Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Greased back hair look

What a good big brother!

Thinking of us

Monday, February 27, 2006

Getting to know me 2006

Getting to know me 2006
1. What time did you get up this morning? Um. I'm still in bed. Is that bad?
2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamond MINES
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I'm still thanking Koel that she took Gabe to see Doogal.
4. What is your favorite TV show? Shamelessly I say: Dancing with the Stars
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? waffles with a side of guilt
6. Favorite cuisine? Anything I don't have to cook that won't harden my arteries upon contact.
7. What is your occupation? MOOOOOOOoooooooom/Lego distributor/Cash Machine/Taxi
8. What color is your underwear? pink
9. What are you listening to right now? Dora the Explorer. My child's brain liquifying
10. What is the last thing you ate? Waffles
11. Do you wish on stars? No
12. What is your middle name? Won’t say, but it’s a catholic virgin. My mom thought it would be good for a laugh one day.
13. What food do you dislike? Raisins, Calamari among others
14. What is your favorite CD at the moment? The mixes I make at home; sad, mournful love songs.
15. What kind of car do you drive? A black SUV that hasn't been washed in months and where Morgan Spurlock was inspired to add the segment called, "The Smoking Fry" to his documentary Super Size Me. I'm still waiting for my royalty check.
16. Favorite sandwich? Chicken bacon ranch at Subway
17. What characteristic do you despise? Pretentiousness. Anyone who thinks they're better than me, 'cause they're not.
18. Favorite item of clothing? This very sexy swimsuit I bought when I was still preggers with Gabe. I always get a good laugh when I see it.
19. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? I hear Iraq is lovely this time of year.
15. What color is your bathroom? Um. White. What a stupid question.
16. Favorite brand of clothing? Brand? Can I afford brands? I wear what's clean, comfortable and closest to my hand after I shut off my alarm clock.
17. Where would you retire to? My bed.
18. What was your most recent memorable birthday? I try not to remember my birthdays, but if you MADE me choose one the most RECENT and MEMORABLE would be last year on my 21st birthday. What? ::indignantly:: I could be 21 with a seven year old. I mean, it's possible...
19. Favorite sport to watch? One parent carrying twelve bags of groceries, one toddler, a purse the size of Texas and pushing a cart while beating another mother with her hockey stick. It's edge of your seat action.
20. Furthest place you are sending this? A Google cache in China, where it will remain until we invade and take over their country.
21. Who do you least expect to send this back to you? I don't expect anyone else to do this, it's long as hell.
22. Person you expect to send it back first? Maybe one of my blog buddies will do it.
23. Favorite saying? “Mom, I have a full ride scholarship to Harvard and you can keep all your retirement money.”
24. When is your birthday? In the Fall
25. Are you a morning person or a night person? NIGHT! Hello I'm still sleeping....
26. What is your shoe size? seven
27. Pets? I HAVE CHILDREN, who needs pets?
28. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? I'm pregnant! Pizza for everybody!!!
29. What did you want to be when you were little? Big.
30. How are you today? In a silly mood.
31. What is your favorite candy? I don’t mess around with this question– Key Lime truffles from Godiva. My address is...
32. What is your favorite flower? Lily
33. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? The day Terry gets home.
34. When is the last time you cried? Last night when Drew Lachey won DWTS
35. What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes and empty beer cans
36. Who is/are the friends you have had the longest? Ben and Jerry.
37. What did you do last night? Watched the finale of Dancing with the Stars of course! Ate pita bread and garlic hummus. Drank sparkling pink lemonade and poody snacks courtesy of Shannon. If you don’t ask what poody snacks are I’ll know that you aren’t reading all of this blog!!!
38. Favorite smell? anytime dinner is cooking and I’m not in the kitchen.
39. What inspires you? Women who can yell at their children in public while smiling and clenching their teeth. That takes talent.
40. What are you afraid of? Joan Rivers without makeup. ::Shudder::
41. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? These questions are really random, I don't have time for this. Cheese.
42. Favorite car? My family's old Pinto. Good times.

Friday, February 24, 2006

God and war

I was raised as a Christian, but I'm the first to admit that my faith has wavered during this deployment. A friend sent this to me and it made me cry for a couple of reasons. One, of course I thought of my husband and how fervently we pray for his safety and despite a couple of close calls he's 99.9 percent whole (some hearing lost due to one IED he was in). Two, I wonder where God was when the 2,200 plus soldiers and Marines were killed and the thousands of others wounded. Wasn't someone praying for them too? I know, I know, this is war. I guess having strength in God doesn't mean you'll live a perfect, safe life. I think prayers are for us mere mortals, so we can have some peace of mind in this crazy world.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Music for my heart

I'm listening to music incessantly. I'm feening for an emotional catharsis.

I was talking to my brother-in-law on the phone last night and started crying. I was trying to explain though, that I'm ok. I just need to cry once in a while, like exercise. And when I listen to certain songs it's the same thing, it exercises my heart without the embarrassment of tears. I hate crying. (Guess that's sort of contradictory towards this post) ::sheepish::

I've never been one for sloppy, silly romance. (See Manic Mom's perfect day - that's mine too.) And I am fully aware that the last time I made "mixes" was in high school, hiding under my covers pushing play and record on the dual cassette tapes of my boombox, creating something for some dance like Tolo when I had no idea what a relationship even was. Silly.

Music is free therapy right now. (Wait. I take that back. It's 99 cents a song.) I make these mixes for Terry, making his third CD right now, and I make a copy for myself. I think we're connected by listening to the same things. When he was home on leave we listened to the first CD I made him and we were both nodding our heads like, "yeah, these are OUR songs." (We didn't have a "song" at our wedding.)

It's strange how the simple act of making a thoughtful selection for a mix puts a personal stamp on an old song. So from now on, everytime I hear any of these songs I'll think of us and this time. Hmm. ::scratching head:: That could backfire later. Oh well.

The words to these songs mean the things I can't say because I'm out of vocabulary to capture the purgatory that deployment is. So here are a couple of song lyrics that say what I can't right now.

Terry, hope your reading. Three packages are in the mail tomorrow; food, letters, music :) xoxo
"If you can promise me you'll never die, I'll sleep with you right now."
"I. will. never. die."
-Team America!

Keith Urban - Making memories of us. You must understand that it takes courage for me to publicly proclaim a country song. The only country I do are the love songs, happy love songs I should clarify. Terry forces me to listen to the patriotic ones, which I find a bit cheesy sometimes. Anyway, love the lyrics to this one. I'm sure you've heard of it. Here's an excerpt:
I'm gonna be here for you from now on
This you know somehow
You've been stretched to the limits but it's alright now
And I'm gonna make you a promise
If there's life after this
I'm gonna be there to meet you with a warm, wet kiss

And I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you
And I'll earn your trust making memories of us,

Des'ree -Kissing You - So beautifully sung. She has a voice that you have to sit down and close your eyes to, just to drink it all in. This is from a terrible movie, the remake of Romeo and Juliet back in the 90's, but this song alone redeems it.

Pride can stand
A thousand Trials
The Strong will never fall
But watching Stars without You My Soul cried
Grieving heart is full of Pain
of, of The Aching
'Cause I'm Kissing You
I'm Kissing You, Love
Touch Me Deep
Pure and True
Gift to Me Forever
'Cause I'm
Kissing You, oh I'm Kissing You, Love
Where are You now?
Where are You now?
'Cause I'm Kissing You

By your side - Sade Normally Sade reminds me of elevator music, but this song, mmmm, it's so beautiful. Says it all and in a drizzling hot fudge on - pick your platter or person ;) - kind of way.

You think I'd leave your side baby?
You know me better than that
You think I'd leave down when you're down on your knees?
I wouldn't do that
I'll do you right when you're wrong

If only you could see into me
When you're cold I'll be there to hold you tight to me
When you're on the outside baby and you can't get in
I will show you, you're so much better than you know
When your lost, when you're alone and you can't get back again
I will find you darling I'll bring you home

If you want to cry I am here to dry your eyes and in no time you'll be fine

Coldplay - Fix you Sometimes it's hard to separate your feelings for the person behind the song you love, from the art. I'm afraid Coldplay is guilty by association to Gwyneth Paltrow, but I make an exception for this song. I think it's actually more the sound of the song than the words that I like, but hey it's my list...

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lastly, I must give a plug to Jeremy Camp. Christian music has evolved so much. I will actually listen to it by choice now, instead of forced by my parents back in the day...So, go here and listen to the first track, Restored.

And share your favorite songs. I'm always looking for more...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Tuesday two

Inspired by the two word poems I edited for my son’s second grade class, here is my day in twosies

Ouch, neck!
Hot shower
Longing food
“School, mom!”
Bye food
In Car
Ice, damn!
Cold fingers
Scrape window
On time
Miracle one
Kiss Gabey
“Bye, Mom!
Donate items
Broken VCR
Embarrassed laugh
Peeling rubber
Ash Daycare
Pay fines
Argue schedule
Anger secretary
Kiss Ash
“Bye Mom!”
In car
Good cry
Peeling rubber
Starving husband
Shop Commissary
Stop home
Ship tomorrow
Lose sunglasses
Search franticly
Brand new!!!!
Bought yesterday!!!
Running late
Cursing quietly
In car
Peeling rubber
Miss yoga?
Why god?
On time
Miracle two
Tree huggers
I'm new
Unroll mat
Breathe deeply
Girl farts
Franticly look
Not me!!
I Swear!!
Men grunt
Women sweat
What the...?
Finally relax
Almost sleep
Namaste, Bye
Oh, Bye!
Find bookstore
Eat soup
Stare window
Read, read
Run car
Friend’s house
Feed cat
Bye cat
“Hi Asher!”
Gabe chess
"Hi Gabe!"
Home again
Check machine
No friends
Cry again?
No. Breathe
Dinner next
Steam carpets
Sleep deeply?
Hopeful miracle

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Yes, I'm copying Jess Riley again, because she's cool and makes people laugh...

Thirteen things I should be doing right now but I'm not because I'm sleep deprived from having a sick two year old all week..

1) Bills - they are piling up like snowdrifts, but I figure I can wait a couple more days before I have to send a search party for my children.
2) Calling my sister - it was her birthday two weeks ago and I haven't called. I know. I am such a bad sister, but I sent her a check so I figure she probably hasn't missed the phone call.
3) Drying clothes - this is actually something that is going to make my house smell soon. I've had clothes in the washing machine for several days now. (WARNING - poop story ahead) Asher had the runs all over my bathroom floor on Tuesday as I was rushing them out to school/daycare so I could get a much needed massage. Towels, clothes, floor, my shoes, everywhere but the toilet. Why not in his diaper you ask? Well, because being the good mother that I am I saw him give me "the look."

"Do you have to go potty?" I ask him.
"Des," he says through his binki
"Let's go!" I cry, grabbing him, holding his body at arms length away from me (just in case) and leaping up the stairs two at a time.

I rip off the diaper. It's too late. He's going. Everywhere. I'm thinking, maybe it's just a couple of squirts. No. It continues until God's message that I will NEVER get a break this week, is repeating itself in my head like a Britney Spears song.

4) Researching for the article that up to this point I've been so diligent with - I'm stuck.
5) Watering Terry's plants - If they die while he's at war, he may divorce me
6) Hey, how about good old fashioned quality time with the kiddies? - Naw. They got the best years of my life. I don't owe them anything. :) Just kidding.
7) Writing beautiful words of thanks and love to all the people begging for photos of Terry in the field - I have actually printed the photos (a month ago) and I'm looking right at them. There you are. Be patient. You're low on the priority list.
8) Take the mountain of crap out of the trunk of Terry's commuter car - It's filled with stuff to go to the Goodwill. Since I don't drive it, it's become a storage unit. And the real bummer is I actually have to do something with that stuff because my neighbor is borrowing the car next weekend and some crap she gave me is in there. HAHAHAHAHA!
9) Groceries - we're getting low and my children are eating old b-a-n-a-n-a-s- (Think Gwen Stefani)
10) Make a doctors appointment - I'm being vague on that one...
11) Reading my new book Vanishing Acts - I need an escape from reality and the blog isn't cutting it.
12) Writing a letter of complaint to Bassett Furniture - I've called twice, my husband once while he was on leave. The overpriced chair we bought LAST YEAR is literally ripping at the seams. They keep telling us they'll repair it at no cost but right now they can't even pick up the phone. My manual on me says that it's the nagging to-do things that are the most damaging kinds of stress. Can I sue Bassett for undue hardship?
13) TAXES - I have far too many tax related documents on my desk. If for no other reason, say for example it's the law to file them, the paperwork cramping my usually OC style.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Mommy Test

A friend sent this to me:

I was out walking with my 4 year old son. He picked up something off the ground and started to put it in his mouth. I took the item away from him and I asked him not to do that. "Why?" my son asked. Because it's been laying outside, you don't know where it's been, it's dirty and probably has germs" I replied. At this point, my son looked at me with total admiration and asked, "Wow! How do you know all this stuff?" "Uh,"...I was thinking quickly, "All moms know this stuff. It's on the "Mommy Test". You have to know it, or they don't let you be a Mommy." We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but he was evidently pondering this new information. "OH...I get it!" he beamed, "So if you don't pass the test, you have to be the daddy." "Exactly" I replied back with a big smile on my face and joy in my heart.

Monday, February 13, 2006

My continued psychosis and acceptable events for men to cry at

Oddly enough, those two themes are related. Ask Terry.


I've been really busy feeling sorry for myself. My aching back from sleepless nights brought on by nightmares. My mouth wants to be crunching, munching or slurping on a snack but I've cleaned the nacho dip and candy out of my kitchen and replaced it with Trader Joe's healthy alternatives, most of which you must plug your nose and swallow as fast as possible. Ok it's not that bad, and it's not that I'm even craving the bad stuff but that, like a smoker I suppose, I want that hand to mouth exercise and it's just not the same with cauliflower and hummus.

The nightmares were throwing me for a bit, but I realized that it's just the emotional cycle of deployment - again. When Terry left the first time, I resolved to thrive. I was going to tackle ambitious writing projects, train for a marathon, and volunteer with family readiness groups. (Some, quit, and did, respectively.) But the nightmares crept in and stole many hours of my sleep by waking me up in sweat and scaring me from closing my eyes again lest I return to the scene of the crime.

Nine months later, it's just as frustrating to wake up cold and clammy, but at least I know why. And the thing is not all of the dreams are Terry-related. The last one was (Canary, forgot to write you about this) about this guy from my high school who dated a friend of mine and turned into a stalker after graduation. In reality he didn't go to our reunion, which we were both relieved about, but he showed up in my dreams where he stalked me, followed me home one day and broke into my house. I call 911 and I get an answering machine. I dial again and again and again. Finally I pull out my gun and the police race up to my house just in time to see me shoot him. Pleasant.

I did have one war related dream. Terry was wounded and I went to Iraq for him, to finish his tour. I came home wounded in three places, my stomach, right leg and right arm. Each 'wound' was two criss crossed scars. Bizarro.

Anyway, enough about that. Oh wait one last thing. Reader's Digest featured an article about dreams and while it was better than Newsweek's pathetic attempt to convey all the "BREAKING NEWS ON THE MEANING OF YOUR DREAMS" (desperate bait and switch I thought, after reading the article) it didn't give me what I wanted, but told the plain old truth. There is no canned symbolism in dreams, but each symbol or recurring color theme has a meaning unique to the dreamer. You have to track your dreams to figure out what symbols may mean to you. Of course there was the usual yadda, yadda, yadda on solving a problem by focusing on it before sleep. Also helpful was it's sidebar on how to "upgrade" your dreams, but it bordered on teaching how to cheat on your spouse in your subconscious. Interesting...

Ok, done with that topic. Moving on.

The Olympics. Terry loves the Olympics. I swear sometimes he is a poster boy for the Army. He is your all-American, Old Glory flyin', National Anthem cryin', free speech believing, wanna prosecute the bad guys and put 'em in jail, family loving, Go AMERICA, TEAM AMERICA (loves the movie, which shows he can laugh at himself too) kind of guy. So every time the five coloful rings are emblazoned over NBC's logo, we watch the Olympics. (And with Valentines Day tomorrow and the Olympics heating up, I miss him a lot right now.)

I've tried to watch a couple of events and happened to catch the Flying Tomato's gold medal ceremony. (Some guy who won the gold in the half-pipe.) Having been strapped to a snowboard, dragged up a mountain twice by my husband and shoved down the diamond run by his overconfidence in me only to be lapped twice by a four-year-old and carried down by the ski patrol, which was more frightening than just toughing out the run myself, I can appreciate a talented boarder. But I can better appreciate a man who cries.

This fiery red headed kid who is worth more than my entire extended families' net worth, was choking up during the national anthem - fighting it. And it made me wonder, if a man can't cry unabashedly during the national anthem at his OWN gold medal ceremony then when can he?

I can name three. Tell me if you agree:

1) At birth - no, not his childrens', his own.
2) On Oprah
3) Winning the Oscar, but then he's just acting so I'm not sure if that counts.


Monday, February 06, 2006

What brown did for me

I have brown eyes, brown hair, brown skin. When I was a child I wanted blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. My skin was the color of poop (as one kid told me) and dirt; blue was the color of the ocean and the sky.

I think this mental self-deprecation started when my mother moved my sister and I from all of our family in San Diego to a tiny Oregon town not too far south of Portland where we joined a cultishly conservative, mostly white church. It was where I have my earliest memory of knowing that I was black (at least that's how I was always identified at school, only to ask more questions later and realize that I am multi-racial, including Irish!)

My mom is Hispanic but passes easily for Caucasian, but my father is black (and not involved) so my sister and I usually caused a head turn when we were with our mom. More than once people asked if we were adopted. To this day I've never spoken to my mother about these issues of feeling ugly and not like I belonged to her. She married and cranked out four kids that look nothing like me . But I'm digressing into familial issues that we all have on some level.

My mom would bring home those bulky, old film projectors from the school she assisted at (I knew how to wind and load an actual movie film strip!) We watched The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and it spurred me to read more about black history (didn't know it was a book, at the time and like many others I thought it was a true story). I was already a nerdy reader so it was no big deal to pick up a children's biography of Martin Luther King Jr. I still have it. Inside the cover my full name is written in the best cursive my learners hand could muster.

I cried when I read MLK's story. My eight year old brain felt for little Martin when he reached a certain age and his friend's mother told him they couldn't play together anymore. His mom explained it was because he was black and his friend was white.

I may have better appreciated my roots from the exposure to black history, but I would still wish away my curly hair to be straight like my friends'. I wanted to get feathered bangs and run my fingers through my hair. Instead I usually had a halo of frizzy, wisps of curls, which my husband now calls angel hairs. ( I know, I know sappy sharing here). I wanted my eyes to sparkle but they looked like black holes to me. And I had a skinny body that elicited cruel comparisons to the children who suffered in the 1980's Ethiopian famine. (Seriously)

I think if child/teen body hatred had been christened Body Dysmorphic Disorder as it is today I would have been diagnosed and put on some medication. LOL. I say that not to show how bad my self loathing was, but to point out how ridiculous it is that we label everything a "disease," because I grew out of it just fine.

High school and beyond dramatically changed the way I view myself though. I embrace both of my primary backgrounds. I may not look like one or the other, or speak like one or the other, but I'm a well put together combination if I do say so myself.

It's ironic that women paid hundreds of dollars for bad perms in the 80s and I hated my curls, which I now see as having the best of both worlds. I can straighten it easily with an expensive flat iron or wear it curly depending on what In Style declares is "in" LOL. I don't have to tan or worry as much about skin cancer. My husband and Gabe have identical shades of brown eyes, and Asher and I share a tone as well so how can you look in those and think anything but beautiful thoughts, huh? And being skinny, well, let's just say it gave me an edge when I had my kids. The average woman keeps five pounds of the weight she gains from each child. I am no different only I started at just about 100 lbs so I probably could have used the ten extra I now have. (Ladies, please don't hate me.)

I started thinking about all this when I heard that MLK's wife Coretta Scott King had passed away. With her and Rosa Parks now gone, I feel like it's the end of an era. They and MLK gave me any kind of pride I had in being identified as black. I cried when I heard of each of these women's passing. They had a strength and determination that I think many people with social grievances today have replaced with self-entitlement.

My MLK biography sits on Gabe's bookshelf now. I'll catch a glimpse of it's torn binding now and then when we're picking out a book. I look at my family and I'm amazed at how times have changed from two little boys who couldn't play together because of their skin to a family like ours; two little boys who could very well be that one white boy and one black boy that MLK and his friend represented, but in our family, they are brothers.

I accept that I'm neither one or all of another. I don't fully experience the depth of either race, either. But that's my experience and that of many who are multiracial. We are a new group that can't be put into a box on paper or in someone's mind, and that's what people like the Kings and Rosa Parks fought for, for everyone.

Read about a side of Coretta Scott King that you don't often hear.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Emote now, blog later

If the blog looks different, had a bit of a lecture about security recently...no one told me to, just thought I'd be more careful.

Why we do, what we do...