Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Brother Abroad

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer." -Gen. George S. Patton

This is Day 74.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Brother Abroad

I don't know why, but this absolutely cracks me up....I could watch it all day.

Happy Friday!

This is Day 73.

(BTW: There are thousands of these videos on YouTube under "bored soldiers in Iraq" least there ifnding ways to have some fun.)

American Idol Results

I'm 2 for 4!!!


My Dad is Great

He also sent this email forward full of interesting (and sometimes funny) little known facts.

Enjoy this while I attempt to lick my elbow.

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have 'the rule of thumb'


Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled 'Gentlemen Only....Ladies Forbidden'...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.


The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were
Fred and Wilma Flintstone.


Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.


Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.


Coca-Cola was originally green.


It is impossible to lick your elbow.


Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair...

Guess Who?

Erma Bombeck

As you may or may not have noticed, I have been relying quite religiously on Erma Bombeck for my "Quote of the Day". A talented writer, acute observer of life, and outrageously hysterical commentator of motherhood, she was a voice of a generation of mothers who found themselves right in the crosshairs of the women's movement where the battleground began with deciding whether or not to work or stay home with the kids.

Though that big decision still weighs heavy on the minds of a lot of us (often changing a couple times a day), the conveniences and accomodations for contemporary mothers are for more abundant than the Erma Bombeck mothers. Those mothers began the metaphorical juggling act, and Erma Bombeck made it very funny.

As clear as anything, I distinctly remember sitting on the floor with a coloring book in Cape May, NJ (where we lived when I was 5-8) and trying to concentrate on a certain masterpiece while my mother was laughing uncontrollably (tears running down her face) over some book.

"What are you reading?" I asked, not imagining anything could be more entertaining or wonderful than me.

"It's just a book about being a mom," my mother managed, in between gasps for breath.

"What's so funny about that?" I asked, trying to think of a mom, any mom, that was funny.

"Oh, it's just the way she rights."

I was unconvinced and so I returned to my craft.

Flashforward 26-28 years and, yeah, there have been some funny moments. And I think I've found my next book.......

Oh, and if memory serves, I believe my mom was reading When You Start to Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home.

Quote of the Day

"When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice president of the United States." -Erma Bombeck

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Brother Abroad

And now for the lighter side of life deployed.

It's good to know that our family's favorite boogie down dinner dance is crossing borders....

This is Day 72.

Mr. Peter Rabbit

The Easter Bunny Shoot

It's on its way later today.....

Mama Fashionista: Shoes, My God, Shoes!

If you were to ask most American women to name the must have shoe designer, obvious names would include Jimmy Choo, Stuart Wietzman, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, etc.

So who's the new shoe to wear?

Brian Atwood

No, the name doesn't connote high fashion, but as a former model and then shoe designer for Versace, Atwood started up his own company in 2001 and has not looked back. His looks are daring, his approach is pure Cinderella, and I actually could see myself on his bandwagon.....if I won the lottery.

For a peak at the new "it" shoe designer click HERE.

I Watch American Idol: Feel Free to Hate on Me

Matt Giraud: So good with what can easily be a super-cheese song.

Kris Allen: I love this guy....I just wish he'd quit calling me. I'm a married woman, for crying out loud!

Scott MacIntyre: A big improvement from the last two weeks, but the vocals still just aren't there.

Megan Joy: Go home.

Anoop: Not my taste in terms of lite FM, but his voice was soooo smooooth.

Michael Sarver: I actually thought the judges were too hard on him, but it still wasn't good.

Lil Rounds: Okay, but still not the vocals that blew me away early on.

Adam Lambert: I actually hate how much I liked his performance. I can't get passed the self-indulgent, self-love, but, man, he was AMAZING.

Danny Gokey: I love him. Though he doesn't strike me as a "true" artist, he would be the life of any party or wedding. Fun, talented, and always a favorite. Is he an American Idol? I want to think so, but I'm not so sure.

Allison Iraheta: ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? 16???? Still my favorite!

My Top Three Favorites:

Matt Giraud
Adam Lambert
Allison Iraheta

My Prediction for See Ya:


The Highlight of the Night: One word: mustache

And Another Thing: I never thought in a million years that I'd like Kara, the new judge (I actually want to dislike her, but that's my own little problem). HOWEVER, she gives the clearest, most helpful advice of all the judges. Focusing on good and bad, she just actually seems to think before she speaks and she's almost always right. I hate that.

Plus, she's a glaring magnifying glass for Paula's absurdity.

The Prediction of the Century

The Economy has hit bottom, and it's now headed for sunnier days.

That's right. I called it.

People have been trying to pinpoint it for a while, hoping they were right, believing the worst was over.

It is now! Rejoice!

The Maid has spoken.

Any ideas why I know so?

Scenes From a Mall

As I exploited every moment my mom was here, which included a trip to the mall for a picture with the man(?), the myth, the legend: the Easter Bunny.

First, the highlights:

1) He was not ghetto. (i.e. His fur wasn't matted, discolored, or put together in patches). I did not need to completely sanitize my children after the "shoot".

2) No one cried. In fact, my little man said, "Bye, bye" and "Ank Ew" (translation: thank you), after we were done.

3) The picture actually had both children smiling.

4) The mall was all but empty.

5) I may have done my part in stimulating the economy just a bit....hello, Gymbucks!

The Lowlights:

1) How does anyone work at Abercrombie or Hollister without chronic migraines??? Between the blasting music and the overwhelming cologne that manages to wilt the poorly located Annie Ann's pretzels, I don't know how people last in there. Am I officially old?

2) There was no crying during the Easter bunny shoot, everyone smiled, and Joseph said "Ank Ew" because they were bribed with lollipops on promises of Easter basket treasures untold.

3) I was once again reminded that, although the choices for little girls fashion are endless, there is NOTHING I like for the little men.

4) We found the deal of the century on O's Easter dress, and then I spent the same amount on ladybug flip flops. Priorities, people.


For the last week and a half, my dear little boy has been average his morning wake up time between 4:30 -5:00.

I have no idea why this is happening, nor can I hold back the tears when my bleary eyes make out the number "four" on the alarm clock. Not sure what god I offended, I just had to assume he was getting the last of his teeth, he has some ailment that is disrupting his rest, or his daily hibernation (that 3.45 hour nap I blogged about) was actually shortening his night sleep.

As the days passed, and all but one tooth have surfaced, no ailments, and pretty happy naps continued, I had to start considering other culprits.

Then, three days ago, as I tried to convince him to fall back asleep with Mommy at 4:40 AM, the answer revealed itself in a rumbling growl emitting from his abdomen.

The boy was hungry, the boy was famished, the boy was in the middle of an epic growth spurt.

Knowing that this is one of those things that I just need to brave through, I upped his daily meal portions, added Carnation Instant Breakfast to his milk, and fed him a nice banana before bed.

He "slept in" until 5:45.

That's progress people.

Quote of the Day

"A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween." -Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Brother Abroad

This is getting hard and I'm just typing.

And we're just getting started......

This is day 71.

Blog-atus: A Soul-Lifter of the Day

So I took two days off.....I love spending time with my mom.

I'll be back tomorrow and the blog will be BLAM, but until then, I thought I'd post this:

Who the hell cares if they didn't get past the second round?

I'd rather watch something like this any day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Brother Abroad

Dean Allen, First Lieutenant
July 10, 1969


"Being a good platoon leader is a lonely job. I don't want to really get to know anybody over here because it would be bad enough to lose a man -- I damn sure don't want to lose a friend... But as hard as I try not to get involved with my men I still can't help liking them and getting close..."

Four days after writing his wife, Allen stepped on a land mine. He died three days later.

This is Day 70.


Just for today.

My mom is in town....


Monday, March 23, 2009

A Brother Abroad

I feel like I've been doing this post for a long time now, and yet Paul's deployment isn't even one-fifth completed.

It's awful.

And it's harder for his wife and children.

Visit my sister-in-law's post to get a truer taste of how hard a year really is, and keep in mind that this is just one among thousands of families experiencing the same difficult separation.

This is Day 69.

Headline of the Day

"Curt Schilling to Retire After 23 Years in Baseball"

Click HERE to read the article, and feel free to send condolences to my husband through the blog.

My Favorite Times of Any Given Weekday

1) That first sip of coffee

2) That kiss goodbye when dropping O off at school

3) Taking Joseph to gym class for rare one-on-one time

4) Doing anything that makes them laugh uncontrollably

5) The quiet moments after lunch when their bellies are full and their heads are full with sleep. This is the best time O and Joseph play together while I clean up.

6) Doing a craft with O while Joseph is still sleeping and then calling Grandpa Mahony to tell him all about it.

7) Cuddling with Joseph right after he wakes up from his nap (before everyone starts to whine for snacks, outside, dinner, television, etc.)

8) Running around outside like maniacs. Their energy is transcendent.

9) Listening to O sing....especially when she doesn't know I'm listening.

10) When Joseph gets down on his tummy to "read" a book, elbows bent and brows furrowed.

11) The minute Daddy walks in the door.

12) After dinner walks when the weather is nice.

13) Pre-dinner or post-dinner dance party...whether it's "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" or Jack Johnson, it's hysterical.

14) The post-bath smell....there is nothing better.

15) The bedtime routine of books, prayers, and lullaby.

16) A glass of wine at night's end and an actual conversation with my husband.

17) That nano second between my head hitting the pillow and complete coma time.

A Poem

As I previously mentioned, I struggle with reading Plath since I have such a hard time separating her life from her art. Regardless, this is one of the few poems I have always liked as it "reflects" the struggles of so many women with self-image and the passage of time as the voice of the poem is a mirror, talking about the woman who stares into her every day.


I am silver and exact.
I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see, I swallow immediately.
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike
I am not cruel, only truthful –

The eye of a little god, four-cornered.

Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles.
I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart.
But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake.
A woman bends over me.
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her.
She comes and goes.

Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl,
and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day,
like a terrible fish.

Profile of a Poet

This week's poet is among the most famous if not disturbed of the female literary canon. Sylvia Plath's raw verse was inspired by the tragic loss of her father at a young age, the tumultous relationship she had with her unfaithful husband and British laureate, Ted Hughes, and her lifelong battle with depression.

Her battle with depression actually inspired her most famous piece of prose, The Bell Jar, which garnered her more notoriety than much of her poetry. Needless to say, she tried to end her life at her own hand multiple times, and was finally successful in her thirties when she stuck her head in the couples' kitchen oven while her children slept in their cribs.

She stuffed their doors so they would be safe from any lingering gas and left bowls of cereal in their cribs in case they awoke before she was found.

I have a hard time getting past that when I read her.

Anyway, the horrible legacy continued with Ted Hughes' mistress, who also killed herself and their daughter six years later by gas.

Even more, another chapter in this horrific family history came out today in regard to Plath's son, Nicholas (one of the babies in the cribs).

LONDON (AFP) – The son of tragedy-scarred poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath has killed himself 46 years after his mother gassed herself, The Times reported on Monday.
Nicholas Hughes hanged himself in his home in the US state of Alaska last week after battling depression, his sister told the newspaper, 40 years to the day after Hughes' next lover also killed herself.

Hughes was a professor of fisheries and ocean sciences at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, although he had recently left the post shortly before he died to set up a pottery at home.

"It is with profound sorrow that I must announce the death of my brother, Nicholas Hughes, who died by his own hand on Monday 16th March 2009 at his home in Alaska," Frieda Hughes said in a statement published by The Times.
"He had been battling depression for some time."

Nicholas Hughes was unmarried, and had no children.
Plath killed herself by breathing in fumes from a kitchen oven in February 1963, preventing the fumes from seeping into her children's room by sealing the kitchen door with towels.
Ted Hughes, who died in 1998, suffered another loss six years later when his mistress Assia Wevill gassed herself and their daughter on March 23, 1969, in an apparent copycat suicide.
Critics have long accused the English poet of driving Plath -- whom he met when she was on a Fulbright Scholarship from the United States -- to her death because of his relationships with other women.


Bama's coming to town!

March Madness Meets Motherhood

I'll admit I don't watch any college basketball until March rolls around and I try my hand at some fun-filled bracketology.

Though my choices are rarely derived from any great depth of NCAA analysis, I have a great history of doing supremely well (even taking 2nd and the resulting $300 in my husband's pool of college buddies and brokers). I make my choices based on the ebbs and flows of a state's athletics as well as various associations I have with certain schools (I have a hard time betting against BYU and the other religious universities since God is their mascot).

Also, if your school's state has experienced a national're out!

Needless to say, my bracket this year is HORRIBLE. I don't what happened, I usually pick the upsets and this year my picks are just upsetting.

Anyway, as I did catch a couple games this weekend, I fell in love with the following commercial as I not only identified with the woman, I also loved that her dad was the one interviewing her.

Quote of the Day

"Never have more children than you have car windows." - Erma Bombeck

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Brother Abroad

I got another message from Paul yesterday that reassured me of his health and well-being, as well as his regret over not making it into the family March Madness bracketology.


Anyway, the weather is still mild, the sand storms are relentless, and the bugs are "thriving". ...which reaffirms my own decision to remain a civilian.

He did say that the bugs and the sand would subside with the onset of warmer weather....and by warmer weather he means inferno like temperatures that make the bugs seem like old friends you miss.

This is Day 68.