Sunday, February 22, 2009

Seriously So Blessed...

Here are a couple of pictures of the boys at a children's museum I took them to in Wilmington a few weeks ago. They especially liked firing balls out of the cannon, as did all the kids there.

I was recently pointed to this blog, and it's great for some laughs . . . It makes sense if you know the lingo and culture of younger Mormon women.
I don't know if it's spring fever trying to emerge, or boys will be boys, or that Dean has been gone for 7 weeks now or what, but the boys have been extra feral lately. I don't really blog about how wonderful my children are, like everyone else does. It's kind of hard to find the good in them sometimes (especially when I don't get a break while hubby is gone), such as the other day when I walked in on Hunter charging out of the kitchen with my 10" chef knife after Kyler (mind you that's a 10" blade, and my knives are professional). I don't believe he was really trying to hurt him, but at six years old I would have thought he should know better. He was getting a rise out of Kyler, and thought it was all fun and games, apparently. He doesn't get to touch so much as a butter knife until Dean's home.
Hunter can be a really sweet kid most of the time, actually, and has stellar behavior at school and usually at church. But put him together with Kyler at home, and all hint of common sense and responsibility go out the window. They spend all their time brawling, screeching, wounding each other, tattling, trashing the house, etc. If either one is alone with me, he is generally cooperative and will do what I ask, but throw the other one in the mix, and all they will do is antagonize each other, driving me up the wall.

Kyler isn't innocent by any means. If anything, he usually has the upper hand in their brawls, at three years old. Last weekend for instance, we had company over, which, granted, will rile up any young kid, and Kyler got hold of a boyscout belt, and hit Hunter on the side of his neck with the buckle end of it. It produced a mild hematoma, but with some frozen green beans on it immediately for half an hour it went away within a day or so (hemophilia boy has been pretty darn lucky so far).
As another example, the other day Kyler had hold of Hunter's hoodie by the hood (with Hunter in it), and Hunter was on the ground on his back. I was nearby, and Hunter was screeching to be saved. The boy seriously needs to learn to defend himself a little. I told him to turn over, which he finally did and was able to get out of Kyler's hold. To some degree, Hunter has trained Kyler to be a fighter/wrestler, as he started wrestling with him when he was three and a half, and Kyler was six months old. Kyler couldn't even sit up yet, but loved rolling around on the floor with Hunter. Kyler can also be very sweet when he wants to be, and loves to cuddle and snuggle (when Hunter's not around), so we do plenty of that during the week while Hunter's at home.

So today, Saturday, I'm looking forward to maybe going out to the park with the kids, or otherwise doing something fun. They, on the other hand, just want to do their usual behaviors, namely brawling near my bedroom and screeching/tattling loudly. I told them to take it elsewhere, but that didn't happen. So I sent them to their room for an hour, and there's always the stipulation that it must be clean after said hour if they wish to come out. As always happens, though, they spent the hour further trashing their room (which wasn't bad to begin with) and brawling. The marines are often firing artillery, which rattles the windows a bit. I seriously can't always differentiate between that and what goes on when they are put in their bedroom. I don't usually hear the artillery on Saturdays, so I don't know if it was them jumping off the furniture in their room - or whatever they do in there, or if it was actually artillery. So, it's been three hours, and they are still in there, "we're starving", and still nothing has been picked up, and all they will do is point fingers at the other who isn't helping. I have no sympathy. If they would just do it, they could pick it up in 10 minutes, but they'd rather rot and starve in there. That's fine with me!
In four months we'll bring another baby boy into this mix (mess?). Dean keeps telling me that this one won't necessarily be as wild as his brothers. But for survival he my have to be...

We did have a lovely weekend with Dean home, and it happened to be Valentine's weekend. We didn't even try to go out on V-day, as the restaurants fill up pretty fast with 50,000 marines. We did go to the Olive Garden for lunch on Monday before he left - and still had a fifteen minute wait (the marines had the day off as well, for the holiday). I found a blue t-shirt a couple of weeks ago that had the Superman insignia on it, only it says Captain Love (that's pretty close to Cpt. Lavallee). I knew Dean would love it; he's been wearing it back at training. I also got him a box of truffles, as he loves truffles. He got me some herb and vegetable seeds, and I've been starting what will be our garden, in the house.

Dean finished with the three weeks "in the field" at Officer Basic. It was tedious and sometimes poorly orchestrated, as there was a whole lot of sitting around. They ate MREs a couple of times a day. Some are better than other, he says. They slept in big heated tents on cots. He used the ear plugs they were given for the firing range to help him sleep at night (30 men in a tent makes for a whole lot of snoring/flatus all night, believe it or not). He graduates early next week, but then has additional veterinary training for a month. And, he is now assigned to be deployed to Iraq in November, so has a lot of additional training throughout the year, including at the very same place he is now for two more weeks in April (a week after he finishes OBC), and again the very week I'm due...

So that sums up our lives of late. Can you tell how cheery and blessed I am??? I think my nose is starting to swell, along with the rest of me, by the way.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's a ...

Boy! Another boy. I figured as much. But we're excited. I can hardly makes heads or parts of some of the ultrasound pictures, but here they are, and apparently one has the identifier. Baby kept his hands pretty close to his face much of the time. We may end up with another thumb sucker/ear caresser like Kyler. Hunter sucked on a bottle until he was three, and held his ear (or mine or Dean's) all the while. When we finally weaned him from the bottle, he stopped with the ears. There's no taking Kyler's thumb away, and it doesn't bother me yet anyway, especially since it is so soothing for him - he can go from screaming his head off to nary a peep when he pops it in his mouth and works that ear.

I've been just dying to buy foofy little girl Christmas dresses that are marked way down right now, but have been holding off until today. Alas, I won't be needing any!

I texted Dean, who is out in "the field" again this week, and consequently isn't supposed to be using the cell phone outside of the tent, which they are only in at night. He texted back saying "Great, a future missionary!"

When I was pregnant with Kyler, I ate like a piggy and put on 40 pregnancy pounds (Kyler included). It was difficult to lose! With Hunter I had lost all 20 pounds and then some in a month (he came 7 weeks early, so I didn't have the opportunity to gain so much), so I assumed it would be easy again. Anyway, I was terribly swollen all over with Kyler. One day I happened to be at the post office, and a lady who worked there said "oh, you're having a boy". I was indeed, and asked how on earth she knew. She was a bit reluctant, but said "It's your nose". So I went home and looked in the mirror, and sure enough even my nose was grossly swollen. So this time around I'm being more careful and trying to not gain excessively.

So in "the field", Dean and all the other folks (nurses, MDs, PAs, dentists, scientists, lab techs, etc.) are going through the motions of what the enlisted soldiers have to master. They went through the obstacle course last week. Yesterday, they went through a mock Iraqi village looking for bad guys, and did combatives. They really want the women to learn to defend themselves, so they pair them up with men to practice. He says he sure has developed an appreciation for all the training and skills that combat soldiers have to have in order to do that every day. They've also done the gas chamber now, where they get gassed, so they know what it is like and how to deal with it. It was most awful, I'm told, but over quickly.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

nothing in particular

Life is a little dreary and boring with Dean gone for nearly five weeks now. He gets to come home for a four-day weekend over President's day, so we're all looking forward to that. We don't really have TV to speak of, as I refuse to pay for it. So I watch some of my favorite shows online after the kids go to bed (CSI, House, 24, NCIS). One night there wasn't anything to see, and I was bored out of my mind (but too tired to do anything productive), so I restarted a netflix subscription. But, I'm too technology challenged to get DVDs to play in the computer (I tried), and the DVD player on the DVD/VCR combo isn't working, so I found a Magnavox very basic and small DVD player for $30 at Walmart. We have a small TV (that the former owners of our home in Astoria left for us) that I was about to freecycle. Instead, I set it up last night in my bedroom, and watched Cinderella Man, which had come in the mail. That's pretty exciting stuff around here lately! I enjoyed the movie, by the way.

I've never gotten in the habit of flossing, even though my parents faithfully took us in for cleanings twice a year and I always got lectured by the hygienists about flossing... I've been using Listerine since we got married, and I always justified not flossing in my mind because I figured the Listerine did just as much. But alas, I've had to have a number of fillings done or redone over the years, and had to have a root canal last year. I would then start flossing and do it for a week or two, then give it up. It was tedious and annoying to thread one of those hand held flosser things, and just as unpleasant to use my fingers, so I never kept up with it. Then a few months ago on a whim, and with a buy one/get one coupon - plus a sale, I bought a couple of packages (90 count) of floss ups. I don't think I've missed flossing since! And I'm stunned every night at how much food I get out of my teeth, after thoroughly brushing. My jaw is small, hence all the teeth straightening I had done as a child, so my teeth are close together, and it is impossible to get all that out with just brushing. I don't mind flossing now at all. There's no threading, no tedium. I just grab one and get it all done in half a minute or so, and I'm sure my teeth are thanking me. Getting all that stuff out is rewarding, much like squeezing a black head out of a pore.

Dean is terrible about getting the oil changed in his car. He had it done sometime in the summer, then I drove it across the country in September, and it's not been done since. Don't even suggest that he do it. The last time (6 years ago or so) it turned out a bloody mess (literally) and he vowed he would never do it again. (I'm much better about taking my car in, but Dean took it to Texas, so I'm stuck with his). So, a few weeks ago the "service engine soon" light came on, so I figured it really needed to be done. I took it in, and of course they acted like the air filter was so filthy that chunks would be falling out if it was turned upside down, and they would change it for $15. I declined, and headed over to walmart, and got one for $8. So, I actually changed it myself, without a hitch. The "service engine soon" light has not gone off, though, so that's annoying. And of course they had a list of $250 worth of maintenance that needed to be done according to the mileage. I told them I'd consult the hubby, who did say that most of it should be done. But then how do I get it over there for the day, and get home with Kyler, with no hubby around yadda yadda. We'll see. It's on the to-do list.

Living with a bird, and presently being responsible for said bird, I am keenly aware of how much and how often they defacate. The Birdie Birdie in the Sky wasn't written for nuthin' (you know: ... drop that white wash in my eye; I don't care, I won't cry; I'm just glad that cows don't fly... to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). Anyway, Kyler observed as we were driving around today that birds were sitting on power lines, and he asked what they were doing. Well, they were just sitting there, but that's never a good enough answer for Kyler. So I said they were sitting there pooping. That is a topic near and dear to Kyler's heart, as it is one of his fond daily activities. He asked if they wipe their bums. How do you answer that? He didn't understand "no". So after that, every time he spotted some birds sitting on power lines, he would say "There are pooping birds". Incidentally, I wondered a while back why birds aren't electrocuted by sitting on power lines. Dean is a font of knowledge, so I asked him, and he said it's because just one line is not a closed circuit (or something like that) and they would have to be touching both lines in order to be zapped (imagine the amount of poo that would come from that size of bird!). He explained that it's the same as household electrical outlets, which have two holes (and there are two prongs on plugs), to complete the circuit. Anyway, like I said it's pretty boring around here!