Thursday, May 31, 2007

Freakshow: Reunion Tour

Vacation tomorrow! Thank the Lord. Really, I just want to be somewhere cool with a cup of hot coffee chatting with family and friends. I want a couple of days at the overpriced Disney empire, watching the utter JOY that What Not To Wear has when talking to the princesses. I want to watch Dirty Job sitting in Grammy's sink, taking a bath. I am looking forward to a date with My Deadliest Catch - it's been way WAY too long.

I will miss the freak show, though. We just had a reunion dinner tonight (Corporal Cutie and Captain Mom were out of town for a couple of weeks), and all the freaks were in full form. It made me laugh and appreciate my children and my friends all the more. What will we do without them for a week? Not to worry, we have the rest of the summer together AND passes to the Waterpark, where I'm sure many an adventure will be had. Bring on the sunscreen...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Crying From Laughter

I read this story on another post, and I was seriously tearing up from laughing so hard...maybe because I've had a few moments like these...

A 3-year-old tells all from his mother’s restroom stall.

By Shannon Popkin

My little guy, Cade, is quite a talker. He loves to communicateand does it quite well. He talks to people constantly, whetherwe’re in the library, the grocery store or at a drive-thru window.People often comment on how clearly he speaks for ajust-turned-3-year-old. And you never have to ask him to turn up the volume. It’s always fully cranked. There’ve been several embarrassing times that I’ve wished the meaning of his words wouldhave been masked by a not-so-audible voice, but never have I wished this more than last week at Cosco.Halfway, through our shopping trip, nature called, so I took Cade with me into the restroom. If you’d been one of the ladies in the restroom that evening, this is what you would have heard coming from the second to the last stall:‘Mommy, are you gonna go potty? Oh! Why are you putting toiwet paper on the potty, Mommy? Oh! You gonna sit down on da toiwet paper now? Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, are you gonna go stinkies on the potty?’At this point I started mentally counting how many women had been in the bathroom when I walked in. Several stalls were full … 4? 5? Maybe we could wait until they all left before I had to make my debut out of this stall and reveal my identity.

Cade continued, ‘Mommy, you ARE going stinkies aren’t you? Oh, dats a good girl, Mommy! Are you gonna get some candy for going stinkies on the potty? Let me see doze stinkies, Mommy! Oh …Mommy I’m trying to see in dere. Oh! I see dem.Dat is a very good girl, Mommy. You are gonna get some candy!’I heard a few faint chuckles coming from the stalls on either side of me. Where is a screaming newborn when you need her?Good grief. This was really getting embarrassing. I was definitely waiting a long time before exiting.

Trying to divert him, I said, ‘Why don’t you look in Mommy’s purse and see if you can find some candy. We’ll both have some!’

‘No, I’m trying to see doze more stinkies. Oh! Mommy!’ He started to gag at this point.‘Uh oh, Mommy. I fink I’m gonna frow up. Mommy, doze stinkies are making me frow up!! Dat is so gross!!’ As the gags became louder, so did the chuckles outside my stall. I quickly flushed the toilet in hopes of changing the subject. I began to reason with myself: OK. There are four other toilets. If I count four flushes, I can be reasonably assured that those who overheard this embarrassing monologue will be long gone.

‘Mommy! Would you get off the potty, now? I want you to be done going stinkies! Get up!Get up!’ He grunted as he tried to pull me off.

Now I could hear full-blown laughter. I bent down to count the feet outside my door. ‘Oh, are you wooking under dere, Mommy? You wooking under da door? What were you wooking at, Mommy? You wooking at the wady’s feet?’ More laughter. I stood inside thelocked door and tried to assess the situation.‘Mommy, it’s time to wash our hands, now.We have to go out now, Mommy.’ He started pounding on the door.‘Mommy, don’t you want to wash your hands? I want to go out!!’

I saw that my ‘wait ‘em out’ plan was unraveling. As I sheepishly opened the door, and found an open sink, I thought, Where’s the fine print on the ‘motherhood contract’ where I signed away every bit of my privacy?But as my little boy gave me a big, cheeky grin while he rubbed the bubbly soap between his chubby little hands, I thought, I’d sign it all away again, just to be known as Mommy to this little fellow.
(Shannon Popkin is a freelance writer and mother of three. She lives with her family in Grand Rapids , Michigan, where she no longer uses public restrooms)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

American Idol

Randy - Janet Jackson called. She wants her 1980's Control jacket back.
Other than that, I had a stellar time watching the finale. I was a little worried when Blake had an AMAZING 1st round performance. He was GOOD. But my girl Jordin came through. She did fantastic. Simon's last round opinion was right on. She'd better take the crown! This is reality TV though, so anything can happen...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Just write!

I don't know what to write. I sit here tonight feeling so much, yet, I have no words. I considered not putting anything in writing for this reason. But, the point of this blog is to be real, to be come just as we are.

I have spent the past 6 days surrounded by family. I have laughed, eaten, played games and watched our little ones explore the world. I have taken walks and sat on the patio. I have enjoyed incredible weather. I even sat through a rainstorm. I have colored multiple sidewalks with colorful chalk. I have cuddled a baby and rocked and swayed as I kiss his baby soft skin.

I have sat in a room full of loved ones and felt oddly out of touch. I have been impatient as my little girl has whined to be picked up, yet again. I have been resentful that I can't be involved in the card game because I need to attend to my child. I have been wistful as I watch a little girl play with her daddy...and watch my little girl look on...wanting to get involved. I have been lonely in a roomful of people.

These daily encounters leave me feeling torn. I am thankful for the many blessings in my life. I am struggling with the life I have been called to lead. I am grateful for the lessons I am learning in this journey. I am guilty for being irritable and impatient. But, more than anything, I am humbled. Humbled by a God who loves me so much that He is willing to challenge my comfort in order to prosper my family.

Thank you God for the good work you are doing in my family. I continue to see miracles in my husband's life. I have seen him grow leaps and bounds through this deployment. I see excitement and wonder in my daughter's eyes. May my frustration never squash her pure joy. And Lord, keep my eyes focused on you. That I would not spend so much time focused on my problems that I lose sight of you. And Lord, especially when I don't feel it, remind me of my daily blessings. Help me to have a heart that is tender to your leading. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Racer has tripped and faceplanted

Dear God,

Umm, sorry about that cuss word I uttered today. That was quite unbecoming. Especially since I said it in front of What Not To Wear. As You know, my patience is hanging on by a thread. I'm hanging on by a thread.

I'm overwhelmed. I'm undersleeped. Not a good combo. I'm not bringing my burdens to You. I'm not allowing You to hold me close. I'm standing at a distance, with my self pity, and my "I don't understand...why me?" monologue. And I don't understand. I feel like I'll never be good at mothering. I'll never have enough patience. And who kids, my husband. How unfair to them.

I feel like my journey as Dirty Job's mother and advocate is taking a very wrong turn. Like a very bad dream. And frankly, I just want to wake up. I want to go back to our life in which taking him off the pacifier was my biggest concern. The life where my dreams for him were never interrupted with words like "autism" or "sensory issues" or the thought that he may never speak. This obviously isn't the path that You have for us. I don't know why, but You do. And apparently I have some trust issues, because it's really hard for me to lay this one down. Above and beyond all that, I'm quite postive that I'm not a very good reflection of you right now. My self absorption dims Your light in my life.

I feel like I ask so much. And yet, Lord, I keep asking. I tiptoe into your presence and beg for you to hold me. Only You can get me through this process. A process that I am so scared will be lifelong. Surely You, O King, can change my circumstances. And if You won't, please change my heart. Let this fire refine me. Keep killing my flesly desires...they are so unbecoming. Help me to recognize all the gifts you have given me. Help me to be balanced with my children. Give me your grace moment by moment...any longer than that and I'm a trainwreck.

Father, carry me through knees are buckling.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ford Idol

WNTW and I were walking out of Target yesterday and we were parked next to a Ford. WNTW pointed to the Ford sign and said Look, American Idol. Apparently the people in marketing/advertising are doing something right. Either that or I have SERIOUS reality show issues. And that couldn't possibly be the problem...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Time for Reflection

I find myself in a reflective mood this Mother's Day. I began my day with a phone call from Major Hunk. He awoke me early to ensure he was able to use the phones before they got too busy. Last night I went to bed after receiving a mother's day gift from him in the mail. He is so thoughtful. He has made sure that each of my Mother's Days have not gone unnoticed. As we chatted this morning, the realization hit me that he has been away for both Mother's Days since Corporal Cutie was born. And so began my day of reflection...

Major Hunk has been deployed for the past year. He will be deployed for another 9 - 12 months. I began to reflect on what he has really missed since he has been gone. I can't list them all, because it would be really depressing. He has missed most of the major milestones in his first child's life. Thankfully, he was here for her birth and the first 4 months of her life. But, I think what amazes me most is the connection that they have despite the separation. I pray that the Lord will draw them close and knit their hearts together. The world says, "How sad, she doesn't even know him." But, through the mercy of a loving God, she does know her daddy. Thank you God.
As I sat tonight and reflected on my 2 Mother's Days, I was struck how big the Cutie has gotten. I sat and watched her play. I watched as a little girl explored her world. She climbed onto and off of the couch. She turned on her musical rocker and climbed on. She ran and she ran and she ran. She talked to me, to Gramma, to the dog. She found the car charger for the cell phone and searched and searched for a place to plug in on the the stereo. I found myself wondering...If I wasn't watching so vigilantly, just waiting for something new to report to the Major...would I have missed it? Would I miss the daily reminders of how fast she is growing and changing? Would I have missed the quirks of her personality that make her so uniquely her? I think I might.

I pray that I don't forget when this deployment is over. I pray that I am not so busy living my life that it passes me by.

Lord, thank you for this deployment. Thank you for the daily reminders of the wonderful man I am blessed to share my life with. Thank you for the little girl you have entrusted to my care. Lord, I pray that I remember. When I brush off a hug because I am busy or tired, remind me of the months with out feeling my husbands arms. When I want to ignore MH because I am angry or frustrated, remind me of the days when I didn't get to hear his voice. And when I am sick of hearing CC whine, remind me of the smile in her daddy's voice when he could hear her over an 8000 mile phone call. Give us strength to complete this mission and to grow and change as You lead. In the name of Jesus.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sleep Deprived Blog

For the love of Christmas (familiar if you watched Starting Over, yet another reality show that I loved)! Dirty Job went to bed after 11:30 last night. His room catches a TON of morning sunshine (it looks like the sun is actually rising in his room), so I thought I'd be smart and bunk him in with What Not To Wear. I thought he'll definitely sleep until at least 8 then. So I stayed up and caught up on my favorite grown up show...Joke's on me. DJ woke up at the fine time of 5:35am. He has NEVER gotten up that early! I am exhausted. Plus, I had to change a bomb this morning and I keep smelling remnant poop on his person. Suddenly, I'm thinking of Fergie's Glamorous song and I know she envies this life I'm leading...

So yesterday some friends and I had a girls night out. We went to the Improv sideshow, and then to Swensen's for some dessert. Two noteworthy things happened there. #1 - Two people who are trying to lose weight shared the death by chocolate dessert. I won't name names, but Amazing Racer and Captain Mom were two of the pair. The premise of "sharing" that scrumptious dessert caused me to devour it as if I've made no progress in my eating habits. I mean, if my table didn't have 3 other ladies at it, I would've licked the dish it was served in. So this morning I am suffering from a little of what I like to call Catholic guilt. A little history here:

I was raised Catholic by my parents, whom I love very much. In fact, I still like the Catholic church. It just wasn't the best fit for me. Anyhoo, apparently when you leave the Catholic church, you get to take Catholic guilt with you! It's their gift to you. And it is the gift that keeps on giving. So today, I am returning to my roots and have decided that my penance will be to eliminate 4 points from my eating today. You are not supposed to do this, but for me, penance will absolve me from my sin of overindulgence, hence eliminating my guilt. So I'm doing it. I can't take the guilt. It was a essential reminder on how far I have to go on this eating issue in my life. I have to depend on the Lord every time I make a decision of what to put in my mouth...until it becomes a part of who I am. I have to ask why I'm eating and how I feel when I'm eating. I have to keep reminding myself that the process is definitely worth the end result. I want to be healthy...and wear a two piece to the anniversary trip to Hawaii or the Caribbean that my Deadliest Catch will be taking me on!

Wow, I didn't even address #2 yet. After we had our booth, we began to notice an unusually high amount of teenagers coming in. And they kept coming...soon almost the entire restaurant was filled with these teens. The interesting thing about this is that on a whole, they seemed to be socially awkward. So then we began to take guess at what social clique they belonged to...drama kings/queens, choir geeks, bando's, etc...groups that when we were in high school were the weird ones. Of course, I was part of a socially awkward group which will remain nameless so my current friends don't send me into therapy with their laughter. Anyways, I spent some time observing their interactions and all around awkwardness and I came home and still couldn't get it out of my mind. And the bottom line is this...there are still settings where I feel socially awkward. Where I am second guessing who I am, where I am asking, "Am I enough...will they like me" These teens were such a great reminder to look on others with grace and compassion. It reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Mean Girls, when Cady breaks through the cliques and everyone gets a piece of the Spring Fling crown. Really, isn't that what Jesus came to do? Well, not give everyone a piece of the Spring Fling crown, but to break through cliques and offer His salvation, and with that, become co-heirs in the Kingdom? (I know, you didn't know Mean Girls could have a meaningful lesson). And why am I, at 30, still bounding people to a label? I want the freedom to be different, to make better choices daily...why don't I offer that to others? We are all so valuable in the Lord's sight...and I need to see people through His value. I need to been seen by others through His value of me...

Wow, apparently I like to talk (type) alot about things that are only meaningful to me...oh well. Happy Saturday.

Friday, May 11, 2007

And so it begins...

I was introduced to blogs by a family member. For a long time I enjoyed her blog alone. Then I began venturing over to blogs she enjoys, other family and friends. From there I linked to others and so on and so forth. Now I can say, I am officially hooked on this thing called blogging. I never thought a blog would work for me. I am not a good writer and I am an over-editor (if there is such a word). I have been known to write and re-write to the point where I lose the importance of what I was trying to say and then I just delete all of it. I have been challenged by my dear friend, the Amazing Racer, to just put my thoughts to paper here. I will spell check them for you. But aside from that, I will do very little editing. I apologize in advance if this results in haphazard posts and poorly written thoughts. But, I think it is an important part of my process. As in writing, I tend to over-analyze my thoughts and conversations. I have been known to avoid important conversations all together because I feel as though I can't find the perfect way to say it. So, here I am to begin a journey of faith. Faith that the Lord will honor this huge stretch for me. Faith that if you think my posts are a mess and poorly written that you will keep it to yourself. Thank you for indulging me.
(Side-note: I must confess I did re-read this and began re-writing. Like I's a process)

Now, onto my introduction. I (Captain Mom) am a Daughter of the King (Jesus), Husband to a hero (Major Hunk), Mom to an amazing little girl (Corporal Cutie) and friends with an incredible bunch (the Freak Show). Here I intend to chronicle this crazy thing called life.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's My Reality

After being introduced to a few blogs by my dear friend, Captain Mom, WE (CM and I) have decided to co-host a blog. We are quite amused by our lives and if only the two of us ever read this thing, it will still make us laugh until one of us pees or blows coffee out their nose (and being that CM doesn't drink coffee, we know who that'd be).

What should we talk about? Do we need a mission statement? Do we know how to navigate our way through creating a blog? I guess we're here to talk about anything and everything...motherhood, marriage, emotional eating, our relationship with the Lord, the ups and the down on the scale of life. Many of our days include tears, but I believe there are just as many that come from laughter as there are that come from grief. So here we are, getting real, about our lives. And if we can't navigate our way through, we'll laugh about that, too.

After much deliberation over IM and Sonic drinks, I'd like to introduce my family: My husband, The Deadliest Catch (the love I have for him may kill me someday); my daughter, What Not To Wear (evidence to be posted later); my son, Dirty Jobs (he's 2 - need I say more); and me, The Amazing Racer...not that I'm amazing, but I'm a racer, and the race I'm in IS amazing.