Sunday, December 26, 2010


As I sit here sipping my coffee.... staring out the window at our snow covered yard...watching my beans play with My Love....I'm having a breakdown.


It could be because I'm in the final month of a emotions are high.

It could be attributed to My Love being home and the fact that the scene I'm observing can even occur.

It could be purely me....I just cry super easily since becoming a mama.

But nope. It isn't any of those things.

I'm sitting here...sobbing my eyes out....because of a country song that played while I was doing the dishes.  Cinderella.  I don't know who sings it....don't know who wrote it....but who ever it was definitely has watched years fly by in seconds.

Those movie montage scenes where they show the "highlights" of a life and then the children are grown....are pretty doggone accurate. 

We all sat around and watched home movies yesterday.....String Bean was a little baby - I didn't have bags under my eyes - My Love had some hair.....and then I looked over at my big girl and I couldn't fathom where the time has gone. Just yesterday she relied on me for everything.....and now she has things she is responsible for.....she helps her sisters....she helps me!

I know I will feel like I blinked and she'll be getting her driver's license and heading off into the great big world. 
By herself.

And I'm not ready.  I realize I have 13 more years to prep for that day where I send out a piece of myself to encounter life fully without the illusion of my protection. But that just doesn't seem long enough when I register how quickly 5 years have flown.

In my mental-montage of each Bean's "highlight" moments....barely a second ticks by. I hope they each know how very much I love them....even though I will - and DO! - mess up at this being-their-mommy-thing all the time.

Because when I look at them I see moments that cannot be recaptured. But I'm trying my hardest to not have time steal Cinderella away.....

I want to treasure every second I have with them until the clock strikes midnight.

Copyright 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Time for my Tent!

Okay, I'm just gonna say up front - very clearly - there will be NO  pictures accompanying this post. 
ON PURPOSE. No one wants to see documentation of what I am about to discuss....or at least no one SHOULD want to see documentation!

I am officially at a phase of pregnancy I strongly dislike. Not because my stomach is so large I have to completely wake up in the middle of the night if I want to roll over. Not because I get winded by putting socks on. Not even because I can't fit in a booth anywhere. And definitely NOT because of the constant movement my Boy Bean generates.

It feels like I am housing Ty Pennington! Seriously - I think the Boy is renovating my insides to make it more man-appropriate.


Not a single one of those things do I consider the most annoying/frustrating facet of late-pregnancy.

It is the underwear. 

Now, I am almost a mother of four....I'm not really one for itsy-bitsy-floss-undergarments. (Not going into detail on what I am though!)  But these things that I am stuck wearing now.....these pieces of fabric that seem to unfurl from my underwear drawer. . . they are just ridiculous! Seriously.

If we ever had a fire, I am certain my Beans could parachute from the second floor - safely - by using my maternity underwear as parachutes. 

Kinda puts a damper on somehow keeping the spark.....when you put such a large item on.....and then you can't see any of it.  Not a bit.

So, to all of you ladies out there who can actually twist to see your derriere, or can actually look down to get a visual on the location of your waistband....I am jealous. I look forward to rejoining your ranks soon. Until then.....I need to go make sure the washing machine is balanced for my delicates load.  

Copyright 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Birthing yourself....

Well, it's official. When I gave birth to String Bean - I gave birth to myself. Over the weekend, I was informed of her nickname at school....and I realized - again - she is mini-me. It is scary - really, really, scary - how much alike we two are.

We have the same crazy hair that has its own attitude.

We both can cry at the drop of a hat.

We can't stand to hear incorrect information being passed along - ever.

We have very goofy ideas on what is funny.

We both get into movies waaaaaaaaay more than your normal person.

Neither one of us like the dark. Or bugs. Or getting dirty for no reason.

We enjoy a good book.

We love to make new friends.

We like to tell people what to do. Pretty much, all the time.

That last one is the kicker. In my (advanced) 28 years, I have managed to learn it is not always appropriate to tell people what to do and can (most-of-the-time) hold my tongue. Unfortunately, at her tender 5 years of age....she hasn't learned that balance.

So, my little String Bean is nicknamed "Little Mommy." And she has absolutely NO problem with that. Because (as she said) "Some children just need more direction than others! And I always know what we are supposed to be doing."

And we are back to square one in working on developing a humble spirit. HA!

 Copyright 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

What is Homecoming??

Homecoming is the freezing cold.....

Homecoming is excitement....and racing to your heart in uniform.....

Homecoming is ecstatic laughter....big smiles....daddy hugs....

Homecoming is having all the pieces of your heart in one place.....

And all is right in the world.

Copyright 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Confession time again....

So, if confession is good for the soul - I'm about to get a workout!

I have a confession. It is embarrassing to say what I'm about to say...but in the spirit of being an honest blogger I must tell on myself.

Recently I went to a cookie exchange for the squadron wives Christmas party...and lied. Through my teeth.

You see, we were supposed to bake two dozen cookies to bring and share. I thought it was a wonderful idea when I heard of it back in November! I bought all the ingredients and had grandiose plans of making lovely and delicious cookies from my own kitchen.

It didn't happen.

I could excuse myself by saying my back went out and I couldn't move and I have 3 young children and I'm pregnant and my husband is gone and I was sick for 2 weeks so my entire life was behind about a month....but I won't say any of THAT.

What DID happen was this - I left early for the party and brought my empty Christmas plate and my roll of Glad cling wrap with me in my car. I went into a civilian grocery store (a place where I am always lost and feel awkward) and purchased 2 boxes of bakery fresh cookies. When I got back to my car - thank goodness for the large center console in my Suburban! - I loaded them on my plate and wrapped 'em up. For the record - I DO have a recipe similar to the kind of cookies I bought!  Then I entered the party and acted like the cookies were my own.

And you know what?

I slept great that night. Zero guilty conscience. :)

This is why I try to get to all the sign-up sheets first. I know the only items I actually will bring to anything right now must be pre-made, or juice boxes!

I also had lofty ideas of the delicious goody bags I was going to fill with fantastic treats for those special people who have impacted my life deeply this year...and I was mildly hyperventilating in the store just thinking about it. So, I let myself off the hook.

I could excuse myself by saying my back went out and I couldn't move and I have 3 young children and I'm pregnant and my husband is gone and I was sick for 2 weeks so my entire life was behind about a month....but, again, I won't say any of THAT.

Sorry to you people that were on my list....maybe I'll get something to you as a "happy summer" gift!

No extra goody bags. And I don't feel guilty! I feel complete relief. 

Final thing...I promise. I had some cleaning that I wanted to accomplish before My Love's return...that I just couldn't figure out HOW to DO. Like scrubbing my deep soaker tub - tell me, how are you supposed to clean that with this massive moving abdomen I've got going on???? Or cleaning my fans. So, I did one of the best-gifts-to-myself I've ever done....I paid 2 wonderful teenagers to do it!

And my list is getting accomplished.

By other people or the items are being removed as unnecessary...but, the list is getting shorter either way!

Copyright 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


So when I was -before children....which right now feels like it was a life lived by somebody else....anyway. When I was younger I always thought I would be a "Thoroughly Modern Millie." 

I wanted a career and independence!

Bring on the epidural for whenever I did end up having kids...
which was going to be LOOONG after I graduated with at least one post-graduate degree and definitely after 30.
Who are those crazy people who would opt against drugs???

I definitely wouldn't breastfeed...I mean, it is inconvenient, and nursing mama's are weird. 

Apparently, when I was younger, I was not a very good soul-searcher. If "knowing thyself" had been a test - I would have failed. Epically. 

Because here I am - a mama of almost 4 without even a bachelor's degree. At 28. My career is motherhood (Great benefits, no pay, and always on call). I have never had an the past it was mainly due to my ridiculous fear of needles. Instead, I've had the horrific treat of Pitocin 3 times - and Nubain as my pain management for the last hour.  I know - intimately - the excessive pain pitocin makes labor...which is why I am excited - literally, it makes me giddy with anticipation!! - to experience my first fully natural childbirth with Boy Bean. Let me repeat myself - I am looking forward to labor and delivery. It is the most amazing, miraculous, and beautiful thing I have been able to experience.

I never would have thought those sentences would be written by me just a few short years ago!

And then nursing. Ah, nursing. I've become one of "those" women. *Gasp* And I LOVE IT. Yep. Breastfeeding is challenging hard work...but I am so thankful I persevered and was finally successful with Bitty Bean!

As I look back on my 3 previous birth experiences and my struggles with nursing my first 2 beans...I am filled with regret. And anger. And frustration. Because I bought everything sold at "Modern Millie's" store regarding labor and deliver and nursing - and it was wrong. 

Having children and rearing them is not a secondary line of work - it is a primary life calling. Labor and Delivery is not something that happens to you...or that you have to get can be something that changes you and grows you and initiates your understanding of the lack of control you truly have over another individual. Nursing can be inconvenient at times....but now that I am seeing a pediatric gastroenterologist to help resolve problems that have arisen for String Bean - caused by the formula she was placed on as an infant...I can assure you breastfeeding is NOT inconvenient. When I look at String Bean and Jumping Bean and realize the moments I squandered because I resented being attached to them...I only feel regret. (I only breastfed String Bean for one month, and Jumping Bean for 2) Thankfully I started educating myself - finally! - regarding nursing while I was pregnant with Bitty Bean...and wanted to know more than just to follow the crowd during this pregnancy with Boy Bean. I was able to breastfeed Bitty Bean until she weaned herself at 1 year...and am eagerly anticipating a water birth with Boy Bean. :) 

So, while I am sure I will say the words "I will NEVER...." is with full knowledge that I probably will. And when that day comes I'll at least have something to post about!

Copyright 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Homecoming....take 2


One word so laden with emotion. Excitement. Nerves. Joy. Concerns. All of us have changed during the separation - the Beans have grown - matured - developed - I've grown (A LOT!) - My Love has experienced things without us. There are definite struggles that occur in the reintegration....but oh-how-wonderful homecoming is!

The biggest things I've found to help with a homecoming are talking about it - and preparing as much as possible.

The Beans and I have talked in depth about the ship will pull into the the men and women will be in uniform manning the we will get to wave an American Flag and cheer the ship in alongside thousands of others watching their hearts inch home...about the signs we will make (String Bean wants to make a "My Daddy totally Rocks" sign) and what it will feel like when we first see him again. String Bean wants to run to him and hug tightly....

Jumping Bean wants him to pick her up so she can hug his neck...they both don't want to let go for a very very very long time.

My "Big Beans" are only 5 and 3 - but they understood this separation deeply. They knew Daddy had a job and needed to leave to be faithful to accomplish that job. They know he loves them and that even though he had to leave...he never stopped loving them. They know they have jobs also - and although we miss him and wish he was home - we need to take care of things here at home so Daddy can do his job the best he can. There have been definite sad days. Days where tears and emotion ruled the house - but there have also been times they couldn't fall to pieces and they held it together until later. They have grown in ways I didn't think possible when we sat at the airport crying back in September.

I am immensely proud of my girls.

Regarding the actual preparation for homecoming - we will do a trial run sometime before the ship pulls in. We will drive to the base so I know which pier to be looking for. Get a good idea on travel time - scope out the bathrooms, snack availability, and parking. I have found that simple step helps calm my nerves enough that I can concentrate on the nervous excitement the Beans need funneled instead!

Every day brings My Love one day closer to being home...every day my smile gets wider. The excitement over Daddy's return is almost palpable - all 3 Beans race to the paper chain each morning to tear off one more link...the highlight of our day is watching that sucker shrink! 

The other consistent highlight happens at bed time....Every night before bed they kiss their "Daddy pillows" (The travel-size pillowcases I had a picture of each Bean and My Love screen printed on) good night and tell him all about their day. But right now they are telling him all about how soon he comes home and what they will do with him during their "special time together."

String Bean can't wait for him to visit her at school to eat lunch with her and all her friends.  

Jumping Bean is ecstatic about watching Tinkerbell and eating popcorn and snuggling Daddy all-to-herself.

And Bitty Bean just wants to hug him and kiss him.


Me? I just can't wait to touch his face. To see his eyes crinkle when he laughs. To put his hand on my belly and let him feel our son's kicks. I can't wait to watch him watch our Beans. To talk with him and not worry if I'm wasting the time on the phone about non-important things.

All four of us are so-much-more-excited about Daddy's return than we are about Christmas! What better present could there possibly be???

Copyright 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Missing again....

Well, I went missing for ANOTHER week...because my computer was struck with an-amazingly-high number of viruses and needed to go to the doctor. But I'm back! And I REALLY hope the posts I have up my sleeve will keep you coming back and telling your friends. (Yes, I am shameless.)

Before I get into all of those posts I've been writing in my head for the last week - because, seriously, who uses a note pad anymore??? - I have to talk about what I just encountered yesterday.

Be warned. I will be crying as I write this.

Thursday night I got THE call from my sister who lives 40 minutes sister who is 2 years younger than sister whom I love deeply, don't always understand, and have experienced so much life sister who was due with her first child - a baby boy - on December sister who gave me the amazing honor of asking me to be a part of her labor/delivery/birth experience. That sister. She called because it was time.

Time for Baby R to have his birthday. 

Time for a family to grow.

Time for 3 lives to be forever entwined. And changed.

She labored and delivered her son with her husband by her side. Calmly. Beautifully. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever been a part of. 

I was able to watch her suddenly assume the role of Mama...and her husband become Daddy. To see their lives change - their hearts explode - their nights of sleep disappear.

I thought back to each of my moments of meeting my beans...and I was overwhelmed with the power in that moment...

That moment is the death and birth of life. Life as you knew it before is gone...changed forever. It is beautiful and amazing and petrifying and scary. The changes you know are coming are frightening enough.... but the changes you aren't aware of are more so. The sleepless nights, the decisions that only you - the parents - can make, the knowledge you could permanently screw up this person...are all very daunting.

Yet in that moment of first meeting your child - you know. You know it doesn't matter what they do - you will always love them. Your heart will ache with them when they hurt. You will cheer them the loudest throughout their life - because that is who you are. It is in your title.

So, to my sister and her husband all I have to say is this:
Congratulations on joining the club - enjoy your titles for the rest of your lives. 
Be prepared to hurt like you didn't think possible, 
to love more than you can fathom, 
and to give beyond your limits. 
You are now "Mom and Dad" and life as you know it has forever changed.

Copyright 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Things that make me happy

So, I'll confess, I can be exceptionally shallow. I love to fake that I am an elitist. I take an obscene amount of pleasure from a particular realm of mistakes....


I love typos. Spelling errors. Flipped words.

Especially on signs.


There was a dumpster at a construction site across the street from our house for one entire month that brought me excessive joy.


Because they had spray painted - 8 times - the following words:

Wood Olny.

Beautiful. I kept meaning to take a picture....but it just didn't happen.

THEN today I saw this on the digital sign as you enter the base:

Sign up for a trian ride with Santa!

I smiled. I laughed. And I thoroughly enjoyed feeling better than those people that made the sign....

Until I forgot to turn down my street and had to loop the neighborhood. So much for being brilliant!

Copyright 2010