Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beautiful Weekend

It looks like Imbolc brought us Spring here in the South.  It was an absolutely gorgeous holiday weekend.  Punky had one of her best friends over to spend the night Friday night, and Saturday morning we went hiking:
On our hike, we saw the Loch Ness Monster:

And, ultimately, we ended up on the beach at low tide:

It was so beautiful, and there was almost no one else there.  The girls had a blast:

So did Flintstone:

MacGyver and I had a pretty good time, too:

* * *

Back at home, Flintstone had tummy time:

So did MacGyver:

Then, on Sunday, we spent some time at a different beach before we dropped Punky off for an overnight birthday party (woohoo grown-up time!):

Since it's not really clear from the picture, I should point out that the onsie Flintstone is wearing in the picture above says "Objection!"

Are those not the most adorably pudgy baby feet you've ever seen?

Sunday night we closed down Barnes & Noble - I know, we're wild.  I freaking love bookstores.  All of them.  They closed at 10, but I could have stayed there for hours more.  Then we went for a wonderful late dinner and had a really interesting conversation about psychology and Bloom Boxes (some alt energy thing that MacGyver is really into).  At home, we relaxed with some beer (MacGvyer) and hard cidar (me).  We had finished the amazing bottle of Eiswein* that MacGyver got for our Miniversary on Friday.

Monday morning, we slept in.  Well, I sort of slept in.  Flintstone stayed asleep until almost 7, and after I was up with him for couple/few hours, MacGyver and I climbed back in bed.  Flintstone slept for a full 2 hours, so we got to take an awesome nap - and stuff.

Later, we went out and got a ton of stuff to put in two new gardens (so we will have 3 all together).  I'm so excited to start on that.  Whenever I figure out a time.

In closing, I know this isn't the best picture of me, but how hot are these boots?  I'm wearing them as much as I can before the weather gets too warm and I'm back to sandals/barefoot:

* Eiswein is my favorite wine indulgence.  Reisling is my favorite wine in general, but Eiswein is really something special.  It's super sweet because it's made from frozen picked grapes - which is also why it's more rare and a fair bit more pricey than other wines.  MacGyver surprised me with a bottle when I got home on our Miniversary.  Not only that, but he had also framed and hung up all of my Grandpa's paintings - something I have been wanting to do for a long time.  My Grandpa was an amazing artist, and I want to preserve all his art that I can get my hands on.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Office Smells Awesome!

This is just an update to the post before it, Bull-Headed Bulldozers and Cheesecake.  Pretty please read that one first since it's the real post.  This is just the pocket part.  Or, if you're not a law type, its a sidecar. 

MacGyver and I had lunch together at a little place near my work.  His idea.  He called me when he was close, and I walked over to meet him, but then it took 10 minutes forever for him to show up.  No biggie.  He said he was stuck behind a big truck that appeared to be lost.  Not unusual on this base.  So we had a pleasant lunch, and I came back to my office. 

Turns out HE LIED about the reason he was delayed getting to lunch.  My office smells so pretty right now thanks to the three beautiful boquets he snuck in.  He really is just the coolest husband ever.

He also brought in my new RC tank that shoots plastic BBs.  Which drastically decreased the productivity of a few of my co-workers and one of my bosses for a little while. 
As Mama's Thyme would say, "I got the spoileds." :-D
And that only covers up to lunch time . . .

PS:  Man, you all have written some AWESOME posts today.  I am going to do my best to shoot some well deserved comments your way tonight, because, wow.  It's been a fruitful day in the blogsphere!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bull-Headed Bulldozers and Cheesecake

(The picture of us was taken not too long after the establishment of the miniversary.)
My life is like a sine wave.  When nothing is going on then, seriously nothing is happening beyond the everyday rumble of chaos that is always in the background.  But the second one thing breaks loose – good or bad – everything flies off the handle.  The last trimester or so of my pregnancy was pretty low key, as were the first couple/few months of Flintstones life.  Then we went into an upswing.  You may have noticed that I've been rather busy lately.  Work, family time, insurance claims, massive renovations, and administrative bedlam abound.  As always, I am embracing the disarray with confident knowledge that this too shall pass and before I know it, we will be in a whole new phase of excitement.  Things are FAR from bad, but they certainly are crazy hectic. 
Last week, though, was hard.  I have been wearing thin.  MacGyver is having some health problems and the Docs aren't providing any answers, so I have been worried about him and trying to get him to slow down and take it easy (not something that comes easily to MacGyver; he's very driven).  And Flintstone is popping out teeth like a baby shark.  Tuesday night he had a hard time going to sleep then woke up again at 1, then again at 2, at which point he stayed WIDE awake – not fussy, but really ready to party – until 4:30, and he slept only fitfully after that.  I finally dozed off, conveniently about 10 seconds after my final alarm went off and woke up a half hour later.  I was almost late for work.  Needless to say, I was a little bit cranky pants at work yesterday.
But last night, Flintstone was back to sleeping like a champ.  He slept the whole time I was getting ready for work this morning, too, which is always a blessing, and MacGyver seemed to be feeling pretty good.  He was certainly looking pretty good . . . 
Sorry.  Distracted.
Anyway . . .   When I had to write the date on the forms for dropping Flintstone off, I commented to his super awesome care provider that today is our Miniversary (basically, our dating anniversary) and I hadn't even realized it.  I mean, I have his gift and card waiting in my office, but I didn't realize it this morning.  Oh well, MacGyver didn't say anything about it either.
Then I got to work.  And guess what I found in my bag? 

That little sneak!  He is soooo into surprises, and he always beats me in the romance department, no matter how hard I try.  If you can't tell from the pictures, my first surprise of the day was an assortment of 4 different kinds of cheesecake.  And I'm told there's more to come.  I pointed out to him that we decided to go low-key this year and set a $20 spending limit.  He said that because of the migraines (side effect of the health issues lately), he may have forgotten that.  Scoundrel. 
So today is going to be a good day.  I'm very excited about it.  We already had our Miniversary dinner Monday night because Punky had a thing to go to from 5:30 to 9.  We had some delicious Asian fusion food, then went to our favorite coffee house downtown for dessert, and took a long walk by the waterfront.  I may miss winter, but there are some pluses to living in the South.  The weather was beautiful and downtown here is so pretty.
We'll see what the rest of today has in store, because even in the midst of all the craziness that can present itself in our lives, he is always a bright spot.
I feel the need to recognize just how lucky I am to have MacGyver in my life.  I've commented a million times about what an amazing father he is; how compassionate, loving, witty, and HOT he is.  But there's more to it than that.  It's not just all his amazing qualities, but also how those qualities affect me.
Being with MacGyver makes me a better person and makes our lives better in general.    He is one of the most considerate men you'll ever meet.  He truly pays attention to what I like and how I feel about things.  Sometimes I wonder if he knows me better than I know myself.  He always seems to know exactly what I need – even when what I need isn't pretty.
Because MacGyver is an extremely blunt and honest individual.  To put it plainly, I think it takes a very strong woman to be with MacGyver (I know that sounds braggy, but follow me on this).  MacGyver will never hesitate to tell me when I'm full of crap or to pull me back down to the details when I'm too focused on the big picture.  If you're looking for someone to constantly stroke your ego or who will just play along and do things your way, MacGyver is not your guy.  He has a low tolerance for BS and zero tolerance for narcissism.  He will weigh in whether you ask for his opinion or not.
And I freaking love it.  I find it really comforting to know that I have that check there.  Where other people will tell you what you want to hear while in the back of their minds thinking you're making a fool of yourself or wishing you would change what you're doing, MacGyver will come out and say it.  So I never have to worry that he's not saying what he means, or that I'm doing something dumb without realizing it.  Because I can be a bit flighty.  And I can shockingly be quite a little full of it from time to time.  And I hate feeling like people are just nodding along when I talk.  MacGyver listens, and if I get too lawyery, he calls me on it.
And you know what else?  It makes every compliment, every sweet sentiment a million times more meaningful.  I have always hated dating guys who spew flattery and platitudes.  Even now, if a guy flirts with me and starts blurting out boilerplate compliments, I immediately hop inside my head for a scathing monologue.  I mean, it really is rather insulting.  How shallow do you think I am that you feel the need to suck up to me?  You could at least stop to think for ten seconds before you start blabbering that superficial crap.
But with MacGyver, it's different.  Because his praise is real.  Since I know that he'll tell me if he doesn't like something I'm wearing or if he thinks I'm talking out my a$$, I also know that when he says all the wonderful things he says, he really means them.  This praise is detailed, perfectly fit to me, and honest.  And he's not stingy with the compliments, either.  It seems like every time we talk, I come away feeling more.  I can't really describe it.
If MacGyver doesn't like you, you'll know it in ten seconds flat.  He can pick out your flaws and nail you with them with grave accuracy.  Shallow people don't get along with MacGvyer.  I have at least two friends (not super close, but still friends) who don't like him because he doesn't put up with their BS and he doesn't stroke their egos (or nod along when they are publicly stroking their own).  This trait can make him pretty freaking obnoxious in arguments, and, man, have we had some great ones.  They are extremely few and far between, but damn.  It sucks to argue with someone that blunt who can nail all your flaws.  But it's also amazing.  Because every confrontation is a giant step forward for each of us.  Because nothing simmers in the background, unresolved and ignored.
It is so much better than anything I've had in the past – spineless wimps who just let me have my way (though I did have some very evil fun with those types in my younger years) and the fun, flirtatious, playboys no deeper than a sidewalk puddle.  Ultimately, in my past, I trampled every single guy I dated.  Even Evil Ex before he lost his mind.  But I can't trample MacGyver, and it's the best thing that could have happened to me.
For some people, in some relationships, a dominant personality and a submissive personality fit together perfectly.  But not for me.  I am strong willed and opinionated and can bulldoze over submissive personality types without even realizing it.  I'm so glad to have found someone strong enough to stand up to me, keep up with me, challenge me, and still be there for me when I fall apart.  Which is the real beauty of it.  No one is strong all the time.  And if you're the only strong one in a relationship, who supports you when your strength runs out?  BUT that is a whole other tangent.
MacGyver makes me a better person.  It's not always easy, but it is always, always worth it.
I'm not trying to brag going on about how strong willed MacGyver and I both are.  It's merely a personality type, which, like any other, has its positives and negatives.  In this context, I don't mean strong to be a qualitative measure.  And if you're reading this as some sort of braggy post, you're missing the point.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Time Suck

The Plug
I started this post in the beginning of January, along with the 6 0r 7 others to which I keep alluding.  A meme of sorts posted by a friend of mine last night has inspired me to finally finish it.  Since the post itself promises to be rather long (no surprise there), I'm going to invite you all to join the meme on the front half.
Recently the aforementioned friend, who also happens to be a MarineLawyerMommy started a blog in preparations for writing a book.  The blog, so far, rocks.  And completely puts mine to shame.  When you go follow her blog (because you will), don't think less of me.  You'll see exactly what I mean when you get over there.
The book she is writing, from what I gather, is about the struggles of women in our society to be all.  Or, more accurately, our failures to do so.  How all these extremely successful women go about their days feeling like they have failed at every other thing, from blowing their diets to not wanting to get down on the floor and play dolls.  It's called The Modern Failure, and I am COMPLETELY addicted to it.  And Chanelle, who writes it (I actually have another post about her in the works . . .), is always looking for input, which is super easy given how amazingly thought provoking her every post is proving to be; further putting my mundane "this is what I did today" blog to shame.  And if all that hasn't been enough to get you over there to check her out, maybe this will do it:  She will send HOMEMADE COOKIES (we all know how I love me some cookies) to the first 30 people who plug The Modern Failure.  While that is FAR from the reason I'm plugging it, I am nonetheless very excited about my cookies.
The input she is looking for today is from this post.  I think we all have nights where we look around, the day is gone, and we find ourselves wondering where the hell it went.  Or at least I do.  6 -7 times a week.  Chanelle wants to know where your time goes.   Here is what happens to mine (near as I can tell):
The Post
I have been talking a lot recently to two good friends of mine from OCS – women who knew me when I was just Marine.  Before Mommy.  Lawyer.  And Wife.  Over the last 6 years or so since OCS, all of our lives have changed a lot.  Michelangelo (we are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; I'm Donatello) got out of the Marine Corps, became a vagabond in South America, and climbed Machu Picchu.  I was extremely jealous.  Leodardo was sent to Joint Command in the middle of nowhere where she has been able to get a Master's degree and a black belt.  Again, jealous.  Then she joined Roller Derby.  Cue intense jealousy.  I have had a longstanding star-crossed love relationship with Derby since my sorority president introduced me to it oh so many years ago.  I have had fleeting associations with many teams, but I move a lot.  My life changes a lot.  And now, I find myself in a place where I know I'll be stable for at least a couple years, where I could actually join a team – and stay on it – and there is just no way.  I am just too busy. 
And I found myself thinking about how I am almost too busy for my own life these days.  Every single day there is at least one thing I find myself wanting to do that just won't fit, whether it's Roller Derby or just putting in the new garden.
Somewhere between 04:30 and 06:00, Flintstone wakes up to eat.  I prefer it closer to 04:30 because then I can go back to sleep for a little while.  If it's not until 06, when my get-your-lazy-a$$-out-of-bed-NOW alarm goes off, it throws my whole morning off.  From 06 (or whenever Flintstone is sated) until 7, I run around in the dark (I don't even turn on the lights in the kitchen because that will just make it harder to see when I go back in the bedroom) getting my uniform together and on, PT clothes gathered up so I can work out since I've inevitably forgotten to stock my office closet at the beginning of the week again, sanitizing bottles and breast pump paraphernalia, putting my hair up, making myself a lunch, getting everything together and labeled for Flintstone to go to daycare, making a lunch for Punky on the rare occasions that I have time, changing Flintstone and getting him packed into his car seat, letting the dogs out, packing up the diaper bag and my work bag, and getting on the road.  If Flintstone is awake for all of this (which he has been most mornings for the last 2 weeks), this all slows down.  My last minute alarm may have to move back to 05:45 soon.  And this doesn't even take into account days when I'm supposed to be at morning PT. 
I also make a cup of tea during that time window, but more often than not, it's still sitting exactly where I made it when it's time to go.  If I'm lucky, I remember to put it in a travel mug.
I have to be on the road by 07 if I want to be on time.  Punky and usually MacGyver are still asleep when I walk out the door.  I drop Flintstone off at about 7:15, jam my heart back down my throat, and head to work.  I scoot into my office at 7:25.
7:25 – 10:50 I battle the vicious mountains of cases trying to envelop my desk. I pump in the middle of that time.   At 10:50 I change into PT clothes and go work out for an hour or so.  I no longer shower after PT because there just isn't time.  I change back into my uniform and go pick up Flintstone from daycare shortly after noon and take him home to spend the afternoon with MacGyver.  On good days, or days I don't have PT at lunch time, I have lunch with MacGyver and feed Flintstone.
I'm back to the battle by 13:00 (1 o'clock) at the latest.  The battle continues.  I will often have a cup of tea, or even coffee at some point.  I also have to pump again around 3 – joy of joys.  The workday ends at 4:30.  On paper.  In real life I almost never leave the office before 5.  When I was in a trial billet, I could easily stay in the office until 8 before a trial.  I'm glad I'm Review – for now.  I'm told I'm going back to Trial in a few months.
I get home around 5:30.  From 5:30 – 8 there is making dinner, which often requires shopping, dishes, laundry, Punky's homework, feeding Flintstone, eating dinner, and cleanup.  I do not do all of these tasks, if MacGyver is cooking, I'm doing dishes; if he's helping Punky, I'm cooking dinner, and so on.  On nights when everything falls into place and there aren't 75 other things that need to be taken care of, we have time to sit down for a ½ hour and watch something on the projector (got rid of the TV months ago – thank heavens!), or play a game.  But it's usually the former.  A ½ hour of screen time a couple nights a week is not that bad.  Bite me. 
At 8 the getting ready for bed rigmarole begins, which is followed by story time.  Lately, we've been reading the Percy Jackson books, though we just finished the forth one and need to go buy the next.  Shortly before 9, Punky's tucking in is complete.  Flintstone should also be asleep by this point, but I'm usually still holding him as I hate missing story time.  And I suck at putting him down without waking him up.  I am well aware that I should be putting him down sleepy but still a little awake so he gets used to falling asleep on his own.  Whatever.
At some point, whether it's dinner time or after story, I pour myself a glass of wine.  I often remember to drink it.
Once Flintstone is out, MacGyver and I take a shower.  It isn't unusual for MacGyver to have to wake me up for this because I'm usually ready to pass out by the end of dinner.  But after tuck in time is when all the fun grown-up parts of my life take place (ok, maybe at lunch time, too), so I'm usually able to rouse myself enough to spend some quality time with MacGyver.  I like to be asleep by 11.  Well, I'd like to be asleep by 8, but that really isn't an option ;-)
Obviously, every day is different, but that's a "typical" day.  It doesn't count Punky's extracurriculars (can you say girl scout cookies?),  Farmer's Market, and whatever else that eats up my time.
The Roller Derby team I have been courting since before Flintstone was born practices three evenings a week an hour away.  Obviously not an option.  BUT I will be spending a week doing Derby things with the team in May AND they've invited me to participate in other ways.  I might be a ref, a jeerleader, or possibly a volunteer.
But even fitting that stuff in is going to be a challenge.  Because it's not like my schedule is about to open up any time soon.  A friend of ours at church, whose children are grown, commented on Sunday "Oh, you are right in the middle of the best part, careers, young kids, you're young – it's also the hardest, most stressful part – you must not have time for anything."  Ha, to say the least!
So that's my daily time suck.  What's yours?  Head on over to The Modern Failure and let her know!


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