Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"Your Battle Is No Less Important Than Mine"

Five years ago, my ex told me that he wanted to change careers and become a police officer. While he was in training, I joined an online community of women who were police spouses (PWs). A year later, my ex and I had gone our separate ways, but I still kept (keep) in touch with the women I had formed friendships with. In 2010, a friend was given the news no woman wants to hear. She had been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. I can only imagine that her emotions ran the gamut that day, and many days after. Still she pressed on with grace and dignity. She continued to live her life as a loving wife and mother. She faced each obstacle with her shoulders squared and her head held high. And no matter how tired she felt, if another friend seemed to be down in the dumps, she had a smile and words of encouragement for them. I remember when my aunt was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer, she was quick to reach out and offer her love, support, and encouragement. If someone wondered why she was so giving of her love and support, despite her own obstacles, she  simply said "Your battle is no less important than mine". But that was the kind hearted person she happened to be.  Last week, at the age of 44, her body succumbed to the cancer that riddled her body for so long. I was at work, cleaning a house, when I received the news. It came as a shock. I knew her time was limited, since only a couple of days earlier we had learned that she was going into hospice care. But I don't think any of us expected her time to come that quickly. I remember praying for her and her family, and hoping (maybe a bit selfishly) that they could share at least one more Thanksgiving together. Just one more Christmas.No matter what your family history is with breast cancer, I would definitely encourage women to check their breasts regularly. My dear friend was a lovely and lively woman, with her whole life ahead of her.  I wish I could have met her in person at least once. However, even though our friendship was "just" online, I'm still glad to have known her and like I've commented on a post about her passing, her body may have passed on but her spirit and fight will continue to live on.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Let's do some laundry

Okay, a washer and dryer isn't making all of my dreams come true....but it sure is making life a lot easier!

One of the main things you hear a mom complain about is the never ending mountains of laundry. It's true...just when you think it's all done, someone needs to change clothes and the cycle begins again. We've gone five months without a washer and dryer. Now obviously I don't mean we've gone five months without doing laundry. We've used a local laundromat of course. Though sitting around, waiting for the machines to finish washing/drying the clothes was not my idea of fun. Sure I'd have my phone and could surf Facebook and Pinterest.....but there wasn't always a place to sit. Then there was the constant (yet slightly irrational) fear of leaving clothes behind on accident or someone else taking off with them. That has changed now. MIL bought us a  dryer from her neighbor. The kids' SM gave me a heads up on a washer that was being sold for fifty bucks. We acquired both this weekend and used them tonight. Managed to get about three loads done; jeans, kids' clothes, and towels.....Well, I just checked the towels, since the dryer had stopped, and they were still damp. Hubby thinks it's cute how excited I am over finally having a washer and dryer in the laundry "room".  I asked if I should feel "old" because of that. Still, it is going to be so nice to be able to spread the laundry out throughout the week and to be able to do it at home, instead of having to set aside a chunk of time in the day to load it all up and drive somewhere to do it. Now if only there were a way to get the dryer to fold the clothes.....or at least the socks......

Monday, September 8, 2014

Family Fun at Splash Town

This past Saturday was the Hubby's company picnic which was held at a water park in Houston. He had RSVP'd for the four of us to go a few weeks in advance. We opted not to tell the kids about it, just in case the weather was bad and it ended up being cancelled. But PTL, the weather was perfect! It was such a relief, especially since we had such horrible on Friday. There was even a tornado warning, but luckily I had already arrived at the school I was subbing at that afternoon. We told the kids we'd take them someplace really cool as a surprise and boy, did they light up when they saw the park. It was their first time going. We spent the bulk of our time at Wet-n-Wild Jr; we also spent some time in the wave pool and the lazy river. Pretty Girl wasn't too crazy about the current and clung to me on that one. They really enjoyed themselves, so we're thinking of putting them in swim lessons next summer. They love being in the water, but would feel more confident (especially Sweet Boy) if they had lessons. I'd like to say that we got through the day injury free, but I can't. When we stopped for lunch, Hubby ripped his big toe on a bench. He's okay, but it was not pretty. Still, it didn't stop him from enjoying the rest of the day. About thirty minutes before it was time to leave, we had decided to go to the wave pool again. However, by the time we got there, the lifeguards were herding people out of the pool due to the possibility of lightning. We decided to get some ice cream to see what would happen next, which was an extra treat for the kids since we had gone out for ice cream the night before (we try to limit splurging on sweets). While we were eating our ice cream, the weather turned very ugly, so we decided to go ahead and pack up. It was just about closing time anyway, so it wasn't that big of a deal.  I will say, that was a bit of a blessing since we didn't have to deal with them whining about not wanting to leave yet. They couldn't deny that the weather was too yucky. Hubby did find it amusing to see people huddling underneath covered areas to stay out of the rain....after they had spent all day IN the water at a water park. There is another water park that is much closer to us (about half an hour, instead of an hour), which we plan to visit next summer.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Friday Night Lights

I live in Texas and if there's one thing that's a big deal around here, it's high school football. I don't fully understand football (yet), but I love it. I was on my high school drill (dance) team and loved it. I loved practices, pep rallies, game day...all of it. Y'all may have heard that football is practically a religion here in the Lone Star state and that is pretty damn true. I've seen towns practically shut down on Friday nights to go to the game. Businesses that do stay open operate on a skeleton crew. If there's an away game, some folks will even drive an hour or so away...and I'm talking about folks who don't have a kid on the football team, cheerleading squad, marching band, color guard, or drill team! Yep, we like football around here. We like it a lot. The other day, I told The Hubby that I wanted to go to the (pre)season opener at my old high school. I had heard through Facebook, that they'd be playing a team from Florida. No real reason; they just wanted to play a team from Texas and my high school happened to be who they were matched up against. The game was even billed as the 'Battle of the Gulf Coast', since both states flank the Gulf of Mexico. I'm not sure what kind of score anyone was expecting, but I'm sure both sides expected a big, fat W.....which is exactly what we got. Final score was 26-0. All I could say was, "Damn...don't mess with Texas". We had arrived about halfway into the first quarter and as we were walking across the parking lot, we could hear the game as a second touchdown was scored.It had rained throughout the day, yet the bleachers were packed. The only place we could find to sit was by the band....which suited me just fine. I like sitting by the band. They scored again before the second quarter, making it 20-0. The kick for the extra point was no good. The score stayed the same for the rest of the first half, then a fourth touchdown was scored in the third quarter. The attempt at the extra point was (again) no good, but we still had the lead. There were a few times we thought Fl would get on the board. But every attempt at a touchdown pass was incomplete. At one point, it even looked like one of our guys had slapped the ball away, just before a Florida player could catch it to score. They attempted a couple of field goals, to at least get on the board, but those attempts where thwarted. It probably didn't help that they were right in front of the band, who would then play obnoxiously to distract them. The band has won five state titles, as well as numerous other awards, and puts on a good show. Of course, this week we only saw a portion of the show. I look forward to later on in the season when we see the whole show. We plan to take the kids to a few games this year; we'll take them to a couple home games for my high school, as well as the high school they'll most likely attend. We had a good time at the game on Friday. It was a fun date night, but could also be a fun family night as well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Two months in.

It just occurred to me that The Hubby and I have now been married for two months. We still get complimented on our wedding, so it (sometimes) feels like we just got married two weeks ago. Now I'm not going to do a Montheversary post every month. At least I don't think I am. It might happen. Or it could be sporadic. I don't know. What I do know is that being married hasn't changed our relationship. I mean, sure there are the obvious changes like my last name and the official document. Oh and he gets a ring now. His ring is pretty cool. Hang on, let me find a picture of the rings....

There they are. My wedding band is actually a ring guard for my engagement ring, so it looks like one piece instead of two. Cool story about his ring, he found the one he wanted at a jewelry store for about $400...he found the exact same ring on for $40 (plus S+H, of course)....guess where his ring came from. Still the actual dynamics of our relationship haven't changed. We go out (with or without the kids), invite family and friends over for dinner, stay in...pretty much everything we did before. I do love being married, of course. Pfft, that should be a given. I often have moments where I just stop and think, 'wow. I'm married. how did that happen?' We're learning different quirks about each other. For instance I actually prefer to was dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher. He will hand wash dishes also...but then he runs them through the dishwasher as well. We don't argue about which way is the "right" way or "better" when it comes to housework. Whoever does it, does it their way. As long as the job gets done, does it matter? Not really. Though 98% of the time, it's done my way since I'm the one doing it. We'll just call that a point for The Wifey. Ssshhhh! Don't tell The Hubby! Lol I kid. Still I don't know if anyone expects a big change when they get married. I didn't; I didn't know what to expect. Good things, obviously. What I am learning is that if/when there are changes, you won't go through them alone. At least you shouldn't; now I know there are some exceptions to that, such as military wives. When The Hubby was driving OTR, we went weeks without seeing each other. Now he's home every weekend, which is nice. I like seeing my husband more than once a month. Like I said, I like being married to him and I'm excited to see what lies ahead of us. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bad table manners

Table manners. We all grew up hearing about them.  Sit up! Elbows off the table! Don't play with your food! Chew with your mouth closed! Don't slurp! Don't talk with your mouth full! (Trying to work on that last one with Pretty Girl). We try to be mindful of what is appropriate 'Table Talk'. I'm going to have to emphasize the word TRY. I've been guilty myself of saying things that probably should not have been said at the table. The most recent example I can think of is a few weeks ago. I invited my dad and one of my brothers over for dinner. We were sitting at the table, eating a chicken casserole I made, when I decided to share a Pretty Girl Story. I told them about how she had to step out of cheer practice to go potty.....and then went into detail about how massively huge that turd was. It was about 6-9 inches long. It was a most impressive dump. Dear ol' Dad had no words. All he could do was just laugh.Now, that was in the comfort of my own home, but still....not the the best time to share that particular story. But hey, that pales in comparison to what one mom did in Spring, Texas. She changed her baby's dirty diaper. At the table. In a restaurant. Yeah. That totally happened. You can read about it here. Go ahead. I'll wait...

Are you back?  Do you feel like getting a pizza? Seriously, I think it's safe to say that she takes the cake when it comes to poor table manners. I mean, yeah...I get it...sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. But come on public? You improvise. I've sat on the floor and used my legs as a makeshift changing table. I've gone out to the car. I have not subjected unsuspecting restaurant patrons to the foul contents of my minions' diapers. You're welcome for that. Babies are cute. Dirty diapers are not. What she did was rude and unsanitary. If she chooses to do that in the privacy of her own home, that is her choice. Her house, her rules, her choice. Would she have done that if it was her place of business? I certainly hope not, because I wouldn't be a customer. And yes, I know that 'everyone poops'....but that is why we have special, designated rooms with special chairs for that.  Before you ask, or even think is NOT the same as nursing in public (or NIP). For one thing NIP doesn't include a foul, telltale stench. If you choose to NIP, you can use a nursing cover for some privacy. Well, maybe. Some bambinos get a little squirmy and will fight it off. But at least that option is available. Try using a cover to change a diaper in a public place...withOUT drawing any extra attention. I admit I never did NIP personally, but from what I understand, it is possible to do so pretty discreetly; and, unless you do a mini striptease before each feeding, you can get situated without drawing too much (or any) attention. 

Now, don't get me wrong...if your kid's diaper needs to be changed, take care of your kid's needs. PLEASE don't ignore them. But don't use your kids and their needs as an excuse to be an inconsiderate jackhole. Because, hey, no one is going to turn a blind eye to that. Anyways, what say you? Was she wrong for what she did (well, maybe not just what, but where she did it), or did the restaurant manager overreact?