Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ten things that make me happy

It's time for Mama Kat's Writing Workshop again and I'm back in the game. 
For this week I chose #5: List ten things that make you happy.
1. This photo
Such sweetness. :)


3. Relaxing at the beach- It's a good thing I live 10 minutes away from it.

4. Nature- Nothing calms me down more, except maybe hugs from my family.

5. Naptime- Ahhh, quiet time. 

6. Nutella- If you've never tried this delicious, chocolate hazelnut spread, you're missing out. 

7. Seeing Connor explore and discover new things. 

8. My family.

9. A good meal with good friends.

10. And last but not least, finding a new song that I love. 

Click over to Mama Kat to see more thought-provoking answers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Crazy schedule

The next 2 days I won't see my husband at all. He started a Navy class yesterday that will continue until the beginning of July. That alone will take up his normal working hours. But due to circumstances at work that leave him as the only one to do his job (I'm not really allowed to get into details) he still has to work as well. So that means for the next month and a half he will be gone for long hours. Then add in the fact that today and tomorrow he has to take a 1st class Indoc Class* and get frocked** during the day, so he needs to make up the class time he misses at night, and the next 2 days he will leave the house at 5:30 am and get back after midnight. 

I don't mind the time away from him. Two days is nothing really, but I feel bad that he has to go-go-go for so long. I know how he is, so chances are he won't really eat and he won't have a chance to just sit. He'll come home and crash, sleep for a few hours, get up and do it all over again. Luckily it's only for 2 days. It'll be over before he knows it. I'll have to make sure he gets lots of rest this weekend. Although David Cook and Matt Nathanson will be here on Saturday for a free concert and I can't miss that. :)

*Yes, the Navy makes you take a class to learn about your new rank. Indoc is short for indoctrination.
**Frocked is the term for when you officially get to put on your new rank. Tomorrow there will be a frocking ceremony after which he can wear his new patches & pins. Here's a pretty good explanation and history of the term.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Living in the moment

Yesterday afternoon I was given a wonderful gift. My husband sweetly suggested that I go out for a few hours all by myself. I've been very emotional the past few months over everything going on in our lives and have started to take it out on him and Connor. So I left the house shortly after lunch time. I went to Barnes & Noble (one of my favorite places in the world) and lazily browsed the aisles. I looked at many, many books but chose 3 of the most promising. I wrote down a bunch more titles to look up in the library. I was definitely amazed at how many vampire books were on the main display tables; a tribute to the success of the Twilight series I'm sure. Then I made my purchase and proceeded to drive down roads I haven't been down before. 

I made my way through tree-lined streets and a neighborhood I hadn't seen before. I finally found myself in a little park that had a small play-structure and some swings. I sat down on a swing and started to read. The sky was cloudy with the promise of rain later. I could hear birds chirping and the occasional car passing by. It was very relaxing and allowed for a bit of introspection. 

I've been having a hard time adjusting to the whole stay-at-home thing. I've always been a busy, busy person and find it hard to turn off the need to always be doing something. Maybe it's because I know that I will end up sitting on the couch watching tv or being on the computer most of the time. But I really don't know how to just enjoy the moment. Hence why I read. It fills the time. It allows me to explore without exerting much energy. And it allows me to ignore what's going on around me. 

Anyway, I've been trying to simply be happy in the moment. But it's hard. I think I'm going to start writing down what I want out of every day and then seek to actually do it. I'm tired of waiting for life to happen to me. I need to make it happen. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

I just want to remind everyone to take a break during all the BBQ's and celebrations this weekend to remember what this holiday is for: honoring our troops. 

Regardless of your political stance and feelings on war, our freedoms are protected by men and women who deserve our gratitude. Many of them are barely 18, yet they put themselves in harms way for us. I think that earns them our respect. 

Ok, I'm off my soapbox now. I hope you all are enjoying the long weekend and having lots of good food!

I leave you with a picture of my Navy man hanging out on his ship during a deployment last year. 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Boo boos and big news

This has been a big week for our family. 

First and the biggest news, hubby found out that he got promoted! This is a huge deal, and now he's a 1st class, which is considered senior enlisted. It means more responsibility and more expectations, but he's going to do awesome.

So to celebrate we went to a local deli. Now, we grew up in NY so our expectations in a deli are pretty high. But this one is run by a Jersey native and we've heard amazing things about it. It did not disappoint. Lots of pastrami and brisket. Yummy potato pancakes, and sandwiches the size of your head. A little pricey though so we won't be back too often. Definitely the best deli I've been to in a while though. 

Then for dessert we came back home and made strawberry bread. I had gotten the recipe from a friend and since strawberries are very in season and therefore cheap, I went for it. Let me just say, they're delicious. I'll post the recipe soon. Connor can't get enough of them. 

And then yesterday, Connor and I went to the zoo with our playgroup. We always have a great time there. He loves to see the lions and elephants. He's taken a huge interest in animals lately and can name quite a few. But of course he fell down while we were there. Scraped his elbow pretty badly and we had to go by the first aid station for a band aid and neosporin. Now he keeps taking the band-aid off and then acting devastated that he doesn't have one on. 

Today, we're off to the Strawberry Festival, to eat strawberries in 50 different ways and see the pig races. Gotta love it. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Words

I've been reading like crazy lately. It's something I've always enjoyed doing, but other things were more important for a while, like work and parenting. 

I started to read at the old age of 3, desperate to be like my sisters. I can actually remember seeing a tv commercial and wanting to understand the words on the screen. My 2nd oldest sister, M, taught me to read with the book, The Little Red Hen. Since then I've loved the written word. I would read books during bus rides to school. I carried a book with me to family parties and would spend them reading in a corner. It's what led me to journalism in the first place. But I always was happier reading than anything else. I would spend my summers reading books outside under trees. 

Luckily, Connor is getting my love of reading. He gladly sits on the couch to read with me and requests multiple stories at bedtime. I limit it to 3, but he usually wants more. He'll even lay in bed while "reading" his books on his own. 

Books have been important to me lately because they help me forget my own problems for a little while. I've been needing the escape. On that note, I'm going to get back to my new book. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

How does your area look?

The AP has created a map that shows the economic stress index throughout the country. I though this map was very interesting and wanted to share it. Take a look and let me know what you think. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bake-off

My hubby has challenged me to a bake-off. 

We were at a friends for dinner and they mentioned they were going to have a cook-out this Saturday. She asked if we could bring dessert. Hubby said that he would make something because he is the better baker. I sincerely doubt that.

At one time he definitely was the better cook. I've written before about my struggles to make good food, but I have improved quite a lot in that area. In comparison, he cooks once or twice a month. On the other hand, I've been a decent baker since I could measure on my own. I've only seen him bake once in the 9+ years we've been together. 

But the challenge has been made, so it's up to me to prove him wrong. So, what is the best dessert you've ever had? I have an idea in my head, but I want more. 

I need to win this challenge!

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Technology

So I always thought of myself as an early-adapter to technology. My dad is a computer guy so we always had the latest technology growing up. We had DSL as soon as it was available in our area. I was on Facebook while it was still a college-only thing. I lived for new things, but the past few years I've fallen behind. I didn't start this blog until January, I haven't really done much with Facebook, I don't have a Flickr account and I'm still learning about the social bookmarking sites like Digg and Delicious. It all makes me feel old and out of touch.

But I got an iPod Touch for my birthday so I finally get to play with that and today I joined Twitter! Not like I really need another thing to spend time on, but I wanted to see what it was about. You can follow me if you like; my username is Daredevilparent. 

I've got a bunch of stuff going on this week so I need to start making my to-do list. Groceries, navy stuff, writing, forms to fill out, cleaning, reading about homeschooling, babymaking, library storytime, music class, etc. Not enough hours in the day to get it all done. 

So, I leave you now to make my official detailed list. Hopefully, I will be energized and ready to tackle everything once I'm done. 

Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day in pictures

2007

2008

2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Readjusting

It's taken me a bit longer to adjust to our normal schedule than I thought it would. My baby sister drove back up with us last week, so I spent almost a week making spending time with her. We read a lot (one of her favorite things to do), went to the Botanical Gardens, an amusement park, a cookout, and a walk in the state park. I had laundry to do, dishes, unpacking, posting here, my blog reader and a million other things to take care of. But, I ignored them all so I could spent quality time with my sister. 

For the record, I have 4 sisters. The oldest, J, just got married, the next oldest, M, lives in NY and has 2 kids, I'm in the middle, the next youngest, S, has a little boy and lives in FL, and my baby sister, K, is in college and was visiting me. My dad enjoyed having all the girls, but I think we did have a lot of drama. 

Now, my sister is back in Florida and it's time to get back to reality. The laundry is done but needs to be put away, the kitchen is a wreck again, still haven't unpacked, but I'm posting again and trying to get through everything I missed while I was gone. I think I need to make a to do list again so I can remember everything. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Wedding

Wow, I was gone a lot longer than I expected to be. Our trip down to Florida went very well. Besides some traffic in Georgia things went smoothly. Connor slept a lot of the time, we made a few stops for him to run around, and he watched Bolt (his current favorite) many times on the portable DVD player. When we finally arrived, it was great to get out of the car but there was lots to do. 

My mom was doing a lot of the preparations for the wedding which kept her pretty busy. So, one of my sisters, Melissa, and I spent the bulk of the time watching the kids. There was Connor, Alex and Isaiah (all 2) and Liliana (6 months). The boys had a lot of fun playing together, but I think we said "You need to share." and "Don't fight." every couple minutes. By the time the kids were all asleep I was exhausted. I fell into bed soon after. I have new respect for moms with multiples. I don't know how they do it full-time. 

Finally, the wedding day came and we rushed to get ready. Of course the ceremony was perfectly timed with the boys' naps so they fell asleep on the car ride to the beach. We had to wake them up and then carry them down the makeshift aisle while a couple beachgoers hummed the wedding march. The ceremony lasted about 10 minutes and then it was time for some pictures. My sister Jen's 6-year-old daughter cries "I didn't want you to get married!" My mom calms her down and we head to the reception. 

The clubhouse in my parent's community was beautifully decorated with the beach theme. There was even a playroom for the kids. But, the back doors opened to the pool area, which is also where the food was. When the boys all saw the pool they took turns trying to get in. It required an extra watchful eye to make sure they didn't get too close. Soon after dinner, the exhausted kids became very accident prone and we decided to take them home. They fell asleep pretty quickly. It was a great day, but a lot of time and energy went into it and I couldn't wait to fall asleep.