Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pool day.

If you are a fan of Paw Patrol, and I know you are, then you know there is an episode where the pups save a pool day.  AW of course has seen this episode many times.  And he talks about having a pool day fairly often.  So FINALLY, summer is upon us and the local pools have opened.  And we had a real pool day.

See this smile here?  This is AW's I'm really, really happy smile.  And as a mom, that smile is pretty much the best thing ever.
He had fun just going up and down the steps for a while.
Then he ventured off a bit.  The water was pretty frigid. But that wasn't stopping him.
Waiting for the lifeguards to give the all clear to go back in.
And here's DW lounging around waiting to be discovered to do the next sports illustrated swim suit cover.
We can't wait for our next pool day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A day to remember.

There has been so much I have wanted to write about lately but I feel the universe, or perhaps just my children, are conspiring against it.  But I do want to force myself to stop a moment in the midst of our hectic days and share this post with you.

Yesterday was Memorial Day.  This weekend usually means the start of summer - backyard barbecues, camping trips, sunny pool or beach days - and the summer season is a wonderful thing to celebrate with family and friends. But in the fervor to crack open a beer, light up the grill, and make a red, white, and blue Pinterest cake, sometimes we may lose sight of what Memorial Day truly commemorates.  It is a day to remember those who died in service to our country.  It is sometimes confused with Veterans Day, which commemorates all those who have served, but the day is set aside to honor those brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.  And honor them we should.

Before I became a military wife, the truth is, the day did not have much personal meaning for me.  Growing up, war was something in the history books, and felt very far away.  But then September 11th occurred.  And then we were a country at war.  And yet still, it was something that didn't bump into my world too often or too forcefully.  

But now, after being on the other side - no longer living in the quiet comfort of my civilian world - the day is filled with more emotion than I think I can handle at times.  When you see your husband's unit deploy to war and not all of them make it back, the meaning of so many things once taken for granted become amplified. The American flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, a bugle call, the boom of gunfire.  These things stir my heart now in a way that could not have existed before. I stepped over a threshold where every day country, honor, duty and sacrifice all have new and very real meaning.  

There is a running group we have become affilited with that is committed to honoring those men and women who have fallen and their families. Wear Blue: run to remember ( began at JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-mcChord) in our old town of Dupont, WA.  I would see blue clad runners around town on Saturday mornings and see the chalk messages written into the pavement urging runners to keep going and urging us all to remember the fallen.  
The group has grown and spread across the world now and we are proud to have been a part of the first meet-up here at Fort Leavenworth. Before each run names of those who have died in service are called out, a moment of silence observed and prayer said.  

The route we take goes past the cemetery on post and reminds us.  It reminds us of those that have been lost.  It reminds us of the families that were left behind. It reminds us of all the men and women still deployed, still in harm's way.  It reminds us that every day we have with our servicemember should not be taken for granted. 
It was special, inspirational, humbling and emotional to run with this group on Memorial Day and to be a part of an even larger community running for the organization all over the world.  We pledged the miles we ran in rememberance.  The goal of Wear Blue was to have 6,803 runners pledging their miles for the 6,803 casualties since the war on terror began.
The goal was surpassed.  And for me a new Memorial Day tradition was born - wearing blue and running in rememberance to honor these heroes. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Assembly required. (part two)

What is the number one worst thing about having kids?  Assembling toys.  Seriously.  Though you just dropped $50 or $100 or $3,000 on a toy, you can not just enjoy the toy. Now you have to do work and put it together.

And what makes assembling toys even easier?  Having your two kids and your weird cat assisting you.

Confusing parts?  Check.

Drill that doesn't charge? Check.  (Note to HW: we need a new power drill.  Spoiler alert:  That shall be your father's day present.)
Child that refuses to get out of the car as you are trying to assemble it?  Check.
Two adults?  Err... 

Dear toy companies, I do not have a second adult to help me with assembly.  And getting halfway through the assembly and having the little two person symbol suddenly appear makes me very angry.  Perhaps you should specify earlier in the instructions this is a two man job.  Thanks.

I break the rules and attempt this two person maneuver with just one person.  It works.  Because I am amazing.
But then this happens.  I am not amazing.  

Later, HW saved the day and helped me get that hubcap on.

And we have a happy toddler.
DW was pretty excited about it too...we may need two cozy coupes in the very near future...

Assembly required. (part one)

All toddlers love cozy coupes.  So why, you ask, do we not own a cozy coupe?  Because they take up space.  And because we move a lot.  And because we have no garage.  And because AW has enough toys.

But our neighbors down the block have a cozy coupe.  And AW kept trying to carjack it.  

So to avoid more awkward moments with the kids down the block, I decided to take AW to Toys R Us to find him a cozy coupe. 

Since I am not completely familiar with the area I really have no idea where Toys R Us is located.  So I just typed it into my iPhone maps and picked the closest one that popped up.  So I drive there.  And find out it's not a Toys R Us. Yeah, THANKS A LOT STUPID LAME TOY STORE THAT IS NOT A TOYS R US FOR LISTING YOURSELF AS A TOYS R US ON IPHONE MAPS.  Now I have to drive two crying kids an extra 15 minutes down the road to the real Toys R Us.  Now I hate your store forever and will never shop there for anything.

Anyway.  We get to the REAL Toys R Us and look for the coupe.  So where does Toys R Us put the cozy coupes?  In the same aisle with all of these AMAZING battery powered dream cars that make the cozy coupe look like chopped liver.

And tricycles?  No one wants to see tricycles.

AW sat in all of them.  I had to break his little heart though and tell him his dream car was not in our budget.

I finally coaxed him out of the power cars and got him excited about the cozy coupe.
Thanks Toys R Us for making this experience not fun at all.  I thought I would have been a hero but now I'm begging this kid to say yes to a toy he once loved.  In the end he did get excited.  Whew.