Friday, April 23, 2010

He'll Be Comin' Down the 10 When He Comes

We are rounding the bend, folks. Hubby is coming home on Sunday afternoon. Yes, he of impeccable timing will have missed the Jumpzone party and any chance that I can take a nap that day. Unbelievable. He'll be here in time for dinner,.. which I supposed I have to dust off the cook books and remember how to cook.

But first we have to hide the evidence of our opulent lifestyle. We have to eat the rest of Martha Greens' cake that got left at my house after my Tuesday night girly night (Score! I know when to host a party - I want the leftover cake!) We have two days left to make our way to Long John Silver's. But seriously, just thinking about that place makes my triceps flap around. We should eat the rest of the prepared meals to make way for real food that needs to be lovingly transformed into something edible, instead of something you just zap in a microwave oven. I need to drink the rest of the preground coffee and go get the real beans.

Don't get me wrong, we are happy to have daddy back. if for no other reason than needing someone to figure out how to turn off the close captioning on the TV that mysteriously showed up at at the beginning of the week. Do you know how irritating it is to have closed captioning when you are trying to concentrate on watching what's happening on the TV show? Or how annoying it is to constantly have discussions with your 13 year old on 'Why do they have closed captioning on American Idol, anyway? Do you really think deaf people watch that show?" I don't know honey, I'm trying to watch the show that has closed captioning on the bottom third and not get distracted by five small bodies propelling themselves around my house,..

And I don't know why I always think I'll have some sort of major freedom when Hubby leaves. It's not like I'm shackled to my house more when he's here,... But for some reason I always think I'll do more for myself when he's gone. Why is that? Instead of two adults to take care of five kids, there is only one. Obviously, I'm not good at math. What have I accomplished? No girlie movies have been watched. I can't watch scary movies because I'm too much of a wimp to watch them when hubby is not here. Gym? Once I think, before the B caught 'gymdaycarphobia' and really, who can blame her? The attendants for the most part do nothing and the place looks like a jail cell - concrete walls and a small window for the kiddies to peer out and see their parents sweating away on a machine. I can't really sell it, because my heart's not in it. Running? Meh,.. a few times, but it's been raining and cold (below 70) and I'm sure someone will get sick if I take them out in the wind (because I'm so swift, ya know). Rowing machine? Hahahahahaha. Hubby's lucky I haven't wheeled it over to the edge of the pool, frankly.

So, while I'm excited to hear he's doing great and has taken boat rides and danced til midnight with small children and 100 year old womene (the others are off limits, so says our marriage contract), visited volcanoes and hiked in the jungle, I'll try not to be jealous that my sould fullfilling activities are smaller in impact. I have to drum up some stories about my exciting life. Uhm,.. picking buggers off car seats with my finger nail? Nah,.. The 8 year old getting medicine from a blister beetle for the bumps on his back? Marginal,...Whether or not the 2 year old's vomit this morning was a 5 alarm (she's got something infectious! Quarrantine!) or 1 alarm (apple juice went down the wrong pipe and should I keep sniffing the couch to assess the damage, or just 'fess up and break out the cleaning equipment now,..)

Well, the pups are up. Gotta feed the masses.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Yep, that's me. It began when I was a teenager. Maybe it was the need to fit in as my army family moved us all over the world. By the time I graduated high school the list of activities I was involved in was a mile long. In college, I remember sitting in the VP for Student Affairs office trying to plead my case that I had too much going on and had to drop a class. He didn't go for it.

It's like what they say about addictions - whether it's eating, or drinking, or shopping (although I do those all pretty well, mind you). I am an activity-aholic. Hubby is gone and I fill my time to the brim with countless activities. This weekend alone we had a friend spend the night, watched two movies, went to Anaheim for some football training, visited a bookstore, ran a 5K, went to Mass, attended the free kid's concert hosted by the Redlands Symphony Orchestra and ate dinner at a friend's house. No wonder I'm tired, eh? I need hubby to come home so I can return to the sloth that is the real me. Really.

The 5K was fabulous! I ran it with my bud. Between walkin' and talkin' and pushing two double strollers we had a nice time of 42:18. All this without running over anyone - an amazing feat - there must have been 20,000 people vying for the finish line.

Hubby continues to do well in Guatemala. A few people have been taken down by fevers and the like, but they are finished with their bridge and today is the dedication for the bridge. The bridge is 120 feet spanning a river that separates two villages. During the rainy season the river is uncrossable so the village's children can not attend school and people can not go to the one clinic in the area. Locals have told Hubby that the bridge is going to save their childrens' lives.

It is a mile walk to the bridge site from the village where Hubby's team is staying. They have had to hand carry all their supplies to the site. About 20 villagers have been helping every day and they've gotten the bridge complete ahead of schedule.

This morning the team is heading over to the school, run by a South African man, to play football and soccer and hang out with the kids. They've been playing American football with the kids each night. Hubby is known once more as 'Superman' if for no other reason than his extreme height - especially in places like Guatemala, Indonesia, the Philippines,.. where people are petite. They are all having a great time. And I'm so jealous. So, to bury the green monster, I guess I'll do some more stuff,...Just one more week and he's home! I can rest again!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Talking to Myself

Hi there Hubby,

It was good to talk to you. I'm so excited to hear your bridge building down in Guatemala is going so well. So well that you finished a week early. But you are coming home on the predetermined date. I'm sure that you totally "worked your butt off" and "deserve a little r&r." You go ahead and hang out by some tropical Latin American pool for an entire week. I'll be here, feeding and clothing your five children. Cleaning your house. Stocking your fridge. Washing your clothes.

But before I get all homicidal housewifey,.. I'll be honest, I'm doing stuff for me too. Besides the Trader Joe's fully cooked meals, I signed up for a little 5K for tomorrow morning. No biggy, just some fun time with my buddy as we run over really, really slow people who are also in the race. I picked up my bib and tee shirt this afternoon. All I can say is thank goodness I was wearing jeans; you should have seen the stems on some of those racers. I don't think I could have legs like that if I bought them on Ebay.

I've been trying to be good about working out. But my ridiculous German Shepherd has lost 10 lbs since December and would make an impressive 90 lb. dog; instead he is about 65 pounds. Besides the fact that it is embarrassing to run my pet skeleton with me around the neighborhood, I don't want him burning any more calories than absolutely necessary. So, I took him to the vet this past Friday and spent about $200 to find out that he is,... skinny. Yes, thank you very much. I figured that. For once I'd like to pay for an expensive medical procedure for a pet and have it actually find out something. So' we've switched his food to something more meaty (if for no other reason than the price) and are trying to hide the fact from my fat husky that the skinny shepherd is eating twice in the day.

Then, the gym was going well until the B decided she didn't like any of the kids, so now I can last through warm up and about 5 minutes in to whatever I'm doing, then that sad little face shows up pressing against the glass of the gym class room and I have to shelve the stop, weights and bands and tread home. Just enough of a work out to know I really didn't do anything, but I did do more than want to go home and wrangle kids and dogs into the double stroller and the leashes (where they end up depends on the amount of legs they have) and haul them all around the neighborhood. Yes, I can find an excuse on a desert island, I'm telling you.

Well,. time to stop my fun Saturday evening of folding hubby's freshly starched shirts (hehe) and blogging and wrestle small children to bed.

Peace out.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dear Husband,

I'm so sorry I missed your call last night. I was really looking forward to talking to you since the last time we talked was Sunday night. It's tough for me, the iPhone, laptopped multitasking dervish to accept that fact that the Guatemalan jungle does not have an Internet connection and you have to share one cell phone with 200 paltry minutes between your 15 team members. But I can handle it.

I missed your call because I had to have all my faculties about me as I navigated the McTeacher Night at the local McDonald's, a crazed experience when both parents are available to handle the children; guerilla tactics were required for me to do this alone with five kids. But we had a successful visit - no one peed in the playplace and I only lost one child for a second as we were leaving. I still count five, so all is good.

What's going on, you ask? The usual. The B is a four year old singing sensation, unfortunately the lyric she chooses to sing over and over again is in the popular Kesha song and it goes like this: 'brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack' . As you can suspect, it really doesn't put me in a glowing light as I wheel her around the grocery store in a cart.

The big J got a few more brackets put on his braced teeth and hasn't eaten solid food in a couple of days now. He's been making smoothies and I think I've drilled it into his head that it is VERY important to put the cover on the blender before he hits the switch, and no, I don't think it is worth it to see what would happen if he didn't do that. For both my sanity, and his freedom's sake.

Z's friend finally found out that unlike what he thought, his daddy is not on a business trip but he and his mom got a divorce. This made Z sad to think about.

Then he asked me the question:"Uhm, mom, where is dad?"

"He's on a business trip. Really."


"In, the uh,.. jungle. Guatemala. Really."

"Soooo,.. is that why he hasn't called us?"

'Er,.. yes,.. he doesn't really have the capability to call us."

All the while the 13 year old is snickering and saying "Riiiiggght. The jungle. On a business trip."

Somehow everyone seems to need to go to the doctor while you are away, of course. This includes the dog.

Unfortunately no one stole my old beemer, so I had to finally pick it up at the shop. I was hoping it would be missing and I could use the insurance money to buy a nice, newer one. But I'll have to take a nap to continue with that little day dream.

Well, that's about it. I'm using your absences as an excuse to not cook and eat Trader Joe's prepared meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. How much Brie cheese is too much Brie cheese, do you think?

Love and kisses,


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bridges in La Tana

The road on the way to La Tana, Guatemala.
A mango seller in Antigua.

The FlatIron group in Guatemala ready to build something!

Well, the hubby is down in Guatemala for two and a half weeks managing the building of a bridge in La Tana, Guatemala. La Tana is a two day drive from Antigua. He is leading a team from his company working with Bridges to Prosperity, an NGO that builds bridges all over the world.

These are pictures sent by one of the NGO workers to give hubby a lay of the land before they get there. The first three are from one of the engineer's wife, a registered nurse who is travelling with the group (thank goodness she is there!)j. I 'm still here stateside, taking care of our small brood of needy children.
Hubby's team will be staying in the concrete building, a clinic- they will set up tents to sleep in so they are protected from mosquitoes. They are all taking anti malarial medicines while they are there, as well. He contracted malaria while we were in Indonesia. So did our 4 year old, who was just one at the time, it's a scary disease. The disease kills 1 million people a year.
They have also been advised to take pepto bismal each day to help with the ol' not so clean conditions with the food. They are bringing in a cook from a larger village to feed them. I'm pretty sure that's why food is so spicy in tropical countries - to kill the bad things in the food. We've survived lots of places; eating shish tewok off of old dirty tables and sharing Sheesha pipes
(okay, that was just me) in the Khan in Cairo, eating all sorts of road side vendor foods in the Philippines and Indonesia,.. and the only time we had any trouble was when we visited a 5 star resort in Egypt. The big J, Z and I all contracted amoebas. Nothing like being pregnant and running poop samples to the local lab while setting up a surprise party for your spouse,..Such fun. Then, trying to figure out if the medication I was perscribed was going to have an ill effects on baby #3. Yes, fun times. So, getting back to someone other than me, I think hubby will be okay with the eating and malaria issues.
Their supplies made it into the country and passed customs and they are well on their way. I don't know how much more I'll hear from anyone, since they are literally, in the middle of the jungle. If I hear anything, I'll keep you posted.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Food Revolution!

For all you tweeters, or twitterers, as the big boss at my company said in front of thousands once,.. today is Follow Friday in that cyberworld. One of the trends is to have people retweet Jamie Oliver's request to sign his food petition.

I've only seen the show once, but I love the concept of his campaign: to introduce our children to real food, not processed food, and teach the little beings how to cook.

As the mother of five, I'm forever trying to ensure my kids are totally healthy. I've slid down that slippery slope, however, from when my first born was a baby (No white bread! Only home made yogurts on whole wheat pancakes for breakfast! 1st year birthday cake made with all natural ingredients, no oils or sugars!) to my fifth baby (Well, if the government says a french fry is a vegetable,...) You know the drill.

I've liked Mr. Oliver since I first found him, on a BBC show and even after I realized that that whole "Naked Chef" business was referring to his food, and not him.

So, join the revolution! Sign the petition!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Curse of Cursing - Live! From Cape Cod

What with the hubby leaving me to fend for myself and take complete responsibilty for five little beings while he trekks to the middle of the Guatemalan jungle to build a bridge for the next three weeks,.. I just haven't had time to blog.

So, I bring you this great article that has my pole dancing friend Liz quoted. Read, relate, enjoy!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Make a Donation for Your Easter Celebration!

A good friend of ours is a Maryknoll priest in Kenya. We first met him in Egypt. He and hubby and another friend of ours, who we worked with in Indonesia after the tsunami and is in Haiti now, got along grandly, lifting weights and doing dude stuff. Fr. Doug baptized our second born, Rob travelled to the Maryknoll Center in New York to visit, we continue to be penpals.

He is probably one of the most selfless people I've ever met and I hope do do a smidgen of good work as this man continues to do.

He is in charge of the Langata Boys shelter in Nairobi. Fr. Doug is joint venturing with the Salesian Fathers and Canadian Hearts and Hands to build a 1,270 m/sq, two story permanent residence at the cost of about US $500,000. Fr. Doug has personally raised US $35,000 so far and is matching ONE dollar of his personal money for EVERY one dollar that is donated up to a cumulative total of US$100,000.

Make donations to: Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers (in the memo line of the check write Fr. Doug May, MA 1949 and attach a short note to ensure it goes to the proper project.) You will recieve a 100% tax donation and you will be helping some incredibly less fortunate children.

Mail to: Donor Services: Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers
PO Box 302
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0302

Every little, tiny bit helps. Or, make a donation to the charity of your choice. A great way to celebrate this Holy day (and it doesn't leave an imprint on your hips like those chocolate rabbits,..)