Friday, August 31, 2012

Hygiene and Superpowers

Being a mom I take teaching my kids hygiene very seriously.  I don't want my kids to be the dirty or stinky one.  I'm in the process of drilling in my potty trained children that it is important to wash your hands after using the bathroom.  I had an interesting conversation with Emma the other day after her afternoon constitutional.

Me:  Make sure you wash your hands.
Emma:  They didn't get dirty.
Me:  Baby, germs are invisible, so you have to make sure you wash every time.
Emma:  Germs don't have superpowers!

True...but if she doesn't get the hang of washing she is going to develop the superpower to repel people away, if you get what I mean.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hannah's 4!

Four years ago today this wide eyed cherub came into our lives.  She has been a blessing and a true joy to raise these past 4 years.

 She wanted a cake covered with princesses, I think she wanted the bonus of being able to play with them after eating the cake.  She's a smart girl!

 She got a scooter and a super cute kitty cat helmet.  Isn't that just too adorable!!  I love the ears, and look at her face!  She is loving it!

It was such a fun day.  She reveled in it being her birthday.  Tobie was yelling at her, not in a mean way, he just has these weird outbursts, I think he has borderline turrets, but I heard her yelling right back at him, "You can't yell at the birthday girl!".  HA!  

We start Joy School in a few weeks, and even though it will be taxing on me since there is only one other mother teaching with me, I am so happy to keep her home for another year.

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

Monday, August 27, 2012


Growing up in a house with 7 kids it's hard to have nice things.  Stuff gets broken, marked on and worn out a lot sooner than most.  During this time my mom developed a saying that I have heard often, "I just can't have anything nice!". 

I can't speak for my siblings, but I'm sure they would agree that we didn't do those things on purpose they would just happen.  Careless mistakes that were made that probably made life pretty miserable for her at times.  But it came to a point when I heard her exclaim it so many times that I would just internally (and sometimes externally) roll my eyes.  Of course not having to spend any of my own money on things I sometimes thought she was over reacting to trivial things.  I still felt bad for ruining her things, I just didn't understand the value of it, so when she would lose it and say again and again "I just can't have anything nice!" I felt she was blowing it out of proportion.

But before you think I'm an ungrateful brat, Karma has come a calling in the form of MY children.  I have learned my lesson the hard way, to my new dining room table that the kids marked up with permanent marker, to Theo's new leather office chair that they ripped the back up from the continuous spinning in it and it hitting the desk.  The latest victim, I present exhibit A:

This is a picture of our brand new duvet that we bought a mere month ago.  I was doing my nails and Miriam wanted me to do her nails also.  I told her I would, just give me a second to finish up my own.  But she just couldn't wait, and opened the bottle.  That's when it went all over her hands and onto my new duvet.  I know she didn't mean it, but if she had just listened to me and left the nail polish alone none of that would have happened.  And then it slipped,

"I just can't have anything nice!".

Yep, Karma....gotta love it...   

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sugar Monster

Today has been a total blah to me, and I think I realized my body has a negative reaction to sugar.  I try not to eat very much sugar, we rarely EVER have dessert in our house.  But I have this habit of signing up for the missionaries at least once a week and we HAVE to have dessert then!  Last night was one of those nights.  After schooling our missionaries on real Southern cooking of Shrimp and Grits with a side of Collards and Bacon and a pan of cornbread, I made this:

White Texas Sheet Cake and you can find the recipe HERE.  Oh my goodness, this stuff is like crack!!  Sooo good!!!  I actually had a missionary over in AL that fought my sister for the last piece of this stuff! 

But I really paid for it today.  I felt like a sloth, all I've wanted to do all day is sleep.  I was in my pj's until noon and I still haven't showered today.  I'm still really tired, but I feel like I'm coming out of a brain fog and I seriously think it's because of this sugary piece of heaven. 

Why do things that seem so right have to be so darn bad?!?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pool Rules

You want some good advice?  Don't run around a pool....

True story...:(

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lady Liberty and New York! New York!

 On a whim Theo said Saturday morning, "How about we go to Staten Island and ride the ferry past the Statue of Liberty.".  I was so excited and totally not expecting to go so soon, but we just packed up the kids and jumped in the car.  In less than 2 hours we were boarding the Staten Island Ferry on our way to New York City.
 Pure Awesomeness!
 You can see Lady Liberty in the background as Miriam and Hannah pose.
 Coming up on the city.
 "You're Fired!"  HA!  We decided to walk through the city to the 9/11 Memorial since it was only 1 mile away from the ferry.  We past by the Trump building.
 I was completely amazed by how narrow these roads were!  I'm used to big cities since we would drive through San Francisco often, but I never experienced such TALL buildings so close together that you didn't even have proper lanes!  It just blew me away!  I loved it though, it may sound weird, but with the buildings being so close to one another it actually gave me a homey feeling.  Has anyone ever described NYC as cozy?  LOL!
 This was actually the spot where George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States.  We weren't even looking for it!  How lucky is that!?
We finally came up on the memorial and they have this really neat wall as a reminder and also to honor the firefighters who lost their lives that day.
 I thought this was a cool shot.
Unfortunately they were doing some construction around the Memorial, and you need a ticket to get past that blue wall to the inside.  So this was as close to it as we got. 

Even though we didn't get to actually see the Memorial, just walking around the city and seeing the Statue of Liberty was a dream come true! 

Hopefully our kids will appreciate things like this one day.  I wish I could say how wonderful my kids were, that they were real troopers.  That they knelt beside the Memorial and said a prayer laying a single rose by the fence.  Instead it was me repeating to screaming and whining children, "You're killing my dream kids!".  And what's so funny (and I don't mean in the Ha! Ha! kind of way, more of a going crazy kind of cackle) is that Theo had his long run of 16 miles that morning, and I did 5 and yet our kids were DYING because they had to walk 2 miles.  Not to mention the stops and getting milkshakes from McDonald's, and hitching rides on the double wide stroller.  I was literally dragging Emma along, who was being exceptionally difficult.  But the real kick in the pants was when we got back to port where our car was, these kids whose legs you would think were falling off, were acting like cowgirls and galloping off the ferry.  Theo and I was pulling our hair out to get them to move, making our walk back to the ferry a living nightmare, and now they are flitting around like they were riding on a cloud the whole time we were in the city.  *SIGH*  

 At least this won't be my last trip into the city.  Next time we just may have to get a babysitter, I think we may just be expecting too much from them at this age.  I really hope they get better when they get older since I love to travel and go site seeing.  It just may take some time for that gene to manifest itself in them, at least that's what I'm hoping for.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Half or Full?

I'm in training to run the Half Marathon in Disney World next January 2013.  I've done 2 Half Marathons and they have both been Disney Halves.  They are pricey, butse4q they are so cool and the medals are awesome!  And you get to run through Fantasy Land right through Cinderella's castle, I guess you could do that any time you are there, but it would be really crowded and people would look at you funny.  Plus, you wouldn't get the cool medal.

This year is their 20th Anniversary of the Disney Marathon.  They have really outdone themselves on the medals.

Here is the Half Marathon medal:

I like how they did the hole in the middle.  The only thing is I have a Donald from last January.  I guess he represents the Half, but I have become pretty envious of the Marathon medal.

Which looks like this:

And if the looks of it isn't impressive enough, this thing spins!  There are two rings on the inside, the golden ring around Mickey and Mickey himself both spin.  That is way cool!  So cool in fact that it has got me wondering if I can actually run a Full Marathon!  At the last run I had a goal to beat my previous PR, and I did.  I could either challenge myself that way again and try to shave off more time, or I can really turn up the heat and challenge myself to a longer distance.

I haven't decided yet, mostly out of fear.  Also I really want to get my weight down so the run will be easier.  I swear this has been one trial that I can't seem to figure out.  I read an article in Runner's World where this guy made a comment, "Show me an overweight runner, and I'll show you an aardvark."  Okay, for one thing aardvarks aren't extinct, they aren't even uncommon!  You wanna see an overweight long distance runner, HERE I AM!  Ugh...that comment really ticked me off.  It definitely isn't from a lack of trying.  I have tried everything in the book, just short of starvation, and I can't seem to drop these annoying pounds.  I seriously think that is how I injured my foot from my last Half, I was just too heavy and pushed too hard to beat my PR that I damaged my foot.

So I guess if I can get to a lighter weight I will commit to the Full, yes, yes...that sounds like a plan. In the meantime I will just have to dream...and the dream that you wish will come true!  At least that's what Cinderella says. :)  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I came across these pictures the other day:

My Alabama kitchen.  I know beggers can't be choosers and living here in NJ we have been blessed to get into Coast Guard housing which is completely free...including utilities and water.  But it sure is hard to keep a positive perspective when you are cooking and baking in this:

I literally can put the dishes away from the dishwasher without having to leave the same spot.  Two people can't be in this kitchen without it being overcrowded. 

It's not that I'm miserable because of this kitchen, I may feel the little pin pricks to my heart when I see my old kitchen,  I just need to make some major adjustments.  I know it will be worth it.  Living here will allow us to become debt free, which is our goal by the time we leave NJ in 4 years. 

So of course I don't regret moving here, the little inconveniences don't compare to the experience we will gain from living in the New England area. 

But man, I sure do miss my Alabama kitchen.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mommy Truths

I love these ecards on Pinterest.  This is so true.  Just yesterday Charlotte screamed and cried and threw herself on the top of the toilet lid, (good thing it was closed) just because she wanted to get in with me. 

Except I don't even have the luxury of closing the door for some peace, the genius that installed the bathroom door put the door catch on backwards, so the door won't close properly. 

Yay me...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Never Ending Summer

The never ending summer, sounds like paradise for kids, but for a mother of 5 this is getting a little ridiculous.  Our kids got out of school in Mobile, AL May 31, and they don't start school here until Sept. 4th. 

I love my kids and all, but come on!

I am so desperate for the beginning of school that I made a pumpkin pie.  The smells of fall filled my house.  Come on September!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Jersey-isms Pt. 2

I am loving all the friends I am making here, because they always fill me in on all the cool things going on around town.  But it has caused some anxiety because what I have found out is that NJ loves their tolls!  

I am no good at tolls because I never have any money.  In fact we already had to blow through one that we weren't prepared for.  I hope they see our AL license plate and chalk it up to ignorant tourists.

When we were coming into NJ I swear Theo's GPS took us through every single toll on the way to our house.  We were driving separate cars and I was freaking out because I didn't have any money.  Theo paid for his and mine, but I was stressing out that I needed to be right behind him so the toll attendant didn't accidentally let the car behind Theo through and then expect me to pay.  So of course when it comes to tolls I get nervous always worried if I have enough, or any at all!  And you never know what the amounts are going to be, some are $1.50 and some have been $3.

Just today I got on the Parkway, counted my change and thought I would be okay that I can handle $1.50.  But as I was driving down I started thinking, what if it's $3.50?  Then I started to panic.  Luckily I must have gone on a stretch that didn't require me to go through tolls, so all that worry for nothing!

I do have an answer for it though:
When I got home I told Theo to order this ASAP so I wouldn't have to panic anymore.  It will put my mind at ease once I get this on my car, then this Jersery-ism won't be a problem anymore.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Our Coast Guard Story

Back in 2000 Theo and I thought we were the luckiest couple because we were both employed at the same company.  A new up and coming phone company opened up in Mobile, and we both got us a job.  It was awesome, we drove to work together, we went to lunch together and then we got off work together.  We were making mad bank and enjoying all our time together.

Then in 2001 the phone company tanked.  Theo and I were both without a job.  We had just bought a house, but because of the money we were making and unemployment we were financially secure for a few months.  We lived it up that summer!  We went to the beach, the gym and spent every moment together just being bums.

When money started to get tight Theo got him a job at a car dealership.  He showed real promise and was the top seller of the new guys his first month.  In 3 short months he would get put on Insurance and we thought things were starting to look up for us again.

A month before Theo was eligible for insurance I got pregnant.

We thought, "What great timing! You have a good job, and soon we'll be covered.".  But the dealership had other ideas.  Apparently they have a system that once their new employees reach 3 months they fire them instead of paying for their insurance coverage.

I was pregnant and now we were both jobless with no means of insurance.  Theo had mentioned several times since we had been dating that he was really interested in the Coast Guard.  I always put an end to that dream because I was not going to be a military wife whose husband was gone all the time.  But now with a kid on the way the security of the Coast Guard was looking really good.

We went to a recruiter and talked to them, they assured me that Theo could get stationed in plenty of places without having to go on a boat.  His word cinched the deal and Theo signed his life away to the United States Coast Guard.  Before I knew it he was heading out to boot camp for 4 months.

They say that Coast Guard boot camp is "mentally" the hardest boot camp you could go through.  This is Theo after a week of hardly any sleep and working through a bug he caught while there.  He just looks drained to me.  But he did it, and I had no doubt that he would make it through.  He's really calm and laid back, but he's also really competitive, especially with himself.

It was a long 4 months, but it was the last few hours during the graduation ceremony that was the hardest.  I hadn't seen him for months and he had to stay at attention in line and couldn't speak or move.  I spotted him in line, but even though he was just a few feet away from me I couldn't go to him.  Our friend Mark Romesburg, who also was a Master Chief in the CG took this picture of our first embrace after 4 long months!
This picture cracks me up, and softens my heart at the same time.  I barely had a baby bump when Theo left, now I'm a huge 7 month pregnant behemoth!  Theo couldn't believe it.  What I couldn't believe is how skinny he is here.  I think he just transferred all his weight to me! 

So that is the story of our Coast Guard conversion.  Other than having some deployment time when we were stationed in CA, which wasn't at sea, Theo hasn't been on a boat.  10 years of land billets.  I know my luck has to be running out and that it is only a matter of time before he might be forced to do some sea time, but it sure has been a fun 10 years traveling the country and having kids all along the way.  The security the Coast Guard gives has more than made this military life worth it. I hope I'll still be saying that after the next 10.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Coast Guard Day

Happy 222nd Birthday!!!  

The United States Coast Guard is this nation's oldest and its premier maritime agency.  It's happened a few times when I tell people we are military, they ask what branch and when I answer "the Coast Guard", they give a snort and say, "Well that's not really the military.". 

But it is!  In fact the Coast Guard was the first maritime military.  So that kind of makes the CG the Daddy of other maritime military branches.
Who's your Daddy?  That's right, the Coast Guard is...oh yeah...

Semper Paratus!!!

Tomorrow I plan on writing how we came about in the best branch of the military.  I would have done it today, but I have to hunt down some pictures and we were too busy at the CG Day celebration anyway.  Til then!