About Me

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Like all of you, I'm a number of things to a number of people...Navy wife, homeschooling mama, educated woman and aspiring writer. Read my thoughts on all of it here. Please feel free to leave your thoughts on all of it too!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

I'm a mom. You know what they say, parenting is a thankless job. That's not totally true, though. It's just that kids don't think to say thank you. But you can read it in their actions and words, if you look hard enough.

Hugs are my favorite form of thanks from all three kids. Jace likes to be sure he gets cuddle time every day and I know that those days are numbered. He's six already and discovering all sorts of things, like that mama and dada kissing is gross and that you can scrape the yogurt off yogurt raisins using that hole you have when you lose your first two baby teeth. Eventually he'll learn that cozying up to mama isn't cool. Until then, I'll take it and let him know I love every minute of it...and that I can tickle him to the ground if necessary. It's important to keep the underhand.

Tyler's been known to wobble back and forth and screech and coo, some sort of crazy dance when he sees dada or I. It's funny and endearing. It's love it's it's purest, most joyful form. He also gives spontaneous hugs and sloppy, open-mouthed kisses. Nothing says "thanks mom" like being wet from nose to chin!

Gracie said something the other day that really let me know I was appreciated. They were talking in class about what they all do when they're sad. Gracie raised her hand, because she's all about the rules. When she was called on, she stood up and said, "Well, sometimes you want mama and sometimes you want a milkshake." Could she have been more right?

Even though most of our thanks won't come until our kids have kids of their own, I mine all the nuggets of thanks out of the raw ore that our kids are...they're a gold mine!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kid Speak

I know how you love to read the funny and frustrating things my kids say. I know it's just because it makes you feel better about your life, and that's OK. I'm glad to help. And, apparently so are my kids because they just keep popping out with some doosies!

Notables of Late

Jace, 6:
"That's not pink, Gracie. It's apricot." He was right.

"I don't like these. I asked for slacks." If you're wondering why he wants slacks in August in Georgia, it's because somebody (mama) made a crazy rule that you can only wear cowboy boots with pants, and not on P.E. days. He's outgrown last years dress pants and asked for new slacks, "Cream ones please," not black or navy blue.

"I'm bored at school. Can I go to second grade?"

Gracie, 4:
Her: "You better pull over right now and get me the book out of the trunk!"
Me: (thought) "If I pull over it won't be to get you a book..."
(spoken) "I don't think you'll be getting that book even once we're home. You don't talk to your mother that way, do you?"
Her: "No, Ma'am." See, she's gittin' brung up right here in the South.

Her: "Are pickles a vegetable?"
Me: "Um...maybe? Cucumbers are and pickles come from cucumbers."
Her: "Well, then, there's a vegetable I like!"

"At my school you're not supposed to run in the classroom but Passion and Nathaniel and Morgan always run in the classroom and I remind them not to run but they don't listen to me so I tell the teachers. I say, 'Teacher, Passion and Nathaniel and Morgan were running in the classroom and I told them they're not supposed to and they didn't stop.' Then they don't get three smiley faces. And we're supposed to sit criss-cross applesauce on the rug when we sit on the rug and I get to sit on G because my names starts with G and I'm the only one in my class whose name starts with G and I sit on G. But Nathaniel sits behind me and he never sits criss-cross applesauce like he's supposed to because he doesn't make good choices for himself and he kicks me and I remind him that the rules are to sit criss-cross applesauce and he doesn't listen so I raise my hand to tell the teacher...." You get the idea, I'm sure.

Tyler, 20 months:

"Mama, mama, mama....Ma! Ma!"

"araaahh arrrahhhaaah mama!"

Oh, Wednesday!

Wednesday used to be my favorite day of the week. "Why," you may ask. Mainly because it's the middle child, like me. No one really likes Wednesday, but not in the same way they don't like Monday. Monday's aren't good because that's the day you actually have to get up and dressed and drag yourself to work or school. By Wednesday you're over dreading that, but you're at hump day.

Hump day? What kind of nickname is that? It just shows people don't really enjoy Wednesdays. They tolerate them and get excited once they're over, then we're on the down slope to the weekend again. So, why not call give poor Wednesday a better nickname, like peak day? Consider how our view of Wednesday would change if we thought of it like a majestic mountain top peaking the the clouds of Tuesday and Thursday? If instead of thinking to ourselves, "oh, it's only Wednesday," we could celebrate the climb and summit of the wonderful middle of our week?

Are you with me? If you are, maybe I'll get on board too. For now, though, I'm tired and can't help thinking, "It's only Wednesday?" Even I, an eternal positive thinker, struggles with the the five day work week. So, while Wednesday used to be my kindred spirit, I now look for the light of the weekend to shine through my mid-week clouds. Because, honestly, sometimes even Thursday and Friday are as rough as a Monday morning. All I really want to to be able to wake when I want instead of being roused by an alarm. Unfortunately, that's not likely to happen for a few years, or at least until summer.

So, while I'll try to be nice to Wednesday and look at it like a triumph in the middle of my week. Realistically I'll probably see it as a hump I have to drag my sleepy self over in my struggle to get to the weekend. So, although it used to be my favorite day of the week, I think it's time to be up front with Wednesday, in a public forum so it can't cause too big of a scene, of course.

Dear Wednesday,

Please try to understand that it's not you, it's me. Hold your head high. I know there's someone else out there who will understand you and care for you in the way you deserve. You'll always hold a special place in my life. No other day is spelled like you. I do hope we can be friends. After all, we have to see each other weekly.



Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I don't think I'm alone in wanting things quickly. Sometimes, when it takes a few seconds for a page to load on the computer, I take deep breaths and remember the days of dial up or even before having a computer and try to be thankful for what I have. But most of the time, I just want what I want and I want it now.

Exercise is one of those things for me. I don't like to exercise. I do feel decent after doing it, but I really don't enjoy it while I'm doing it at all. Denise Austin always says, "Smile. You're doing great, " and I want to reach into the TV and give her a wedgie. But I like her workouts. Mostly I like them because they're quick. They're advertised as half an hour, but once you cut out the intro and credits, it's probably closer to 20 minutes. I even keep up my cardio during the commercials. Shouldn't I get a reward for that? Twenty minutes is decent, I think. Considering I was simply sleeping during that time a few weeks ago.

Now, here's the problem, though. Mrs. Austin says I'll see results in six weeks. She doesn't say what results, and I know she can't really, but I'd like to know. And six weeks? That's a long time. I've heard that something needs to be done for 30 days to become habit, and I've only been at this for a few weeks, last week being my first full week. I've got more work ahead of me before I see the results Denise is going to see through my TV. But I want results now!

I know, I'm being rather whiny. But you're just reading this so at least you don't have to listen to me.

This morning when I turned on the TV to start my recorded workout there was an infomercial for a Tony Horton program, 10 Minute Trainer. I really just wanted to turn the power off, reset my alarm and go back to sleep. Instead I kept listening to the infomercial. After a few minutes I got up and decided to forgo Denise Austin this morning but to stretch while learning about this other possibility.

I didn't buy the program, but I'm still very interested. Scott and I are discussing it. It promises great workouts in only ten minutes and, this is the REALLY cool part, results in ten days. In fact, it promises that I will lose a pant size in ten days, or my money back. Can it be true? If it is, that's about as close as I'm gonna get to exercising results now. I'm so tempted. Even I can do something for ten days.

We shall see...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Little Bits

For you: a compilation of things that have been on my mind. Imagine these tid bits presented on a grand platter, held firmly by the gloved hand of a handsomely dressed servant. There's a little something for everyone...crunchy, sweet, savory, smooth...take all you'd like and enjoy.

That little bit of fun imagery comes from a house my husband found online while looking for places to live someday without me. (It was brought to my attention that this sounds like Scott wants to live apart from me in the future. I don't think that's the plan. After all, who would keep my feet warm? What it should sound like is that Scott was looking, without me, at future homes, that we could live in together.) The rule is that we're not aloud to look/dream without the other, but he admitted he'd been naughty so he could show me this place he found in Victor, NY (one of our possible retirement areas). It's on the market for 3.9 million dollars. I told him he'll have to work for a long time to be able to afford that one! But it did have a nice covered entry so I, or the servants, could bring the groceries in without getting wet or snowed on.


The other day the kids and I were eating at the dining room table, which has a window into the front yard. Gracie excitedly announced that there was a baby butterfly fluttering about. Jace promptly told her, "There's no such thing as baby butterflies. That's a caterpillar." Of course Gracie got upset and wanted me to stand up for her. Alas, what's a mom to do? I told them it was probably a young butterfly and gave Jace a look that clearly asked him why he needed to torture his poor sister and urged him to stop. He reiterated that baby butterflies are caterpillars and left it alone. Thank goodness.


In college we had a big piece of poster board or paper, can't remember what exactly. But, we kept it under the couch and occasionally pulled it out to write some great quotes that people came up with at random times. It was a fun little conversation starter. Every now and then I think of recreating it with things I never thought I'd hear my self say, especially quite as often as I do. My current least favorite thing to say is directed toward Tyler. "Keep your fingers out of my arm pit." It drives me nuts that he seems to constantly scratch me and play with my arm pits. I know their warm and whatever...but they're my pits! Arg. I hope he finds something better to do with his little pinchers, and soon.


Why is it that just when I think I've caught up with life I realize that the dishwasher never got run or that I forgot to empty the dryer and the clothes are all wrinkled? Just why? I'd like to get ahead for just a little bit. Maybe?


My least favorite thing to clean is the bathroom, specifically the toilet, and even more specifically the under side of that. And I have so many more years until the boys are supposedly old enough to not dribble over the edge of the tank and drip, drip, drip...anyway, what age is that again?


I'm starting to enjoy, more and more, being in the kitchen. I've always loved baking but have put in on the back shelf so we could eat healthier and not have so many cookies lying around. (Now when I say lying around...what I mean is barely making it off the counter and into the cookie jar. We love cookies around here!) I've gotten more into cooking to take the place of the baking I enjoy. The kids help me twice a week. Mostly we have a lot of fun! There are days, though...whew! Isn't anything like that, though? Can't love everything all the time.

Back to my point, I just joined a baking and cooking challenge blog. It's called The Daring Kitchen and there are monthly challenges to create and post about fun new recipes! I'm very excited about this. First of all, once a month I won't have to figure out what to cook for dinner. Also, we'll get to try new things, which I very much enjoy. So, along with the normal tales of Gebel family life, you can now look forward to daring baking and cooking challenge posts. Then you can try your hand at something new in the kitchen as well.


One more thing...I've been working out with Denise Austin and taking walks several times a week with Tyler. I really enjoy it. Well, not while Denise is kicking my tush first thing in the morning, but when we move into the stretching exercises at the end of her workout...then I love it. I like feeling a little sweaty, more active, and ready to go...

And, now, it's time for me to go...Tyler's awake and we need to go pick up Gracie and Jace. Have a great Monday. I hope you enjoyed your sampling of tasty tid bits!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mama's Little Helpers

My kids are still pretty young. I know as they get older they won't want to help with anything, so I try to let their eager little hands give me a hand now.

Yesterday Gracie wanted to help fold laundry. She also enjoys emptying the dishwasher and putting dishes in the sudsy water. This is all wonderful, except that it takes twice as long.

Tyler loves putting clothes into and pulling them out of the dryer, and pulling weeds. I found that last one out this morning. I noticed a few things growing in the stones in front of the house. Our house is for sale, so I try to keep the only green in there the ornamental grasses that I planted for curb appeal. So, I started plucking the little weeds that had popped up and was making pretty quick work out of it. I knew Tyler was wondering about, but didn't realize he was helping until he brought me a piece of the grass that was supposed to be there and said, "Here."

So helpful, except when they're not.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh, Really?

I'm not a naturally political person. I don't like to rock the boat on any subject and there's no way around getting sea sick if politics are on the table. But sometimes my feathers get a little ruffled. If you know me, you might have a hard time picturing me with anything but well-preened feathers, but today...I'm ruffled!

On the radio I heard that Huckebee is in Israel and commented to someone or some group or whatever that "it would be unrealistic to have a Palestinian state in the middle of Israel." That may not be exactly what he said, but it's what the radio reported. Immediately I was ruffled. Really? Unrealistic? Because you say so?

Well, I say poppycock.


Bull honkey.

Know how I know that it's not unrealistic? Because it exists already.

I happen to have a friend on the inside, if you will. She really is. She currently lives in Palestine. So, it must be a real place, right?

I'm not so oblivious to think that there are easy answers to having a Palestinian state within Israel. But I think it's a bit naive to say it's unrealistic. Just because someone doesn't believe something is possible doesn't mean it's impossible.

So, let's go back to what we teach our kids...think before you speak.

I've thought. I've spoken. And, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go smooth my fluff.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Of Frogs and Fish

Early this morning I got up with Tyler and cuddled him tight while he moaned his way back to sleep. He had a bad dream or something and was whining "mama" in that heart string pulling way around 4:00 am. So, I got up with him and let Scott sleep in. (Don't give me that look. Scott does not get everything. He got up with the kids yesterday so I could sleep. And boy did I need it!) I dozed off for a short time and then had to get up and tuck Gracie back in. She doesn't quite get the idea of sleeping in on the weekend. She actually wakes up earlier than on school days. She's a little odd.

Anyway, after tucking her back in I was awake and cozy with my littlest monkey. I was watching the frogs on the window and back door. I wondered what my life looked like from their point of view.

That made me remember a story from when I was younger. I don't know if you remember the TV show Dinosaurs for the 80's. (I talked about it here first.) It comes to mind often so it must have been during some very impressionable years for me. Anyway, during the time my family watched our beloved Dinosaurs we were sitting around the table one night and talking about not much of anything, I'm sure. Someone noticed the goldfish, who swam around his bowl on the shelf next to the table. We watched him quietly for a few laps and someone, probably Dad because he overflows with useless knowledge, stated that goldfish have very short memories. In fact, they forget everything with each new lap around the bowl, which is why they can be so easily entertained in our kitchen.

Now, as I'm typing this something occurs to me...something different from my original point. I'll let you know what in a minute, let's stick to one story at a time, though.

Well, we surely discussed the sad life of a gold fish for a time before cleaning up the dinner dishes and moving on with our lives. Well, the next morning we found the goldfish dead next to the bowl. We figured it had jumped after becoming depressed from our chit-chat.

I know...sad.

OK, now on to what occurred to me whilst typing...was Dad feeding me a line? It's easily been 20 years since this happened and I've thought of and told this stories numerous times. But I just now thought to fact check it. See, I'm a wee bit gullible. (Stop laughing.) So fact check I did. According to Wikipedia I was, in fact, fed a line...and I gobbled it up, hook, line and sinker. Appropriate, don't you think, considering I'm telling you a story about a fish!

Anyway, I'm now blaming my father for the death of that goldfish. They actually have a memory of at least three months! That poor fish was happy watching us go about our lives until we pointed out to him that we were boring as anything could be. Poor guy.

I am thankful, though, that I didn't ponder out loud about the life of the frogs on my windows this morning. I enjoy watching them out there and would be so very sad if they over heard me going on and on about their possibly boring lives and put an end to things. I'm glad Tyler was sleeping on my lap to keep my gullible self quiet. The frogs will live to do their froggy thing another day!

Friday, August 14, 2009

maybe she'll be a reporter

My mother was in a car accident on Monday. It's now Friday. She's doing OK, but she was in the Intensive Care Unit for three days. She's in a trauma unit now, but I didn't get to talk to her until today. She's ready to find out what needs to be done to get out of there and into a real room. Go mom!

To make this week even more exhausting, Scott was working some insane hours. I barely saw him, and when I did it was as he slipped in or out of bed in the middle of the night. So, not feeling at my best I didn't tell the kids about Grandma's accident until today. I figured they might be scared for Grandma so I didn't want to make that worse by breaking into tears in front of them.

Today on the way home from school, I gave the kids a few details, "Grandma was in a car accident and has to stay in the hospital for a few days, but she's feeling better than a couple days ago. I thought you could draw her pictures and we'd send her a note. How's that sound?"

"That's a great idea, Mama, " Jace answered.

Gracie was quiet for a second, but just a second. Then she started with question after question.

"How did she get in an accident?"

"Why didn't she stop at the stop sign?"

"Did her van roll over?"

"Was Grandpa with her?"

"What did she hurt?"

"How do you break your arm?"

"Did her skin stay on?"

"Are the doctors going to fix her arm?"

"Did she break her ring?"

"Does she need crutches?"

"How does she go potty?"

"How does she eat?"

"Does she like cookies?"

"What is she wearing at the hospital?"

"Does she have to leave the hospital dress there when she leaves?"

"How will she get dressed in her own clothes?

"How will she get home?"

"Will Grandpa drive his truck or her van?"

"Will she get a new van?"

"I like her van. I hope she gets a new van. Can we talk to her soon so I can tell her I love her and ask her if she broke her ring?"

Wow! What a barrage of questions. Great questions. Now I don't want this to come out the wrong way...but I was really impressed. Jace has always been curious and eager to learn about anything and everything. The kid is six years old and has a list of sciences he'd like to explore further over the next few years before he decides which he'd like to pursue as a career. Seriously, I expected questions from him.

But, Gracie? She's our four-year-old social butterfly, concerned with long hair and pretty skirts above all else. Yet she asked and asked until she, and everyone else, was satisfied.

I did sneak a peek into the back seat once and saw that Jace had a huge grin on his face. Apparently he was proud of his sister too.


We've been back from our summer road trip for a few busy weeks, now. I just realized, though, that in all the chaos of getting ready for school I haven't shared stories from the road. Silly me!

So, the bottom line is: we had a great time. Family didn't drive us crazy and I think everyone we saw was glad to see us and sad we left. I usually feel like we didn't see people enough, and this trip was no different, but I do feel that we did a great job seeing so many people. We attended a wedding, a family reunion, a birthday party and a few get-togethers with family and friends. We also managed a trip to a water park, a museum, a zoo, and a cavern. We saw mountains, fog, lots of cars, and a little construction. The kids played and played...loving most everything about our trip. yay!

On the way back, Jane, one of my mothers-in-law, drove with us. She was a wonderful help, especially halfway through the cavern when Gracie had to use the restroom...which strangely isn't in the cavern! But beyond that, Jane was wonderful company and gave Jace some of what he usually hands out: trouble!

We were driving in the scenic Shenandoah National Forest on Skyline Drive and Jane remarked something about the rolling hills. Jace was quick to point out, "Hills don't roll, Grandma. They're not balls."

We shared a giggle at that. I don't think Jace understood what was funny, though. He probably just thinks Mama and Grandma are off their rockers! But we got one more chance for rolling fun after we got back to Georgia. There was a wee bit of a storm while we were visiting our local zoo, complete with rolling thunder. Jace just looked at us with his head cocked to the side and rolled his eyes. I still don't think he understands and certainly thinks we're beyond help...but it's fun for me to know something he doesn't for once! Yes, he's only 6...but he's more than met his quota for smart aleck comments to me! Thanks Jane!

rolling mountains, rolling thunder

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I've heard you should exercise when you're stressed. I've heard it's not only good for you but also releases something in our brains that will help battle the stress. This may all be true, but you know what really helps?

Ice cream, big spoonfuls right from the container, or canned frosting if you're in a fix.

Lasagna, leftover and rewarmed so the cheese extends in those long, glorious strings.

Wine coolers, or occasionally butterscotch schnapps on the rocks, something cold and soothing.

And cookies. Cookies of every shape, size, and even doneness. Sometimes eating the dough while the first few trays are baking starts the feeling better process going. From the store you can get some Oreos to dip in milk or eat by the bag full. Why did they think it necessary to make the bags resealable, anyway? If I'm angry about something I find something crispy very satisfying, like ginger snaps or the hard oatmeal ones in the cookie aisle. But if I'm sad or worried, I want something soft and yummy...like Grandma Gebel cookies.

If you're not familiar, Grandma Gebel Cookies are a comforting peanut butter dough with chocolate chips. I've tweaked it over the years I've been a Gebel and added whole wheat flour, they're healthier that way. I use chunky peanut butter for the nuts and three types of chocolate chips; milk chocolate chunks, mini chips, and dark chocolate chips. In the past I've used applesauce in place of butter, but when I'm looking for cookie comfort, I don't want to go too far into the health food column. Remember, they do have whole wheat flour.

If you're not allergic to peanuts, aren't suffering from some strange aversion to chocolate, and have some stress you don't want to exercise away...Grandma Gebel Cookies are what you need!

How do I know? Well, experience, of course. And Scott knows it too. Yesterday he called and asked if I'm make some for him to take to work, considering the long hours they're all putting in this week. See? Stress.

And hours after getting that request I found out my mother was in a car accident 17 hours away. See...stress. Don't worry. She's OK. She's got pain meds and doctors and nurses taking good care of her, not to mention Jody and Dad.

As for us? We eat cookies.

I'll have to make another batch for Mon in a few days. Rather they'll likely be for Dad. Mom may be the one healing, but Dad will be the one trying to get her to rest. See? Stress. Cookies it is!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Taking the Slow Road

I believe in God. I believe that God believes in me and has a dream for how I should live my life. I believe He gently nudges me when I'm not wandering down the path He has in mind. I believe His reminders come in oh so many ways. Like today at Walmart.

(For those who regularly read my blog...yes, I was just at Walmart a few days ago. The under microwave light blew and it plays a pivotal role in our lives and had to be replaced.)

To start, I picked Jace and Gracie up from school. This part of my day, along with taking them to school in the morning, is tightly coordinated. I must admit that I get a little antsy waiting in line at Jace's school. The time eeks by ever so slowly and I have an almost 15 minute drive to Gracie's school after that, with approximately 20 minutes to get there before I'm making the teachers stay late. It's snug, but doable.

Today there weren't any problems and both kids made it into the car only a few minutes later than I'd have liked. We set off for Wally World for a "quick trip" to get the light bulb and go back home. I didn't want to take too long because I was expecting someone to come over this afternoon to give an estimate on taking down a tree that is slowly crumbling too close to our home. In hind sight, I didn't need to be home for him to look at the tree, but I wanted to be. So, like I said, I just wanted this to be a quick trip.

As I turned onto the road that Walmart is on the car beeped. I'm driving a new car and immediately was sure I'd broken something...I hadn't though. Emma, the car, was just letting me know she was low on gas. No problem. This just adds a little more time to my quick trip, but Walmart sells gas too. So we headed there first.

Every spot was full so I chose my lane and waited behind the person in front of me who, of course, had to go in to pay after pumping. The kids even asked what was taking so long! After she came out I pulled up and got out, only to notice that she really did have to go in to pay. The debit/credit portion of the pump was not working. I looked over to the next pump to see if they were all down, and they weren't, so I decided to move to another pump where I could pay from outside. I haven't left the kids in the car for any amount of time, ever, and gone into a building, except for our own house. If I become a statistic, it won't be for that.

So, back in the car I moved to another line facing the right direction and saw, ahead of getting out this time, that it was also broken. By this time I was slightly annoyed that my quick trip wasn't so quick anymore. But as someone cut in front of me when I was turning to find a third lane - I took that as a little sign from God. "Slow down," He whispered.

I paused, pulled behind the car that had cut me off, and waited for my turn. Patiently.

After getting gas, we went to find a parking spot at the store. You're smiling, aren't you? Finding a parking spot is never an easy, or fast, task. Today was no exception. But I found one and took it and we filed out of the car. As soon as I picked Tyler up I realized we would need to stop at the bathroom. I smiled up at the sky and felt God smile back at me. "Take a deep breath." I would have taken a deep breath, except I was holding Tyler...who stank. Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?

While I changed Tyler I added an item to the list: travel wipes.

We ventured back to the lighting section first and found the correct bulb. I bought two. Jace asked if we could look at bikes. He recently rode a 20" bike and realized that his 16" is getting small. I remembered my kind reminders and said yes. What's a few more minutes? They were on our way to the diaper wipes anyway.

So, in the end we got what we needed, got home and relaxed for a while. I made dinner and we ate. We watched some TV and read some books, and then the door bell rang. It was 7:21 pm, in the afternoon?

Moral of the story: God really likes me to take the slow road. He doesn't like when I'm stressed out, impatient, or too focused on the goal rather than the journey. I like the way He thinks!

Little Scholars

Our two oldest are in their 3rd day of school this year. Jace is in 1st grade and is very excited to learn new things. Although after the first day he did say, "I don't know about first grade, we learned our ABCs again." But a brief conversation cleared up for him that the teacher just needed to see where everyone in the class was at and the learning of new info would begin shortly. He's so eager to soak it all in!

Gracie has begun pre-k and loves it. "She's quite social, isn't she?" is what the teacher asked me when I picked her up the first day. I smiled and nodded. She really enjoys making new friends and can't wait to see her old friends this weekend (we have a birthday party -fun!) to tell them all about school.

That leaves Tyler and I at home, or on the road. We're driving both Jace and Gracie to and from school, which is a lot of driving, but (after three days) not so bad. We also have time at home by ourselves...to play with any toys we want. And at the grocery store Tyler sits in the spaceship cart and drives with both steering wheels. I have quiet time while Tyler naps and don't have to worry about the other two not napping. I've gotten a lot done in the past three days!

So, we're all doing well. Everyone is excited, happy, and healthy. Off to a good start!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The One

"The one" can mean a few different things to me. There's the one that rocks your world, knows your heart, and holds your hand. Then there's the one we always look for at the Navy balls. You know, the one with a too-short dress paired with too-high heels. And there's the one at the department store that you look at with either pity and long-distance support or with annoyance.

I think I've been them all.

It goes without saying that I am Scott's one and only. He picked me...he says so! And he knows he's in trouble if anything ever happens to me. For Scott there may truly only be one! The year he made chief, we celebrated with his fellow inductees at the Chief's Ball. Gracie was just three months old and I (a breastfeeding mother away from her little one for several hours) wore a halter top dress. My "it" factor that night was definitely that as time went on I became the one for a while...but a little pumping brought me back to unembarrassing arm candy for my sailor!

And there's the social experiment known as Walmart. I clearly recall feeling exhausted and overwhelmed one day, trying to will the children into behaving. My eyes met those of another mother who's empathy clearly showed. But today I didn't make eye contact because I think I would have met some frustrated customers' glares.

Jace and Gracie started school today and Tyler and I made our first trip out alone. He was determined to walk. I know, hind sight is 20/20. I probably shouldn't have given in to my 19 month old quite so quickly. But I did. And he excitedly ran amock in the store. I couldn't catch him because I had to keep stopping to put things back on the shelves. And when I caged him in the dressing room so I could try to figure out what bra size I wear now that he's done nursing, he rattled the door the whole time. Thankfully, though, he doesn't know how to turn the handle. While I was handing my unwanted clothes to the dressing room attendant Tyler stopped in his tracks and looked at me, obviously pushing. And we smelled it too! Oh my.

We headed back to the restroom, on the way picking up a package of diapers because I was all out in the diaper bag. Not very on top of things, am I? I changed him and realized that he'd leaked onto his shorts, so I took those off too. Now my little independant monkey had a shirt and shoes, and a clean diaper, but no pants. I considered letting him be, but I still didn't have him wrangled in the cart. Walking on his own, it seemed that he should have his diaper covered. So, I tackled him and put on a new pair of Garanimals shorts right there in the aisle. Once we'd finished picking up all the ingredients for tonight's tropical salsa, I picked him up to scan his shorts. Check out complete!

Hopefully I'll resist being the center of attention at parties and stores and stick to being Scott's match made in heaven. That's the one I want to be.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Numbers and Letters

It seems that numbers and letters are a pretty important thing to learn. They're right up there with colors and shapes I think. Seriously, though, I'm finding out that there are more letters and numbers that I should know about...even though I've been out of school a few years now.

Sometime soon I'm going to make an appointment with my doctor to learn all my vital numbers. I don't know my blood pressure or my cholesteral level. I'll do a little research to find out what they should be at my age so once I learn those numbers they'll mean something.

It's a good thing I know my ABCs so I can get my eyes checked also. It's been about 6 years since I last did that. Actually, Gracie got to identify shapes for her eye test this year. I think that was harder, though. They weren't simple shapes. They had a boat and stars...very tricky.

On top of all this, I've spent half of the last six years breastfeeding and now I'm done. I've gone up and down in size, having been pregnant three times and losing weight here and there, and I am six years older too. I need to figure out my newest bra size! If only a simple blood test could give me that answer. I'd even pee on something! But, alas, it looks like I'll be trying on some new undergarments and adjusting straps. Nothing I currently own fits well and I just read that bras should not be uncomfortable to wear!

So, I guess I'll send the kids off to school in a couple days. And I'll start my own lessons...all about me!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


We made it! Three kids, one vehicle, more than 2000 miles...and everyone came back in one piece!

Actually, we really enjoyed our summer road trip. I ventured out with my monkeys and we saw friends and family. We visited places we'd never been and places we'd love to see again. We drove interstates and two lane roads.

I was hoping the kids would enjoy the trip as much as I was looking forward to it. I think they did! YAY! I love seeing our country by car and hope to do even more of this fun travel option with them in the years to come. And they're already asking about trips we have coming up in the next year...they're hooked!

With all the house-hopping and visiting we did they did get pretty tired at one point. I tried to schedule in down time for us, to just watch tv or take long naps, but the weekends often end up bustling with get-togethers. Our last one at home was no exception. We had three different family gatherings and we were camping to boot! As we were getting in the car to leave the last party I went back to find a lost sippy cup and found out that my cousin had grabbed it, thinking it was her daughter's. No biggy, except that I'd only brought one for each kid and would need to get a new one. That's exactly what I said when I got back in the car, to which Jace pleaded, "Please, mama, not tonight."

So precious...and so ready for bed!

Now we're back in Georgia, sleeping in our own beds, cooking our own food, and trying to get back into a routine. School starts in two days! Ready or not...here we go!