I came to realize on our vacation that I really like the coast. James had a harder time getting me out of the water than the kids (Please can I do just one more wave? Please?). It was so peaceful and pretty watching the waves break and seeing all the beach scallops dig themselves into the sand. The only thing I didn't like was the salt. I couldn't get it off my lips. I think I still taste it. Plus, it gets everywhere!
Do you know how much a pair of water shoes costs in one of those souvenir shops? $11 freaking 50. Do you know how long it takes for a four and six year old to pick out which shell they want to buy? One freaking hour. Do you also know how many steps it takes to reach the entrance to said shop because they are by the coast and are built on stilts? Freaking 30. Ugh.
As a result of our trip I REALLY want to live in Hawaii. Awesome beaches, mild climate, hardly ever gets above 90, lots of sea life. But I don't know yet, we'll have to wait and see.

Vacationing With The B's

I figure it's time to blog about our pseudo-vacation. We all went down to Corpus Christi for a few days before we dropped James off for training. That's right; while everyone was worried about the hurricane, we were the ones saying "Screw it. It's freaking 105 degrees here and I want to swim in the OCEAN." We had a lot of fun, until we had to tell James goodbye. More on that later.
We arrive in CC at around 1 a.m. and the first thing I notice is that it is HUMID. Freaking humid. And our motel is kind of... in the ghetto? Is that the nice way to put it? It wasn't bad, I mean it had running water and all, but it kind of had this boiled egg/burned hamburger smell to it. But hey, it had clean beds and air conditioning for only $60 a night.
The next day we headed down to the beach, where gently rolling waves beckoned. Let me tell you, those gentle waves are only gentle until you wade out to the break line. Then they'll freaking take you (and your tankini bottoms) under. That's right. I can't seem to inhabit a body of water without losing part of my clothing. I was wearing my cute maternity tankini and I love it but the thing is, my bottom half is slightly smaller than my top. That means the top of my bathing suits fit but the bottoms will slip right off if I have my back to a gigantic wave that sweeps me off my feet.
After a few hours at the beach (and tracking down Lily who had wandered off), we headed inland to eat and I can honestly tell you after this trip, I never want to see another fast food restaurant again! We had take out every meal for three days!! After a recouperative night's rest we headed to the farewell ceremony at the armory. Only men would plan a ceremony in a crowded warehouse at noon in Texas during the summer. Thankfully it was a short one, and we quickly booked to the beach again. We collected beach scallops and sea doodle bugs (?), body surfed some waves and guess what? Ate at a freaking restaurant.
Sunday morning we all got up at the crack of dawn to drop James off at the armory. I call this D-Day because it was the last day we got to see him before he left for training and deployment. Now I can take the kids crying, the in-laws crying, the president crying, but for some reason when James starts to cry I get all cracked up too. So we all sat there crying in the parking lot (well, the kids didn't; I think they were still half asleep) and he had to go inside and all that. Then we headed home.
Now we're back and I'm in my usual my-husband-just-left-me-with-the-children-for-a-year funk and Caleb has regressed in his potty training and I'm THIS CLOSE to going insane. On the plus side, the kids will be starting school soon and I'm looking into some college courses to keep me busy.
Oh, and my brother and his family are leaving for freaking Italy in two weeks. Yay.


Rain, Rain, Go Away

James' 20 days of leave are coming to an end. On Thursday we will all travel to Corpus Christi to sit through a boring four hour ceremony instead of spending that time with our soldier. And I have to take my two kids. Grrr.
We had made plans to take the kids to the beach and take a lot of good scrap booking photos and build sandcastles and stuff, but then stinking Dolly showed up. I even found the PERFECT bathing suit for this trip, even though it is from the maternity section... who cares, right? At least in the maternity section I'm only a L, instead of the customary XXL. Woo hoo! Anyway, Dolly is supposed to bring 15 inches of rain and I'm hoping that James' unit will just tell him to wait it out and come next week. I can hope, right?
This 20 days with James has been very good. Lots of family time and eating out. When James is on active duty we tend to make more money, and when we make more money we tend to spend more money, and James decided he needed a knife.
Not just any knife.
An $85, stainless steel, grip handle, cuts through sheet metal, has a "skull crushing handle" and has a leg strap knife, because "I met this guy who had just come back from Iraq and he had one and he said it was good to have one on you just in case, you know, you get into hand-to-hand combat and have to use it, or say an IED hits your vehicle and you have to bust out a window and...."
"Okay, that's enough."
So he starts looking online for a knife. I mean staying up into the wee hours of the morning looking, not just Ebay and buy. For three days he looked, and finally settled on this particular one, I can't even remember the name of it.
"Babe look, it has blah blah blah, and blah blah, oh and look! A blah BLAH blah!!"
"That's GREAT dear."
"Can I get it? Please please please?"
So I agreed that he needed a knife and let him buy it. I mostly wanted to shut him up. Then it came to shipping.
"Hey babe, I called the company and they're based in Tennessee and said it would take four days to ship here. That means it would get here next Tuesday."
"Well, we're leaving on Thursday and what if it doesn't get here by then? I mean what if we leave and RIGHT THEN they deliver it and it has to sit on the porch for three days before you get back?"
"Oh, horror!"
"Seriously, you shouldn't have taken three days to decide on what knife you wanted. It will be fine."
--ponder, ponder--
"Thank you."
"What about insurance?"
"Oh good grief!"
"But what if it like, falls and breaks and gets all smashed?"
"It's a freaking stainless steel KNIFE for crying out loud!! It won't get broken!"
"What if it gets... LOST?!"
--shaking my head--
"Then we call the company and ask them to send a new one."
"Or get our money back from UPS."
"Whatever. Do what you want to do."
So he orders his knife and the world starts revolving again. Later on we're lying in bed, I'm trying to go to sleep, and James pops off
"I should have gotten that insurance."
"Go sleep on the couch."
The next four days were the LONGEST four days OF MY LIFE.
Today on our way home from swimming, James turns the corner and lo and behold, there's the UPS truck sitting in front of our house.
"Oh no! Wait WAIT!!!"
He yells and floors it, not even slowing down going over the speed bump, and you can just see the UPS guy's eyes get wider as James flies towards him. By the time we get to the driveway the UPS guy has torpedoed himself inside his truck and starts to pull away and James is yelling, inside the car, "Thank you! Thanks!" and waving frantically.
The knife was fine. I don't think the kids were, though.


Who Wears Short Shorts?

On the way to visit my Dad yesterday Caleb quipps from the back seat "I shaved."
Stunned but prepared, I asked "Really? Where?"
"In the bathroom."
"Yeah, but where?"
"In the BATHROOM!"
"But where on your BODY?"
"My arm."
"Let me see."
So I check it out and indeed his arm is very smooth compared to the other.
"I shaved ALL OF IT off."
"I can see that."
"And I didn't even use SHAVING CREAM."
"Where did you get the razor?"
"From the BATHROOM!!"
Note to self: Hide razors in a higher place.

Granny's Stuff

I love my Granny, but she just has too much stuff.
In the past five years our family has moved her three times, and every time I have been absolutely astonished at the amount of possessions she has. This most recent move my sister-in-law and I packed most of her belongings. Here's just a partial list of some items that we found:
  • Five pillows BESIDES the four on her bed, saved because "They're so comfortable and we got them for our 30th wedding anniversary and, well, I just need them." They'd been in a closet for two years.
  • Seven complete sets of full size sheets saved "Just in case."
  • 17 coffee cups
  • Three irons
  • Six bread pans
  • Ten purses to complement the over 150 (seriously) articles of clothing she owns
  • Over 20 pairs of shoes
  • Food in the refrigerator with expiration dates from 2005

We did manage to get Granny to give up a few things. Well, a few of the multiples. Then the other day, Mimi calls and tells me that Granny bought five coffee cups at a garage sale and also went clothes shopping! Am I the only one who is screaming OVERKILL?


Swimming With The B's 2

I went swimming the other day with my children and reminded myself why I don't do it often. The kids have been driving me crazy because it's been so hot and I make them stay inside during the heat of the day. I finally reached my breaking point and agreed to take them swimming if they would patiently wait for mommy to squeeze her fat self into her wheezing swim suit. They did pretty good, although my idea of patience may be different from others. Glad I have a lock on my door.
We arrive at the pool and of course Lily jumps in and paddles off to make friends ("Do you know what happened to me? I got stung by a wasp! And my eye swelled up REALLY BIG!!"). Caleb hasn't learned to swim yet so he walked down the steps into the water with me. The He-child I can safely say is a tad less adventurous than Lily when it comes to water. After a few minutes of trying to coax him to at least try swimming, I took him under the arms and tried to pick him up.
The kid went crazy.
I succeeded in picking him up, and he succeeded in grabbing one half of my tankini in his fist and screaming "NOOO!! I DON'T WANT TO MOMMA DON'T TAKE ME OUT THERE PLEASE! PLEASE!" Now the entire shallow area of the pool is staring at us and the only thing I can think to do is to pull Caleb close to me to cover up my almost exposed boob. He gets rigid and starts fighting and pushing me away, and all I want is for him to let go of my bathing suit.
"Caleb! Let go of my bathing suit and I'll let you go!"
"Let go of my top first!"
So now he's flailing around and pushing me back with both hands now conveniently on my chest. I panic and crouch down into the water to cover myself. Which was a bad idea because now Caleb starts to yell
and now I have the lifeguard's attention. All three of them. Having decided that he won't let go of his hostage (my boob) unless his demands are met, I turn back to the steps and set him down, which is probably what I should have done in the first place. He stops yelling and lets go, I rearrange my top and I hear Lily say "Yeah. He can't swim yet."
I don't think I was ever really exposed but I didn't have the nerve to ask anyone.