Monday, November 26, 2012

Cocoa Bean moment....

I know it has been a while since I posted one of these...but it is not for a lack of sweetness in my days. :)  It is from a lack of memory.

But not this one.

This one, I'm gonna remember.

Somehow, fishing came up in our conversation today.  I have no idea how. Neither of the adults in this household fish, nor have the children fished. (Well, the two older ones did, one time, two years ago.)

For some reason, these girls of mine - who are actually fairly girly-girl. I mean, being made to wear pants instead of a skirt can melt any of them to instant tears. - these girls, think fishing sounds like a blast.

I assumed they had no idea what they were talking about. (I apologize to any fishing enthusiasts)
So I asked, "Jumping Bean, what do you do when you fish?"

"You sit. You wait. You are quiet. You might whistle. You have a pole and a worm...and a hat."

So far, she was pretty dead on. That confused me, because this 5 year old tornado of energy isn't exactly known for her ability to sit, wait, or be quiet.

In fact, she is known for quite the opposite. She is often found running as fast as she can for no reason. Even sitting down, something is always moving.  She can project her scream to levels that should reach jet-decibel range.

So I asked a reasonable question:

"Jumping Bean, why do you think you would be a good fisher woman?"

Then my gloriously loud energizer bunny explained herself:

"Because, I'd be calm and quiet. That's why. I'm good at that."

And that, my friends, is a sweet, sweet moment.

 Copyright 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

THAT mama...

Well, it's official.

I've become THAT Mama.

My Bitty Bean - whom I love desperately - has been jumping on my last nerve for about 10 straight days now. She has this horrible - awful - horrific - idea that constant whining and/or screaming will get her what she wants.

I don't know where she gets it - but since I know her Daddy doesn't whine....I'm thinking it could be from a grandparent.

Just sayin'

(Totally kidding - please don't take me seriously. 
I love you all and will be seeing in just a short bit....I know you aren't whiners.
Yet another place where the "sarcasm" font would be rather useful.)  


So tonight, on the way home from church, she started in for the 7 millionth time of the day. Really.

She spent the majority of 3 hours in her room today because she didn't want to speak without whining. I checked her every 10 minutes and asked if she was "ready to be nice." 
2 hours and 45 minutes later, she said "yes."
The stubbornness is straight from me. 
And My Love. 

Good times.

Back to the car....
We were sitting at the red light waiting to drive through the gate to base, and Bitty Bean decided she was going to claw Jumping Bean's eyes out because Jumping Bean said "I love you."
You read that right.

I tell them constantly that obedience = safety.
When you choose disobedience, you choose danger.
(This is pertinent, stay with me)

So we pulled up to the gate guard and I asked the POLICEMAN to scare some sense into my criminally-minded 3 year old.

And he did...

He did, however, make Jumping Bean cry for fear that he would take her naughty sister away to jail. 

He never said that.

I did. 
But he was speaking in the car window telling my girls to shape up and listen to their mother. Apparently, they get requests for that all the time, so he had a great little speech down pat. I may have to go back later and plagiarize.

Bitty Bean did get the point.
By the time we were home, I thought she was reformed.
Calm behavior, listening, obeying....but then I realized she had just been mulling over what the policeman had said when she asked,

"Would I have to share with my sisters if I'm in Jail?"

Maybe Boy Bean isn't my only Felon-in-Training.

Happy parenting!

 Copyright 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Help me out....

Alright people in the world wide web....

This chick needs your help.


(Please disregard this entire post if you have a life and don't want to waste your time with useless stuff)

I'm not super-awesome at decorating....or really just plain awesome....I'm more of a "here's a place to put your butt - hooray if it is clean!" kind of decorator.

But I would like to be a tad bit more advanced. I know it won't happen over night....that takes more money than I want to spend. Especially since we are planning to fork over some moolah for a port call next year. :)  But I at least need a direction to head towards....

So here I am, asking for your opinion.  Which, quite honestly, I might hate. I'm rather particular when it comes to decor - although you wouldn't know that because most of our stuff is hodge-podge-works-for-right-now.

To help with an idea of what I/we like...and what we've got to work are some pictures of my house....

I love, love, LOVE this pillow. The randomness of the owls, the fun collection of colors, that it is comfy and functional, that it doesn't look stuffy/grown up. :)

All colors have to come from here. This pillow is the spring board of inspiration. :)

We have a large dark "leather" sectional

First wall hanging we bought as old married people. I love this. :)

What is currently on the huge wall in the living room....needs more....don't know what.  

Apparently, I like bright green.
 This painting just makes me smile.

Rug as you walk in the house
(Is that an entry-way rug? I have no clue)

Art from when we lived in Chicago - Love the Windy city!

Art in the entryway - I like the bold colors

Art in the dining room...I still like this, although not a 10. 
My Love is not so sure any more. :)

Metal piece in the kitchen - we both love it still.

A couple shots of what we have to work with in the living room....

Painted piano - not my favorite, but the price was spot on and it is in good shape. 

Hand-me-down chair that will soon be recovered....color to be determined....

Hand-me-down chair that will soon be recovered....color to be determined....

To get a tad bit more of a picture in what I like - feel free to check out my pinterest. :)

I'm clearly bad at adding texture and depth. Help me out! 

~Whitney Copyright 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Truth...take 2

I don't know if this is normal for all people about to deal with deployment...but it is normal for me.

Although, I didn't really know it was normal...I've always chalked it up to being pregnant/crazy. Apparently, it is just my normal/crazy.

Good to know.

What am I talking about?

The amazing ability to be sitting and talking with my husband about something random like stationery, and laughing heartily...until suddenly I'm not.  Suddenly, I'm fighting back tears and losing miserably. I'm crying over STATIONERY!! And I'm just a ball of emotions and I don't want to be wasting time crying but I can't stop it. In a half second something triggered something and the length of time apart screams to the front of my mind.

So I cry.
I used to fight the random moments of meltdown.
Not anymore.
Now I know they will come at typically the most inconvenient moment possible.
I conserve energy and let the tears come - I recover faster, if I just let it flow.
I used to think it was a sign of weakness, that people would think less of me if I let my guard down...or that it wouldn't be good for the Beans to see Mommy have moments of insanity.
But I was wrong.
It is a blessing to allow people in to encourage and comfort.
It is comforting for the Beans to know I miss him too. It gives them space to be sad. It shows them it is possible to thoroughly enjoy a moment and still have a spot where things are not perfect.

I can't walk around as a basket case - and I don't think I do  - but allowing myself the freedom to actually register all the feelings is a good thing.

Thankfully, My Love knows me very well and is no longer freaked out by these unknown buttons that make me cry.

Like onions. Yep, onions.
I was cutting onions the other day (which always makes my chronic dry-eyes water like they are a reservoir) and I wasn't sad. I was happy!!! I was standing in the kitchen with a friend talking about curtains and fabric and then - out of nowhere - I started crying for real. I don't know why or how or what...but it just hit me that I will miss that man terribly.

He wants to fix it - to make me not cry and be sad.
But he can't.
This is his job.
A job we are thankful to have.
He must leave.
We must carry on in different parts of the world fulfilling our jobs.

Sometimes he just hugs me and lets me cry.
Sometimes he reminds me how very hard this will be on him too. A fact all too easy to forget.

I am not the only one dreading his absence.

He will miss birthdays and holidays and boring days and good days and bad days and silly stories and bed time stories and boo boos that need kissing and hearts that need mending. 
He won't be here for months of family movie night. 
He won't get to smell freshly washed children or laugh at how filthy they can get. 
He'll miss random hugs and kisses and spontaneous squeals of "I love you!" 
He'll miss teeth being lost and inches being grown and milestones being reached. 
He'll miss an entire phase of each Bean's life....poorly captured through email, limited pictures, and monthly phone calls. 
He'll be able to "see" us on Face time - but only in port calls.  
He'll miss hours of knock knock jokes. 
Poop explosions. 
The celebratory first day of summer. 
The first day of school.  
Family trips. 

Moments. We will both miss. 

Sometimes it easy for me to only think of how sad I am that he will be gone....and I forget to think about his side. What he will miss.

If you see me and I am laughing and then dissolve into tears, don't be alarmed.
That is just me.
Too lazy for pretense.

 Copyright 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Recently, I've been told by some people they don't feel I am honest about the difficulties military separations cause.

The trouble is, when I say "Oh, everything is fine! We are doing great." I AM being honest. We have hard days and rough spots - but overall, the separations we've dealt with this year, have been easy peasy.

My Love has been away for numerous schools/training throughout the year....
3 weeks in January in Georgia
3 weeks in June in Key West
6 weeks in July/August split between Nevada and California
3 1/2 weeks in October on the boat

Next week he leaves again.
6 weeks in Nevada.

Yep. You counted right - he'll be gone over Thanksgiving.
If the weather cooperates, he'll be home for Christmas. If not, we'll celebrate on our own day. We have moved birthdays and holidays and anniversaries for 9 years doesn't even register anymore.

So, if you were adding up, that means he will have spent 21 1/2 weeks (just over 5 months) away from the family this year.

And he's not deployed.

The big-dog away is next year.

Here is my perspective on all those times apart....If you think I'm sugar coating this, or being Pollyanna, you are wrong.
This is me.
For true.

Every day - on the easy days, on the hard days, on the sad days, on the everything-is-breaking-and-the-kids-are-sick days - I remember how fortunate I am.
My husband is away - but that is not the worst thing ever.
We have a roof over our heads, food on our table, clothes on our backs. At any point I can kiss and snuggle my sweet children. Our car works. We have an amazing group of friends and family who pray for us and support us.
When the days seem long, or any of us in the house want to wallow in the "poor me" party - we stop and remember to focus on what we do HAVE, instead of what we don't have.
Discontent breeds misery. 
I have to stop wishing he wasn't away - and focus on the gift of knowing him at all.
I constantly remind the Beans on the hard days, "Be thankful you miss Daddy. That means he is kind, and loving, and wonderful. There are many children in this world who do not have the gift of a kind Daddy. They look forward to Daddy leaving - we are blessed to have a Daddy we miss."

I am also lazy.
It takes entirely too much energy to be miserable.
I know how exhausting being miserable is, because I've been there.
I've wallowed.  I've started to drown in my own loneliness and believe the lie I was bearing the hardest burden ever.
But it isn't.
These separations are nowhere close to the hardest thing ever.

Dealing with a separation is challenging. 
But it can also be a great thing.
You decide.

I am thankful for our history with deploying when My Love was enlisted - it helps me feel better prepared for what is coming.

Every separation has its own personality - but there are certain constants that I can count on....

The day before he leaves - we will all wear our cranky pants. Always. And we are all annoyed about being annoyed, so it just isn't pleasant.

The first week he is gone - all 4 Beans wake up (at least) once a night.  Typically, they each wake up twice. Hence....

The first week he is gone - I am exhausted out of my mind.  :)

The 3rd or 4th day - the children are all on pins and needles angry about everything. They will fight and cry and melt with reckless abandon.

The 2nd week is fairly smooth, the girls have adjusted to the schedule, everyone is sleeping through the night; but this is when the Boy tries to test what I'm made of.  So the 2nd week is full of highly intensive parenting.

By the 3rd week - we are in a rhythm.  Smooth sailing from there on out, in theory.
Holidays/birthdays/special days are hard - everyone misses Daddy.
Saturdays drag by and take I try to have a fun purpose for every Saturday.

Having a handy sense of humor is also a key to surviving separations....things will go wrong, kids will get sick, stuff you never planned on will come can laugh (which is an awesome tool for anti-aging, burns calories, and keeps frowning wrinkles at bay) or you can melt and cry.

I cry sometimes. And melt sometimes.
But most of the time? I laugh.
I'm too tired to do anything else.

 Copyright 2012