there. I hope that you all had a great holiday season!