Tuesday, December 11

Catching Up

Tis the season to be busy... and moody. I have been attempting to clean my house so I can move furniture to make room for a Christmas tree. Why does everything hinge on a clean house?

Anyway, during the past couple of weeks since Thanksgiving I have been keeping up on the daily blogs I visit. However, I believe it is fairly evident by the lack of blogging on my part... the blog is suffering. I plan to remedy this situation although I'm not sure how.

I wanted to introduce my little family. The picture is of my children and me (bad picture). Anyway, Ben is obviously the youngest and very much like Calvin of the beloved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. He was actually almost named Calvin. He is quite bright and makes attempts at being sly. Scary thought - he gets better at stealth as each day passes.

Rebekah is my first... and tallest. She wears the same size shoe I do! I feel bad for her because once her foot grows a tad more all of the very cute shoes in her collection will find their way to my closet. Oh come on, I have to put a positive spin on it. Anyway, Bekah is the greatest help right now intervening with Ben.

After a request from my sister to post child are, I will soon begin a new blog page with both Ben's and Bekah's art. Will post a grand opening date once I have a little more time to get organized. I am hoping to start at New Years.

Friday, December 7

5 Things...

I am going to consider myself "tagged" by one of .dot comrades. I went to her site earlier to check in and found 5 Things about her - she had been tagged by a friend. So here I sit tagged and contemplating my five things. By the way, if you're reading this, you must realize you've been tagged as well.

1 - I suffer (or I'd prefer to say "deal with") social anxiety. I believe I have a pretty good personality which most people see once I've been around for a while. Its that initial meeting, the from the hip type of encounters that render me almost helpless. Oddly enough, I'm a sales person and work on the anxiety every day. There are some days I sit in my car for a few minutes in order to "talk myself into" (practicing) the impending meeting.

2- I think I'm afraid of success. This is a fairly recent discovery about myself so I think I'll talk more about it later. Stay tuned for blog - film at 11!

3 - I play the viola. One of the reasons I picked the scroll work for my id. My happiest memories from school are when I was playing. I haven't played in years but will be picking up shortly. I'm waiting for the holiday season to pan out and then start practicing again. This is one of those doomed success stories that I'll blog about later. I am determined to dust it off, tune it and pour out my passion on the strings.

4 - I sleep with a Teddy Bear. Yep I really do. I received this bear as a Christmas present from a boyfriend years ago (20 or so) and he (Bear) goes with me everywhere. Business trips, vacations, car rides and even camping. Some people sleep with body pillows, I sleep with a bear.

5 - I miss my cat tremendously. No his name was not tremendously it was Emerson. ha-ha (sorry) He was my first adult pet (I was the adult not him). He always knew when I had "one of those days", would come to me when I'd cry and loved me unconditionally. He was 17 years old when I had to help him from this world. I was there with him and wouldn't have had it any other way. The doctor let me sit with him for as long as I needed so I was able to say good bye, love him with pets and cry in his fur one last time.

Sorry for the rather melancholy blog. I've noticed my thoughts flow much easier with the sad stuff - WTF? Happy stuff does happen here in this Sonoran home and I will write on those occasions in the future.
so... Tagged! You're It!

Thursday, December 6

Over the River and Through The Woods...

Almost eerily quiet. A weird kind of quiet - there is definitely something, or someone, missing from this picture. Ben!
Grandma took Ben last night - he wanted to visit the farm at Ramah's house. So we packed him up and sent him packing. Bekah, C and I went Christmas shopping for a few hours, had dinner at 9:30pm and then returned home packages in trunk. No PJs, teeth brushing, books, rocking or prayers. Although peaceful, sad as well. =(
He was over at the farm all day today and evidently didn't want to come home. Grandma asked if he wanted to "go home with Mom or stay another day". Since there are no small children underfoot the choice he made is obvious. He'll be home tomorrow morning before work. I miss his presence (even as loud as it can be sometimes).
I'm going to bed early and as most of you who visit know, 11pm is early for me. Good night!

Wednesday, December 5

Crafty Kid

I knew Ben was a smart kid (and yes I'm biased) but this afternoon was the best story I had heard in a while.

BACKGROUND: Ben's grandmother (Ramah) watches him once a week. As the typical grandparent she pretty much gives in to Ben's every whim. He used to get a piece of gum whenever she came over until he started putting it anywhere he pleased. Now, she hides her purse each time she's here.

Wrench and stool in hand, Ben passes right by grandma as she is walking from the living room. At this point she decides it's time to follow the child. He walks into the office, puts the stool on the floor next to the table and climbs up. Using the wrench he snags the purse, carefully hidden behind some painting supplies, and pulls it towards the edge of the table. His reward is in sight! A pack of gum is within his reach and it's all his!

As children will be children Ben does not realize grandma is right there to stop the theivery. I think she let him have the gum. After all grandmas will be grandmas.

Time to find a new hiding spot...

Tuesday, December 4

dookie in the Toilet

Nope. This isn't a post about my sister's puppy. But isn't she so very cute?

I am actually writing about dookie in the potty. You know poo, poopies, dookie, s!&*. Sorry but it has to happen.

Ben pooped in the potty all by himself tonight. Yippee!!!! What a big boy!

He's been using the potty more and more every day but absolutely refusing to poo. Just after getting ready for bedtime (it couldn't have been just before) he decided to use the potty. He had already pottied earlier so I figured it would be quick. He was in there for a good 10-15 minutes. Grunting away. He kept saying things like "oooh", "cool", and "thats a big one". Definitely a boy - even with Papa away, we're working on keeping the guy comments around. (hee-hee)

What an incredible obstacle to overcome. Hopefully he will continued tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, etc. etc. I am so very happy for him (and me too!).

Today the potty - tomorrow the pacifier. Yes, you heard me correctly. {heavy sigh}

Sunday, December 2

Tears Keep Coming

Meloncholy. Sad. Broken Hearted. Tearful. (punky modds just don't cover them all)

It's been one of those weekends. Anxiety started on Thursday and the tears started tonight. The weekend activities of cleaning, organizing and shopping are over and the kids are in bed. The house is cold and may be one of the reasons it feels so lonely. I can't seem to shake the weepiness. Although my eyes will bear the brunt of the situation I'm thinking a quiet and secluded tear-fest in bed might help.

I want to apologize for the pity party tonight but I need to try & get it out and on paper (so to speak).

My heart feels broken tonight. Ben asked to call Daddy tonight but he's unreachable for the next three weeks. I long for his hug and shoulder to cry on.

Wednesday, November 28

Distracted but Time To Write Again

I have to announce I was truly blessed and thankful last Thursday. One week ago Ben and I traveled down to Tucson to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Scoobers was to come down either late Wed or early on Thurs - anyway, my mom and I stayed up working on crosswords and just... stuff. I was exhausted after going to bed at 3:00am the night before (the night I baked pies). Anyway, as I was just starting off to bed my dog, Bear, was acting odd - someone was at the front door. Jerry was waiting as I opened the door, thinking it was my sister. Yes, I cried, we hugged. It was quite the moment.

Typical government entity, the decision went back & forth and finally they were told Thanksgiving was in their future. From what I understand he had worked with both my sister and my mom in order to pull off the surprise. Yes, they knew. Which explains why my mom was trying to keep me awake and also why both of my parents worked so hard to make the guest room absolutely perfect. My honey was home for two days!

He is back in training and currently involved with field training. I won't hear from him until the 10th. But yippee yahoo! He'll be home for 10 days at Christmas!!! I'm on vacation those days too - hmmmmm... go figure.

I am attempting to get my Christmas shopping done online at night after Ben goes down for bed (which has been late every night). Remember when Jerry left the first time? Yep - same situation only much more obedient. I will keep all in touch as I can - I truly love this time of year and will post pics as well!

Tuesday, November 20

Fruits of My Labor

The house smells absolutely yummy. I think it's the nutmeg that makes pumpkin pie smell so very heavenly. I started baking around 9:40pm. Yes, I know it's late but Ben would not fall asleep and I didn't want to distract him from sleepy time thoughts. So anyway, here it is around midnight and I have four pies baked for Thanksgiving. Two will be coming home with me to my parent's house in Tucson and the rest are for well deserving friends.

It's late but I am so very relaxed and content because I was able to do the one thing I so enjoy this time of year. Baking for others. Sure I like to nibble and to sample the wares but I love to package up cookies and send pies home with friends.

I bake my pumpkin pies from scratch. Yup from the actual squash. Typically, I will use the meat from the Halloween Jack O'Lantern (I freeze it). This year we didn't have time to carve a pumpkin much less even pick one up. I've noticed a lot of stores don't carry pumpkins once Halloween is over. I'm not sure where all of those left over pumpkins are taken. I'd like to say they are taken back to the farm where they can once again be free but I'm more inclined towards the cannery option.

I like the process of baking as well as the end result. Taking raw ingredients, cooking them up, mixing all of those delectable spices together with the pumpkin and finally pouring the mixture into a well made pie shell. A grandmotherly type by the name of Marie Callendar makes the shells as I have not yet perfected the art of the shell. Easier too. Anyway, the house smells delicious, I have pies to spare and I feel good.

In about 30 minutes I will have six full size pies and four smaller individual pies. Best of all I was able to throw the seeds in the oven as well so I'm pretty well stocked on both regular seeds and garlic flavor.

Opinions, Thoughts, Reviews wanted.

Last week I blogged about losing the ball. You know.. the one I'm usually on but has recently bounced away? I received several comments about Palm Pilots seeming to help the loss of a mind.

I would truly appreciate your reviews of the type you currently use, used to use or even dream of using. I love Outlook and use it often at work so I am definitely in need of a much more portable version. Sounds like a great Christmas suggestion to me!

Monday, November 19

Quitting NaBloPoMo

Well... I took some time this weekend for me... in a manner of speaking. I watched movies with Bekah and Ben, cleaned my kitchen (although you couldn't tell now), took naps, caught up on HGtv, cleaned my bedroom, watched an entire movie start to finish in one sitting, finished another book and finished laundry (again). Look at the dresser - there is actually wood on there!

I did not blog all weekend and actually didn't even turn my computer on. No surfing, didn't check email and didn't blog. So... in order to keep from losing my mind I quit NaBloPoMo.

Ben has been so much better since I've been watching his sugar intake. I have Kris (daycare provider) watching the sugar as well. By the way, did you know grapes have sugar in them? Natural yes but still sugar. I think the deletion of a usually ever present parent is the biggest impact but I think he's adjusting well. I know he's sleeping longer and better.

We lay down on the big king size bed every night to read a pile of books. His current favorite is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. Ben loves the cute story and laughs in all of the right places. His personal reading time of 10 minutes or so is usually spent looking through a "word" book. It's a picture book with all sorts of scenes in which the things / people are labeled so kids can learn the names of common household items. There is a grumpy cat in every picture he loves to look for.

I am still sick but on medication which of course makes me drowsy. It also makes me cough which wakes me up throughout the night but as long as I get better so be it. So I better get to it if I want to be any sort of useful tomorrow.
Home-made pumpkin pies, from scratch, were the efforts of tonight - pictures & instructions to follow. =)

Thank you JJ for commenting on the last blog post. It's nice to know family in other parts of the country is keeping updated. I've never been the greatest correspondent so hopefully this will suffice.

Thursday, November 15

Perfect Day

For most Arizonans, today could be considered one of those perfect days. Cloudy, rainy and somewhat cool. The temp never climbed over the mid 70's so I was able to wear a sweater. Yes, I wore a sweater to work.
I will never understand the biting wind, mind numbing cold in which so many Midwesterners and East coasters deal with every winter. Today was the beginning of sweater weather and that makes for the perfect day. Only temperatures in the mid 60s would have been better.
I can't believe I have succumbed to the weather in order to make my daily blog deadline. I'm going back to my NyQuil induced sleep and hopefully will wake up with my voice.
Good Night!

Wednesday, November 14

Where did the ball go?

I'm looking for advice so feel free to comment up a storm. Tell me to get a life, get my *ss in gear, whatever - I just cannot seem to get my head in the game. People tell me I have a lot on my mind (really?), not to worry, it's just natural all things considered. Come on! I'm a professional and when I don't pull my weight (which is a lot) I'm not happy with myself. (blah)

I've been working @ my company for 12 years now. I've held a variety of positions from secretary to management. I am currently in sales with a quota over my head. Now, typical of most sales jobs, there is a lot of middle mgmt over me that likes to put their finger in the mix to stir things up. Specifically things that deter me from the primary goal - making money. Sales.

We have mandatory training (on-line & classroom) , customer calls, customer visits, report after report and like all other jobs the stuff someone else is supposed to handle but doesn't so you have to do it yourself so it gets done properly. Well I play the game. I use the tools given to me, turn in my reports (when I remember and I'll get to that later), make the calls, visit the clients, etc. When in a normal work day am I supposed to sell something? That aside the main problem is as follows.

The main problem (in my opinion) is my brain. I miss appointments that are clearly written on my calendar, forget to answer voice mail, not followed up on the "sure thing" sale which by the way I end up losing. I've even forgotten to hit the button on my emailed proposal and once again end up blowing off my client. WHISKEY-FOXTROT-TANGO! (military for WTF)

Yes, I have been distracted. Hmmmmm.... who wouldn't be with their husband somewhere else for a long period of time. Like I said, I'm doing the footwork, logging the calls and miles on my car but I just cannot get my mind back into the game. I have always been one of the most conscientious (spelling?) worker bee out there and by the way I don't cheat or steal to get my customers.

My sales suck big time right now and I feel like the biggest loser and failure because I can't even focus on the job. I haven't given 100% in a long time... 75% is hard enough. God, I hate that.

How do I get my head back in the game? How do I remember all of the things to do during a day? (obviously writing it down doesn't work) Any ideas out there? Things that have worked for you? Not worked? Uggghhhhh!

This situation has me absolutely flustered. I have always been on the go and on the ball. The ball rolled away somewhere and I kind of need to find it!

Tuesday, November 13

Seven Things...

Okay, I've accepted another tag from Mandy Lou. I'm still feeling very sentimental from Veteran's Day so I'm going to be somewhat serious (at least in the beginning) about seven things I am grateful for...

1. Jesus' sacrifice on the cross - I am grateful for redemption. God doesn't require anything of us except to acknowledge the sacrifice is personal. If I were the only person on earth, he still would have been on that cross. Starting off rather serious but my faith is a very important part of who I am.

2. My husband and children. I am so very proud of Jerry and love him muchly. My children, Bekah and Ben, bring joy into my life each and every day. As much as I write about the trials and tribulations of family life - they are truly few and far between. For some reason they just seem bigger at the time. The simple hugs and smooches throughout the day are great but my favorite is rocking (in a chair not "out") right before bed.

3. My family. I have truly been blessed with wonderful parents who are still together after 41 years and two incredible sisters to whom I can turn to in any crisis.

4. To be born in the United States of America. With everything going on throughout the world our country is pretty damn cool! Where else in the world can you burn the national flag and protest the government without fear of any retribution. Freedom is definitely not free but as long as you're willing to work hard, we Americans can achieve absolutely anything!

5. The sound of waves hitting the shore. Whether the waves are crashing on the rocks or rustling on the sand during low tide. It is a constant and reassuring sound. I could sit for hours on the beach, close my eyes and just listen. Oh wait! I have done that.

6. The Internet has opened up a world of quick and easy research. I remember the days of card catalogs and stacks of books. Although, I am grateful for books because I love to reach. The updated information and pictures make spanning the globe so much easier. It has given me the desire to travel overseas - I never wanted to do that before. Maybe that's age speaking =)

7. Squirrels. Yes, Mandy Lou your post inspired me . I mean really, what would happen to all of the nuts that fall from trees if not for squirrels. Hee-hee.

8. One more!! Starbucks. I had my first latte at a Starbucks in Seattle in 1992(ish) way before they became nation wide. Yummy! I was hooked! Starbucks has been quite the life saver on business road trips after a night of little sleep. Venti Soy Mocha No Whip is my drink. I definitely prefer the holiday treat of Peppermint Mocha with Whip and sprinkles but the soy sits better due to lactose intolerance (TMI?).

See, I started off very serious but worked my way down to the small things in life.

Monday, November 12


Today is a fairly emotional one as I think of my very own veteran who is currently training for deployment. He is a Navy SeaBee reservist who has recently been activated. My thoughts, though they linger on my husband, have strayed to times past and other vets I know. I would like to say...

Thank you for your service to our beloved United States of America.

Thank you Jerry for your service today.

Thank you Daddy for your service in the 60s.

Thank you Uncle Ed for your service during the Korean War.

Thank you Alex for your years of service in the Air Force.

Thank you John.

Thank you Scott.

Thank you Yvonne.

Thank you to the thousands of soldiers and sailors who have put their lives in harm's way to defend our freedoms as well as the right to freedom for millions of people around the world.

The sacrifice of these men and women have been made in a number of ways. Throughout the years these Americans have volunteered, recruited and even drafted for service to their country. No matter what the reason for enlisting, each and every one of them has sacrificed something from their life in order to protect the freedoms we enjoy. Time, energy, long periods away from family - some have even given the ultimate sacrifice - their life.

Veterans are a part of our every day life. Veterans are our neighbors, co-workers, friends and family. Veterans are our living heroes.

Say "Thank You" today and every day!

Sunday, November 11

Cries from the room down the hall...

...As I sit here, attempting to relax and suffer quietly with my sinus issues, I hear cries from the room down the hall. The room in question would by our bedroom and the cries are coming from Ben (who would have guessed). He is playing XBox with Bekah and yes, I've heard her "cries" of frustration as well. She is helping out today in a big way since my head like a balloon full of lead snot (sorry). My eyes are like little slits due to the light sensitivity and the computer screen isn't cooperating either. But I missed blogging yesterday so I'm feeling slightly guilty about the whole NaBloPoMo thing. Oh well....

Anyhow, Bekah had a friend over last night and they were up until 2am or maybe 2:30am. I'm not exactly sure because I was up to get some Tylenol for the headache I thought was due to lack of sleep. It's actually been a very good day for the family - went to church (10 minutes late) this morning, stopped at the grocery store to stock up on good wholesome veggies & fruit and then home for nap time. Once again I got to sleep longer than Ben because Bekah kept him occupied until I struggled out of bed.

Yesterday was a great day as well - my punkymood indicated I was content. Did laundry, washed dishes, picked up around the house (although you'd never be able to tell today) and mowed the lawn (with the neighbor's mower - different story, different day).

Oh yeah! Bekah got her hair cut and so did Ben! Bekah's hair is an above the shoulders bob with side bangs and Ben proudly shows off his new "Papa Hair". I'm not a huge fan of the military buzz cut on kids since it makes them look so much older but he is the man of the house now. He still looks cute and he rubs his hand on the top of his head when he says "Me have Papa hair". Jerry would be proud.

Bekah just came in to inform me Ben doesn't know how to drive very well on XBox. No kidding - he is only 3 after all! I can't drive very well on video games - I'm more of the Splinter Cell kind of gal. Bekah would like some real competition so I told her if we could get Ben into bed at a decent hour I'd come in to play. Hoping the ibuprofen starts to work by then.
I am signing off for the night in order to spend some time with kids in the room down the hall. By the way, the sounds I hear now are carefree and jubilant. I hear the laughter of children.
P.S. Mandy Lou - I have to admit this to you. I really, really want to whine about feeling crappy and sick. Ugh!

Friday, November 9

What's going on with my sweet boy?

So here I sit wondering why my son is out of control. I spoke with his daycare provider this evening and she confirmed the behavior issues as well.
Good news - it's not just me.

Bad news - it's not just me.

A couple theories on the issues are rolling through my oh so exhausted grey matter. One - Ben misses his Papa and does not know how to express these feelings. Makes perfect sense all things considered. Number two is a much more involved theory although not impossible nor out of the realm of possibility. A possible food allergy. It has been proven by nutritionists that food allergies can effect a person's behavior and even much more so in a child.

This weekend not only will I be working on the behavior issues but talking more to Ben about his Papa. I am also starting a food journal so I can keep track of everything going in (and through) his little body. Prayer is even bigger at this point in time. Ben and I pray everyday.

Any thoughts on this?

As for me and mine - it's time for eyes to close. Let the dreaming begin.

Thursday, November 8

It's time for bed

This stupid NaBloPoMo...... ugggghhhh! I am so very tired and just want to sleep. I had such a hard time with Ben tonight - I actually called him... evil. How absolutely awful?

He has been so terrible recently... I don't want to show the oh so truly human side by saying this but... I didn't want to pick him up from daycare. That would be one step closer to coming home and battling. However, I have resolved to not give in and prove once and for all that Mom has the final say. This meant pulling him out of the tub when he decided to spit water everywhere. Kicking, hitting, squirming... Ben, not me.

This carried overr on to the bed when I tried to dry him off and put a diaper on. Bekah came in to take over because she though I needed help. I told her she needed to leave the room because this was the end of the road and we're working on obedience this weekend. Lots of tears, screaming, hitting and kicking ensued. Eventually, PJs were wrestled on and then it was time for bed... for both of us.

Wednesday, November 7

Oh so very happy & relaxed

I was stuck in traffic for an hour today. This was the most wonderful time I have had in a long time. No arguing with Ben, no Bekah arguing with Ben, no chores, no TV. Are you catching on? This is not the actual reason I was Oh so very happy. Jerry called and we actually talked uninterrupted for an entire half an hour. We talked about his training, my traffic, his bunk (very small), Ben, Bekah and everything in between. I never thought traffic could be so relaxing.

Jerry should be able to come home for Christmas which makes me very very happy. Christmas time is my favorite time of year. Not the gifts, shopping or rushing people but the reason for the season, giving spirit, happy children and (hopefully) cooler weather. The best part is all the sparkly decorations that make Christmas a very romantic time of year. I can't wait.

My sister (K) is here with popcorn, candy and Ratatouille. This movie is great. very funny, once you can get over the fact of a rat in the kitchen. Ewwww. We're having quite the relaxing evening... a glass of wine would make it a touch better.

I am hoping to have bad traffic on the way home tomorrow too!

Tuesday, November 6

Bath Night

It was a pretty good night. On our way home I called Bekah to find out if she could start dinner so we could possibly go for a walk tonight. Dinner was made a few minutes after we arrived home but it was way to dark to do anything. So... I decided it was time to face the music and get Ben into the bathtub. I readied myself for the ultimate battle and he actually went willingly. I think the promise of bubbles had something to do with the compliant attitude. Hey, if it works... why not?

So here I sit ready for bed, blogging away and just noticing there is a scheduled outage @ 11pm PST. I guess I'll sign off early tonight and get a good night sleep.

Good night!

*No monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.

Monday, November 5

Round Two... {ding-ding}

...And mom comes from the corner wearing purple Eyore PJs while Ben wearing red Spiderman... throws himself into the ring kicking and screaming!

Round Two, Week Two and it seems everything is a battle. I do battle over meals, dental maintenance, nap times, diaper changes (yes, he's only 3), bath time, play time, quiet time, bed time and everything in between. I'm stern and he fights. I'm consistent and he screams. Absolutely everything is a fight. It seems the behavior isn't getting better or any easier. The worst part; when he's angry at me he calls for his Papa.

Bekah put him down for me tonight since I was somewhat losing ground (and my mind). She is very good with him. I could also talk about all of the times she eggs him on and acts like she's 12 years old. Wait. She is only 12 years old. She's just a kid learning to step up to the plate when Mom needs a pinch hitter. She's my baby girl.

My daughter is a lot like me although the lovely olive skin is from her father. She loves to read (almost to a fault), is quite creative, good in school and just a great gal. If I were 12 years old I'm pretty sure we'd be friends. I would definitely be the geeky one though. Although she doesn't realize it she is very self assured. She has morals, standards, and fairly wise in her young age.

She loves to be involved with her family and even spend time with me periodically. When I have out of town trips on her days off she'll tag along for the day. We make a day of it by stopping at the scenic views (there are lots in Arizona), having lunch and sometimes calling it quits early for shopping. Don't worry, I am definitely cherishing these moments because I know at any moment it could all be over.

This evening my young referee called foul and rescued me from even younger child. I so want to stay down for the count, close my eyes and possibly get a little rest. Tonight I just want to curl up in a ball and cry for however long it takes in order to get it out of my system. Is it so bad to give up a round once in a while? I'm not betting on the game so no one can really accuse me of foul play.

My best bet might be to load up on the electrolytes and get back into the ring. It's just too early to give up the crown. Besides Bekah was able to get Ben to sleep so I should probably catch up on some much needed rest because the morning always comes to soon. {ding-ding}

Sunday, November 4


Thanks for the Tag Mandy Lou - It was a rough day today and I truly did not feel like posting tears and loneliness tonight.

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? Jen Lancaster (just finished "Bright Lights, Big Ass")
2. What were you doing at 0800? Getting Ben ready for church
3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Put Ben down to Bed (@ 8:00 - I posted this kind of late)
4. What happened to you in 2006? Oh Lord-ie, a year ago? I can barely remember the 30 minutes ago part!
5. What was the last thing you said out loud? Good night sweet pea. Sweet dreams. I'll check on you later.
6. How many beverages did you have today? A Diet Coke, 3 glasses (24 oz ea) ice water
7. What color is your hairbrush? Silver
8. What was the last thing you paid for? HSN Clearance items. Ummmm... scrapbook stuff and Pilates DVD
9. Where were you last night? Sitting in bed, laptop on lap, fast asleep. I woke up at 3am and realized I didn't blog - I was bummed cause it was a good day. That and I signed up for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month).
10. What color is your front door? From the outside white. From the inside Merlot
11. Where do you keep your change? Fish bowl in kitchen, spaghetti jar on sink, wooden bowl on dresser and basket in laundry room.
12. What’s the weather like today? Warm - way too summery for November.
13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Belgian Chocolate Chocolate
14. What excites you? Calls / texts from Jerry, Holidays
15. Do you want to cut your hair? Yes, yes, yes. I just can't figure out when I can go (without Ben)
16. Are you over the age of 25? Thanks for reminding me.. yeah... about 15 years.
17. Do you talk a lot? Always have. I guess I always will.
18. Do you watch the O.C.? Nope.
19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Yes, Jerry's step-dad
20. Do you make up your own words? Quite frequently although it isn't on purpose all the time.
21. Are you a jealous person? No - jealousy is a waste of time and emotion.
22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’: Abigail
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K': Kathy-rine (scoobers), Kevin
24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? Awesome Jerry (he's listed that way so he's the first on my contact list... Not that he isn't awesome of course =)
25. What does the last text message you received say? Blog This
26. Do you chew on your straw? No
27. Do you have curly hair? Nope - straight and flag
28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Bed (it is now 12:04 and I promised Bekah I'd be in bed before midnight - oops)
29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? I'll just call the person C (no not my other sister)
30. What was the last thing you ate? Sweet Tarts left over from Halloween
31. Will you get married in the future? Nope - I plan to keep Jerry around for a long, long time.
32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? I haven't had time but Crash and World Trade Center is sitting on top of the TV
33. Is there anyone you like right now? John Cusack - what a cutie (and fellow Chicagoan)
34. When was the last time you did the dishes? Two days ago although I'll start the dishwasher right before bed.
35. Are you currently depressed? Not depressed - just lonely and missing Jerry
36. Did you cry today? Yes I did - see question 35.
37. Why did you answer and post this? Mandy Lou didn't think she had enough people who read her blog to be tagged. So... I read it and well here it is.
38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey. I'm in Mandy Lou's boat - I don't think 5 people are reading my blog... yet.

Friday, November 2

White Chevy Tahoes

I see these trucks everywhere. I understand the Chevy Tahoe is an incredibly popular truck but the white ones are absolutely everywhere I go. It really doesn't matter what year because they are fairly similar. Highly recognizable, very difficult to miss.

Behind my car on the way to work I can see them in my rear view mirror. On the opposite side of the freeway on my way to appointments the Chevy logo gleaming in the Arizona sun. In front of me while driving Ben to daycare. Ben even notices them next to us at stop lights.

"Look Papa's 'fruck' over dare".

Jerry drives a white Chevy Tahoe and I am constantly reminded of his absence each time I see one. Not that I need the reminder but I can only hope he thinks of me as many times each day.

Incoming Message...

One week is done!
Miss you.

Text received by Jerry earlier this afternoon. =)

Thursday, November 1


In bed by 11:18pm - 18 minutes late. Not bad.

All In All

My day started when Ben came tip-toeing into the bedroom and peeking over the top of the bed. A smirk was evident on his face, though slightly hidden behind blankets, as if up to something. I asked what he was doing? "Nothin". Smirk still there no eye contact made yet. I patted the bed, asked him to come snuggle and watch Disney (this is our morning ritual). He didn't move but just smirked and said "Me go kitchen". Only a fool would have let him out of the room at that very morning. Ben was positioning for a quick run to the kitchen in order to raid the bag of loot from last night. I was actually able to talk him into snuggling under the warm blankets and watching Disney. Bekah came in a little later to snuggle with us which is where we stayed until Grandma arrived.

Grandma watches Ben once a week. I absolutely love these mornings. Took a long hot shower, put makeup on before leaving and got dressed without interruption all while watching the Today show. Went to work where, after sitting in training for an hour and a half, progress was made, proposals were sent and contacts were made. Hope to continue tomorrow. Maybe dollars can be earned.

Evidently, grandma had a day like those I have been experiencing. I do believe she has realized Ben cannot be left alone for even a few moments time. He is definitely Calvin through and through. He poured glue on the couch, spilled nail polish on his sister's carpet and played with toothpaste in the bathroom sink. Ha-ha! It is not a mama conspiracy... Ben even acts this way with Rama. You know, I frequently wonder what a child is thinking while misbehaving. Is it purposeful? For fun? Are they pretending to be big? Hopefully, he's not mimicking because I don't remember ever inking my entire belly blue. At least not that I can recall...

Anyway, when I arrive home his favorite movie Atlantis is playing, he is shirtless, and coloring with a black sharpie marker on a McDonald's Happy Meal box. Pretty normal except for the Sharpie which was okay because grandma had "him in her sight". Oh well I guess that's what grandma's are for. For fear of the possibility of tantrum and leg grabbing, Rama slipped out to go home while Ben and I reunited.

Went to the kitchen to make dinner - Thank you Rama for cleaning the kitchen. I now have the counter space to actually put real food out. We ate a quick dinner and sat down in front of the screen. Ben loves to watch me edit pictures - we are currently learning how to change eye color. Especially those of himself or my sister's dog Dookie.

Am somewhat lonely tonight but am happy to have the company of my laptop (sad huh?). I am hoping to be in bed by 11:00, watching Leno, updating pictures on Flickr and maybe writing a letter to Jerry. I am learning how to put widgets on the blog so hopefully the link to Flickr will be there by the time you visit.

I didn't get to talk to Jerry today but all in all today was pretty good!

Wednesday, October 31

Ben's Quote of the Morning

"My Bekah (a) freep"

In reference to his sister not allowing him to open his own juice box. Yelling and crying ensued.

Tuesday, October 30

One of those days

I woke up rested and fairly happy this morning. Then I arrived at work ten minutes late. Ever have one of those bosses who tap their wrist to indicate the time? I don't. My boss stands behind me as I'm throwing stuff in my cubicle so I can rush off to a training meeting. I don't see him until I turn around. Frankly it's like having a 2ND mother with the the luggage he was giving. Guilt trip you know, had to pack the bags. I absolutely understand I was late and acknowledged the fact. I just don't think a supervisor should vocalize your shortcomings through the office so everyone within hearing range can participate. Whatever.

All things considered I handled myself well until I sat down in the meeting and had a chance to think about the previous events. My emotions have been neatly tied together, during pre-deployment, in order to keep some sort of emotional restraint in the office and not let my family realize that I am complete emotional basket case. Well the tirade (possibly over spoken) over my tardiness was the pair of scissors that opened my neatly packaged emotions. Picture one of those great big pairs of scissors used for grand openings or ground breaking ceremonies.

First the tears came which irritates me even more so the tears come faster. Then, when I attempt to turn off the waterworks my nose starts running. My nose is like an emergency exit plan for tears when the tear ducts are calmed. What a mess. Just so you know, I cry whether I'm sad, happy, tired or just plain pissed off. I left the room, grabbed a handful of tissues, dabbed at my eyes (nose too) and stood in the back of the room in order to regain my composure.

I don't think my boss should treat me any differently because my home life is a little disrupted and unorganized. But really, in the middle of the office?

At least I had a couple of out of office appointments which kept me away and busy. Hopefully, they'll turn into business.

I know I'm not alone in this situation and I don't want to be a complaint. I am striving to be the quintessential Navy wife - strong, together, and emotionally available. If there is anyone out there going through the military wife, deployment thing. I'd like some proof that this is normal and I'm not losing my mind.


Monday, October 29

Mission Accomplished

Last night I think I signed off with something like "a good night sleep is needed" or some crap like that. Wishful thinking. Ben would not sleep until "Mama go bed too". So, like the irresponsible parent I can be, I let him stay with me on the couch until I finished the blog around 11:00pm. He snuggled next to me and feel asleep right away. Good thing... he slept until we had to leave the house this morning. Bad thing... heels in the back @ 2:00am. Not a good night's sleep.

The park was my idea for this evening. The walk was not. I'm quite amazed we actually made it to the park. You see Ben did not want to walk or take the car (at my prodding). He wanted to scooter his way 9 blocks to the park. The sleep deprived loon I am went along for the ride. Figuratively speaking of course, he's only 3. Besides I can't fit one of my feet on his scooter. He stopped to look at a rock. He stopped to walk on a wall - you can guess who carried the scooter. He stopped to play with a palm frawn. He wanted to stop at a house with Halloween decs for an early treat. He wanted to stop to ring a random door bell. He stopped to stomp in a puddle. He stopped for a break. I carried the scooter (again) while he slithered on his tummy down the sidewalk. 40 minutes later we arrived at the park. We had a great time sliding, swinging, climbing and playing in the sand - yes we. It's getting darker and darker (remember I'm a working mom and this is an after work venture) by the minute. The nagging fear in the back of my mind was the "walk" home. Man, I wish I brought the car or even a wagon.

The inevitable occurred just like it inevitably does. Ben got hungry. Ben didn't want to walk home. Ben didn't want to scooter home. Ben wanted to be carried. Okay, I'm supermom (tee-hee) so up he goes on my shoulders. I now have a 35lb 3 year old on my shoulders, a scooter in my left hand, big bottle of ice water in my right and camera bag around my neck. What a sight. This situation lasted about 1 1/4 blocks. Ben scootered or ran the rest of the way home.

By the way, I have some great pictures of our journey but I can't find the camera cable so I guess the pics will have to wait. I regress.

We arrived home. Ben had dinner. Ben had a bath. We read. We rocked. We said "Thank You"s and prayed. Ben slept in his own bed under a Lightning McQueen blanket I bought earlier today as a bribe.

I am sleepy too but much more happy and content tonight.

Sunday, October 28

Day 2 (of 365)

My husband Jerry has been deployed. He left on Friday morning in order to report by Saturday. Although there have been prior close calls Jerry was always called back. This is a first for us. I am trying to keep my mind focused by looking at the situation only one day at a time. Good idea - in theory anyway. It is only Day 2 - Two little days out of an entire year. I am already so very tired and I'm pretty sure our son Ben can feel my stress.
Ben is 3. He is the most wonderful being on this earth but he's still three. Ever read the comic "Calvin and Hobbes"? Well it's my favorite and if I ever had a son I wanted him to be just like Calvin. Energetic, creative, imaginative, stuffed tiger on his heels... Be careful what you wish for. Now don't get me wrong he is truly the most brilliant, fun loving 3 year old ever. The energy and empathy are the characteristics I am finding difficulty with right now. He runs constantly at 150%, questions everything, engages everyone, and can feel the emotion in a room within moments. Especially right now since emotions aren't easy to contain.
It's only Day 2 and I pray God will give me the grace and strength to lead this family through the next week much less an entire year. Day 2!!! Exhaustion is forefront. My head hurts from lack of sleep and the constants in life running through my brain; lists of chores, paperwork, bills, work (by the way I work full-time as a security consultant), never ending laundry piles. Most of all I want to spend much needed energetic time with Ben. Could it truly be that simple. I guess the other stuff (aside from work) can wait.

Back to Ben. I know he feels the stress and heart-ache. He takes my face in his hands and looks directly in my eyes. I try to hide the tears when they fall and he's back again, my face in his hands but this time he's wiping the tears away. What a sweetie - would Calvin do that? Again, he's only three so he doesn't realize what is going on - he says his Papa is at work. =) That's good. Papa is at work. I hope someday he will realize the magnitude of his father's duty to his country. I think a good night's sleep might do us both some good.

I miss his Papa too. I love him dearly and miss his face, his smile and gentle touch.

I think sleep tonight might just be the thing. Goodnight.

Saturday, October 27


First off, I'd like to say hello to all and apologize to anyone who has found my blog after searching for the actor Joaquin Phoenix. Obviously, this is not his web site so I guess you have a choice... should you stay or should you go now?

If you haven't guessed yet, I live in the Phoenix area. Otherwise known as the Valley of the Sun pretty much centrally located in the great State of Arizona. While I'm on the subject of Phoenix I have to say GO WILDCATS! Although I didn't attend school at the University of Arizona I grew up in Tucson (another city in Arizona) and am a fan of everything Wildcat. Just so you know and I'm quite happy to say (and note), not all Phoenicians worship the Solar Prince of Darkness of Arizona State.

I have had several attempts with journals, diaries, lists and letters but to no avail. I just can't longhand as quickly as I can type. Hopefully two things will be accomplished with my blogspot 1) my writing skills will improve with use and 2) you'll return to keep up on the latest in the life of Just Laura. It's not exciting but definitely an outlet.

Don't lurk for too long - make a comment, keep me engaged, help with ideas. See you soon!