Monday, November 29, 2010

Our Two Thanksgivings

So on the actual Thanksgiving day, our boat wives club (they call it the FRG, which is supposed to mean Family Readiness Group, but really, let's call a spade a spade-it's the wives club) hosted a lunch at one of the wives' houses on base.  It was small and cozy and had a bounce house and AMAZING food and people I knew- it was perfect.  Just what you'd imagine a bunch of sub wives with no husbands or extended family around for the holidays would do.  Unfortunately, I left my camera outside the entire time, and I stayed inside (with the air conditioning) the entire time, so I only got these TWO pictures, from when I first got there.  Isn't that a bummer???

She lived right up against a park, so while all the other kids were in the bounce house, Special Scott was at the park. Ahh, Scott. But he ended up having a good time, trust me.

THEN, my friend Brandi invited me to a Thanksgiving on Sunday.  Her husband is the nurse, remember, so he had to work Thurs, Fri, Sat (don't miss those twelve hour shifts, I'll tell you that much) so he and some of his workmates were going to do Thanksgiving on Sunday afternoon.  Well, knowing how I feel about meeting new people, you can imagine what my initial response was: hell no!  I mean, show up at some stranger's house, begging for food at a Thanksgiving shindig?  NO WAY!  BUT, Single Mommying is wearing me down, and that was a LONG four day weekend with no preschool.  So, I ground my teeth together and said I'd go.

And let me tell you: best decision I've ever made.  Yes, I felt VERY awkward.  Yes, I sensed the hostess thought it was a little rude of me to show up.  But in the end, she said yes, and she welcomed me into her house, so I guess it's sort of her own fault if she hadn't wanted us there.

Anyway, it was so fun! They live way up on this mountain by the Air Force base, out in the middle of nowhere- literally. We're talking a gravel road led to a dirt road which led to two ruts in the ground from tires, it was THAT isolated. And they had a HUGE house, with a pool and a hot tub that wasn't heated, which was perfect for my little shorties to go in without their lifejackets!

The family had four kids of their own- twin thirteen year old boys, then a girl who musta been about ten or eleven I think, then a sweet little five year old girl.  And they were Alabama fans, with Roll Tide stuff ALL OVER THE PLACE and I felt a little bad that Auburn had just beat them the day before, but after some initial teasing from the husband, they didn't mention it again.

One of the twins, Alex, is Warren's new best friend.  Honestly, if they lived any closer, he'd be my new go-to babysitter.  He carried Warren around, held him during dinner and fed him, played ball with him, colored with him, watched tv with him- they were inseparable!  And he really seemed to genuinely enjoy doing it!  So that was amazing in and of itself.

I kept telling him to just be firm, to put Warren down and tell him "all done!" But then Warren would raise his little fat arms and say "UP! UP!" And Alex would IMMEDIATELY bend over and pick him up!  SUCKER!!  Haha.  But Warren REALLY enjoyed the one-on-on attention.

And Scott.  Oh, Lord help me when that blonde headed, blue eyed charmer hits the dating years.  The older daughter, Vi, was Scott's own personal new-best-friend.  She played with him NONSTOP the entire day!  She NEVER seemed to get annoyed with him, she was very patient and loving and just so sweet.  Scott though didn't seem to understand that her name was Vi (rhymes with pie) so he kept calling her "my friend." "Hey, my friend, watch this!" "Mama, have you seen my friend?" "My friend!  Wanna go swimming?" He was in absolute heaven.  I'm actually getting a little teary thinking about it!

You can't see him in this picture, but this is Vi (I don't actually know how they spell it, or if it's short for something) driving Warren in the jeep, and Scott's chasing after them.  She's got Warren strapped in with a hula hoop :)

And the one up there is Alex pulling what must be a combined weight of well over a hundred pounds worth of Ava and Lee in a wagon.  Bless his sweet heart!!!

Ava had a blast with Lee (she always does) and the five year old little girl, Eliza.  Brandi, if you're reading this, seriously, thank you so so so so much for inviting me.  I can't tell you how much it meant to me.  It was the most fun I've had in a LONG TIME.  And please tell Lauren that I'm so sorry Team Engelbrecht showed up and destroyed her house and mooched off her lovely Thanksgiving Dinner, but she really made my day.  My week!  Heck, my whole month!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

And Nick, if you read this when you get back: I know we agreed that having a pool in our yard would be a pain and a hassle and too much work to be worth it.  But I want you to know that we've changed our mind.  We need a pool!!! Or at least a big hot tub that we can leave cold :)

Twelve Months Later and I Figured Something Out!!!

So ya'll know that last Christmas I got Photoshop Elements 8 from Santa.  And I haven't really done ANYTHING with it, except for a TON of scrapbooking collages (which, in my defense, is the main reason I bought it.) And then we got this stupid piece of crapola Mac, and my photoshop wouldn't work on it, so I couldn't even get rid of red eye!  Very depressing.  Well, first of all, it finally dawned on me to HELLO! download a free 30 day trial of Elements to put on said piece of crapola Mac.  Duh, why didn't I think of that before? Anyway, I guess 8 is out, and 9 is in (and it's only been a year! those people sure do know how to make their money) but it worked the same for red eye.  So I downloaded all my Thanksgiving pics and snapped right through, taking out the red eye.

Yes, Nikki, I know you can tell your camera to do it for you.  But that causes a slight (or not so slight!) delay from when you push the button till when you take your picture, so I don't do that.  So I get a LOT of red eyes, so really, Elements is quite important, even if just for that.  But that's not the point!

The point is, I finally tried something NEW!!!

I used the bandaid symbol, whatever that is.  I did it on a whim.  I didn't consult Google (my best friend when it comes to all things Elements) or even the forty five dollar Elements For Dummies that I just HAD TO HAVE.  I just clicked that bandaid and went to town.  And check it out!

Here's the before.  Regular old Warren (although the red eyes are already removed) with his regular old bruises, cuts, or scrapes.

And after!  Check him out, he's like a normal kid with no bruises, cuts, or scrapes!

Actually, that doesn't sound too normal, even for a non-Engelbrecht.  I mean, NO bruises, cuts, or scrapes?  Seems like if that's how you look, you might be missing out on something...

Anyway, you might not be able to see it in your little computer screen, but the difference is HUGE!  I mean, the giant red booger (it's really not, it's just the ooze coming from the lack of skin under his nose.  Which doesn't really sound any less gross now that you mention it) is totally gone!  The skin is still a little discolored, like maybe he has a scar or even a healing sore, but not that booger!  That bandaid man- that thing is no joke!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Well I had my appointment yesterday.  I knew last week when I had my glucose screen and no one called me that I didn't end up with gestational diabetes, but it was still nice to hear it from her.  AND, for the first time in FOUR pregnancies, my H&H is low, but not low enough to need those nasty iron pills!  I mean, seriously? Even with Ava it was low and I got stuck with those.  Gross.  Guess all those "healthy" people really are on to something!

And I lost weight!  Now, over the last six weeks, I've lost about two pounds on my home scale.  BUT, I wasn't sure, with wearing clothes and going right after lunch, if that would show up on the scale in the office.  But it did!  And even though I didn't get to see Dr. Staben and be all excited to tell her, I saw the clinic NP who was literally jumping up and down and congratulating me and squealing and cheering me on.  IT WAS SO FUN!!!  Lemme tell you, I was plenty proud to lose those thirty pounds on WW last last summer and sharing that at my meetings, but this was WAY BETTER!  And I'm actually measuring about two weeks ahead, which isn't GOOD, but makes me feel better, that I'm not starving little Kiki-Mirena-FreshBeatBand-Engelbrecht, you know?

I also mentioned my panic attacks last week about the baby being dead, and my fears about Warren when he was four months and I thought he was dead all the time too.  She said that that was def post partum depression and if it happens this time I need to go in asap.  She offered to make me an appointment in mental health for the panic attacks, but she also said that it's a self referral process, meaning that if I get like that again, I can call over there and make an appointment myself.  So I told her I'd hold off and see if it happens again, and if it becomes unmanageable (like it was last week-not being able to get off the couch for fear that you'll kill your baby makes it a little hard to complete the day-to-day tasks that make you NOT need to go to a mental hospital-you know, wash your hair, put on pants, that sort of thing :) ) then I would come in.  She also told me to start coming every four weeks (gag me) instead of six.  We'll see if I really follow through with that :)

Meanwhile, this is what my son now looks like.  I was a little worried that someone would call DCS on me yesterday, especially since we had to walk through the peds clinic to get our flu shots.

Apparently he fell off his little slide, and landed JUST RIGHT to scrape all the skin off under his nose.  So it looks like he's got perpetual snot and blood under there now.  AND he's still picking his nose like crazy (we're having some mega allergies out here!) so the other nostril is usually caked in dried blood.  Should be fun at the FRG Thanksgiving we're getting ready for.

So that's my day yesterday.  Same stuff, different day.  Nick is in port, so we've been Facetiming with him, which is the only saving grace to this horrible Mac that you dorks convinced me to get.  Still hate it!  But the Facetime is nice, Warren spent a good twenty minutes putting his cup right up to the screen so Nick could have a drink.  I wish they had port calls more often!  Makes me think surface life must be so frickin easy.

And now Warren just fell off the table.  When is he going to learn?  I mean, first of all, the table is HUGE, why is he falling off? Second of all, he's fallen off the table a hundred times, doesn't something in his tiny little mind say hey dude, this didn't work too well last time, maybe you should stay at ground level?

The other two NEVER climbed OR fell off of stuff!!!

And Holly- if you're reading this: where was the warning that Cheerios soaked in milk are a thousand times harder to sweep up than dry Cheerios?

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Heart My Brother

"Scott! Why is that baby crying?"

"I don't know."

"Well what did you do to make him cry?"

"I hit him in the face."


"With my water bottle." And not a soft bottle of dasani or something, this is one of those hard plastic camelback things we use.

"Why?!?! Why did you hit him?"

"Because he sat next to me."

What?!?!  Scott was buckling his seat belt in the very back of the van, Warren climbed in and sat next to him (he's supposed to sit in his car seat, in the middle row) and apparently this bothered Scott enough to slam him in the face with the FULL water bottle.  And (probably luckily, in case someone wants to report me to dcs) for some reason the camera's not capturing the fact that the entire left side of his face is a mixture of black, blue, purple, and that horrible, healing-bruise yellow, and under his eye is all swollen and pushing that bottom eyelid (is there a word for that thing?) up so that his eye is half closed.

So here's more proof that I can't even take care of the three children that I already have, yet here I sit, growing yet another member of Team Engelbrecht.

Prayers, ya'll.  Send em over.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Program

Today with the Thanksgiving program at school.  I know it's just one of those things that you grin and bear, and it was actually pretty cute, but COME ON!!! They're so long and cheesy and disorganized...but now that I'm sitting here looking at these pictures I can't stop smiling.  So nevermind, I guess it was a little precious.

First up was Scott's class.  Well, actually, first we had to watch the two year olds, then the three year olds, THEN Scott, but let's not dwell on that. I'm sure those mama's thought that their little ones were as cute as mine (even though they totally were NOT.)

I knew he was going to be in a costume, but I hadn't been able to get a straight answer about what it was, so I nearly DIED when he came in dressed as a turkey!!! HOW CUTE!!! And he was VERY excited about the lipstick on his cheek.  That's my boy!

Gotta love the expressions on his face.

And then there was Ava.  Sigh.  She'd been able to articulate to me that she'd be dressed as a pilgrim, but I had NO IDEA she would be so cute!  Now, I know I'm her mother and all, but seriously, have you ever seen a more beautiful child?  Even with boogers in her nose from these rampant allergies we're all having, Ava sometimes literally-LITERALLY!!!- takes my breath away, she is THAT beautiful.  Especially with her hair off her face...I just can't believe that she's my daughter!!!

Although she too is a master of The Dumb Look.

And then I couldn't resist these pics I took during the two year olds.  All the two year olds, as soon as they see their mama's in the audience, they get a little sniffly and sad, I have no idea why.  But some of them...can't handle SEEING their mama, and not being 'allowed' to go to them.  This is how Scott was last spring.  I mean, obviously, they could go to their mama if they really wanted to, it's not a prison, but you know what I mean.  Anyway, this poor girl SCREAMED- we're talking full on screaming- the entire program.  It was SO FUNNY!!!!!!

And the poor kid next to her was like "seriously? You're really distracting me with the screaming buddy."

I video taped the whole thing for Daddy, but I haven't quite figured out how to put it on the computer.  I know, surprising right?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Swim Lessons

Today was our last swim class :(  That's a HUGE sad face!  Ya'll know how I love to be at the pool.  But we did private lessons (because even though I go to the pool a thousand times a week, the group lessons are twice a week and somehow when you throw in REQUIRED timelines, I'm THAT lady who can't make it anywhere, ever, on time.  Ugh) and we had to reschedule a few times and now that they're over, it's too late to sign up for groups again until January.  I know I know, woe is me, right? Hey, if you want to be complaining about swim classes in January, you can come to Guam too!  There's plenty of room here.  Although not enough bread for more than a few more families...

Anyway, usually during class I lay in the baby pool and read a book.  Now, let me just get on a tangent real quick.  My mother, who is a reading teacher and fostered a love of reading in me since birth, whom I  considered gave me the greatest gift of A LOVE OF READING, is constantly giving me crap about how much I read.  "I've never seen someone with three kids read that much" or "You should be playing with your kids instead of reading" or any other way to say it.  My mother!  A READING TEACHER!!! But you know what?  Reading is one of my, if not THE, top priorities.  I love to read, just about anything.  I love for my kids to watch me read.  I love for them to ask me to read to them whatever I'm reading.  I love to go to the library.  Oh wait, I hate to go to the library now.  But I loved to go to the library when we lived in civilization.  So, I read.  I read whenever and wherever I can.  My kids can entertain themselves, I certainly don't need to play with them.  They  know when I'm climbing into that pool, I'm going to be reading.  I'll look up whenever they call my name, I'll smile when they show me some stupid little kid thing that they're doing, I certainly don't ignore them.  But I'm gonna read, and no one (not even my own mama!) can convince me that this isn't one of the best things I could be doing with my time.

So yeah, I usually read, but since it was the last class, I pulled out my camera and snapped a few (seventy eight) pics.  I whittled it down to thirty, and only uploaded a few.  Ya'll are so lucky I don't have the time to upload as many as I always want to :)

Here they are with their wonderful teacher Ms. Meg.  Yes, she is my husband's big-boss's wife.  No, it actually wasn't awkward at all.

Doesn't she look like the karate kid?

And here, it looks like she's drowning.  I guess it's good I usually have my back to the class because if I'd looked over one day and saw this, I woulda flipped my lid.  But obviously Ms. Meg must know what she's doing, because both Ava and Scott are actually LEARNING HOW TO SWIM.

Ahh, Scott.  Who, at this moment, is taking a nap with his shoes on.  Don't get me started.  For the first few lessons, he would just wander off after twenty minutes and play with me and Warren in the baby pool.  And I think during later lessons, he spent more time playing with her dive toys than actually participating in class, but whatever.  Not my problem.  Ava and the other girl in the class (Anna, the "stylist" who gave her bangs?) are BFF so Scott probably just doesn't want to hang out with them sometimes.

And what's my brain child doing while I'm taking all these pictures?  Oh, the usual.  Eating leaves and things that blow into the baby pool.

I might be biased, but I'm pretty sure we have a future champion competitive swimmer on our hands here.  Although she sort of needs to stick her face down...

Warren  DESPERATELY wanted to get in the big pool with them.  Too bad buddy, maybe next time.

I think they're supposed to jump INTO the hula hoop.  Neither one of them did.

Who cares how smart he is, look at that cute face!

One last attempt to break free and get to that swim lesson.

But in the end, Ms. Meg always gives him a candy with the rest of the class, so no harm, no foul.  THIS face, not so cute.  But still.