Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bad News Bears

Allow me to share a little bit about how things have been going around the house the last few weeks. These are listed in no particular order...

The short version:
1- The freezer on our two-year-old fridge died. This resulted in a looooong morning on the phone with the Fridgidaire people, where I was not very nice at all.
2- Our lawn developed a fungus. Ever since I have been taking care of this ridiculous yard there has been this one spot in the back that just would not grow no matter how much I watered it. And then it started getting bigger. Turns out it is a very serious fungus that could have killed our entire yard by the end of the summer.
3- I destroyed our lawnmower. Seriously. Destroyed it.
4- Bennett knocked the iron off the ironing board and now we have an iron-shaped burn mark in the middle of our living room floor (Mattie, I haven't told you about this one yet. It just happened today...I love you...)
5- I backed the tailgate of our brand new car into our brand new garage door.
6- I developed a case of strep, but couldn't convince the doctors I was sick--or not pregnant--so they wouldn't give me medicine.
7- We have some seriously big bugs in our yard.
8- Bennett has a new obsession with lotion and putting it places it does not belong. Like our furniture.
9- I locked myself in the shed in our backyard for half an hour. On accident.
10- Our water spout in the front yard got stuck in the "on" position and had to be replaced.

The long version:
1- After I worked my way up the line of management, used every sales tactic I had ever learned in college, and made a few angry threats, we got a new fridge for which we will be reimbursed 60%. Plus, I got it on sale, with a military discount. So really we only paid for 20% of our new fridge, but it still makes me a little mad we had to pay anything. We did upgrade to a side-by-side however, and despite my doubts, I really do like it a lot.

2- The guy who came out to look at our yard (for free, by the way) helped me make a "Plan of Attack" which only required me to spend hundreds of dollars on yard products and wake up at 6:30 in the morning each day. In the end, it is totally worth it to me though. I have spent way too much time, sweat, blood, tears, money, and personal sanity on this yard to give up on it now. Plus, we plan on moving one day and nobody is going to buy a yard that is fungus-infested. (Not to toot my own horn or anything, but since I have been using our "Plan of Attack" I dare say that we have one of the best looking yards on our block. Yay for the professional yard guy, and yay for me!)

3- I took our lawnmower in to get it fixed. Long story short, they guy called me later during the week and asked me what in the heck I had been doing to our poor mower. Apparently spraying off your lawnmower is really bad if you don't know what you are doing (me) and you get water inside your gas tank and then it goes into your carburetor. And also, water rusts bolts and cables and breaks them in half. And also the height setting should be equal on all four wheels. And also our mower should have been serviced years ago, because the blade was super dull and the spark plugs needed to be changed get the picture. Anyway, it is all fixed now, and you wouldn't believe how easy it is to mow our lawn now! Needless to say, I will not be spraying anything off. Ever. Again.

4- I was in the middle of ironing my skirt for church today when I left for one second to go get something from my bedroom (I know, I know. Stupid.) While I was gone, Bennett walked past the ironing board and bumped it or something, because when I came back I found the iron laying face down in the middle of our carpet. Luckily I caught it before it had had a chance to sit there too long, and luckily it wasn't as hot as it could have been (and luckily it didn't land on Bennett). So now I am cutting all the little balls of melted carpet off the burn spot and hoping for the best. It's really not that bad, but honestly...I hate Sundays.

5- When our lawnmower was in the shop recovering from my brutality, I borrowed my neighbor's mower to cut our grass. To return her mower, I decided to put it in the back of our car and drive it down the street to her. I had done this before, and it worked fine. However, this time I was totally not thinking and put the mower in (with the tailgate up) while still parked in the garage...and then I reversed. It actually took me a little bit to register what the horrible scratching/crunching sound was before I realized what I had done and quickly pulled forward again. Ugh. I still get sick to my stomach whenever I think about this. The inside of the garage door is only a little bent in places, and thankfully the car only has cosmetic damage with a few paint scratches, a bent license plate, and a detached back thingy (I'm sure it has a name). So we will have the car looked at and cleaned up when Matt gets home. Because really, I don't want to worry about this right now.

6- Last Sunday I started feeling funny in my throat. So when Jace's mom called that night and told me she had strep throat, I didn't waste any time. I really cannot afford to be sick right now. So when I started feeling really bad the next day I went to the doctors' in a walk-in appointment. And they told me I was fine. But I felt horrible. So they told me I was pregnant. I told them that was impossible because my husband was deployed. They told me they weren't there to judge. I had no response to that. Anyway, they gave me some cough drops and sent me home, only to call me back after four miserable days of pain and no voice to tell me that I did have strep throat after all. So I finally got medicine, and now I am on the road to recovery. Thank you, Penicillin.

7- I found a tarantula in our backyard. Like, the kind people keep as pets, only wild. Surprisingly, I wasn't really scared of it, and I even caught it in jar for Bennett to look at for a few days before we let it go behind our house (I couldn't smash it, it was too big. It would have been liking killing an animal instead of an insect, and I can't do that.) However, a few days later I found a centipede in our backyard that was a foot long. I didn't handle that one as well as I would have hoped. Once the shock of the thing wore off though, I did catch it in the same jar we used for the spider and watched it in horrified fascination for a few hours. Then we let that go too, although I shouldn't have because it turns out they are extremely poisonous. Whoops. Since then we have hired a new bug guy, and so far they seem really good and less expensive.

8- I don't even know if I can write about this yet without getting upset all over again. Oh, it was so bad. I was outside trying to fix our water spout (more on that to follow) and Bennett and Jace were being so good and so quiet in the house. I should have known. When I walked back in, it smelled really good. Like right after you get out of the shower. And then I saw it. On the couch. On the carpet. On the walls. On the tables. On the decorations. On Bennett. On Jace. It looked like an entire industrial-sized bottle of conditioner had thrown up all over our house. And in reality, that is exactly what had happened. I was pre-ty upset, to say the least. In an effort to save our son's life, I sent the juvenile delinquents out into the backyard while I attempted to clean up the mess, but this was the same day I developed the strep and I ended up laying on the couch in a pathetic heap and just crying instead (that's what I do when I get sick. I cry). Bennett and Jace made good use of this time by breaking the door off of a toy cabinet in the backyard, digging in my flowers, and caving in Bennett's new swimming pool while it sat upside down. I love our son, I love our son, I love our son, I love our son...We are getting our carpets cleaned on Friday.

9- We have a shed in our backyard where we keep all our gardening things. So last Saturday I was our mowing our back lawn while Bennett was napping, and I needed more gas. When I walked in the shed to get the gas the wind blew, the door shut, and I was trapped. It was kind of funny at first, but then I realized that I really was stuck, and it was really hot, and my little boy was sleeping in the house and nobody was there to let me out. Luckily I had my cell phone. Unluckily every single person I could think of within a one-hundred mile radius was busy living their own lives not being shut in a shed in their backyards. So I sat there for a long time. Eventually my neighbor down the street did answer her phone and she came running to let me out. And she brought her bug guy with her, who is the same bug guy we ended up hiring to get rid of the humoungous things that creep in our yard. Small world.

10- So the same morning I got sick, and the same morning Bennett and Jace massacred our home with conditioner, was the same morning I woke up at 1:00am to go turn off the water in our front yard (this was before I had the yard guy come out, so I was watering at night. Just so you know, that's what helped our fungus spread so quickly) and I went to turn the spout to "off" and I couldn't. At first I thought it was just really tight, so I got a towel for friction. But I still couldn't. So then I got pliers. And I still couldn't. Remember this is all happening at 1:00am. So I got really mad and I took those pliers to that faucet like a desperate woman who was sick of everything going wrong when she was trying so desperately to make it all go right. And I turned something, but not the right something, and water started spraying out at me from the wrong spot in the faucet. I don't know anything about plumbing, but I knew this wasn't good. So I stopped turning, and I did the only thing I could do. I went to bed. The next morning I called Matt, a neighbor, and a plumber who all told me it was just broken. The plumber said he would come out and fix it later. Luckily, Jace's grandpa happened to drop Jace off that morning, and when he saw what was wrong he said maybe he could fix it. And he did. Actually, he replaced the entire faucet, but whatever, it turned off and he did it for free, so I was happy...until I walked in the house and saw the conditioner, but let's not go there again. That was a bad, bad day.

So that about sums up my last few weeks. And in between all of the crises of life I've still had to find time to do the laundry, keep the house clean, plan events, make every meal, fulfill church callings, run errands, take care of myself, and single-handedly raise a little boy who takes the art of being two very seriously. But as bad as this list sounds, I find that I am really doing OK. Sometimes not great, but always OK. In a way all of these little/big things that keep happening to me are making me a better person, and I feel I have sort of come into my own by being forced to deal with life for the first time in my life. Does that make sense?

I also feel it is important to mention here that I am eternally in love with my awesome husband, who has taken every one of these stressful and often expensive mishaps in stride. He has never once made me feel like I was wrong or silly (even when I was), and he has always given me his up most love and support when things went bad. It takes a strong man to sit thousands of miles away and calmly listen as his wife tells him how she is personally destroying their home without him there to stop her. Thank you, Mattie. You truly are amazing.

And thanks to you for listening. Next week I promise not to vent so much.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, "The Bugs"

The spider in the spaghetti jar
(this picture does it no justice. It was easily the size of my hand.)

The centipede in the spaghetti jar
They sure do know how to grow 'em in Texas.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers Day In Iraq

So let me just start by saying that there have been alot of fathers celebrate alot of fathers day in Iraq. But no ones had as good a family as me! So Haley and Bennett put a little package together for me and shipped it out to me prior to fathers day. I didn't really think to much of it in that they send me some pretty good packages regularly. This was a little extra special though. I get this hand print from my little boy...

...and of course from my sweetheart...

...and the title of this little project...

...and here is the finished product, I wear it at night, off duty of course. Alot of the guys have seen it and they think its the coolest thing they've seen...

...of course a fantastic picture of my little man and me. Sure miss that little guy. His Momma is getting all the cuddles and hugs right now!

My cards. Haley told me Bennett picked out his own card...they recently just visited the zoo so you can guess what card he picked out...for those that dont watch mickey mouse club that is "toodles". When Bennett talks to "daddy" on skype he has to see "toodles" also.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tough Medics!

Well who says you have to sit on your hind quarters when your stuck in a different country. So our most recent Doctor is real big into physical fitness. So for the last 3 months we have been doing an intense regiment of the infamous "Cross Fit". I know their are alot of programs that come and go with time but whats so cool about this one is its intense cardio combined with muscle movement. Its been our escape out here on this lonely outpost. Enjoy the pics.

This was a fun one. Wearing body armorer is kinda like wearing a weighted vest.

A little dead lift action. Everything is a combination of cardio and weight.

Oh to be 22 again with a body that never gets hurt. This is my "Big Arnold" 6'3'' 225 lbs.

This is my "Little Arnold" 5'4'' 175lbs. These two guys are always competing even though they are completely different sizes.

My absolutly new favorite workout. Ring Dips! These things rock!

This is my "Special Soldier" He just does things his own way! Keeps me on my toes. I think he is trying to do a pull up?? The jury is still out on that one...

The cross fit King and his minions...LTC Oh you will be missed!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Weekend of Colorful Mistakes

Memorial Day weekend Griffin, Ashland, and Baby Ozey (Zoey) made the trip from Oklahoma to Texas to come and visit us for a few days! And while I'm not sure how entertaining Bennett and I were, I know that at least I had a ton of fun hanging out with them and working on a few projects around my house at the same time. However, I only pulled my camera out of its case once, and only for about one minute. So there are hardly any pictures to document the fun we had. But I promise, it was great.

Here's one of the only pictures I took. During one hot afternoon we decided to take a break from our work and play outside in the water.

Baby Ozey loved it right away. Bennett loved it after about twenty minutes of whining and playing by himself on the porch. In the end I think we all got wet a time or two, and since we are already experiencing near 100* weather here in beautiful Texas, it sure felt good.

Another fun thing we did was go to "The Big Park." This is a park on base that has seven smaller park sets crammed into one ginormous fenced-in play area. The park was fun, but the real fun was attempting to get through the base's gate with my Arabic-looking brother who had no ID, and then setting the alarms off by driving too fast upon our return trip with his ID. Needless to say, the guards were none too impressed with us.

Bennett and Zoey doing a choo-choo train

So what were the projects we worked on, you ask? Well, for the last couple of months I have started to really dislike the color brown. Maybe it is because it is spring/summer. Maybe it is because I have visited friends and adore their cute, light-colored homes. Maybe I am just bored. But whatever the reason, I got it into my head that I was sick of brown and I wanted it to go. Most of our home is very tastefully decorated in shades of neutral--tan, cream yellow, white--but the dining room was brown, and I didn't like it.

So we painted it.

I wasn't going to post these pictures at first because I really wanted this to be a surprise for Matt when he got home. But then we actually did the project. Woah. I ended up calling Matt at midnight, crying into the phone and telling him I was sorry for ever attempting to chose a color pallet that didn't include the tone "neutral". Apparently I am only good at the neutrals when it comes to decorating.

Here is a (really old) picture of what our dining room used to look like. The color wasn't bad, I was just sick of it and ready for a change...and I got one...
Here is what we turned it into (although in real life it is a LOT more green than these pictures show. I like the pictures better than real life).

Honestly, I love the color. I love my dining room. When I stand where the garbage can is and just look at the dining room, I think, "Wow! What a happy place!" But eventually I have to expand my view a little farther to include the rest of the house (which is all open to the kitchen, and which is all very...non blue...) and it is at this point that I realize what a terrible mistake I made. Trying to cram my Caribbean blue kitchen in with the light cream yellows, whites, browns, and beiges of our home is like trying to enter an elephant in a neon sweater into the New York ballet. It just doesn't work. (P.S- It is Sunday, the hardest day of the week around here. And I am really tired. So just take my analogies and don't ask questions.)

So anyway, I will be repainting. I don't know when, but I know I will be. Actually, I already have the new paint in the garage waiting for me. And guess what color it is.