Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Joys of Motherhood in Alabama

Well, I'll begin this story with the recent past weekend happenings. This past weekend we head up to Huntsville and hang out with my mom and grandpa. I love Huntsville. It is growing so quickly and the city is starting to get all this cool stuff. We had dinner with my BFF Allison and totally forgot to try and have dinner somewhere we have not been in a while, so instead we hit the ol' standby, mexican at Casa Blanca. We had our family pics made too. The session was ok, but the gal shooting would not take my advice on posing and the pics looked weird, so I just took over and started doing things myself, then the gal shooting said we had taken enough pics. Great. This is why I do not like going to studio shoots and as soon as I can get to AK I am going to work my buns off to set up my own studio. So, Noah has his tongue out in 99.89% of the pics. We finally find one that is decent enough, so we spend $10, yes $10 and get it printed. I refused to buy a bunch of worthless photos, but this is our only studio family shot. Oh yes, I will somehow someway earn some money for my studio and do our studio shots myself!

Onward to Monday. Periodically I check Noah's leg to be sure the stitches are dissolving and it is looking ok. Well, Monday when I did my usual check the wound was wet. WHAT! So after much coaxing and mild restraint Noah lets me take a closer look. I press on it a little and infection starts oozing out. So, I manually express his leg to get it out and start calling the surgeon. I find a place here that specifically deals with post-op wounds and is hospital affiliated, so I call and they work us in. The surgeon looks at Noah's leg and says that it actually looks good. Just to keep manually expressing the infection (Yeah me!) and keep an eye for swelling and redness. He also gives us a prescription for some supped neosporin to keep on it until it heals. Good thing, it that he said he is sure that the infection is not deep down in the wound and it should be healed by the time we leave AL. The staff was nice and the surgeon was better than I hoped. Thank goodness we saw someone who at least seemed like he was on top of his game.

So onto my waiting room story. We are sitting in the waiting room. Caleb is wanting out of the stroller I am trying to keep him confined in, Noah is getting up and down from his seat, and I am trying to listen a little to the speech given my Ahmadinejead (sp?) on Fox. We are over in a corner, this is better to corral the kids and this guy comes over and sits rather close. I figure it is so he can hear the tv. after a little time he asks some questions. I felt a little weird about answering some of them, but obliged him anyway, thinking, I will never see this man again. So, question #1, "is that a boy or girl?", while pointing at Caleb. I tell him that yes this is a boy. Long pause #1 - maybe 10 min. question #2 "how old is he?", I answer and then he asks how old is Noah. I am beginning to get a little uncomfortable cause he has been looking at the kids and now he is asking all about them - granted he could just be asking cause every little old lady at Wal-Mart asks me all the same questions and I am not weirded out. Long pause #2 - question #3 "how old are you?" um ok, I tell him. He is in shock. Whatever then he wants me to guess how old he is. Uh ok, 10? Long pause #4 - could the nurse just come on and call us back?!! question #4 "which one of ya are seeing the doc?" So I tell him Noah had a cyst removed from his leg. Now comes the action. He proceeds to tell me about his friend he brought in - his friend has been by the door in a wheel chair - all about this man's heart attacks and that now his feet are decaying. Then he tells me that he is able to take him to all of his appts cause he is disabled and says "See" - this guy pulls up his shirt almost off of his head to show me a scar that runs navel to neck. I just smile and say I bet you are so glad to be alive. COME ON NURSE!!! All I can see in my eye is his big ol scar and I am freaked out while, I hear all about the accident and am repeating in my head over and over - you never know when you entertain angels, you never know when you entertain angels -
and I don't know if any of you watch King of the Hill, but he talked liked that one guy on there. He mumbled really bad and it was hard to understand. After showing me his torso he sits back down about 3 seats closer. **you never know when you are entertaining angels** And then his friend calls for him to move the wheel chair. Nurse walks out says "Jackson". Lets go kids, move move move! I did not see the man again when I left, but I was thinking. Why am I surprised? I am in a poor part of Alabama. Alabama! I love my home state. But jeez, why today? I call Kevin and tell him all about it, he says, "Babe stop flirting" I am still freaked out, so I just hung up on him. Whatever. The joy of being a mom in poor Alabama.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Something Silly

I swiped this off of my friend's blog......her version was too funny! Hope you join in!

The Name Game
1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Jasper Sienna
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Straciatella snickerdoodle
3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) M-Jac
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Blue Giraffe
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Ellen Guntersville
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)Jacma
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The Green Sweet Tea
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
Virgil Billy
9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Patchouli reese's cup
10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
Joyce Arlon
11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Medieros Montgomery
12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Christmas Mum
13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Apple shorts
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Cereal Oak
15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + "Tour")
The Photography Rain Tour

Monday, September 17, 2007

One Week Down, Four to go

Four weeks to go and we are on our way to AK. The time is really going by slow for Kevin cause he has sooo much going on. I just keep telling him and me, we can do anything for four weeks. Lets just put our heads down and push on through.
Friday was fun. The coffee house I mentioned in my last post was very cool. I walked in and they had board after board of coffee choices. I had a toasted almond mocha. Ten times better than starbucks, and cheaper too. Noah had a mango smoothie. I had a sip and it was very good. The indoor playground was perfect for Noah. There was not much for Caleb, but I did not see Noah except when he came out for a sip of his smoothie. An added bonus at this coffee house was that it was in AL. I love being in AL cause every store, cafe, restaurant, etc. you walk into has something about Alabama football. I am still contemplating going back just to get a shirt they had there! **Added Note - Alabama won against Arkansas this weekend! YES!** We finished up at the coffee house rather early so my friend, Jade (a very nice gal I have met here) and I go looking around for something to do. We go just across the street and find one of those paint your pottery places. My SIL Jillina made these very cute magnets at one of these places and I have been wanting to copy the idea for my fridge. I have looked at several pottery places for something small enough to make magnets out of and this place finally came through. They had tub after tub of small pieces of different shapes to make anything you wanted. So I picked 3 circles, and Noah picked a choo choo. Noah picked his colors and painted his choo choo. It was very cute. Since I can't really go shopping here in AL, I figure this was close enough and Noah got to join in. Caleb was an angel and played with the paint brushes while Noah, Jade and I painted. I am really glad I met Jade. She is such a patient person to hang out with me and the boys. Noah has really grown fond of her too. He always wants her to come along no matter what we do. Today we all went grocery shopping together. Tomorrow we have plans to play flickerball. Hopefully enough people will show up to play. Then we are off to wander around downtown Montgomery or maybe to Prattville.
The highlight of this past weekend was a trip to Ms. Mary Bobo's. I love this place. It is perfect for southern soul food, which is right up my alley. However, I was disappointed in one thing. Well, I guess not a disappointment but just a recipe I did not like. They use Jack Daniels in their cool whip. This just did not taste good to me. I don't even think I could acquire a taste for it. That is my only complaint about the place. We ate in the brick cellar which was very cool. Sadly though, the group that was to join us at the dinner table did not show up, so we had the whole table to ourselves. But that also meant more food for us! Noah liked the place except that they put parsley on his meat, and he really is not into green stuff on his food.

Update on the boys:

Caleb - has 2 teeth and working on the upper four. He is crawling, clapping, pulling to standing, rolling, becoming demanding and opinionated. Has a great sense of humor but going through the "only momma will do" stage.

Noah - leg wound looks soooo good. He is ready to get to Alaska. Has told me 4 times today that he wants his toys back and his own room. His latest funny story, we are driving to the store to pick up snacks for the drive on Friday. He says, "Mom, I have to look for monsters." I say, "OK, keep your eyes out" Noah replies, "No, I think I will keep them in!" I think I could laugh about this one for years to come. Smart boy! What wit!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Suprisingly so much to do!

Well folks, I have lived in this state for the great majority of my life and never knew about all the interesting things that Montgomery had to offer. Yes, I took the field trip to the capital bldg when I was in elementary school, but other than that, Montgomery seemed to be a bore. Well with 5 weeks of living here upon me, I decided to join in on all the social touristy activities. We had a spouse social on Tues and it was one of the BEST socials I have been to in a long time. The Major who organizes this group really impressed me. He has an entire calendar of things we can do together or on our own. Since most of us living close to each other have kids, we usually end up doing things together.

Yesterday we went to the zoo.

It was lots of fun, and of course there was a train. So you know we boarded and said "toot toot" a thousand times. However, I was very disappointed that the train ride cost a whopping $2!This is costly since it was only $5 for admittance. So, only one time around the park. Out of all the animals, Noah liked the turtles and ducks best. The giraffes are always my fav, hence the pic.

Today we went to the visitor's center downtown. We paid $1 and road a trolley around town. We saw all kinds of cool places. We got off at the Rosa Parks Museum and Library.
We toured the museum which had a re-enactment of the events that happened that night Rosa Parks was arrested on the bus. It was very interesting and I thought it was really cool. The Museum is at the place where the bus boycott began. I also stood at the intersection where Rosa was arrested, just a couple of blocks down from the bus stop where she boarded. The original theater that was at the intersection is gone and the Library now stands. It was neat to see the place where a huge civil rights movement began.

Time ran out and I did not get to photograph some other places like Martin Luther King's house and the church where he was a minister, the Civil Rights memorial that was designed by the same lady who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The First White House of the Confederacy and the Capital Building, and The Hank Williams Museum and statue. Hank Williams is buried in a cemetery here, I will have to scout that out. I am not sure if it is downtown.
Anyway, tomorrow's agenda has a trip to the House of Java. This is a coffee house that has an indoor play area surrounded by clear walls and is soundproof. So, we can sip on some java and watch the kiddos play. Maybe another trip downtown to hit one of the places mentioned above, or some shopping (window, of course since I can not fit anything else in the van!) at the local boutiques in Prattville.
The Major I mentioned above also scheduled us some exercise too. YEAH! We are going to have Flickerball practice a couple of times a week. This is a game all of our spouses are required to play, so we are gong to join in and play against them at the end of the 5 weeks. Everything is kid friendly, which is wonderful and I have met a few interesting and cool people. Also, I have to mention that usually the male spouses never join in. I did not ever see the male spouses at Charleston that were in our squadron. However, here the male spouses are participating with us and it is nice since we are walking around downtown and some areas are a little creepy. So I must give them props.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Montgomery or bust......, uh...bust

Well, so long South Carolina. It was so sad. We had a wonderful going away party on Sat. It was such a blessing to see how many wonderful people came out to see us off and wish us well. Of course there were emotional speeches, lots of hugs, and we were given an awesome going away present. It is this huge framed piece of art that has an American flag flying faded out in the back ground with a C-17 flying in the front. A very close friend, Tony, designed it and put it together. This guy is so talented. Anyway, Sat late night Kevin and I find out that our car has 350 pounds of weight that is over the manufacturer's specifications on hauling. So, we had to unload and leave some things behind to ship later. Our wonderful friends let us keep it at their house for them to ship to us later. Thanks Tracy! So we repack the van, minus about 200 pounds and get about 4-5 hours of sleep before we got up to go to church one last time in SC. I was kinda sad cause there was not a sermon this Sunday, just the installation of new deacons. I was really wanting to hear our preacher one last time. The whole service I was an emotional wreck. When service ended, it was horrible. I could barely talk. I was getting and giving the last hugs to my friends. I cried most of the way to AL. Whoever designed contact lenses should have really thought about people who cry that wear them. After all that crying my lenses were so fogged up I could not see until we got to AL and I could take them out of my eyes. My morning coffee still is not the same. For the last seven weeks I had company over my morning coffee and the only company I have right now are the boys. Kevin is in class for about 12 hours a day and after that we eat dinner, take care of the boys, and he is off studying. Our rooms are small, but I guess they could be worse. Luckily there is a playground right outside our room door, so we are out there a lot. The boys and I have small colds probably due to the lack of rest and allergies or something. Good we got it now and not on the road to AK. The first night in AL, we head out to find some dinner and decide that Subway sounds good. The first one we ran across is closed, so onward to another. Kevin got this cool new GPS and it finds them for us. We pull up to the next closest one and I am on my cell phone talking and am slowly noticing w are not in a good neck of the woods. The first thing I notice is as we are pulling up this guy is going to his car empty handed and leering at us as we pull in. Next thing he does is go in Subway and get a fork and napkin pack. That seemed weird to me since he came out of Subway without food. So, I am quickly ending my phone conversation and Kevin and I make the decision to split up. One goes to the car - our whole livelihood is in there after all - and the other goes in to order. Kevin takes on the mission of going back to the car. As soon as he gets in the car the suspicious man jumps in his car and drives away. Me and Noah take on the mission of ordering food. BIG fiasco. This place had nothing, no roast beef for the subway club, their drink machines did not work, and I must have asked for wheat bread in Arabic. To top it off Noah's cold is setting in and he sneezes all over the cookies. I was just shaking my head, but the cookies looked a least a decade old. Seriously, it took 45 min to get a sandwich. Not to mention that the mayo she put on Noah's sandwich looked like a cool whip dollop, and my stomach sank as I asked her to scrape it off. The next morning Kevin is given a briefing on what parts of the city we should avoid, and yes you guessed it. We were right in that area. This morning about 6am, our electricity goes out, in only our room. The rest of the bldg was fine. So, the circuit is tripped, the maintenance guy comes resets the circuit. Repeat 3 times. Finally they decide that the humidifier in our room is bad and they bring another. I have yet to plug it in. After all, electricity was not restored until almost 10am. Who knows how long the next time. So, I am hoping that all the weekend family visits help the time to go by REALLY fast. There is a spouse social tonight, hopefully I can learn the ins and outs to help the time go by.
Other news, Caleb is on all fours crawling around like a mad man. As soon as we put him down here in AL, he stopped scooching and started textbook crawling. He has become a great fan of the cheerio too.
Noah is doing well. His leg still looks rough, but the surgeon has assured me it will be ok. A couple of stitches came out in the bath. This is a good thing since it seems that the stitches are the thing that is irritating him. A flight nurse is in Kevin's class here, and we ran into her at lunch yesterday and she seemed to think that it is ok too, despite the way it looks. Other than the leg, he is amazing Kevin and I everyday by how smart he is.
One of our friends we met in Mississippi is here attending SOS with Kevin. He came over and joined us for dinner. It was nice to see him again. I wished his wife would have joined him, but he told us that she is prego with their 2nd. We are very excited for them. I love that the AF is a small community and sooner or later we cross paths with our friends.
Well, I think that about catches you up on the latest. Hopefully I can take a few pics now that we are a little bit settled. Will post as soon as possible.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

What would camping be without a Smownie?

Labor day weekend called for a trip to the foothills for a little camping. So we load up and hit our fav state park, Chau Ram (pronounced CHaw-Ram). We went up Thursday morning and immediately when you enter the park there is a release of stress and the high temps of the coast melt away. Something about being in the mountains really can do a soul good.
First day there, the boys hit the water. The Chauga River runs right through the park and twists and turns and leaves these great swimming areas. The boys have their special part they call "The Little River". It is an area about 2-3 feet deep, has a small waterfall, and is perfect for them to swim.
Noah and his friend Cole

Kevin and BJ (Cole's Dad) went fly fishing and caught a few trout. They brought them back and roasted them over the fire. You will have to ask them how they were. I like my fish cooked well done. I was too big of a chicken to try it.
Me, Tracy (Cole's mom), and Krista hung out with the boys while the guys were fishing and had a little fun of our own. There is this one spot called the v-falls. The falls have worn this HUGE rock, causing a V in the rock where the waters falls over. Reference the top pic. Krista brought along this Orange and Ginger shampoo that smells great. So we take turn holding the boys and jump under the falls and wash our hair. This was better than a spa! The sound of the falls, the force of the water was like a mini-massage, it felt great. My hair has a ton of body when it dried. So all weekend we washed our hair in the falls. Brandi also joined in on the fun once she and her hubby arrived late Friday night.
Speaking of Brandi. When she and I get together there is always an abundance of chocolate. We love to eat chocolate and like having it together even more. So, she brings up a treat of chocolate frosted chocolate chunk brownies. Love her! So, Sat night we are doing our ritual of s'more roasting and I get his idea. What about this combo, graham cracker, chocolate frosted brownie, roasted marshmallow, then top it with another graham cracker. Oh my friends, it was GREAT! And so the smownie was invented. The smownie is a s'more with a brownie! We have a pic of this little invention however, Brandi has the only copy. Hopefully soon I will receive a copy.
Anyway, Sunday we go around the local area checking out other water falls. There were some really cool places like Toccoa Falls. It is on this college campus and was just gorgeous. We also visited Isaqueena Falls - named after an Indian maiden who lept over the falls. And this place called The Stumphouse Tunnel. A huge tunnel that was going to be used to transport munitions to the Confederate Army during the Civil War. It was never finished. People believe that if the tunnel was finished the war would have went the way of the Confederacy.
Lastly we hike on the Appalachian Trail to a lagoon and even further to the river where BJ and Kev fish and Me, Tracy, Krista and the boys play in the water. It was a beautiful hike. The trees were twisted like vines and some were bowed to form the tree canopy above us. Everything was so green and the air was very refreshing. It made me really look forward to hiking in Alaska. I did not get many pics on the hike because the hike is on a narrow path that is up and down rough terrain. So, Kev and I had to carry the boys most of the way. Then we ran into this group of folks who did not have a clue how to hike through the woods, or even navigate them, so they ended up following us around. Total hiking no-no. Anyway, they invade our spot and needless to say, but if I had taken pics this brood would have been in all of them. Our group was like, um this is a big forest, no need to hike on top of us!
Despite the hiking stalkers, I capture the best pic of the trip. It is of Kev and Noah. It will definitely be one I am blowing up and framing.
Noah and Cole riding the rapids!

All of us at Toccoa Falls

Kevin and Noah fishing - definitely frame worthy!