Archive for June 2012

Boys vs. Girls

June 30, 2012

Today we got to babysit Bridget’s 5 year old twin boys all day. The good news is there are two boys. If I have to watch just one little boy, he is usually upset that no other boys live at our house. The bad news is there are two of them. Boys are different than girls. Here are a few examples.

Bridget dropped the boys off at 7:30. I herded them into the kitchen for breakfast. They both picked out some cereal but I’m no dummy. I pulled out the skillet and made some *pancakes. Boys eat more than girls. All day long the boys kept asking when more food was going into their mouths.

Where is the bacon and eggs? Woman, get to work!

After breakfast, I had the boys play on the Wii so I could get in the shower. My girls sit on the couch or stand quietly as they play. Not the boys. Boys move more than girls. They were jumping all over the place. Maybe that is why they need so much food.

Sorry iPhone, you aren’t fast enough for this boy!

Boys are more aware of their privates than girl. One of the boys kept jumping off the bean bag, land on his hands and knees and shout out, “Oh my wiener!” He did this a couple of times. To my knowledge my girls have never heard that word before. If they have it wasn’t in my house and they had no clue what it meant. They just ignored him and I did the same.

Oh, I wish I was an Oscar Mayer wiener…

After snack time we got out some Bendaroos that Bridget sent with the boys. One of the boys wanted nothing to do with sitting at a table and doing a craft. The other one did give it a try with us but he couldn’t have cared less when those stupid Bendaroos didn’t work. He just said, “Oh well.” and went out to the trampoline. Girls like crafts more than boys. The girls tried harder to get the Bendaros to work and spent more time working on it.

I’m good at crafts, REEally good, and this is my pig. Bendaroos, I hate you!

Soon the twins and Elizabeth were all out jumping on the trampoline. Elizabeth knows what to do on a trampoline, jump. The twins just saw the tramp. as an Ultimate Fighting Championship cage. They just dove for each other, grabbed each other, tossed each other down, rolled off to their corners and did it again. Elizabeth just did her best to stay out of their way. Boys like to wrestle, a lot.

Ding, ding. Run for your life Elizabeth!

The UFC bout only stopped when one of the twins bit the other guy on the shoulder, that twin turned around and bit the original biter on the forehead. Boys take it to the extreme. My girls would have tapped out a long time ago by stomping off and just giving the other girl the silent treatment.

After lunch we played at the park. This park has an awesome zip line. My friend Heather had stopped by to help me with the boys. She would pick a boy up, he would dangle from the handle, she would give him a good push and let go. When the boy hit the end of the line, his 5 year old body would swing out. Sometimes his little muscles couldn’t handle Newton’s first law of motion and he would go flying. After hitting the ground the boy would jump up, and go get in line to do it again. I never heard a cry out of either of them. Boys are tougher than girls. My girls would have been bawling their eyes out. Not these boys. They went down the slide on top of each other, land on their faces and hardly complain. Pain is just a daily part of their life. I wonder why with men it’s the opposite?

It’s all fun and games till someone loses an eye.

They had some swing at this park and Heather and I took turns pushing the kids. One of the boys wanted to go higher and higher. Elizabeth wanted a big push but then she was good to just keep going at that pace. Heather finally had to tell the twin that if he went any higher, he would go completely around the bar. Boys are braver/stupider than girls.

Look, there is Heather putting Bridget’s offspring in danger.

It was a fun day and not at all hard to have the twins over. When they had to go home, Leia was upset she was losing her playing buddies. (Elizabeth was asleep, the boys wore her out.) I will watch these boys anytime. I just hope they don’t learn anymore nicknames for their tenders.

*2 days ago Elizabeth wanted pancakes. As I mixed the batter, she gave me the stink eye and said, “No Mom, I want REAL pancakes. The kind you put in the toaster.”

Bad Alaska

June 29, 2012

10. Being cold is awful! Go ahead Texas, say it loud and proud, Alaska sucks!

10 points to whoever figures out what is hanging off this guys glasses!

9. The relax dress code is embarrassing. (Just look at the kitty sweater from the last post.) I have gone to fancy events, with myself and all my friends dress up in cute cocktail dress and people there were wearing, you guessed it, jeans and sweatshirts. The relax dress code says, “I’m super lazy and I most likely smell like fish.”

This is the best prom ever!

8. In the winter you can’t see the road because they don’t remove the snow, they just pack it down. This means that people just make up lanes where ever they want. The roads in downtown Anchorage don’t have any shoulders so if there is an accident, the road is block. Awesome.

But I thought that was a 5 lane road! My bad.

7. When I heard we were moving to Alaska, I had very watery eyes, than I tried to find the positive in the situations. Crab legs! My favorite restaurant is Joe’s Crab Shack. I love to watch Deadliest Catch. Surely if I live in Alaska I could get tons of crab legs at super cheap prices. NO! Not only are they expensive, I will never see the sign, Eat At Joe’s in Alaska. Say it again Texas, Alaska sucks!

Add at least ten bucks to the price and that would be about right.

6. Instead of salt they put gravel on the roads. This means there are lots of rocks and they love to fly up and hit your windshield. It’s very typical to see an Alaskan vehicle with chips and/or cracks. This happens so often that at the gas stations they have the chip repair guys there all the time.

Don’t worry ma’am, we can fill that crack right in. We can also get whatever that is on you steering wheel.

5. Food is expensive, especially the vegetables and fruit. You might be saying, “So what, you get more money for cost of living”. Maybe, but it’s hard to find good food that doesn’t rot in 2 days. Plus the cheapest milk comes from Wal-Mart and it has a huge pouring spout. I have split more milk here than anywhere else.”

You need a wrist brace when pouring this milk.

4. Shopping online is a pain. Alaska doesn’t have a lot of good stores. Some places won’t ship to Alaska and if they do it costs an arm and a leg. I went through the car wash and it took off my sweet BYU magnet (suck it TCU!). I went to order a new one from the BYU Book Store. 7.99 for the magnet, 24.99 for the shipping because we aren’t in the lower 48! Unless one of my hommies in Utah will pick up a Y magnet for me and pop it in the mail, no cougar pride for our van.

Sorry Alaska, we just can’t fly over Canada, so no shipping for you!

3. I HATE, HATE, HATE the summers here. The long days are brutal. The whole school year long I look forward to the summer when I can sleep in. When the sun rises at 4:00 in the morning, this isn’t possible! I have black out curtains but my body still knows the sun is up. The kids don’t sleep in and they don’t want to go to bed at night with the sun up. Still 2 months of *heck left until school starts.

This is up north of us. In Anchorage we get a couple hours with the sun down. It’s evil I tell ya, pure evil!

2. Snow removal.

I wish there was something funny to say about this, but there is not. It’s all too real.

1. Bears. Nuff said.

Is it really that hard to pee your pants, not yell and lay down? Tons of kids do it every day. FAIL.

I love the great friends I’ve made here in Alaska but I will die a happy person if I never come back. I will not let the door hit me on rear as I exit this frozen waste land. Suck it Alaska!

*I would have typed only 2 more month’s of hell, but it’s not hot enough to call Alaska that, ever.

Good Alaska

June 27, 2012

Top Ten Best Things About Alaska:

10. It’s bigger than Texas. I really don’t care about the size of Alaska but it is fun to say, “Suck it, Texas!”

Once again, suck it Texas! That is fun.

9. The Alaskans have a relax dress code. The standard is sweatshirt, jeans, and boots.

Purrrrfect Alaska sweatshirt. I’m not kidding.

8. Because the summer days are so long here, Alaska grows amazing berries.

*Yummy!

7. In the winter they don’t salt the roads. This means no nasty black snow. It’s white and pretty all winter long. Plus your car doesn’t get salt damage.

So pretty, but where are all the people? I guess they forgot to pee their pants and the bear ate them. (See previous post.)

6. Fish. They really know how to prepare it up here. Even the anti-fish people can have a change of heart.

There is a cool video of Le’a eating halibut and liking it but wordpress is a snob and wouldn’t let me load it. Elitist jerks.

5. It is a standard rule that you remove your shoes when entering anyone’s home. This means all those cute socks you have actually get to be seen.

Yikes, someone broke the rules, but the shoe is very Alaskanish, ugly.

4. No matter how many times you see a moose, it’s still super cool. They are just so big and ugly, it’s awesome. Plus the Alaskans love to dress up moose poop and sell it.

Do you guys think we should have a moose poop festival? Me too!!

3. The Northern Lights are amazing.

One night the lights where right over our house. Admit it, you are green with envy. Suck it Texas!

2. No snakes.

No thanks, I already ate.

And the number one best thing about Alaska is…

Christmas lights!! It’s so dark in the winter you can turn your lights on at 4:00 p.m. The law here says you can keep your white lights turned on till the last musher crosses the finish line at the Iditarod. That is usually around mid March, sweet!

My dream lights. Maybe this year, with music!

*Bridget hates it when people post a picture of food and type yummy. Naturally I do it when ever it’s possible, so suck it Texas! Hee hee.

Bear Attack Info You Must Have!

June 26, 2012

Last week we had an *FRG meeting. It was a potluck.

Don’t eat any of this chocolate pie, it’s for Hilly!

After we ate a man nicknamed Bear told us all about what we should do if a bear attacks us. He was quite adamant that we are a part of the bear food chain. Why would you name yourself after something that would eat you? That is like a mouse being called Cat. Anywho, the first thing we were told was that you must always go out with at least 3 people. One to get mauled, one to stay with the maulee, and one to go get help and pray he/she doesn’t get mauled on the way. This is not however the number one rule. The number one rule is if you see a bear (the animal, not the weird man but perhaps this advice can work for him too) don’t run. Bear the Weirdie informed us that bears will rush at us but pull up a few yards away. He then had 3 ladies come up and pretend they were being attacked. He had a soldier play the part of  “bear” and rush at the ladies. B.T.W. then asked them, “What do you do?” Well he hadn’t given us that information yet, so one lady said, “Pee your pants!” Bear the Weirdie confirmed that was totally OK. Good to know.

Wear this in case you forget.

B.T.W. then informed us we should stand together and say, “Hi bear, how are you doing?” I think I will say, “Hey bear, sorry I just peed my pants and smell awful to your super sensitive nose. I really wouldn’t taste so good as I have soiled myself with my own waste.” Whatever we do we shouldn’t scream in a high voice as a bear will think we are an injured animal and decide we are easy prey, which we are. Also don’t curl up in the fetal position.

If the bear does attack, spray the bear with bear pepper spray. If you don’t have pepper spray, you must have made your peace with man and God to have ventured into the outdoors of Alaska, prepared to die. Bear the Weirdie said if the bear does make contact with you, put your hands over your head and lie on your stomach. I suspect that many of you have been told to do this by the cops every now and then and it shouldn’t be a problem to slip back into this familiar position. Now if the bear starts to seriously cut you up and not just play with you like a 3 year old kid who doesn’t want to eat his broccoli, roll on your back and punch the bear on his nose. Your urine has already stunned his nose and punching it will be your main plan of attack.

Obviously this winner of a man punched a bear and so can you, easy peasy!

That’s it. Bear the Weirdie did show us a picture of a man that was attacked, which was gross. I was really glad I didn’t bring the girls to this meeting. Truth be told, they inform the children at the schools the same information. One day Elizabeth came home from school and said matter-of-factly, “Mom do you know bears eat people?” Um…yes, yes I do. One more bit of info B.T.W. gave us is if the bear is a black (color has nothing to do with it) bear, small, no hump, he will attack and you should fight back. If the bear is a brown bear, tall, with a hump, then he will just play with you. My friend Sara made this up, brown hit the ground, black fight back.

Let’s sum up

  1. When you go out bring 2 friends you don’t really care a lot about.
  2. Don’t run, pee your pants.
  3. Talk to the bear, he’s a reasonable animal.
  4. Carry bear spray.
  5. If the bear invades your private space, just pretend he is the fuzz and hit the ground.
  6. Punching bears is easy, feel free to do it.

After all that Bear the Weirdie told us that we are safer in the wilds of Alaska then we are in New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. Oh and moose are more dangerous than bears. Great meeting!

I broke lots of rules and now I’m dead. C’est la vie.

*Family Readiness Group, I have already told you this, but I doubt the non-military would remember this acronym. Am I saying that non military people are not smart and have no memory? Don’t answer, it’s a rhetorical question.

Life Lessons From Running

June 24, 2012

Today I ran a half-marathon. I started seriously running in January. I have run two 5K’s, and one 12K. Running has taught me a few lessons.

At my first run, the Shamrock Shuffle I ran way too fast at the beginning. This is a big no-no. I ran out of energy and the stupid race ended with a long giant hill. I was barely running up the hill. The old man from Up with his tennis ball walker could have easily passed me. Running up that hill felt like it took 30 minutes. I kept thinking I would never ever run another race again. Then I finished and saw my time. I ran 3.1 miles in 26 minutes and 56 seconds. That is an average pace of running a mile in 8 minutes and 40 seconds. Personal best! It was such a rush! I couldn’t wait to run again.

Lesson #1: Somethings in life are really hard but are so worthy it in the end. One example, kids. When they are little days drag and seem endless. Then they grow up and suddenly they start living their own lives. You look back and it feels like it went by so fast.

 

The next race was the Anchorage Heart Run. I was so excited to run another race. I had been doing some great training. I was ready not to push it too hard at the beginning and it wasn’t in the cold winter like the Shamrock Shuffle. I had a new running app on my phone, new running skirt and I was pumped. I ran with a huge smile on my face. The last half mile I ran as hard as I could. I passed a ton of people. It was amazing. I was going to blow my personal best out of the water. Then I got my time. 27:30  for the race and a pace of 8:51. WHAT? How could that be? There wasn’t much of rush this time.

Lesson #2: Sometimes you work really hard at something and the end results are not great. Sure I didn’t beat my old record but I still ran. It can be about the journey. I really enjoyed running this race. With Chad gone I can be sad and just wait for the day he returns or I can focus on the things I can do now. I don’t have to have a clean house at the end of the day. I play with my friends a lot. We love putting together packages for Chad. I’ve gotten a ton of love letters from Chad. Find the positive in life.

 

It was time to step it up a notice, The Twilight 12K. About 2 weeks before this race my right knee started throbbing on the outside. It wasn’t anything to slow me down, but it bothered me. However I felt good about this race. I decided not to focus on my time, especially as this was a longer race. When we lined up I told my friends I wasn’t going to start with them so I wouldn’t be tempted to run as fast. I am the slowest runner. We took off and I was enjoying the run. We were about 3 miles in when Bridget ran up behind me. I had accidentally ran a little too fast in the beginning. As she passed me I started to follow her. I noticed that she ran with shorter quicker strides. I decided to match her. I literally stared at her foot and ran the exact same race. So many times I wanted to fall out because my knee hurt but I just focused on her foot. I followed her until her she had to stop to take care of an injury at the very end. I stopped with her but she insisted I keep going. I did. I finished with a time of 1:12:31 and an average pace of 9:44.

Lesson #3: When things are really hard, find someone who is better at what-ever-it-is, and follow. Focus on them. This is true with people here on earth and true with the Savior. I have always surrounded myself with people I feel are better than me. This is really true with my husband. I look up to him in so many ways. If we focus on the good and not think on the bad we can do amazing things.

 

Today’s race, the Mayor’s Half-Marathon, started out good. I ran with Bridget and we had a nice easy pace. Both my knees started to throb but I knew if I kept running they would loosen up and everything would be OK. Then at 2 and a half miles, Bridget fell out. I stopped and once again she insisted I keep going. No way. I was not going to do that again. We walked a little bit and then ran till she just couldn’t anymore. The week before Bridget was limping everywhere with a horrible shin splint and a bad ankle. The fact she even showed up for this race was amazing. She did say at one point, “Better to finish last than to never have started at all.” Anytime we got to a hill we ran down it and ran as long as we could. Before we hit the half-way point my knees were burning so bad. I wanted to stop but I had Bridget with me. Now it was her turn to encourage me and keep me going. We probably ran 2/3rds of the race which is fabulous considering how we were feeling. We ran up a big hill at the end and cross the finish line together, with our arms hook. Our time was *2 hours, 34 min. I don’t know what our pace was.

Lesson #4: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. I wasn’t hurting when I stopped with Bridget, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Later on when I was hurting, she was there with me. If you want friends, be a friend. Be nice, be kind, finish together.

 

I’m sure each race will call for more lessons and more pain. Bring it!!

 

*Shout out to my Facebook peeps, 30 cheers for me during the race. Each time one came on it brought a smile to my face. Thanks awesome people!

No tears, doesn’t mean I don’t care.

June 22, 2012

I don’t cry. Well I take that back, I don’t let tears fall from my eyes. I do get watery eyes, but I always fight them off as if they are a night time prowler breaking in to steal something that doesn’t belong to them.

I didn’t cry when my husband left for Afghanistan. It was an early December morning when we dropped him off. The kids were barely awake and didn’t quite grasp what was going on. I gave Chad a big long hug. I was heartbroken and sad, sad that he would miss out on so many thing with us, sad knowing this might be the last time we see him in this life, sad that I couldn’t go with him. The tears didn’t come, even with all that. Chad got his bags and walked into the building while I watched from the van. Then I drove out of the parking lot and turned on some Christmas music to brighten the mood. What I heard was Elvis singing about how blue he is going to be this Christmas without…well I’m not sure who, but somebody important. That is now my *number one Christmas song I can’t stand.  No tears.

I haven’t really cried since then. I did tear up at the movie “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” I also got teary eyes when Leia got up at the school talent show and sang in front of the whole school. I have teared up over sewing projects. My eyes got watery after Chad left from R&R to go back to Afghanistanand I found a t-shirt that smelled just like him.

I didn’t cry.

This doesn’t mean I don’t care, I do care. I feel sadness and pain but somewhere, somehow, I decided not to cry anymore. I cried a lot as a kid and maybe I just cried a life time of tears in those first 20 years. I turned my poor mother’s hair gray.

Tonight I said good-bye to a close friend. I am heartbroken that she is leaving. But I didn’t cry, I hugged her a lot and lingered on for forever. Jenn is a big old crier and she did cry. I worry that she doesn’t understand how much she means to me because I didn’t cry. So I’m asking for your input.  If you are a crier and you go through a life changing experience with someone and they don’t cry, what are your thought and feelings. Do you even notice? Do you wonder if they aren’t feeling what you are? Do you ever want to shake the crap out of them and accuse them of being the Tin Man with no heart? (Chad said this to me once. 😀 )

Any help would be appreciated as I have at few more good-byes to go through and at least one of them is a crier too. Yes, Bridget, I’m talking about you.

*Number 2 worse Christmas song – Christmas Shoes. Number 3 – John Lennon’s Happy Christmas (War is Over) Check out this cool chart I found.  Yes, I use humor as a defense mechanism.

Jezebel is not going to heaven!

What a day!

June 21, 2012

This post has nothing to do with the Army and everything to do with being a mommy. I’m sure you all have had one of these days. If you don’t have kids yet, this WILL happen to you.

6:00 – Bladder and brain unite to force me out of bed way too early. Both are full and need to be unloaded.

6:20- Work on sewing a formal gown for a neighbor.

7:30 – Run at the gym, knee hurts a little bit.

8:00 – Spend 30 min. talking to 3 different people to get Elizabeth a referral for a UTI. Kids fight. Make breakfast.

8:45 – Friend calls to asks if you can bring her dinner tomorrow instead of tonight. Sigh of relief, yes!

9:00 – Call medical clinic off post and get appointment for 10:30. Kids fight.

9:30 – Shower. Elizabeth has an accident in bathroom and floods it with pee.  Clean up and throw out book that was on the floor. Get kids ready for the doctor.

10:30 – Realize in the waiting room, that I have no make-up on. Awesome. Knee throbs. Kids fight.

10:40- Elizabeth pees in cup while crying her eyes out.

11:00 – Doc confirms, UTI.

11:15 – Doc hands us prescription. Yes it took him 15 min to write it.

11:45 – Home and lunch, kids fight.

11:50 – Friend calls and her mother is on a ventilator. Sad.

12:00 – Friend needs ride to airport.

1:00 – Stop at Walgreen’s to get photos, ibuprofen (stupid knee), drop of Red Box (Tower Heist , thumbs down) and get Elizabeth’s medicine.

1:30 – Stop at Air Force hospital, Walgreen doesn’t take Tri-Care, the *military crappy medical insurance.

2:30 – Take dress to neighbor to try on. It’s a tad short in the back, tug on it and pray it will work.

3:00 – Cut out bottom of dress, kids fight.

3:30 – Try to take a nap, kids burst in room every 10 minutes to complain about each other.

4:00 – Call to pay phone bill. Usually it’s 94 dollars but this month it’s 180 bucks. Call to find out why. Turns out we have an internet usage cap. Rachel has gone way over the cap. She did this last month but for some reason I just paid the extra amount and didn’t ask why. Service guy say, “Hey for 10 bucks more you can double you internet usage. Ya want it?” Yes, idiot.

4:30 – Make dinner. Kids fight.

5:00 – Kids fight. Chasing them down, speak in a loud, angry voice. One child drops to the ground in tears, curled up in the fetal position. She is 9.

5:15 – Friend needs to borrow vacuum. Take it to her and hang out for a while, scarred to go home as desire to hurt children is very real.

7:00 – Washing machine breaks. Have a small hill of Elizabeth’s underwear stinking up the house.

7:30 – Eat brownies, and know that tomorrow is a new day.

*I said this had nothing to do with the military but it sneaked in anyway. It is just a part of us we can’t escape.