More Crazy Ideas: Christmas Edition

I get these crazy ideas and then halfway through I am wondering what the heck I was thinking when I thought whatever it is I’m doing was a good idea.

Today was a classic example. It usually begins with a day with nothing planned.

Hmmm, what can we do today? Ah! I know! Let’s put up Christmas lights!!


Forget the fact that I have never put up outside lights before. (I mean really, how hard could it be?) In our house it’s considered a boy job. Since he isn’t here, why not give it a shot? My neighbors are all putting up all kinds of festive yard art and if they can do it, so can I! (I did consider letting Eric do it once he gets home, but since we don’t know the exact date yet, I figured if I got it done, he would have one less thing to do!)

So, scouring the garage for our outdoor lights, I vaguely remember them crapping out in Hawaii last year and Eric tossed them (later I confirmed this).

So off to the store we go. As usual the kidlets are excited by all the lights and fun Christmas paraphernalia they can hardly keep themselves contained, much less in the cart! We picked up a couple strings of multi-colored lights, some yard trees, and little path lights. We made it home and unpacked all the boxes. I grabbed a ladder and set to work.


In between trying to map out my plan of attack, I break up kid squabbles over the monster truck, whining “I wanna go insiiiiiide!” followed immediately by “I wanna come ouuuuuut!” “Let me climb the ladder!” “I need a hammer, too!” (Always a recipe for disaster) not to mention sideways freezing rain, wind blowing hair in my face, and hanging precariously from the rickety ladder that feels like it’s about to disintegrate beneath my feet.

Oh and did I mention that our house has some gutter hooks already set up for lights? Yep – that should make it easier.

Only not so much. They have been up there and out in the weather for who knows how long so now they are fragile and break off every other time I attempt to fasten the light string into the hook.

Off to Eric’s trusty toolbox to find a hammer and something to fasten the lights up with. Supplies gathered, I climb the rickety excuse for a ladder (have I mentioned I have a fear of heights?) and promptly hammer my thumb.

I did manage to keep the expletives in my head, but they wanted to come out so bad that they took on liquid form and leaked out of my eyes!

After the throbbing (and sobbing) subsided slightly, I managed to finish getting the lights secured. I also set up the extension cord and little tree path lights. The other trees are still in the box. I ran out of energy and the minions were demanding food. They get cranky when they don’t eat regularly. Go figure! I plan to snap some pictures of our completed yard art once I get it all up….

For now, it is time for first aid, tissues, and tea!


I am Woman… Part 2

Along with doing such man jobs as changing the oil, terminating spiders, and rewiring car stereos, I decided to put the “lift kit” on Jacob’s bed!
While this may be a decision I will regret, I have to say its been pretty fun so far. Jacob and Hannah both have been following the “rules of the slide” and haven’t been pushing and shoving. (That was the main reason we took it down before). But Hannah is a bit older now, has more coordination and they seem (on most days) to be able to work things out without any physicality. (Knock on wood).
I also love how it gives him so much more floor space where they can both crawl around under the bed and hide out. And, yes, I do enjoy rearranging the furniture. Just ask my hubbs. It’s a sickness, really.

Emotions and Gunk

What a day. It was a doozy. No – It was BRUTAL.
Deployments suck no matter what. When separated from the one you love and you don’t know where they are, can’t talk to them whenever you feel like it  – it just plain sucks.
It sucks it sucks it sucks.
But you work, you keep busy, you hang with friends, workout, shop, try new recipes, travel – do what you have to do to pass the time. And the time does pass. Homecoming FINALLY arrives and bliss returns.
Then you add kids to the mix and it’s just a whole other deal. This is my first deployment with kiddos and I was so unprepared. I knew it would be hard, but I was completely unprepared for the emotional aspect of watching the kids miss their Daddy terribly, not fully understanding why the heck Daddy can’t be with them, and I can’t do a damn thing about it. I can’t be Daddy. I can’t hug them and make them feel better. I can’t fix it.
And as a mom, that’s all I want to do. That’s my job.  I’m the kisser of boo-boos and it makes it all better. I can’t kiss their little hearts when they are missing daddy. And it breaks mine.
We’ve been meeting with a counselor from FOCUS – an organization that teaches resiliency/coping techniques to military families. I have to say – it has done so much for us. They’ve given us tools that help us all articulate and normalize feelings.  For Jacob this has been so beneficial.
While this program is awesome and I’m so glad to be able to take advantage of what it has to offer, the flip side is that I am more aware of how this separation affects the kids. (And instead of staying busy, I’m having to deal with all this gunk.) Basically it’s emotional hell. It goes back to the frustrating helpless feeling. I’m the mom, but I can’t make it better. The only thing I can do is teach coping skills and normalize big scary feelings.
Before we even got out of bed this morning, Jake was dreaming about Daddy. He does this often and it makes me smile that at least he gets to play with him in his dreams. But this morning he said someone was “shooting daddy”. Not quite sure where he picked that up. And then later in our session with the counselor he expressed his fear that Daddy wasn’t “safe” that he might be “killed”. Didn’t even know he knew that word. Through play he also expressed that he was scared that Daddy wasn’t going to come back.
This is just so hard.
I don’t have any answers for him. I don’t know which magic words to use that make his fears go away. All I can do is trudge through the days with him as best I can. We talk about his fears and feelings, and discuss how we can get back to feeling okay and happy again. I hope I’m teaching him coping skills that he’ll use throughout his life. I guess that’s all I can do – model for him healthy ways to deal with life. That and pray for guidance and know that I’m doing the best I can do.
%d bloggers like this: