Total Pageviews

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Return of The Conquering Hero do I wait a long time to post in my blog or what! I guess when you have but 7 followers the disappointment is short in nature. To the 7 of you, thanks for your patience as I wait for life to give me something to blog about. I guess there's always something happening I could turn into a blog post. But that might conjur up drooling, sleep enducing episodes in all of you. So I wait...patiently. So Rob FINALLY came home. I know, 6 months isn't ALL that long. I was doing fine. And we could have survived as long as the world needed us to survive without Rob. But it is glorious to have him home. He came back on August 19th. His plane landed and he called me promptly at 6 AM. I told him in the best wife voice I could muster to catch a cab home and climb into bed. I figured the kids would be super surprised to come up to my room (if in reality they actually cared enough about what I was doing when they woke up to come up to my room) and they would see him in bed. You see, they weren't expecting him for another day. I had told them he'd be home the 20th so that we could somehow surprise them. So Rob climbed into bed. And I went down to try and bang pots and pans to wake up my sleeping children who NEVER sleep this long ever. And finally I just went down and said "Kiddles, we need to talk. Everyone up to my room". I never do that. I never have family chats in my room. I just unleash on them wherever and whenever so having an orchestrated family chat was definitely out of the norm. Yet no one questioned me. They followed me like the mice to the piper and then it was revealed to them...Dad is his bed. All mouths dropped. And then they piled onto Rob in a disorganized fashion and all was well. And it's been fantastical ever since. I have to confess I was a little worried about Rob coming back. Mainly sharing the TV privileges. I had had a Queen size bed to myself as well as the TV and anything I wanted to watch on it. But having Rob back far outweighed any desire to hog for myself all TV viewing. We have been getting along marvelously. He is looking for a job with fury and hopefully one will manifest itself within the next week. So that's it. A few blog postings of rather negligable happenings and POOF, 6 months has come and gone and my husband is back in my proverbial arms. I'll still continue to post on this blog. I have to be more diligent. My 7 readers expect it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Boring Is Good

So I've been avoiding my blog for weeks now. That's partly because I couldn't figure out how to get back in. See, I know enough to do harm with this blog, that's about it. So sometimes I find I can't remember the password or why isn't this working and then I kick it and run around it, threatening it with a hammer and it lets me in.

So here I am, blogging about what I thought was going to be the most exciting time of my life. Rob's in Afghanistan and I'm here with four children, the same house with them....and this alone just opens the door to novels of information and situations I thought would be forthcoming. But you know what? It's life and it's moving forward as usual! I thought for sure by now the water heater would have vomited all over my laundry room floor in putrid water wherein no plumber within a 10 mile radius would want to come near my house. But that didn't happen. I thought maybe the air conditioner would conk out and I'd be sitting in the basement in nothing but a speedo, trying to calm small sweaty children from tearing each other apart in this heat. That sounds all Lord of the Flies but it's only isn't that hot even if the A/C did go out.

But I am certainly GLAD that these things haven't happened. Mark my words though, once the universe logs into my blog today and sees that I'm sort of giving it the raspberries it will unleash the hounds of fury and my house won't know what to do with itself.

So with that, I list a few things that have happened as of late. Evan was struggling with school. That part was not good. That was almost as bad as a water heater vomiting on my laundry room floor. I think Rob's leaving had a big impact on him. And he's been feeling more strain of having to be the "MAN" of the house. He handles it well. He does what's expected. But I sat down and had a talk with him. I wanted to get into the core of his feelings and see if this was too much for him. He assures me it is not. I still wonder. But he is improving. We met with all his teachers. He said he enjoyed talking with them like they thought he was a person, not a dust bunny in the classroom. Note--the teachers never treated him like a dust bunny. Evan just seems unsure about dealing with his teachers. I think he feels sheepish about talking to them. So this whole exercise was a good learning lesson. He is on the road to improving already. Crossing my fingers and saying my prayers.

Aedyn got his Arrow of Light last night at Pack Meeting--Scouts in case you have lived under a rock until reading this blog this morning. Most of my readers have lived under a rock at some point in their lives---wink. We are proud of Aedyn for this accomplishment.

Laura is self assured. I overheard her conversation with her brothers last week. It went something like this. "I'm popular". Brothers: "Really, how do you know?". Laura: "Well, the girls at school say I have great clothes. And they say I have great hair. And they say there are boys who have a crush on me. And...well....I am attractive". Oh did I snicker. You know though, I'm so glad she has such a good self esteem. I think sometimes we parents worry that our children aren't allowed to feel this way about themselves. I think the first thought is that it leads to that snotty girl syndrome that sometimes happens. But Laura seems pretty grounded and if she wasn't, she has three boys in her life to keep her that way. She's a diva of sorts but still a sweet human being and I love having a girl in my life. I love my boys, don't get me wrong. But Laura is a marathon shopper, like me. I have trained my little grasshopper well. It's fun.

Grant is his usual sweet giggly self. He got his report card and it's awesome. (Note, all of my elementary school children got awesome report cards. Evan--not the greatest but it will get better I know). Grant was at scouts last night trying to answer a worksheet they gave out and he wanted me to tell him the answers. He didn't know them. I said GUESS. He said "I can't stand to get something wrong". I call him my little Howard Hughes. I know, WHA? Just Google the name. You'll get the gist. He is anal retentive about things. He doesn't wash his hands til they bleed though..just wanted to clarify that.

So life is moving forward. I am trying to be more patient. That's my downfall. But my kids are great. Life is great. Rob is great. He's learning some new skills. I just sent him a discounted Easter box. I'm so belated that way. I felt immense guilt at not sending him some treat for Easter. Meanwhile women all around me are lavishing sweets and treats on their husbands....WHO LIVE IN THE SAME HOUSE AS THEY DO. And here's my husband stuck in the middle of a desert with sand in his teeth and nether regions. And what do I give him in return? CUE the crickets chirping. I caved a few days after Easter and bought up all the reject candy. Not really though. M&Ms and snickers Easter Bunny. That's pretty good right! RIGHT! I'm just trying to make myself feel better. I sent it along and he has been snacking on M&Ms and now I feel justified. The Stepford wife in me has made her appearance and been successful. I can go back to the female version of Steven Wright. Google his name already!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Where's a Carpenter Song When You Need It...

So week four. Rob is doing good. He's got his own room. He is happy and thriving. His peeps love him. But then, that's Rob for you. He's always the beloved employee. I'm happy for that. But this whole single mother thing...I'm a little bit lonely. I think I save weekends for breaking out a sad Carpenter's Song. Or I watch a clip from The Notebook. If that doesn't break you down into the sad despair of things, I don't know what does. For the most part, I'm doing GREAT. I will prevail. It's still the going motto. But there are things that are left undone that I'm not sure what to do about. For example: There is a beeping coming off the Verizon internet box down there in the basement. Beeps are not good. This one beeps about every 30 minutes. We keep thinking nuclear fallout is imminent. So I get online with Verizon and totally fake like I'm a techie. The guys tells me to go down and remove this and unplug that and connect red to black wires and suddenly I feel like I just got scripted to do the next Mission Impossible movie. Only, I'm totally picking a different lead character. So as of yet, the beep continues. I might name it. It is starting to become part of the family. Then one day 2 weeks ago the front door knob just fell off. I said that just FELL off. went to the floor. That forcefield Rob took with him that held every last thing together is just unraveling the very fiber of our house. I took the door knob and shoved it in my purse, meaning to take it in to Ace Hardware and say "Here, YOU FIX IT". But that has yet to happen. So we totally have this system for opening the door. I've taught the kids how to use it. So if a Freeman is at your house and they stand on one knee and pull out a screwdriver to get your front door open, call it environmental conditioning. I thought, if a screw is gone that holds it, glue works equally as well. But when I mentioned glue to Rob, I could HEAR his head shaking on the other end. So don't mess with me people, I have a door knob in my purse and I'm not afraid to use it. It'll all work out. And I'll cut down on the Carpenter songs, mainly because I just went public with that declaration and I see mockery in my future. Do people egg your house when you listen to the Carpenters?

Monday, February 20, 2012

The iPhone is My Dad? I have let the day pass without mentioning anything about it. I did say goodbye to Rob on Saturday. It was sweet and short-lived. But we are existing in a new world where Rob is a virtual Dad. But first, let me discuss the departure. The Saturday was like any other...sleepy-headed children arising from a room where they all camp out together on the floor. For as long as I can remember, they have a sleep over of sorts in one of their rooms, where they all pile on the floor to sleep together. I love that they do this. It's just a symbolic gesture of brotherly/sisterly love. So we got up, did our cleaning, homemade breakfast and on to other things. I went shopping at Costco...why break with tradition even on the day my love was leaving us. So we met up at CiCi's Pizza for lunch. I'm telling you, this is where the SAD SONGS started. We were busy eating our pizza and no music. Suddenly, as though on cue, the music piped up loud and clear. I expected a young pizza attendee to get on the intercom and say "This song's going out to Rob Freeman this afternoon. We love you Rob, and we're going to miss you" and then bam...Landslide by Fleetwood Mac comes on. And it's sad. It's usually a reflective song for me. But now it's just sad. And I revel in the sadness. I'm about to break out my lighter as the mascara-stained tears run down my pathetic face but then I realize I don't smoke and so lighter.

For the rest of the afternoon, sadness of music just played on the radio. Any station I put it on...sad,slow songs. I finally just embraced it and turned one up. Rob laughed. I told him the radio knows you're leaving and they really want to create a mood here. We went back to the house to retrieve his duffle bag that may or may not have been able to hold a dead body--yeah, it's THAT big. We had a family prayer...Rob asked me which just made me bubble over like some sad little puppy. The kids all cried. We were a mess. But there was love all around...hugs and promises and all. We drove somewhat silently to the airport. And that was that. We dropped him off, took a couple of pictures of kisses and more hugs and then we drove away, waving one last time as we watched him walk into his new destiny...a United Flight to the Middle of terror. It's not without its risks. But I am hopeful that he will be safe, level-headed and come back to me safely.

We went to see a movie so we wouldn't be mopey. And I took the kids to the elementary school for some hoops wherein my dog, who usually doesn't react in violence, bit a child. Yeah, it was just THAT kind of day. What do you say to the parent when your dog bites their child? Is there a Hallmark card for that? I know, I sound so cynic. And I kind of am. I really did feel awful and there was just not much I could do. It's not like it is with a car crash where you exchange insurance information. I assured them that the dog was up to date on all his shots. But when I got home, it wasn't long before I called Rob in a messy heap of worried tears. "But what if he gets blood poisoning and dies and then they prosecute me because I let my dog bite him and then I'm not here to take care of my children and then they're left homeless and without parents...." It wasn't pretty. But I guess the brain tends to go to the worst possible place.

So we've been 2 days without Rob. And tonight he was IMing with me and my children. And so I realized we don't have Rob, the body. But we have Rob the voice and we have Rob the chatting minstrel. So Aedyn commented that it felt like he wasn't even gone. And I they even need the body? Do the little words coming out of the iPhone mean enough that we don't need the body? NO, we miss the body. But in this day of technology, isn't it the GREATEST thing to be able to talk to my husband at the drop of a hat just by messaging him over my phone!!! I love that. So the iPhone and I tucked the kids into bed. And then we retired to our bedrooms wherein I plugged my new husband in to charge and said goodnight and went to bed.

I love new adventures. I'm waiting for more things to come...good things...not so good things (someone stop the dog from biting children...this can't be good for my reputation).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No Woman, No Cry's time to dust off this blog. I'm blowing...big dust bunnies. I haven't posted for eons. I guess I figured no one was reading. But now I'm committed. I'm committed because this is going to be the saga of my life while my husband serves as a computer consultant to a Afghanistan. Yeah, that's the kicker. He's going to Afghanistan. He isn't quite gone yet. He had to go to North Carolina for some training for a few days. But Saturday will come despite my attempt to shove the week into a closet and cram the door shut with my feet. Oh yeah, that Saturday is in there with the old clothes, coats that don't fit, and toys that no longer get played with. But sadly, the door is going to pop open and spill that Saturday out into my life to deal with whether I like it or not.

So, I have decided not to mope. I'm not a moper by nature. I have the will to succeed. I have decided to take my lemons and make at least watered down lemonade. So he is going to be gone for 6 months, wherein we will see each other for a 2 week leave, as a family, and then he'll resume duties in Afghanistan for another 6 months.

Someone told me I can do anything for a year. I suppose. I don't look at it in time passing but I look more at the things that will be missed, on both sides. He will miss birthdays, scouting events, camping trips with the boys. I will miss snuggling with him, talking with him while we sit in bed doing our nightly routines..he on the computer and me willing a ball of a yarn into a baby blanket for some poor unsuspecting mother who has no idea she's about to get her 6th yarn blanket for this poor baby...and it's not even Winter. What I have found already in his being gone since yesterday is that I have this intense will to survive and not just survive but excel. I can do it! And I can take charge and wield my wiry household into shape. So let's go to it.

One thing I have to laugh at is the things that seem to just rear their ugly heads. When I'm in my plain Jane life with Rob, nothing seems to really go amiss. There is the occasional foray into things unmastered before. But for the most part, we are self sufficient people who just go through our life, driving on the same roads every day, going to the same store (it's Groundhog Day, the movie..only I don't feel trapped by it). So lo and behold...the drama that seems to be lurking in the corners...waiting to come out when Rob isn't here.

Case #1: Monday was test day. The kids were due to walk home from school together for the first time in order to make life easier as I have to change my work hours to accommodate the new life changes. So they were instructed to gather together in the walker area and walk home together on a specified route. I'm at home for lunch and the phone rings. It's Laura, my 7 year old adult daughter. She happens to be Diane Keaton, stuck in the body of a 7 year old. So she's telling me "Hey Mom, can you come pick me up?" Rewind...pick you up..where you be child? She tells me that her new classmate wasn't sure how to get home so she walked her home. Oh crappo. I know right then that poor Aedyn is at the walkers area of the school, worried sick about why his sister is MIA. So I panic. Let's say I don't make the best decisions when I panic. I tell Laura I have no idea where she is. Common sense Eva would have said "Let me talk to your friend's Mom and find out where you are and I'll come and get you". But Common Sense Eva hangs out with 7 year old Diane Keaton only on Saturdays when the housework is done. We chill out and watch Hello Kitty movies together. I digress. So I told her to walk right back to the school and get to walkers area and I would meet her there. I drive over to the school in 10 seconds flat (it is after all just across the street). I am beyond normal behaviors at this point. I'm driven to find my daughter. She's now a little stray on the streets and perfect target for the many psychos that exist out there (or maybe they're just all in my head...but they're there). And yes, I'm going long here...bear with me. So I am running around at the back of the school, in the soggy baseball field that leads to a path that leads to the neighborhood where I believe my little Diane Keaton to be. So I'm calling her name, trudging through mud and debris, splashing it all over my work clothes. I don't care. I'm feeling helpless and stupid for telling her to walk back. She's not where I told her to be and it shouldn't be taking her this long. So I'm worried, I'm screaming, I'm crying...I'm a mess. I know my boys are in the school, probably in the front office because they don't know where else to turn and soon enough, my cell phone rings and it's the front office, wanting to know if I know where Laura is. I think this couldn't be any worse..nightmare is unfolding. I thought I might go all Gone With the Wind at that moment and get down on knees, in the mud, and cry out (only note I'm not wearing a dress made with the drapes from my window. I'll save that for when I'm institutionalized). So I go into the school to retrieve my brave little boys. I come back out and head to the field. Grant is suggesting I call 911. Oh I can't possibly be there at that point yet. I haven't exhausted all resources. I tell them that if I don't see her coming down that path in 3 minutes or less, we're heading home so I can call the phone number that Laura called me from and pinpoint the area where she might be. Then I see movement coming down the path and I feel in my gut this is my baby girl. And sure enough, I see that purple coat. Only, she's accompanied by two taller kids. I think at first they're just walking back to school and she happened to join their throng. I find out later that she was walking, or attempting to walk back to the school and got lost. Oh my heart breaks at hearing that. Dumb stupid nonsensical me...telling her to walk back to the school. But the boy, his name is Garrett, saw her crying and asked her her name and asked about her situation and then in the great goodness of his little 5th grade heart, he walked her back to the school and into my waiting arms. I wrote a gushing note of thanks and gave it to Aedyn to take to him (as Aedyn knows him) the next day. I can't express enough thanks to his parents for raising such a caring boy. Day 1 of walking...FAIL.

Case #2: Last night Grant was in the bathroom and thought it would be a great idea to try out the lock on the door. He's never used it before. He's 8, not at that trouble making age where they have to test and try out everything. But he did it. And then wouldn't you know it...he thought "What if..." and shut the door, light on. I can be glad at least he didn't have the water on. So no fear, we have keys. Yeah we have keys. We have keys to every lock known to man in the house...except the keys for that particular bathroom. THIS STUFF NEVER HAPPENS TO ME. Only when my husband makes a declaration to leave the country do these things seem to come out of the woodwork.

So with that, I bid adieu. I am looking with an eye to God, praying every day for peace and patience and a spirit of doing the best job I can do. That woman's poster from the 1940's WWII era, with her fist pumped and her do-rag on..THAT'S ME PEOPLE.

P.S., the bathroom door is still shut. Anyone know a locksmith?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Man UP, Woman!

So I am a total wimp. I admit this now. I am passive aggressive. Not much gets me mad. But there are things that get me upset. Today at work I was trying to explain something and it felt like I was speaking a different language to this bull dog of a lady. She heard Charlie Brown's "wa wa wa wa wa" while I was thinking I was being perfectly relatable and clear. After our group meeting, she pulled me aside and laid into me. I mean, we're talking drill instructor to his charges. She was ticked at what I said and felt that I was being unreasonable. I was speechless. And in the doom and gloom of my speechlessness (that's a lot of s's) I became silent, like a mute. I can't speak. I can't stand up for myself. Lumps the size of golfballs form in my throat as I gulp them down, like I'm drowning in my own spit. It's awful. And I have yet to find a way to overcome it. And then I saunter off, trying to remain calm but my emotions are very near the surface and I feel like exploding. If anyone talks to me in this perfect storm, I melt like butter and not in a good way. I become that girl everyone tries to avoid, the one that cries when you say hello. And so to my 5 readers I ask, what can I do? How do I toughen my exterior shell? How do I find a way to be like a football player in the workforce? I don't know. I am opening the line to suggestions. P.S. Going postal is not an option. And the FBI is probably recording this blog as I type it. I'm safe boys, I'm safe.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sticks and Stones

Valentines Day seems to have diminished. Year by year it seems less attended to. Grocery stores devote less aisle space. Candy seems to get cheaper and waxier. And the little Valentines that the children give out to their classmates seem to shrink in size so that you're left with a small square of a paper with which to scribe your feelings to your beloved classmates. With all that said, we still cherish the day because it gives us a chance to tell the ones we love that we do love them, in case we forget any other day of the year. If we're good (like myself) we express love every day. I feel I express it in many forms. I wash your poopy underwear child, that means I love you. I pick out the pee soaked tights that dearest daughter left in the bottom of her dirty clothes hamper to rot and stiffen like a clothing corpse. This means I love you. Although years later when you read this, you won't equate it with love. And I love my husband. He's so much fun to me. His humor every day, his way of making me laugh even when I have every reason to be mad...that's love. That's devotion. And I'm so thankful for it. Rob and I don't do anything for each other on Valentines Day. I'm not a sentimental gal. And that's alright. He isn't either. So we express our wishes for a Happy Valentines Day and move along. No hard feelings harbored. But what do we remember most for Valentines Day? The unique things. Take for instance the things I saw in rooting through my children's homemade sacks of Valentines. There were homemade cards. I parents feel that homemade cards created on thin printer paper, in a blue bic pen are sentimental or they've given up? Don't know. I'm assuming the better thoughts on that though..that homemade says I care. There were little bits of candies. And little expressions as we always remember Valentines Day to possess. Be Mine's and Kiss Me (please don't until your 16 children...ya hear me). But there is one gift given this year that I think my entire family will remember. You're on edge of seat, waiting for me to reveal it. Get your tissues you're thinking right? No. I arrived home from work, after picking up the three youngest children. Grant comes to me and says "Mom, Aedyn got a stick for Valentines Day". A stick? A stick, really? Aedyn chimed in, "It's true Mom". It didn't sound right so I asked him to bring it to me. It was a skewer, one you use for kabobs. It was cut in half. And there was nothing on it. No residue of fluffy hearts, no remnant pieces of a candy wrapper or waxy glue gun leftovers---just half a stick. Awesome. Who knows what its mission was in life. But it will always be the Valentine that we remember. A half a stick. Grant and Laura thought it was cool. My kids won't remember the candy or the cheap bic pen Valentine this year. They will remember something different, the stick with no indication as to what it was intended for. So lesson stand a stick.