Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Work it out...

I like to work out. Really.

I love the rush of endorphins.
I like my clothes fitting properly.
I like to eat like a pig.

The main reason I work out is mainly so I don't have to monitor my food intake as much.

I still have to watch my portions and make sure I'm getting enough protein, but I can splurge some if I'm working out!

Typically, you will find me in the living room working it out with Sean T. from Insanity. Huge fan of his videos. LOVE them.

I work out at home with DVD's because -
1. Gym's with childcare cost waaaaaaaaaaaay more than a DVD
2. Getting my booty to the gym....unloading the children...timing it with 2 schools, and 2 naps.....reloading children....getting back entirely too exhausting of an evolution for this woman.
3. I can squeeze in a HARD 45 minute workout, 5 minute shower, 10 minute make-myself-presentable...and be ready for the day - in ONE HOUR.

Lest I paint myself in a more favorable picture than is true - I have worked out only 1 time per week for the month of October.  Over the Spring/Summer I was working out 3-5 times a week, but it took me awhile to figure out the groove for our schedule with the new school routine. AND once I had it figured out...My Love went away for 3 1/2 weeks.

I wanted to give the world an accurate picture of my workouts....

the Beans are exceptionally helpful.

Boy Bean loves to climb over my back when I do planks

They all love to crawl through my legs when I'm doing squats

Sometimes - Boy Bean will actually hang on to my waist while I'm holding a plie....which makes it ridiculously hard, but I don't stop him - because I figure it must be helping somehow! :)

There is a sneak peak into the workouts at this house.....what do yours look like??

(all photos were taken by String Bean....over the summer....and on that particular day I was actually doing Kenpo from P90X)

 Copyright 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Welcome home....

This week, My Love returned.
He was only gone for 3 1/2 weeks - so I didn't really care about pictures or documentation.

Thankfully, another aviator in the squadron completely ignored me - and took pictures.

Because I viewed this as Just 3 1/2 comparison to a deployment, it wasn't a big deal.
To me.

But to the Beans?

Well, they could hardly sleep the night before his return. They had trouble eating due to excitement - even the boy! We had dealt with all the normal crazy of every separation - there are phases and steps we always go through - so, this welcome home was still quite sweet.

And, it was a Fly in. Which is super cool - and something we've never done before!

When My Love was enlisted, he always returned on his boat. 
When he last deployed as an aviator - he came home with the ship. 
All the other times he's gone away have been for schools - he always flew commercial

Waiting on the flight line, watching the aircraft bank to come in for a landing, knowing Daddy was in that plane...all 4 Beans waited with rapt attention. 

When we finally saw him, and he was close enough for us to run to...they ran.

I let them win. Because it was only 3 1/2 weeks.

Rest assured - when he comes home from the long one, I will be stiff-arming those ankle-biters out of my way. 
I will get the first kiss. 
The first hug.

I'm his favorite. :)

If you carefully inspect the above picture - you will see Boy Bean has his right arm raised with a clenched fist. That is because, seconds after the picture was taken, the Boy punched My Love in the nose. 

Welcome home.

 Copyright 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012


Screaming is not something I am unaccustomed to.
Not at all.
I've been a screamer for as long as stories could be told about my antics.

Me, 2 years old.

I distinctly recall being 6 years old and screaming so much my voice was raspy - because a glass lizard decided to slither onto our deck. My Dad picked it up, and it broke. And the parts all kept wiggling.

I remember when I was 7, seeing a snake in our pool during a game of Marco Polo. I threw all competitiveness to the wind and started screaming in terror.

I remember being 12 years old during a sleepover, and seeing two glowing red eyes jumping up and down (making scratching noises) while my sister, our friend, and I, screamed for our lives. Thankfully, our parents saved us from the real - live - bat, that had infiltrated our room.

I've screamed over roller coasters, flying squirrels, roaches, crickets, spiders, hair on my neck, scary music, and every time my dad tried to scare me.

Every single time.

Last summer, I screamed because a roach fell on my head when I opened our outdoor table umbrella.

(Sorry neighbors)

You get the picture. If my children are screamers, they get it from their Mama.

Which is why the scream I heard last night was so very epic.

Bitty Bean (who has the cutest voice ever created, with a slight rasp and a little lisp) was playing in the backyard with the rest of the Beans.  They were all playing with the grasshopper they had trapped earlier in the day.

Now, when I say "grasshopper," you are probably thinking something small, cute, and harmless. 
A la Jiminy Cricket. 
(Who is the main character in my nightmares, by the way, but that is a post for another day.) 
You would be exceptionally wrong.

This grasshopper was a locust relative of giants. I have never seen a bug so very large in real life. I would have expected something of this magnitude if I were in some tropical jungle far from civilization.  IF the creatures were all fed a steady diet of miracle grow and radiation.

But that is most definitely NOT where I live.

So the size was rather disconcerting to just look at (for me) - but the children were happily playing with it, so I let them be.

I have never - in all my 30 years - seen anyone scream with every fiber of their being.
Until yesterday.

Apparently, Bitty Bean sat on the sidewalk too close to the Great Insect, and it jumped on her.


As Bitty Bean screamed a scream that would make Neve Campbell proud, I ran to her rescue.

Unfortunately, that backfired.

I swatted the Great Insect off her dress - but its foot was stuck in the embroidery. So it ended up jumping off her skirt...and onto her bodice.  Her bodice. Her big brown cartoon eyes and her wide open mouth turned towards me with a scream and look full of fear, confusion, and hatred.

After my 3rd attempt, I was finally able to flick it off her body, and onto the grass.

She wanted me to pick her up - but she couldn't stand due to wobbly legs from fear/crying.
I would have happily held her - but I couldn't stand due to wobbly legs and an inability-to-breathe from laughing until I cried.

With some therapy, she may forgive me.
She may also be unable to go camping for the rest of her life.
Oh well.
Now her scream stories have started.

And that, is a sweet moment.

 Copyright 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

10 days...part 2

This little away has not been all fun and games (a la the last post).

Though it has been completely normal. 

Yes, a copy of my debit card was made and someone sought to purchase items in Portugal. Lots of items. So all of our accounts were frozen. Which is not the end of the world, except I was checking out at the commissary when they froze the accounts.

Of course.

Our bank, USAA, is amazing. So, aside from some inconvenience - we are okay.

Then, we narrowly missed being in a pileup on the interstate. By "narrowly," I mean by about 3 inches and 1/2 a second. I am not known for being an excellent driver. My Love is about 10 million times better than I.  But somehow, I was able to maneuver the Swagger Wagon between the orange construction barrels without hitting them or the car in front of me.  The car behind me slammed into the car in front of me. Did I mention I had all 4 beans AND a friend in the car?

I'm convinced Jesus took the wheel.

After all the girls stopped screaming like banshees, and my heart stopped beating in my ears, we were able to continue home.

I also managed to get so ridiculously lost going to a friend's house, that I pulled to the side of the road and cried.

This is the face of an eventual felon.

Boy Bean has been channeling every naughty behavior possible. That boy has some insane stamina. After his screaming, snotting, kicking, hitting, and needing an exorcism daily, my house has been suffering from neglect. The man-child will never be pressured into ANYTHING he doesn't want to do. Lucky for him, his stubborn nature comes direct from both parents - so I intend to win this battle. I may end up deaf because of it, but this child is gonna learn some self-control. Until that time, Mama-control will have to suffice.

Bitty Bean broke into my makeup during a quiet time. One brand new eyeliner pencil and bottle of foundation later, she developed quite a look. She was seeking to be a lion. I was seeking not to freak out.  Yes, I let her keep it on her face the rest of the day. Yes, she had to clean up the obscene mess in the bathroom.

Not done yet.

THEN, I had the privilege of being a support person for a friend's labor and delivery. Which was AMAZING.  Thoughts on that will have to be another time... the short of it is this: I don't know how emergency personnel do it. I had 2 hours of sleep to last me 23 hours.  I thought I was gonna die. And I didn't even have the baby!

Finally, I had a special day with Jumping Bean and String Bean only. We had numerous doctor's appointments scheduled on one day, so I just kept them out of school, farmed out the younger half, and made an adventure of it.  What a grand and marvelous day it was.  Those two are just entirely too much fun.

We've also had the normal face wounds (4), bleeding extremities (3), bad dreams (lost count), and dance parties (as often as we can!).

So far, I'd say it has been a pretty good ride. :)

 Copyright 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 days...

10 days.

ONLY 10 days.

That is how long My Love has been gone so far. (He won't be home for a couple more weeks) In the grand scheme of life, it really isn't very long. With deployments lasting months on end - 10 days is not a big deal.

At all.


Sometimes, I need to step back and think about what goes on during our times apart. What crazy/normal life looks like. What I don't think of as a big deal.

Like, say, explosive poop.

I apologize in advance if you have a sensitive constitution. 
Please skip this entire post.
I also apologize to Jumping Bean. 
But it isn't stopping me from sharing.  :)

As we left My Love on the pier last week, the Beans and I sat in the car and let it sink in.
This is the year. It's our turn.
Our turn to say the goodbyes and experience the separations and learn how to do life without our favorite man around.
It is our turn for those things....because our friends will soon be saying "Welcome Home."
They will finally get to re-learn how to do life with all parts of the family present.
They will not have an empty place at birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, school programs, and church events over this next year - because they did it this year.
Since we see those goodbyes and families missing each other - the beans know what they are about to do. The car was a bit sad, String Bean was crying, and everyone was quiet.

But not for long.

Within 2 minutes of leaving My Love, Jumping Bean yells out from the back of the Swagger Wagon
Being the understanding Mommy I am, I said,
"Hold it. We just took you to the head at the boat. You can wait the 15 minutes till we get home."
Insert groans and painful squeaks from the back.
String Bean, always happy to help, inserted,
"Are you sure it is poop? I mean, I think it is easier to hold poop in and not so easy for pee."

At this point, I'm acting very mature, and snorting my laughter.  

Jumping Bean, writhing in pain, says,
"Oh. It is for SURE poop. It is gonna come out! It hurts so bad!"
Bitty Bean (always curious) queries in her-oh-so-extremely-cute-voice,
"Is it diarrhea? That doesn't feel good."

Suddenly, the screeching and squeals in the back stop. And Jumping Bean asks a loaded question:
"What does diarrhea feel like?"

In the interest of maintaining some sense of decorum on this blog - although I'm pretty sure that has never been present - I will save you the in-depth, highly descriptive answers that String Bean, Bitty Bean, and yes, even I, gave. Just trust they were very informative. I doubt Webster's does a more thorough job.  

The description left me crying from laughter. And it made me realize I should probably stop at friends house to allow Jumping Bean to use their toilet.

Wise, wise, decision.

So now, I can honestly say, moments after my husband left - the poop, (very narrowly missed) the van. 

Thank you for chuckling.

So much more has happened over the last 10 days....but I'm afraid it will just have to wait. :)

 Copyright 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012 month in

So, we've been at this "school" thing for a month now...and I have already learned a couple things.

Maybe you want to know them.
Maybe not.
But I thought I'd write them down just the same.

****I do NOT have an issue with people who choose to homeschool. This is not an attack against anyone. The following thoughts are purely my reflections on our public/Christian school experience thus far.****

For those who don't know, I live in Mayberry. Really. My neighborhood is like stepping back in time to when life was simpler. My girls (7, 5, and 3) are allowed to ride their bikes around the block without supervision. Our neighbors are lovely. We all look out for each other - we return errant children; help take each other's trash out; pick up packages if someone is out of town.

It is idyllic.

I've heard there may be a bit of Wisteria Lane thrown in to keep things interesting, but I've not experienced it!

Homeschooling last year kept me from getting to know my neighbors. It kept the beans from building relationships with friends on the block. 

Instead of investing in our community right next door, 
I was driving all over the place to build community.

Already in this month, through twice daily bus stop encounters, we have gotten to know our neighbors better than we had in the two and a half years we've lived here. 
Why the distance before? 
Partially, because I just didn't have time for this community - the one actually right outside my doorstep - I was too busy with all my other things and places and people. When we were home, I was homeschooling. Which meant, for me, I couldn't be out building friendships like I wanted - because I had too many other jobs to do. 

My children were around others a'plenty last year - socialization was never a concern. However, being in classes with children who don't live in their house, has been a very good thing. They are learning about how other people do things. They are learning how to stand up for themselves - and others. They are not surrounded by only people from church.

Which is good. (For us)

String Bean and Jumping Bean pray each night they are living in a way that shows they are "God's girls." We've been able to talk about the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.") and what it looks like, lived out. 

The traditional school setting has forced us to be on a schedule. Which I love and String Bean loves and Jumping Bean loves and Bitty Bean loves, and Boy Bean, well, he hasn't voiced an opinion. We have specific chores to accomplish at specific times of day. Could that have happened when we were homeschooling? Yep. It even did at times. But there's something about knowing if you don't accomplish your job in a timely fashion, you will miss the bus - that is a motivator. A good one. 
The set routine is also forcing children who are not as inclined towards personal responsibility to learn good habits. I don't carry their backpacks. I don't put away their shoes. I don't check to be sure they have their homework. We have set routines in place - so they just have to remember the steps, and they will have everything they need. This is a very good thing. 

Our house is calmer, more efficient, more welcoming, and actually, more relaxed, since this change up.  

Each child is thriving with the space to develop away from their sibling's shadow.  
They enjoy time together more - because they have time apart.

I am thankful every single day for where we live. 
That String Bean can be in this district and Jumping Bean can attend her Christian school. 
The teachers at both schools have been superb. When I look to the future and see deployment, I am thankful to have them on my team. I'm thankful for their knowledge in education, and in life. 

Basically, here is my sum-up:
I do not think our decision is right (or wrong) for anybody else.  
Educating your children is a multi-faceted thing, and I seek to support my friends as they follow the best path for their family.
For us, this year, this is our best path. 

 Copyright 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cocoa Bean Moment...

Tonight was the drop off.

Time to drop off My Love again; to pack his bags; to say goodbye; to start an emotional roller coaster with the Beans.

As we waved and hollered goodbye out the car window, Bitty Bean added (at the top of her lungs)

"AND I JUST TOOTED!!!!!!!!!"

 A bitter moment, made sweet.

Then, as we were heading home, I asked the Beans if they wanted to talk to Jesus about what they were feeling and thinking.

Jumping Bean immediately started praying:

"Dear Jesus,
Thank you for my Daddy. 
Please keep him safe with you. 
Please keep us safe without him. 
We love him a lot because he is really pretty much the bestest ever....well, except Mommy. 
She's pretty awesome. 
I guess, thank you for her too. 
Help us to be brave girls without Daddy. 
Help us to love people, and help Boy to speak. 

Side note: I did not tell her to say any of those things. Regarding Boy Bean's need for speech - at the moment he sorta says 7 words. His frustration level reaches epic proportions at the speed of light. The entire house would just be EVERSOMUCH happier, if he would just learn the word "yes."

That is our goal for the month of October.

Then Bitty Bean wanted to pray:

Thank you for today. 
For today with Daddy. 
Thank you for Daddy and wrestling and hugging and playing with me. 
Thank you for my sisters learning things in school. 
Thank you for stories with Mommy. 
Thank you for Boy not hit me today. 
Thank you for potty at Daddy's work. 

Side note: Bitty Bean had a NEED for a bathroom. That was quite a true bit of gratitude.
The comment about Boy not hitting her? Well, he has compensated for his lack of verbal skills by his aim with a matchbox car, baseball bat, ball, or any small object that can be lodged at a sister. Again, the entire house would just be EVERSOMUCH happier, if he would just learn the word "yes."
(String Bean asked to not participate.)

By both their prayers I was challenged.
They thanked God for what they were given.
Would they rather Daddy stay home? Yes!
(That was clearly articulated en route to drop off.)
Were they sad? Yes.
But they were still thankful.

Because we have been given much. 

~Whitney Copyright 2012