From Military to Mom for a year

By , August 27, 2010 8:52 am

Can’t believe I’m nearing a year of blogging.  I love, absolutely love, writing here and can’t tell you how encouraged I’ve been by all of your comments.

I was feeling a little nostalgic and decided to link to a few of my favorite posts from the last year.

My first post

That silly beret

Best detergent ever

Favorite picture

My hero

Why I started this thing

Man-speak

The one about pee

Joining the Army

After a year, I’m also kinda wondering what you like to read here.  Please comment, even if you’ve never commented before, and help me out.  Do you come for the Army stuff, the mommy stuff, or maybe even my weak attempts at humor?  Would love to hear your opinion.

Finally, thank you.  I don’t know how long I’ll keep this blogging thing up, but right now it’s a integral part of my life.

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The Terrific Twos

By , August 19, 2010 10:05 pm

Zeke discovers mascara and mineral make-up

Just after Bubba turned 2, my mother-in-law warned me of Haus’ terrible twos.  A bull in a china closet, she said.  Bubba, however, breezed through his twos as a sweet, complacent little boy.  With one small warning look, he immediately avoided trouble.  Bull?  Ha!  I remember thinking Haus couldn’t have been that rambuncious because raising Bubba as a two-year-old was pretty easy.

Then Bubba got a little brother.  A handsome, funny, stubborn little brother.  From the moment Zeke discovered his free will, he’s been using it.  Oh MAN has he been using it!  Loving my little bull Zeke can be trying.  I don’t particularly love when he spreads baking soda across the kitchen floor or squeezes a half a tube of A&D ointment down carpeted stairs or powders the master bedroom rug, sheets, and his p.j.s with dark purple mineral eye shadow.  Did I mention that was all in the last three days?  This kiddo splits his lip at least once a week trying to escape to the nearby park or mimicking big brother. Yesterday, I made my first call to poison control.  I stepped out of my three minute shower to find him chugging a bottle of children’s Benadryl.  How he got into the medicine cabinet and took off the “child-proof” cap in those three minutes is beyond me.

You’d think I don’t watch the kid.  How in three days could he possible spread more than three different substances on our carpet and swig Benadryl?  I think velcroing him to my body is about the only way I can guarantee he won’t get into something.  I recently laughed over the phone as a girlfriend described her solution to her curious second child.  She said she strapped him in a baby sling to her body whenever they left the house.  I’m just about there.  The kid laughs at spankings and uses the N.O. word regardless of the circumstances, even when he means yes.

Believe it or not, I love both of my sons equally.  They are very different, but that’s one of the main things I love about them.  Zeke is demanding, but he’s also a generous hugger.  He’s fearless, but my sensitive snuggle-bug.  I think God blessed him with soft blonde hair and those deep blue eyes because He knew with one little lopsided grin I’m able to forget his challenges.

So here I go into Zeke’s terrific twos.  My little fireball is turning two on Tuesday.  As I repeat to myself, he’s making me into a better mom, he’s making me into a better mom, I remain positive that Zeke and I are up for an amazing year.  Happy birthday to my baby boy, my crazy, independent, spirited little boy.  Oh and by the way, he survived the Benadryl… he’d spilled enough on his shirt that it’s only side effect was a very long nap.

Do you have a monster… ahem, independent kiddo at home?  If so, I’d love to hear about them!

Happy Birthday, Zeke!

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Supporting homeless veterans

By , August 10, 2010 9:35 pm

I looked up from the stoplight and stared at his eyes first.  They drooped, red and swollen, just as his clothes hung limp from a broken body.  He leaned on one crutch with a sign, “Disabled Vet.  Anything helps.”  The kids giggled in their car seats behind me and I thought, I’ve got to do something.  Searching my car, I looked past library books, a crumpled granola bar wrapper, and pocket change.  No cash, no food.  What could I do?  The light changed and I hesitated until Bubba said, “Go, Mom.  You gotta go.”  Accelerating past this empty man, I shook my head wondering how a veteran came to the point of begging at a street corner.

A few weeks passed and I couldn’t stop thinking about him.  It hadn’t been that long since outprocessing the Army and I knew there were support programs out there.  So I started researching.  I found these websites in the Denver area:

Veterans Helping Veterans- provides information and assistance to veterans and their families

Progressive Veterans- a not-for-profit organization that supports veterans and informs the community of veteran’s issues through outreach activities

Veteran Green Jobs- a non-profit organization the trains and equips veterans to restore the environment, economy, and community

As I perused the websites, I couldn’t help but think the programs were great, but… every week I see veterans, homeless veterans, holding signs, begging.  How could I tell these men and women about the support available for them in the amount of time it takes a stop light to turn green?  I felt helpless until I found this site for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  The VA has a goal to end veteran homelessness in the next five years.  Part of that program includes a call center for veterans that provides free 24/7 access to trained counselors.  So I printed this out on my computer:

I printed out a page of these, cut them out, and put them in the glove box of my car.  It’s not a lot but I wanted something I could give them for support.  I don’t know how that man’s path led to being homeless, but I know that anyone that’s served our country deserves all the help they can get.  Have any other ideas to support homeless veterans?  Please post your comments.

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Done camping for the season

By , August 2, 2010 8:10 pm

We just came back from our last camping trip of the summer and I realized that I left off one vital item when writing my car camping list

Rain gear.  Lots of rain gear.

It rained, it poured, and the only one that refused to snore was Zeke, the non-napping, non-sleeping, I’m-going-to-drive-my-mom-crazy-with-whining, almost-two year old.  Needless to say, we came back a day early.  All of my complaining aside, we did have fun, made new friends, and enjoyed most of the trip.  Really, how much can I complain when we woke up to this view…

And I went for a run on a road like this…

Done camping for the season.  Yep.  I’m sure I’ll conveniently forget all of the awful nights with Zeke and the incredibly tedious prepping of all of the food.  By the time we think about camping again, I’ll only remember Bubba’s perma-grin.  I “rough it” so that I can see my little boy’s face look like this…

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