Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How DOES My Garden Grow?

Did you know that I had a garden? No? Well, neither did I. But today, while pulling weeds in the front yard (always fun on such a blazing hot day), I found something that looked suspiciously like a vegetable. Since I don't really eat vegetables, I had a hard time identifying this mysterious food. It looked to me like something I recall my mother forcing me to eat as a child, but I can't be sure.

Laura could not have been more thrilled at the discovery, although she was HORRIFIED when I used "Daddy's tool!" to cut open our bounty. How rude of me to use the Army Man's box cutter. There they are, in all their glory, the fruits (or vegetables, as it were) of my top-secret garden. I would really be thrilled if there were also some healthy and fully cooked dinners out there just waiting to be harvested.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Day At The Aquarium

We’ve been so busy at our house over the last few days, and I have a lot of pictures to share! So many pictures in fact, that it might take 2 posts to get them all in. Friday was the Army Man’s last day with us before he left for more training, so to celebrate we drove 2.5 hours to Wilmington to see the aquarium at Fort Fisher. It was a very nice aquarium, and Laura was thrilled because she loves fish, but the two adults in attendance agreed that it wasn’t enough to make our 5 hour round trip worthwhile.

Once we finished up there, we drove along the beach for a bit and found a tiny little restaurant and had some lunch. While there we discovered the most delicious barbecue sauce ever created, and even got the name of it from the waitress. Too bad it is a food service brand and apparently not available for the general public to buy. I don’t think I’m going to let that stop me in my search for it-it really is that good.

After lunch we walked down to the beach (too bad we hadn’t brought any beach attire or equipment). Last summer Laura nearly died of a heart attack at the beach, she was that scared. This time around, she was in heaven. I couldn’t believe how much fun she was having. Her dress got totally soaked, but luckily I had my handy hurricane emergency kit in my car complete with a change of clothes. And yes, she was still able to fit into the 2T sized clothing. Just barely though! Guess it's time to update the kit.
Laura and Daddy posing with an alligator
The Army Man is so brave
Laura checking out a real alligator
The free-range quail I wanted to birdnapLaura and Daddy in the waterLaura hard at workLaura was thrilled to show this to meLaura running from the "waves"Totally soaked

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Unintentional Thief

I think I’ve been the victim of a reverse scam. Is such a thing even possible? I guess it is when someone comes to your yard sale last Saturday, buys a few items with cash, says he'll be back to get them, and never returns. So I have his $18, plus some things that I could sell to someone else if I was the cruel type. Not to mention I also appear to have the key to his pickup truck, which probably explains why he hasn't come back. He was driving a small van and since he also bought some large pieces of furniture from my neighbor, he said he would go get his truck and come back. We know nothing about this guy and haven't heard a thing from him.

Is he some sort of yard sale fairy godfather who goes from house to house spreading money and good cheer, and leaving the goods so that we can make double money off of our stuff? Or is he going to show up in 6 months demanding his stuff that I will have eventually given in and gotten rid of the day before? Sadly, I'm going to have to guess it will be the latter.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Afternoon At The Lake

Did you all miss me? Did you not know what to do with your life without my posts to read? Well luckily I am here to remedy that for you!

The Army Man has been on leave since Friday and we've been busy and I haven't had much time left to post. Today however, I've found a few spare minutes and want to share pictures from this afternoon's trip to the local lake. For those who aren't local, this lake actually was dry from 2003 until just a few months ago. Since we arrived here in 2004, we had never seen it in any form other than a rather ugly dried up lake-until the replacement dam was finally finished last year. It looks beautiful now, and today we finally got a chance to check it out in person.

Apparently people are allowed (and do!) swim in this lake, but you couldn't pay me enough money to go in there. The Army Man and Laura stuck their feet in (they said it was very cold). Moxie, the dog who is terrified of water, refused to enter. We also walked over the footbridge that gives a great view of the dam below, and all the rushing water as it overflows and heads downriver. The noise is much more significant that I expected it to be, and both Laura and Moxie had to be dragged across. Apparently fear of noise runs in the family, whether or not you are adopted.

There's a playground there, and a stand selling shaved ice, so all in all, a fun place to go on a nice day like today. Now, on to the pictures!
Laura before we started out
It's a bit blurry, but I love this picture of her running
My picture of the token wildlife
Before crossing the bridge. Notice the grimace on Laura's face!
Moxie refusing to cross the bridge, and being draggedLaura and Daddy wading in the lake

Phew, that was a lot of pictures! I'll be back to post again in a few days, with a review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. As promised, there has been plenty of zombie gore so far!

Friday, April 17, 2009


The day we have been waiting for finally arrived today: the Army Man graduated from the Civil Affairs Qualification Course. Laura and I attended the ceremony this morning, and got to see all of the soldiers all dressed up. Nothing like a man in uniform, right? Too bad for everyone else that our Army Man was the most handsome one there.

I am so proud of the Army Man for doing such a great job during school and dealing with all the grief that comes with being in training. There were plenty of times of annoyance and confusion, lots of sitting around and waiting, and some really time consuming (and possibly pointless) assignments. But never once did the Army Man say that he regretted making this switch, never once did he say he was going to give up, and he never stopped doing his best. That is why I am so proud of him, and why I am so thankful that he is a member of our military.

He has put up with hard work, stress, and time away from his family, all so that he can be the best officer he can and protect his soldiers when it comes time to deploy. He chose this new branch so that he can go to other countries and help the civilians there, however he can. Selfishly, it will be hard to be without him when he deploys, but if he makes a difference in the life of even one other citizen of this world, be it with health care, infrastructure, or government, it will be worth it.
올리브 주스 여보

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Laura, Age 4 1/2

Laura is now 4 1/2, and is suddenly all grown up. She has started wearing a watch which I think makes her look so much older. Today she stood there in front of me, wearing her watch, pronouncing all her words without a lisp of baby talk as she asked me for a paperclip to clip her drawings together. In that exact moment I had a flash of realization that she is not my baby anymore. I asked her, as mothers do, "How did you get to be so big?" Her reply? She looked at me and tried not to roll her eyes as she said: "I grew".

Well, duh.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chicken Wire=Fabulous

On Sunday, in an effort to class up our house, I put some chicken wire in our backyard. It was all for a good reason though, and that reason is to keep Moxie from going underneath the deck and burying bones or birds or small children or whatever it is that causes her to be so filthy when she finally emerges. It was surprisingly hard work, and the Army Man had to step in an assist me (read: do most of the work). Where we ran out of chicken wire, we stacked rocks. Our backyard now looks so fabulous it’s not even funny.

You know something is tacky when your husband looks at the finished product in disgust. Even Moxie looked skeptical (Really? That’s the best you people can do?) But I will assure you just as I assured both of them: it’s a short-term fix. The Army Man is leaving in less than 2 weeks, and I don’t care how it looks-I just wanted it done. Now Moxie will still be alive when he returns in May, because if she went under that deck again, I wasn’t going to be making any guarantees.

The downside to the chicken wire installation? I may have gotten tetanus. At the very least, I have a very painful scratch on my leg. I guess that’s the price one pays for such a stylish home.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's Not Easter Without A Sumo Chicken

Somehow I managed to catch Laura's germs, and I've spent the last few days feeling horrible. I'm not sure how I managed to get sick, since all I did was lay in bed with Laura and clean up her messes while she was sick. Amazing how these things happen! I was shocked by the extreme pain-I expected it to be more of a nauseating sickness, but it was actual, legitimate pain. That made me feel even worse for Laura, knowing she had gone through all of that. I only share all that to explain why our Easter pictures are a bit lacking. We just didn't have too much energy this morning.

Laura loved her Easter basket, and we did our egg hunt indoors to keep it calm. Our Easter Bunny loves to bring toys and her favorite was a little toy fishing pole which she played with all day today. I even managed to find a pink version of the "Sumo Chicken" that I have bought for her Easter basket the last 2 years. The Army Man named these little chickens as such because while their size is deceptively small, they pack quite a punch. Especially when the thrower of the Sumo Chicken lies in wait, hiding, only to jump out at the last moment and throw the chicken at you while yelling "SUMO CHICKEN!" at the top of their lungs. That's not too weird, right? I've heard that other families do things like that....I think.
Laura with said Sumo Chicken. Beware if you ever come to our house!
Laura looks like she is trying to shot death rays at me with her eyes
Laura with her giant basket and fishing poleLaura and Mommy after church
Laura and Daddy

We hope you all had a wonderful day today! Laura's spring break starts tomorrow, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we both survive.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ondansetron Is My Hero

What a fool I was. Of course Moxie's accident on Monday wasn't my "bad thing that always happens when your Army Man leaves". That was just the precursor, making sure that I was comfortable cleaning up the nasty bodily fluids that come out of my loved ones in their time of need.

So last night I stayed up really late, trying to finish a last-minute order I had gotten for a dress that will hopefully be a little girl's Easter dress, if it can make it to Alabama by Saturday. It was after midnight and I could barely see straight. I heard Laura making some noise, and went to check on her. She cried for about two seconds and then informed me that she needed to throw up. And sure enough, she did. Over the next 4 hours, she threw up 12 times (at a minimum-I finally did lose count). She was so brave and really handled it like a champ. She did keep saying, very loudly, "I am NOT happy", which was so cute and pathetic.

I put in calls to Grandma and Nana, at increasingly late hours of the night. Both ladies performed admirably in the comforting the Mommy department. Finally at about 4am, I made the command decision to take her to the ER. She wasn't keeping down any fluids, was pale, her fever was rising. I always debate so much about going to the ER, and that was when I really wished the Army Man had been home. It's just so much nicer to have someone help you make decisions at 4am.

We really lucked out and didn't wait long at all. Within 15 minutes she had been given a pill to stop the vomiting, which of course she threw right back up. This medicine (Ondansetron) is truly a miracle because it worked despite being thrown back up. The doctor told me that it's relatively new, and that even a few years ago. they were still having to give IVs for situations like this. I thanked my lucky stars that we didn't have to do that, since Laura and needles do not mix.

We got back home at about 6am, and Laura has been sleeping off and on since then. She felt sick again this morning and was really fussy, but a nap and a Popsicle seemed to have helped. I think she is thrilled by all the TV I am letting her watch. Daddy will be home tomorrow and believe me, we are all very excited about that. If this post made no sense, I blame the exhaustion.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And The Award For Best Fake Crying Goes To....

On the way home from preschool today Laura was telling me that all of the boys in her class always go in time out, along with just one girl. Can you guess who that one girl is? Laura, of course! She seemed perturbed by this revelation, but also oddly proud to be lumped in with all the boys she loves so much. It turns out that she brought this up today because she went in time out today for being "too dramatic". I guess I have to admire her for her commitment to her role as class drama queen.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Power Of The Power Nap

I guess I've been staying up way too late while the Army Man is gone, because I was exhausted this morning. So exhausted that it was very tempting to keep Laura home from school just so I could just stay in bed all day. But once I remembered that Laura was a child, I realized that keeping her home from school would probably only exhaust me more.

So she went to school and I foolishly decided to run 2.5 miles while she was gone. Then we did some errands after school. Then we played. And all of the sudden I simply couldn't function anymore. Luckily Laura got caught up in a project, so I laid down on the couch to rest, which is something I haven't done in a very long time. I'm not much of a napper, but I think I fell asleep in about 3 minutes. All told I slept for 7 minutes, which when I woke up, felt like 7 hours.

I felt rejuvenated! I was energetic! I was ready to go sew three dresses, make dinner, balance dishes on sticks, and even give Laura bath. Then I looked out the window, saw Moxie digging a hole in the backyard, and all of the rest was undone. It was good while it lasted.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Murphy's Law

It's kind of known among Army wives that once your husband leaves, even for a few days of training, something will go wrong. The worst part is walking around for a few days, waiting for the bad thing to happen. Every time you hear a thump from your child falling down, you cringe and wait for the scream that signals a broken bone. You hold your breath every time you start the car, waiting for the click of a dead battery. Perhaps someone will steal your debit card and drain your bank account. Maybe the toilet will overflow. It's almost as exciting as playing the slots! What will come up this time? How lucky (or unlucky) will I be?

For us, I knew it wouldn't be that big, since the Army Man is still in the state and could easily come home if he needed to. So when I ran home today for a quick bite of lunch and was brought to my knees by a disgusting smell, I knew my time had come. It was almost a relief-the bad thing has happened, let's deal with it and move on.

The way Moxie was wiggling in her crate, I knew the bad smell was courtesy of her. Sure enough-explosive diarrhea. All over the wall, the crate, herself. It dripped down the wall and formed a puddle on the carpet. I feel the need to share these details just so you all can understand how horrible the scene was.

Now I know that even if the Army Man wasn't in the field, I'll still be dealing with this by myself while he was at work. But throw into the mix some torrential rain and a tornado watch, and you've got yourself something that just wouldn't happen if your husband wasn't gone . It's just the way it is-if the Army Man was coming home this evening, the weather would be fine and leaving her in the backyard while she was sick would be no big deal.

You just know that she will need to go out while it's raining or the wind is threatening to blow her away. Or, even worse, Moxie will not alert me that she needs to go out (since she hates getting wet) and we'll have to deal with the aftermath from that. I can hardly wait to experience how this all plays out!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

And This Is Only The Beginning

So, do you think there is enough pollen in North Carolina right now? This is our patch of dirt (soon to be sodded the rest of the way!) and all of that is what collected after our last rain. We are about a week into pollen season, and this is just ridiculous. Even the Army Man is affected this year. He sneezes and has itchy, watery eyes, although he certainly does NOT have allergies, thankyouverymuch. Moxie's paws are no longer white. Now they are yellow paws of destruction bent on turning my carpet yellow. If it's not the frigid cold, then it's rain. If it's not rain, it's horrible wind. And sometimes it's all of those, with a little pollen thrown in. Fun!

Friday, April 3, 2009

This Can't Last

What do you do when your 4 year old daughter comes to you and complains that she NEVER gets a chance to pick up the dog’s poop? You let her do it. And you make sure that Daddy is the one to hold the bag, because when she misses (and you know she will), you don't want it to be your hand that gets touched by poop.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Laura's New Dress

This post serves two purposes: giving you a Laura fix, and showing off the prototype of the dresses I will be making frantically for the next few weeks. It’s a very simple dress, but still pretty. My only problem? I do not have any other daughters to assist me with measurements for sizes other than 4T. This dress is also apparently a representation of my love for Laura, as she informed me this morning that she can tell I love her because I make dresses for her. If I had only known it was so easy to buy her love!
Also, did you know that I created a fan page on Facebook for Laurora? Just type Laurora into the search box in the upper right corner, and you can become a fan. Seriously, how awesome would your life be if you were a fan of my bibs? Totally awesome, right? Right?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Just The Girls

So the Army Man is off doing his Army thing until next Friday, and isn’t allowed to have any contact with us the entire time. That’s a big change for us, because he’s usually been allowed to bring his cell phone with him and call from time to time. But I’m brave and can last 10 days.

We were talking to the Army Man’s Mom last night and she asked what Laura and I will do while he’s gone. The Army Man said we’ll probably just eat out and shop, which I took great exception to, until I realized that it was probably true. The pressure is off for a few days. I can relax, and not worry about that eternal question of “what’s for dinner?” I don’t have to start rushing around at 4pm to make sure my messes of the day are cleaned up. I can turn on the light in the middle of the night if I want. I might even get a good night’s sleep not listening to his snoring.

Sure I’ll still feed my child, but I’m pretty darn sure she doesn’t care if I don’t serve a 3 course meal every night. Yes, I’ll still clean the house (this is me we’re talking about), but I’ll do it late at night when I prefer to do it. I might do a little shopping, but it won’t matter because I’ll just be using the money I saved at the grocery store today by not having to buy food for the Army Man. I spent about $100 less than usual and still managed to buy a DVD, a postal scale, and some Easter presents for Laura!

It’s easy for me to be so chipper right now, when he’s only been gone for 8 hours. Even with all the relaxation, I hate it when he’s gone. It’s lonely, and I get scared at night. Our house is creaky and I am always convinced there is someone breaking in. And who will I complain to about all of my aches and pains? Plus I hate to watch LOST alone. Moxie gets her best exercise with him since she actually has to run to keep up with his running. Laura loves goofing off with Daddy and apparently he's a lot more fun to play with than I am. And I can't forget to mention the Army Man's excellent eye for baby gear and all of the encouragement he gives me while I try to churn out things for my shop.

So hurry back Army Man. There are three girls here who miss you.