Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lily's patented Love system

How to win hearts and influence (parental) minds.

Ever since birth, place forehead against forhead of object of your affection. Turn head back and forth, rubbing foreheads together.

At age 5 months, bamboozle father with sideways glance over shoulder, prim smile, and shoulder shrug.

At age 1 through forever, continue to use patented forehead move to warm the hearts of unforgiving parental units.

At age not-quite-3 wander around house babbling to self. Interject "I love my mommy, I love my daddy" at every possible opportunity.

Freely administer kisses, hugs, and cuddles with blankets.
Hold hands willingly.
Ask "who wants to go HOmE?!" and raise hand at end of every outing.
Say "thank you" often, without being prompted.
And every so often, be really, REALLY naughty...just so parents remember you're a normal kid.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Broken Hearts and Ribeye

Gabe just broke his father's heart.

I think you have all gathered the idea that the males in my home are, well..."Cave" man-ish.
It seems appropriate.
We are not diametrically opposed to ideas such as "something dead on bread" or "first you kill it, then you grill it." 

In fact, just two nights ago, we enjoyed perfectly grilled rib-eye, the king of all steaks so far as this Cave Clan is concerned. Or, rather, mamma Cave Hair, and Daddy Cave Hair enjoyed their steaks.  Baby Cave Hair isn't too into meat of any kind yet.  But Gooberific-Scientific (sometimes we just call him "Gabe" for short) got to thinking just a bit too much about his peice of cow.  

It started with "mom, can I have some of those meatballs made out of vegetables?" (which was followed with first a look of confusion, and second a look of knowing as the falafel in the freezer was remembered) Next came the look of inner-turmoil as the questions began "why do we eat cows?" (because they are food) "Why do we eat cows?" (because they are food) "why do we eat cows?" (because they are food? Honestly, I cannot come up with a better answer to this question) and "well don't some cows have to be alive to make milk?" (true! but those are a different kind of cow. And that is TOO true!)

I'm not certain, but I am almost positive that tears nearly spilled out his soft brown lil (dare I say it?) cow-eyes as he considered the fate of the animal on his plate.  And I almost felt sad for the cow with him.  Almost.

Did I mention the steaks were perfectly grilled?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Don't you hate it when...

Don't you hate it when you find out you're not funny, you're just mean?  But everybody except for the person who is most important to you thinks you're dang hilarious?  Its not fair, because you just want to keep the roll of thunderous applause for your clever-wit rumbling along, but you don't want your dearest to continue to feel hurt.  Don't you hate it when you can't even put up an example of what you're talking about, because it would probably just be exploiting the situation for more humor? And don't you hate it when you are confronted with acid wash, plaid, mullets, and slap bracelets, and you absolutely- under no circumstances- had better laugh at that?

And finally, don't you hate it when you have an item at your disposal that you are absolutely certain could WIN you the adorable little bird prize and the gift card, but if you used it, you'd be in the doghouse for months?

*I'm fully expecting your sympath vote here.  Don't tell me you don't vote "sympathy" I've seen some of the past winners! ;)

This is mostly just my acknowledgment of Shelle's contest...if you want to see the "real" entries...the one's that will make you laugh and say "Yeah, I really DO hate it when..." visit Shelle at BlokThoughts.

"Kristy are you doing ok?"

The new Offspring song by the same title has me feeling weird inside.  The Lyrics "There's a moment in time and its stuck in my mind" ..."And I should have spoke out, and I'm so sorry now, I didn't know, cuz we were so young." Bring back so many memories of things I should have told an adult when I was a kid.

And I wonder, if I had told an adult, would they even have been interested?  There is such a fine line between being a tattle tale, and protecting your friends.  I don't know how to teach my children the difference, but I hope that I can.  I hope my children know that when somebody is hurting one of their friends, or behaving inappropriately, that they not only can talk to an adult, but SHOULD talk to an adult.

I remember in Junior High School meeting a girl who was being made fun of for being sexually active as an 8th grader.  I don't know how/what the other kids didn't make sense to me at all.  What I knew was that she had a club foot, with a terrible scar on her leg. She dressed a little too old for her age, and she seemed to be known for being "easy".  One day she confided in me that her 24 year old "boyfriend" who was a friend of the family had been making her have sex with him for over a year and that she didn't like it and she wanted to break up with him, but she didn't know how, and she was afraid he'd beat her up if she stopped sleeping with him.  I tucked this information neatly inside my head, filed it away, never told a soul.  She used the word "Boyfriend"...I didn't understand the severity of the situation, I didn't think it was my business. I thought it was for her to work out.  I explained the situation to myself as her having a different set of moral standards and that it wasn't my place to preach to her about something that was going to get her beat up.

Later, in high school I remember sitting in art class, keeping my head down, trying not to listen, and trying even harder not to see, as two students exchanged a coke kit. As in Cocaine.  One of them said to the other "Do you want this? I'm not using it anymore." and pulled out a small box which contained a mirror, a few razor blades, some tiny little straw thingys and some other paraphernalia that I wouldn't be able to identify even today.  I remember feeling shocked, and a little embarrassed that I felt shocked.  I never told a soul about that exchange. Why would I tell an adult about drug paraphernalia on campus? Wasn't it the adult's job to keep their eyes and ears open and protect US from that kind of thing?  Then there was the girl who's mom was giving her alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana.  Well, heck...if the mom's doing it with her, what the heck can I do about it?  Just different moral standards again, right? Just live and let live, right?
I knew somebody was puking up her lunch, I knew another girl was running 4 miles for every meal she ate, I knew a 16 year old sleeping with a 30 year old...supposedly she had her parent's permission. I witnessed a female teacher sit on a table, straddle a male student from behind and place her hands in his front pockets...but I guess that was ok since the same boy was supposedly sleeping with a 28 year old woman who was his mom's best friend.  (just a stud...right?) Then finally, there was the ever popular teacher/softball coach whom I witnessed toss a girl to the ground and pretend to "hump" her during practice one day.  I knew that wasn't right, but all the other girls laughed and acted like it was AOK with them.  Until one day during science class a younger girl asked me for some advice.  She had been allowed to attend a "sleepover" that this ever popular teacher hosted at his home...(I know....hellooooo!) Sometime during the evening, as she lay in her sleeping bag, he came up behind her and began to fondle her.  She asked me what she should do...that time, I knew she had to tell somebody.  And I told her so.  I don't know if she ever told or not.  I didn't tell.  But two years later he was charged with child molestation and thrown in jail.  At least that one turned out allright.

I dont know that I feel guilt about these situations, but I definitely feel a certain amount of regret.  I wish I had known that sometimes, its ok to be the "tattle-tale" and that I should ALWAYS protect my friends.  I wish I would have understood that there is a difference between living a different moral standard, and being abused by an adult. I hope my kids understand the difference.

... And I wonder about those kids I used to know, and I wonder "________ are you doing ok?"

Monday, February 23, 2009

Did you ever wish you were a fish?

Because if I titled this post what I really wanted to title it, it would be sure to pop up all kinds of thorns and such...but really what I wanted to say was something more along these lines....

Despite a very happy childhood, despite a loving family, despite some most excellent moments of spontaneity...when I was a kid, I wished my family were Mexican.


Hold-up, what's that?

What U.S. born, white-anglo-saxon kid wishes they were part of a minority group?

It wasn't that I wished we were specifically Mexican, it was more that I liked what I saw when Mexican families gathered together for celebrations.  It just looked like so much fun!

I can remember going for Sunday drives and after a bit in the car, my dad would find a park for us to run and play and get some wiggles out.  Inevitably, there would be a HUGE (like 40-100) group of hispanic families having a party.  Some of the men and boys would be playing soccer, the women would be under the park-shelter tending to food and conversation, and dozens of cousins would be running around the playground having a wonderful time.

I had about one-dozen cousins, but all but one lived in other states.  The idea of having dozens of cousins seemed like the perfect way to instantly have loads of playmates and friends.

I remember my mom and dad being bothered by loud "oompahpah" sounding music, ill-behaved children, and inebriated adults.  I remember thinking "why can't we have music and pinatas at our parties?" 

It seemed to me that there was a richer heritage, that there was more importance placed on tradition, and a deep sense of family that made even a second cousin as important as a brother or sister. Nevermind the whole idea of God Parents who weren't even related but promised to take care of you just like you were their own child.  This all seemed amazing to me.

Time has gone on and I've discovered that my family has a far more interesting heritage than I realized during those young years.  Our traditions might not be as colorful as other's but they are ours.  

We still don't bring our own music to the park, and we've yet to have a pinata, but I'll bet when our family gathers together in celebration, other kids look at us and wish they had a family just like ours.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm dreaming of a .....

Perfect Day!

Its February, and unless you live in the southern hemisphere, its more than likely that your thoughts have turned to the future.  You're imagining that perfect day that lies ahead when the weather's just right for enjoying your little peice (or shall I say "peace") of heaven.

The Smiths have issued a challenge to write about what a perfect day in your favorite American City/Town/area would be like, and then share your site with them so they can come read about it on your blog.

So it got me thinking, what would a perfect day in my town be like? I think I would actually get out of town and head down the Apache Trail just a bit to find something new.  If you remember a few weeks back we visited the Besh Ba Gowah ruins, and that was dang near a perfect day.  We've also visited the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and that probably WAS a perfect day.  There's a hole in the wall nearby that I've been meaning to try that serves up Navajo Fry Bread and some soups that sound good, but you know that "perfect" breakfast spot that every town has?  We haven't discovered ours yet.  Canyon Lake is a breathtaking drive through desert mountains, and let us never forget, if we keep on driving down THAT (hwy 88) dirt road we are in for one of the most hair-raising twisty-turny, steep, and downright craziest rides ever. (might want to consider having 4 wheel drive for that one).  I guess the night would end with the one place I love to hate...but is TRULY unique, there's no place else in the country like it...Organ Stop Pizza.  Its weird, really really weird. But you have to smile at it in all its weirdness.

ok-now, post a comment here to say you've got a "favorite day" post on its way! and write!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Re: Red Boots

I dont know about the poetry (sorry, Im an insensitive brute).

Red Boots (BTW) is what the Republican Guard wore. we had orders to shoot on sight.

But what I am thankful for is the sacrifice that Lisa and all service wives go through. I know it wasn't easy for her (or my family), and I have heard over and over how they were glued to the TV's watching for a glimpse of me. They SWEAR they saw me once or twice. To me, it was literally like the scene in Apocalypse Now with Col. Kilgore standing there waiting to surf with rounds still coming in around him. Another day at the office.
I have seen some stuff in my career (then and now) that unfortunately will not go away, but, I think now we have got to a place where my temper and attitude are much better.

Thanks for the words of support and encouragement.
Below is a brief travelog from when I was there...
In December of 2002, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines received word to prepare for deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. By the end of January all the Battalion's Marines and Sailors were in place and married up with Maritime Prepositioned Assets. An Artillery Liaison Section from Lima Battery 3/11; Bravo Company, 1st Tanks; Alpha Company, 3d Tracks and 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Engineer Battalion were attached -- TASK FORCE 34, also known as DARKSIDE was created. The unit crossed the border into Iraq on 21 March 2003 as part of the 7th Regimental Combat Team. After 72 hours of heavy fighting, nothing remained of the 51st Iraqi Mechanized Division and the Task Force owned Basra International Airport and important bridges across the Shat al Basra Canal. 500 miles later, after decisive engagements at places like Afak, Diwaniyah, and Al Kut, the battalion conducted an assault crossing of the Diyallah Canal into Baghdad. Two days later, elements of Task Force 34 pulled down the Saddam Statue outside the Palestine Hotel, ending, for all intents, the Saddam Hussein reign of terror. After stabilization operations and retrograde of equipment, the Thundering Third returned to Twentynine Palms California in May of 2003

If you REALLY want to support the troops, look into the USO or toys for tots, etc.

Boy Talk

My son is an enigma to me. Its a good thing I feel challenged by the puzzle and while I don't try to understand, I thoroughly enjoy the glimpses of male-brain chemistry he offers up from time to time.

He entered Kindergarten this year. His very best buddy is the one that gave him a black eye 2 weeks into school. For fully half of the first semester these two Alpha-males in training literally circled the kindergarten room sizing each other up each afternoon. They fought both physically and mentally for the prized role of junior Silver-back. (think dominant ape if you don't know what I'm referring too). At some point, they hit their stride. I suppose one of them submitted. Or perhaps they take turns being the Alpha, I don't know. What I do know is that a wonderful friendship has risen out of what I once decided to stay out of, even though my female "mommy brain" wanted desperately to say "stay away from that boy". (The male daddy-brain said "let them work it out")

The friendship has progressed, and these two boys are the best of friends. I inquired of my son this morning "why are you and C such good buddies?"


(keep in mind I was expecting something along the lines of "we both like star-wars" or "because he's nice")

"We Both Like GUNS"
"We Both like to DESTROY THINGS"

career in the Marine Corps anyone? cuz that's the only profession I can think of where you LEGALLY get to both carry a gun AND destroy things.

(heaven help me...)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hiding the scale is not the thing to do

If you men out there are considering hiding the scale from your wife because you're tired of hearing about the ups and downs, let me warn you...this is a poor idea unless you like your wife obese.

My husband hid my scale one day after I had announced with great excitement a 3 lbs drop. He told me to stop weighing myself every day because I was making myself ( I think he meant HIM) crazy. I didn't look for it, I kind of wanted to see what would happen if I stopped weighing every day.

Wanna know what happened?


That's what happened.

And not down either.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When Change is Good

Edit---problems, especially combat stress, PTSD don't go away, and they return to haunt now and again.  Our attitudes and fears about seeking counseling have changed over the past year or so, and its hard, but worth it to be seeking help to straighten out our heads.  I say "our" and "we" because my warrior isn't the only one hurting because of the stress he's endured and had compounded by trying to "act normal"...acting normal isn't being normal. Its been 7+ years since JP returned home from combat, it seems like an odd time to be seeking help, but it is what it is, and we're fortunate to have been contacted by the Wounded Warrior Project people to offer guidance and assistance in finally crossing some of the hurdles in healing.  I wanted to repost this poem today, because its been on my mind.  Unfortunately, you can't deal with a problem without thinking about the problem, and so it goes.

original post~
**I've been going back and forth, back and forth, trying to decide whether to hit "publish" on this one or not.  I love to keep things light and silly around here, but you know, you can't appreciate the sweet without knowing the bitter.  Its good once in a while to look back and see change, positive change.  It keeps the feelings of gratitude fresh.
I wrote this poem just exactly 2 years ago.  If you've come to know our family even the tiniest bit through our blog, it might surprise you that this poem is about us and our struggles through what was most likely undiagnosed PTSD.  Its hard for veterans to ask for help, especially when there is a perception that asking for mental health counseling might jeapordize their ability to obtain gainful employment.  Its something I hope will change someday.  We had a miracle in self healing...but not everybody does. 
The light, fun tone that you read on our blog most days is truly representative of the overall tone of our household now.  I'm grateful for the experiences which have shaped us, and most of all, I'm grateful for a happy, healthy husband who is no longer haunted by the "red boots" of the Fedayeen.
Red Boots 
Red Boots haunt you
Flashes of light
Sand flying stings like bees
White robes wave like flags
False hope

Gasping for air
The oxygen is not lacking
Thrashing, running

The embrace feels warm
And still I feel the shiver
You are changed
The Light is gone

You see danger
An invisible threat
Anger flashes then burns
long and hot

Red Boots haunt you
The haunting came home
Red Boots haunt me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

SoundBite of the Day (in case you were under the impression that we're normal)

I'm not going to be loud, and I'm not going to fart.  I know if I fart the animals will fall down and I don't want them to fall down.  I know farting makes animals fall down.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Our First Kiss-except for the part where it didn't happen.

He walked me to the door, said goodnight, leaned in, leaned out, leaned back in (I'd say something about the hokey-pokey here, but it seems inappropriate)smiled, shook his head, turned around, and WALKED AWAY! No kiss.

(You never knew a first kiss post could be so short, did you?)

Happy Valentine's Day!

OH YEAH...I just remembered, our first date after he returned home from Japan/Korea was on Valentine's day. That was kind of fun.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

yakkety yak, yep that's khak

Or "A Tale of Regret"

If a friend should meet you in the lunchroom
and say to you "try to keep this down"
take two steps away from the concoction
Don't take time to even look around.

My dearest child,

"Disgusting Mixtures" are a right of passage. Whether its Alphabet Soup with Orange Juice and Maple Syrup, Butterfinger Bars with processed cheese, or chicken chunks with applesauce and colorful chocolate peices, all boys do this. Even green beans with maple syrup is nothing new.
However, as your mother, I must warn you that should you be sent home sick again for not keeping down "disgusting mixtures" (ie: spewing disgusting mixture all over the lunchroom when you could not control your gag-reflex) you may find yourself sitting alone in your bed eating whatever "disgusting mixture" your mother can come up with. Puking in the lunchroom during Flu season is not treated lightly, and in the future, puking up disgusting mixtures causing yourself to be sent home from school early ( under suspicion of illness...not jack-assery) will cause serious consequences to befall you.


Your Loving Mother.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Favorite Valentines Day Ever

Valentines Day and me were pretty big enemies for a very long time.  By my interpretation, the day served to do nothing more than make idiots out of teenage boys and girls and remind me (a non-idiot...clearly) that nobody liked me, nobody loved me, and I might as well go eat some worms.  Into adulthood I didn't learn to love the day any more.  Again it served to enhance lonliness, or, even worse, became a weird day full of pressure to make it "just right" without having any idea what "just right" really was.  There was card-choosing ( do I get funny, sweet, mushy?), meal planning (steak? Chocolate Cake?) etc, etc, etc.  Then there was the year we decided to try going out for dinner...which at the time was a very rare treat. (Well, that is unless dinner was handed through a window in a paper sack...we did that all the time.) Four hours later we ate overcooked and oversalted food sharing a table with my husband's boss who took pity on us when he realized how long we'd been waiting and offered to share the table-top.

The next year was the best Valentines day ever though.  And it was the best because we'd given up on expectations.  We'd shown Hallmark the finger and just went on with life doing what we do best.  But, the day didn't go was just celebrated differently.  No pressure.  That year, at 11:00pm JP walked in after his shift carrying a snickers bar, a diet coke and a hilarious/cheesy talking doll named "Mr. Perfect" that he had picked up at the gas station.  Mr. Perfect says things like "Here Honey, why don't you hold the remote control" and "The game's not that important, why don't we snuggle" and "I'd love it if your mother stayed two more weeks".  The doll is ugly and noisy and makes me laugh everytime I see it.  That was one of those nights when I knew we had things pretty well figured out.  We knew each other well enough to know that the whole "romantic evening" just wasn't our style, and that the best indicator of our love for each other was our ability to relax and to laugh at gas station valentines.

*I wonder if this will be the year I finally get one of those awesome roses they sell at the gas station that's really made out of panties?-----------------KIDDING!!!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What do you want me to do, make you green with envy?

Since I only have bragging to do today, I will refrain.
Have a great day everybody!

Monday, February 9, 2009


So it looks to me like we have enough interest in setting up a small meet.n.greet here in AZ. So the next question is this:

Would you rather have a picnic at the park with families invited, or a kid-free-ish luncheon at a restaurant? There are advantages to either I think, none of which need explaining.

In either case-the more the merrier, so bring a friend, a sister, a neighbor, or whomever else makes you feel happy to be around, and come to have a good time.

I am tentatively planning for the 21st of February, but we can move it back two weeks into March if that works better.

Use the comments section to leave notes/opinions/requests, etc.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just Two Sentences:

Hooray for Tax Returns!
Boo for bills to be paid.
(But really, Hooray for tax returns!)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

If quizzes are quizzicle, then what are tests?

If you know the answer to that question, AND you have an opinion as to whether a crazy mom of 5 boys should use her magic fairy dust to become Wendy, or Tinkerbell...go post a comment here.

(also, an excellent punishment/discipline/parenting idea is shared that will make you pee your pants with laughter)

***don't forget, if you like food and fun in the land of the sun to "vote" on the sidebar to let me know if you're interested in an AZ meet'n'greet. Once we have an idea about how many are interested we'll determine date, place, and time.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


First day of kindergarten, morning recess-
me: "can I be your friend?"
boy: "no way, I don't like you"

First day of Junior High-lunch-
me to friend from elementary school: "Hi! Oh my gosh, I haven't seen you all summer! Wanna sit over there?"
friend from elementary school: "um, no, I'm sitting over there, but you can't come with me. We're into Depeche Mode, you don't even know who they are."

First day of 8th grade-
me to my 7th grade sister: "Can I sit with you and your friends at lunch?"
sister:"leave me alone, you're not one of my friends"

First day of 9th grade-
me:"Hi, I saw you in my science class, can I sit with you?"
girl: dead silence, disgusted glare, picked up her lunch and walked away to another table. I sat alone and cried.

Its really no wonder I stopped trying to make friends for a very long time.

but how 'bout this? Have you ever stopped by a blog that was listed on a blog roll such as Mormon Mommy Blogs, or Blog Stalkers Unite and left a comment and then you go back later when you have a chance to read a little more because you enjoyed what you saw the first time, and you realize that within hours of your comment on the first post, the blog went private? I'm smart enough to know that its probably not just MY comment, but a combination of factors which would cause a person to go private...I mean, you guys get my comments, I think I send nice, not scary, comments out your way, but I can't shake that "what did I do to make you reject me" feeling! PAAAAAHHHHH-thet-IK!

***On a side note, every single one of those people from school (-EXCEPT my sister-) turned out to be a stoner loser afterall, so in the whole scope of things...I guess I shouldn't be too upset that they didn't want to include me in their stoner looserdom.

If you are visiting from an AZ city...remember to vote in the upper right hand corner and leave a comment on the post below about an AZ meet'n'greet. :)
(if you don't, I'll feel rejected

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

AZ Meet'n'Greet

I"m sure there have always been all kinds of zoners in the blogosphere, but it seems like only just recently did I start running into many of you. 

The weather is glorious and it would be a great time to plan a meet'n'greet.  Who's up? "Vote" on the poll to the right.  If you know somebody from AZ who is not reading this blog, introduce them, the more the merrier.  Heck, I don't even care if they "follow", "comment", or just doesn't really matter to me, just bring 'em to the luncheon.

Lets see how many are interested first, then we'll work out the details like date, time and place.


sick, wrong, and Sick'n'Wrong

I'll admit, I didn't spend my entire Monday searching the blogosphere to make sure that nobody else mentioned this...but there are a few things that have scarred my mind as a result of Sunday's Super viewing and they need to be addressed.

Lets start with "Sick"...I know some people think of Bruce Springsteen as "the Boss"... soooo...since when did it become appropriate for any "Boss" to slide his crotch right into your living room? Do I have a case for sexual harrassment? I do not recall asking for my entire TV screen to be blacked out by the Boss' tightlyencasedinblackdenim nether-regions.
It made the "highlights"...last 6 seconds....*shudder* (sorry, the embed link wasn't working, either that or I am too lame to know how to make it work)

Moving on to "Wrong"...Hey much did you tip the cameraman to get your red-spaghetti-strapped-"perky"-self on the "Boob-tube" 4 times in one 12 minute half time show? There were what? 70-75thousand people to chose from and you got your tata's highlighted approximately once every 3 minutes? I will say looked like you were having a good time! (I am too scared to google "girl in red tank top" find you all a picture, but hey, if you watched the show, you know who I'm talking about)

Now for "SickNWrong"...this is what my husband really hoped I would make for superbowl snacks, but since I am a mean wife and refused to go to the grocery store Saturday night he didn't get one. Maybe for his b-day?...nah. I actually like him quite a bit and want to keep him around a while. In case you aren't familiar with this particular delicacy, it involves a weaved "Bacon Basket" 2 lbs of italian sausage, more bacon, some spices and some bbq sauce. You can get the recipe here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The switch is fixed!

It turns out the vents were blocked with dust, dirt, and too much whining.

(Its amazing what a good cleaning day can do for the spirits)