Monday, June 28, 2010

Seriously?

Lemme just rant about something right quick. Ya'll know Scott is a little retarded, and he's got this stuffed Nemo. WELL, we got that stupid thing online, at a disney store close-out outlet. So you can't go to a regular website and get one. In fact, you can't go anywhere and get one. But Scott's is getting a little ratty, and just in case he loses it, we want a back up. We don't have a back up for Baby Nathan, and it scares me every time she takes it out of the house.

So, I found it on ebay. For 0.99 cents. And I "sent the seller a question" just to make sure he'd ship it to me, even though his listing specifically said that he would do international. Well, he never got back to me, so when the auction was just about to end, I went in and bid on it. I got this message: transaction blocked. Unfortunately, this seller has decided that you are not permitted to bid on their listings. You may contact the seller via the Ask Seller Questions feature if you want additional details.

So I contacted him, explained why I needed the fish, and asked him to unblock me so I could buy it. No response. The auction ended, and no one bought it. Because it's a stuffed Nemo, and no one else on the planet wants it. So he relisted it, and I tried again. Same story. I contacted him again, no response. Auction ended. He relisted, I'm still blocked. I contacted him, offered him twenty bucks plus shipping, told him I wasn't some crazy scam artist trying to steal his stupid Nemo. He finally responded. Wanna know what this a-hole said? He said "Hello, If you are blocked from bidding there is a reason for it. Thank You."

What the hell is wrong with this guy? What, I'm not good enough to buy his stuffed animal??? He's got it listed for a DOLLAR!!! And no one is interested!!! And I offered him TWENTY!!!

I don't get it! And of course, it's making me absolutely FURIOUS!!! Seriously, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS GUY? It's Nick's ebay account, he's got a perfect track record, no complaints. This guy is ruining my day!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

BANGS!!!

All right, real quick, one last irrational fear. Back in the good old days when I had a great job, Ava used to go to a home based daycare, Miss Fern. And every now and then, I would have a nightmare that Fern would cut Ava's hair, and give her BANGS. Now, obviously, babysitter's don't usually make a habit of cutting kids' hair, at least not without discussing it with the mama first. BUT, I really hate BANGS, and I'm a crazy person, so this was something I worried about.

So today, we were over at a friend's house. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I have made a friend! AND, I went over there in sweat pants and a teeshirt, with no makeup on. She's THAT sort of friend! Anyway, I'm sure you can see where the story is going.

Ava let her friend cut her hair. And yes...she now has BANGS! BANGS! I'm literally wailing the word right now, BANGS!!!! It's horrifying! Absolutely horrifying, I'm absolutely devastated. I KNOW it's just hair, and that in a few months it will grow out, but it's BANGS ya'll. BANGS. And let's be honest, it's gonna take at least six months to go grow three inches. And what the heck am I supposed to do with it until then? Blow dry it back? She's afraid of the blow dryer. Headbands? Maybe, but it's too short for that right now!

And I just spent a small fortune on HUGE southern girl bows, the big ones ya'll. And now my daughter has BANGS.

BANGS!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Flashback Friday

This week, I decided to flash WAY back...to another lifetime. Our life before kids. Ahhh. Honestly, I barely remember this life. And ya'll, of COURSE I love my kids. I'm the crazy lady who wanted all these kids, right? But c'mon, I want to go back to Europe! And now that we've got money, we could really do it up right. But we can't. Because we've got all these dang kids.

But let me tell you, if we ever do go back there, we'll be going in the dead of summer. Because ya'll IT WAS COLD. That was the first time in my young life that I'd ever been cold, like really for real cold. And man, was it ever cold.



Here. This is a vacation after kids. Instead of going to Paris, we went an hour south to the Outer Banks. It rained the whole time. Which ended up not mattering, because we couldn't do anything with an eighteen month old and a one month old anyway. Sigh. I thought maybe if I looked at their cute faces, I could convince myself that life before kids was too quiet, too unfulfilling. Not so much.

Irrational Much?

A lifetime ago, I was eating lunch with this guy who stopped and stared at me and said "You must be the absolute most irrational person I've ever met in my entire life." Now, I was a little offended. This guy was sort of like a pseudo boss while I was stashed at Auburn, right after I graduated, before I transferred to Portsmouth and started working for real, and I wanted him to think I was all professional and mature and sophisticated. But honestly, as soon as he said it, I was thinking ahh, buddy, you don't know the half of it. My life is pretty much run by irrational fears. So, instead of moaning about my kids for yet another blog post, I thought I'd share a few. Maybe, if I see them all written out, I can ditch a few. You think?

I hate to fly because I'm afraid that the pilot is going to go to high, and we'll get sucked out of the earth's atmosphere and into space.

I'm also afraid that while on a plane, I'll go into a psychotic break and wrench open the emergency exit door and jump out. I'd probably be alive the whole way down, until I splattered like a watermelon on the ground.

In the splattering-like-a-watermelon vein, I used to be TERRIFIED that, while walking around the Macarthur Center mall in Norfolk and carrying one of my kids, I'd trip and fall and somehow manage to plunge said kid over the railing, where he or she would plunge three floors to his or her watermelon-splattered death.

I'm afraid that my kneecaps will somehow become dislodged from their little joints and fall off. I cannot have ANYONE touching my knees, even the baby, for fear that the slightest touch will send the kneecap flying off.

I can't go scuba diving because I'm afraid of getting crushed under all that water. This is what that guy at lunch that day was laughing at me about. BUT, in my defense, water is REALLY heavy. I mean, you've carried a gallon of milk, that's pretty heavy right? The ocean is like a hundred bajillion gallons. That's heavy. NO THANKYOU.

I have to take a valium before I got visit Nick on the boat, because I'm convinced that there will be some sort of emergency and the crew will slam the hatches shut before I can run away and they'll dive the boat right away and then I'll be trapped in a tin coffin under all those bajillion gallons of water.

When I was younger, I was afraid that if I laid on my side, I'd break my ribs. I've pretty much gotten over that one, but every now and then I get a little squirmish if I'm on my side on a hard surface, like the living room floor.

I can't pee in a dark bathroom because I'm afraid of snakes in the toilet. And honestly, now that I'm in Guam and surrounded by lizards, I no longer consider this one 'irrational.'

I'm terrified of electricity. I don't understand it, and every time I plug in ANYTHING at all, my heart races for a few seconds because I know, without a doubt, that this is the end, I'm going to be electrocuted to death. It's slightly less intense when I flip a light switch. This keeps me on edge for most of the day.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just the tip of the iceberg.

So tell me. I already know that most people aren't there aren't like me, at least not too too much. But come on, I can't be the only one who's afraid of stupid things. Right?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ramblings of a Desperate Housewife

Ava wanted to go to school today. Broke my heart. I never, not in a million years, thought I would type those words. I thought I wanted them all gone, all day, every day. They normally only go to school on Mon Wed Fri, but I have to pay for every day. Sorta sucks, but that's the way all the preschools are here. Anyway, occasionally she asks if she can go on a Tues or Thurs. They had to go on Tues this week because I had an appt, so now she's going to have gone every single day. When she asked, I said "Sure, if you want, but don't you wanna stay home and play with Mama and Scott?" She tilted her head to the side and scrunched up her lips.

"Can we go somewhere? Like to the store, or to a party?" she asked.

"Well, ah, not really," I stammered. I've spent more than Nick's entire paycheck since he left. I've been a shopping FIEND. "But we can play here!"

"No, I wanna go to school."

"Are you sure? We could have fun here..."

"Oh, I have way more fun at school."

So off we went. Scott isn't having any of it, so at least I've still got him. He doesn't get upset on Mon Wed Fri when we do go, but he is ADAMANT on Tues and Thurs when I ask him if he wants to go, he DOES NOT. So he's laying under the table with his tools, fixing things. Ahh, Scott.

So I dreamed all night last night about moving into base housing, and now that's all I can think about. I'm completely torn, I can't decide if I want to move or not! The point is actually moot, because they still don't have a house for us, but since I like to worry, and there's nothing else going on right now, this is what I'm worrying about. Should I stay or should I go?

The houses are nice, and big, but they're not as big as this. We'd gain a fourth bedroom, but we'd lose our cavernous playroom. We'd gain central air conditioning (that we DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR) but I'd lose my beloved gas stove. I know that this sounds stupid, but ya'll have no idea how much I HATE electric stoves. And it's not even an old electric coil burner, it's one of those flat top things. I double hate those things. So even though that one seems like a no brainer- free air vs a gas stove- it's not. I really really like gas. We'd gain a two car garage, but we'd lose our huge, shaded backyard, fenced in backyard and storage shed. And with no downsides, we'd gain: an actual community, full of teenage babysitters and other wives and kids, nicely paved streets with sidewalks where I could go for a walk without fear of boonie dogs or roosters or child thieves after my iPod.

Biggest downside? We'd have to move ourselves. Totally. Box it all up, and drag it over, then unpack it all again. All by ourselves.

What to do? What to do? It seems like I should want to move on base. It just seems the most logical. But I just can't help thinking about how I send those kids out back all the time, alone, knowing that they're safe in the fence. And we'd be screwing our landlord over too- she put in an alarm system free of charge and raised the rent to cover it over three years (we get a certain amt of money for rent, and if we don't spend it all, we don't get to keep the leftover, so it didn't matter to us one way or the other.) But I'm sure it matters to her.

So that's what's on my mind today. Doesn't that piss you off, that for someone out there, the toughest decision for her is whether to leave one great house for another? I know. It's ridiculous. And trust me, I'm very grateful for my charmed life. But we do pay a price for our easy life. Don't forget my husband is out there somewhere, under goodness knows how many pounds of water, in a windsheildless submarine with no phone or internet. Harder for him than me, yes, but I feel like I'm paying a bit of a price too.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday


Normally, when I don't post Menu Plan Mondays, I still actually DO menu plan, and cook, and scrape food into the trash when my kids don't eat. But these last few weeks, I've felt like crap and Nick's been working late (or out to sea) so we've been eating a lot of cereal. For realsies. They fortify that stuff with extra vitamins, right?

BUT, I can't keep up with with feeling like crap excuse, or the Nick is gone excuse, because let's face it, he's gonna be gone for most of the next three years. Have I mentioned how much his boat sucks? Ohhh, USS Scranton, we miss you so.

Anyway. We'll see. I've left a lot of free days for leftovers (read:cereal) and the like.

Monday: PW's chicken pot pie. Nick was getting on my about only using PW, so now that he's gone, I'm back into All PW, All the Time. So there.

Tuesday: leftovers. And it won't be cereal, we'll finish off that pot pie, you mark my words.

Wednesday: slow cooker beef tacos. We usually go to the park on Wednesdays after school and don't come home until as late as possible, so I can't cook. Darn.

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: pork roast with PW's creamy rosemary potatoes. Assuming, of course, that I can figure out how to use that mandoline thingie. Thingy? Not sure.

Saturday: breakfast. Probably waffles, maybe dippie eggs. They're just not good when Grandma Terri doesn't make them :(

Sunday: simple, perfect enchiladas. We've had this before. It's beef, not chicken, so I'm not betraying my beloved Sam the Cooking Guy. Warren ate the filling by the bowful last time. Fingers crossed for a repeat.

So. Think I'll spend the week cooking, or running out to buy more milk for cereal? Alas, only time will tell. For more great ideas, head this way.

Scott...He's A Special Boy

So special, I fear one day they may put him in special ed.

This is the sight I woke to this morning. He gets up super early lately (I think because he needs to pee and it wakes him up nowadays) and plays quietly until he's on the verge of starvation (one would think) and then he bursts into my room to get me up and running.

So this morning, I went into the pantry to get some cereal (you didn't think I was one of those moms who COOKS breakfast, did you? haha) and this is what I saw. Now, bear in mind, we have a baby gate on our pantry. It was still latched. He crawled under it. With that head? That musta been pretty tight, I would have been terrified! But alas.

Now, at first sight, I just rolled my eyes, thinking Ahh, well, that's Scott for ya. But then when I got the camera, I noticed that it's a perfect pattern. Two reds, a black, two reds, a black. He's only three!!! Does this mean he's going to be one of those MIT computer programmers who never has a girlfriend and lives in my basement playing online fantasy games until I die when he's thirty, leaving him alone and unable to function in society? Ugh.

Also notice the stack of iced tea thingies. I just don't get the obsession. That kid LOVES to make a tower!



Then, since he woke up so dang early, he crashed in his easy chair before morning snack. Typical guy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What I've Been Doing Lately (At the Expense of EVERYTHING ELSE)


If you're wondering where I've been lately, I'll just tell you- I've been reading the Most. Amazing. Book. Ever.

I know, I know, I say that a lot. Like, about every book I read. But seriously this time, it's AWESOME!

How awesome, you wonder? Well, it's eight hundred and twenty eight pages. I downloaded it last Friday morning, and literally have not put it down since. I'm on page six fifty nine, and it's getting to the point (this is going to sound SO STUPID) where I'm hiding it because I don't want to finish it because then it'll be over. Now, I'm a reader, I love reading, and I think I read at a pretty good speed. But a hundred pages a day is a lot, even for me, so that's the proof I'm offering to you that this book is GOOD stuff.

What's it about? Hard to say. Ya'll know that the best part of my week is when I get my EW, and I'm always on the lookout for an interesting book, especially now that I have my ereader and I can get books for ten bucks and not have to worry about where I can fit them into my bulging bookshelves. So I read this review a few weeks ago, and low and behold, they're talking about how Stephen King himself was doing publicity for THIS BOOK. Now, a lot of times, he puts out these lists of Must Reads that are all weird and scary and sort of indie books, if that's a real thing. You know, like indie movies? But books.

But THIS book, this book seemed right up my alley. The review said it was about the military engineering some sort of virus (hello, The Stand) and the apocalypse happens, and then you flash forward a hundred years to see what happens next. That's totally my favorite type of story!!!

Remember when The Postman came out, with Kevin Costner? And everyone hated it and laughed at it, and no one liked it and everyone thought it was so stupid? WEEEELLLL, I for one, have always loved that movie. I love post apocalypse movies, all of them. I own that movie, and I probably watch it four or five times a year. It's a great story! And hello, Ford Lincoln Mercury? That's some funny sh**, I don't care who you are.

So anyway, this book, The Passage. The virus was some sort of Very Slow Aging thing (sounds even stupider typing it out, trust me) and they use death row inmates to test it on (because you know, those are usually pretty trustworthy guys) and when the crapola hits the fan, they seem genuinely surprised. So it's The Stand, plus a lot of I Am Legend (which I also loved), with a little bit of 28 Days Later (not AS scary, but it's been a little hard to turn it off and fall asleep) but also something completely unique and beautiful. The characters are AT LEAST as good as the best of ANY Stehpen King ensemble cast, the action is nail biting, and, best of all?

It's on my ereader. So I can't flip to the end!!! I LITERALLY have no idea how it's going to end. This is so much fun! OHHH, how I wished I hadn't read the ends of all those other books. My greatest regret in life.

Anyway. Nick's gone for a month, give or take a few weeks, my house is in shambles, I burnt my dining room table and cried for hours, my kids hate me because all I ever do is yell at them, but I don't even care, because at least I'm not huddling under a spotlight, praying it doesn't go out so that the vampire-virals can't get me. So, it could be worse.

Read. This. Book. Now.

So, in summary: READ THIS BOOK! I can guarantee that it's going to get picked up for a movie. It won't be a good adaptation, because it's too long, and so so so character driven, but it's gonna happen. You just remember where you heard about it first.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I was noticing how lots of other bloggers blog about their gardens, so I figured what the heck, I'm a follower, I'll do it too. As much as I'd like to take all the credit-I've always wanted to be a gardener, I even read Better Homes and Gardens, hello!- Nick actually does all the work. I do water it. Every once in a while. But let me just tell you, green beans here? They cost almost three bucks a pound. In Groton, in the DEAD OF WINTER, they were a buck twenty nine, and went on sale every other day for ninety eight cents. So we needed to find a way around THAT crazy business, so I said "Hey baby, let's plant a garden, grow some beans" And he took off running. He built this little garden below, assuming (as did I) that we were entering the rainy season and all would be well.

Wrongo.

I don't know if people are lying to us about this whole alleged "rainy season" or what, but it has seriously rained a GRAND TOTAL of about twenty six minutes. Since we got here. Three months ago. So the lawn is pretty much dead, all those precious beans are withering away, and the pathetic herbs in those pots never even stood a fighting chance...


No problem with the mangoes though. Mangoes, apparently, do not need rain. They'll just fall on Ava's head for the rest of our lives.

The tomato plants also don't seem to mind the drought. Do you have any idea how ironic it is that for the past eight years that I've been married and futilely attempting to 'make a home' I have been growing BILLIONS of tomatoes? Literally, billions. I DON'T EAT TOMATOES!!! That's just not fair.









This is the start of my herb garden. Sigh. Who needs that much basil? I have no idea. What I need is cilantro, which is one of those empty pots in the garden garden, and thyme, which is...




...down here. And obviously not looking so great.

We don't know what to expect from this. The little packet said "salad lettuce" when we bought it. Supposed to be a bunch of different kinds. I, for one, expected HEADS of lettuce, not just a bunch of leaves. But who knows, maybe they taste good. Gotta be better than spending six dollars for a bag of Fresh Express that just rots in the produce drawer, right?







Now, if this guy down here doesn't make your mouth water, you're not invited to my birthday. And trust me ya'll, that is an INSULT. It's like the mack daddy of telling people off. For instance, Ava will scream across the house "I HATE YOU!!! YOU'RE NOT INVITED TO MY BIRTHDAY!!!" It's serious.

But back to this. It's going to be (one day, hopefully, fingers crossed) a bell pepper. Red or green, it'll be a surprise. I love them both dearly, but I'm secretly hoping for red. I love them just a teeny tiny bit more. Don't tell green.



This is the back of the house. Wouldn't that look good with some sort of flowering shrub? I grew up in Mississippi, so I'm partial to an azalea bush...but I don't know if those will grow here. I don't actually know a single thing about gardening at all, despite months and months of buying my trusty Better Homes and Gardens.



Wanna know what I DO know a little something about? Taking pictures of little hineys. I could do it all day long. Look at that thing! Don't you wanna just go pinch it?

Ahh, Guam

So, a while back, I updated my status on FB to say that I'd seen a water buffalo, walking down the street, with a dog on its back. And, naturally, as this is something unique to Guam, no one else really knew what I was talking about. So I put my camera in my car every morning on the way to school, in the hopes that one day, I'd see this magnificent sight again. Well ya'll, it finally happened. And here it is. You're welcome.


Come on. Admit it. You want to move here. Roosters, mangoes, concrete igloos, water buffalo with dogs on their backs...where else ya gonna see things like this? Huh?

Monday, June 7, 2010

SSDD

Ever read Dreamcatcher? That's what that's from. Same stuff (although SK doesn't use the word 'stuff') different day. I haven't blogged much lately because there's just not much going on. The monotony of my days is mind numbing. Remember in CT when I had a huge breakthrough with my TV addiction and I cut back so so much? I've had a serious relapse since moving out here. There's just nothing else to do! Or, rather, there's plenty else to do, but I wanna watch TV instead.

I read this girl-that-I-went-to-nursing-school-with's blog and it depresses me to no end. She decided to do her babies back to back, like I did with Ava and Scott, so that they'd be seventeen months apart. Only difference is she got twins the second time around. So she's got three babies under the age of two. And she like drives all around town doing fun things, does these elaborate art projects with the older girl, makes homemade cookies from scratch, sews matching dresses for the girl, makes homemade peach ice cream with fresh produce that she gets from her local farmer's market, and they went camping one weekend! With three babies!!! Ugh. And she never mentions it, but I'm sure she takes a shower every morning and does her hair and makeup and gets dressed. And I doubt she leaves her high chair trays (all three of them!) on the counter with lunch caking itself into a rock hard mess. And she seriously probably never screams at her kids to JUST CLEAN THE FRICKING PLAYROOM!!!!!!!!

So a lot of the time, reading her blog, I'm really inspired and envious. Not today. Today I'm just jealous and grouchy. It's this heat. I hope. I hope that's what's got me in a foul mood.

Oh yeah, I remember why I'm in a foul mood! Remember ten years ago, when they invented the iPod and everyone who was anyone got one? Well, I got mine last month, and I instantly fell in love with it. Definitely see what all the hype was about. So I put ALL my music in that sucker, and threw out all my CDs and Nick hooked it up to work in the car. The radio stations here are REALLY bad. Like, REALLY REALLY bad. So everything was perfect. Until last Wednesday, when someone stole it, right out of my car!!! Can you believe that? And the worst part? No one even feels sorry for me, because I never lock my van doors. I seriously cried. At first, I thought Nick had taken it, to like scare me into locking my doors. He swears he doesn't have it.

So, I had to order it on amazon (I want the cheaper one without the video camera and all that, so I have to find it used, because apparently the marketing people at iPod are pretty savvy with that sort of thing and no longer sell older models that do the same thing for less money) and they won't ship electronics out here. Ugh. So Aunt Michelle, if you're reading this, I sent an iPod and three Max and Ruby CDs to your house.

And now my baby just walked down the hallway with a pink razor in his mouth. Ouch. Bet that girl with infant twins and a not-even-two-year-old would never have let THAT happen.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sunset Pictures

Fair warning-there are a LOT. Mom, I want you to make sure that dad gets back to see these, and then he needs to email me or call me and tell me what he thinks.


Okay, I've been wanting to go watch a sunset since we got here. Only problem: it coincides with bathtime. We go to bed pretty early at Casa de Engelbrecht. But we finally did it, and man was it worth it! We just drove down our mountain and parked across the street. Being completely and totally surrounded by water sure has its advantages, right?



I'm sort of becoming addicted to the whole 'hard light' button on photoshop. I think it just adds a really nice touch, you know? Sometimes, it makes shots look a little fake. But for the most part, I like the effect. In the two pics below, the top is SOOC and the bottom is altered.







Here's two of my favorite guys. I hit the burst button and got twenty nine shots of this same shot. What is wrong with me?!?!

All right, now that I'm actually posting these, it's way too many. But it's too hard to decide which ones to delete!!! I'm sorry!





This cuteness was happening behind me this whole time...




Here's another one where I couldn't decide if the hard light version was better than the SOOC one. The first one is SOOC, and I like all the blues in the water and the sky...And this one below is altered, and obviously, I love the oranges better in this one. Now, if I knew anything at all about photoshop, I could mix the two elements together, the blues of the original and the oranges of the alteration. But alas. I can barely manage to check my email. Computer skills have evaded me my whole life.





Now, this picture below has my vote as Best Shot of the Day. I just love him, sticking his little gut out. Nothing to me is cuter than a toddler and a pot-belly. Nothing.




Except maybe a preschooler tucking her hair behind her ear...







Or a post-toddler, pre-preschooler walking along the beach with a sticker that's taller than he is....



Now, as evidence of my lack of knowledge concerning lighting and iso and white balance and all that is that, I posted these pics in the order that I took them. I started at around 6:37, and ended up at 6:58. But some of the pics on top (earlier) are really really dark, and then this one, (way later) is like it's broad daylight! Isn't that annoying?



If you look closely, you can see nemo's tail fin sticking out. You didn't think he stayed at home while we left, did you?





Stupid boppy. Wouldn't this be an awesome picture?





And here we are, walking back to the car. With Nemo. Sigh.
You made it!! Phew. Which shot did you think was the best?