Can I climb out now please?
And yes, I realize this could be either blissful or disastrous, but it is what it is. Mom has the space, she offered, the kids will make her crazy, she will make ME crazy, but I will help her garden, she'll help me save money, and we're both going to get VERY fat because one of our favorite things to do together is cook and eat (or read recipes, or plan recipes, or shop for food, then talk about the food we bought/cooked/ate - we have issues :)
So, how many times is this now? 4? I've moved back in with my mother 4 times since I left home 15 years ago? Yikes. Good thing we love each other...
I disagree with my sister's disagreement. I say that Annie is my brain and Charlie is my heart, and Cathy seems to think it's the other way around. Not so. I think Annie is ridiculous, fearless, and headlong into trouble and adventure - her criminal mind is my criminal mind. She is my brain. Charlie is the observer. Charlie is sweet, pleasant, totally accomodating, a complete cuddle-bug. My moods are her moods - if I yelp, she bawls, if I smile, she guffaws, we share everything - she is my heart. Annie is me and Chuck is Cathy.
For those of you who don't know, there is the famous family story of someone asking my sister to pass the salt or somesuch other benign thing, and she burst into tears asking why everyone picks on her, such is her raging sensitivity. I "eh-eh'd" Charlie the other day, the mother's noise of warning, when she went for something she shouldn't, and she DID stop, then she looked at me, made the Turtle-face of Doom, and burst into tears. Annie is me and Chuck is Cathy. It's becoming more and more clear with each asshole thing Annie does and each sensitivity Charlie shows... Just sayin'. Because I am always right and Cathy is always wrong (depending on who you ask :)
As for the rest, I'll write all that in one of my many private posts...
2) Tag eight people. Don't refuse to do that. Don't tag who tagged you.
I'm sorry, I must refuse - I don't even KNOW 8 people on here! :)
1) How many naked people would it take to freak you out?
In my house, not many - we're naked a lot. Out in public, like 10 or more, because I'll have thought I missed a turn out of the nudist colony :)
2) What is your favorite card game?
3) Are the undies you're wearing right now age appropriate?
Unfortunately, yes, but I DO own some nice superman boyshorts etc. :)
4) Five things you can touch right now without getting up.
My coffee (of course), the high chair, the baby (who is UNDER my chair), a calculator, and tissue box.
5) You have to be somewhere on the fourth floor of a building. Do you take the lift/elevator?
DUH, YES I take the elevator! I'm lazy and unless there's an emergency, I ain't climin'! :)
6) How do you feel about your reflection?
Mlah. I used to be younger, thinner, less wrinkly... Otherwise, I'm still pretty cute. Got good days and bad days, and a lot of them depend on what my hair is doing. :)
7) What are you thinking about right now?
Today's grand plans of going to the grocery.
8) How young is too young to give a child sushi?
Under 8 months, I say because once my girls were eating people food and going to sushi bars with me and mom, they got to try little bites of whatever we were eating :)
9) Dog person or cat person?
Dog. Allergic to both, but less so to dogs, while cats would have me hospitalized in a week. (answer copied from Phoenix-born's since we are the same there, plus, I think it's wrong to teach an animal to eliminate in your house on purpose :)
10) If you came across $2,000 (or other currency) would you keep it or turn it in?
Depends on where/how I came across it. Love to say I'd turn it in, but I'm poor, so maybe not...
11) What was the last thing that you bought?
Delivery from the Italian restaurant :)
12) If you could afford to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
The British Isles - haven't been to Ireland/England/Scotland yet and desperately MUST see these places before I die!
13) Beverage you can't live without (besides the literal and obvious "water")?
Toss up between coffee and wine.
14) Last book you've read?
Read and actually FINISHED? Uhm, World War Z.
15) What are you doing this weekend?
Dog-sitting for my mother and watching her cable TV :)
16) If you could play any musical instrument, which one would you play?
Piano or guitar, it's a toss-up, but leaning more towards piano.
17) How are you?
I dropped James off at MEPS at like 2am on Wednesday night/Thursday morning for his early morning ship-date, and off he went. He was supposed to be in there by 10pm so they could get their "8 hours of sleep" before the shuttle out, but whatever, he checked in, and came home, and we hung out (watching Predator and sharing our gassy anxieties) until the last minute, like we used to in the old Marine days. Then I drove him back to MEPS and left him there - worst drive home ever. He wanted to put Annie to bed, give her her bath and tuck her in, as usual, before he left, and that's a good thing. And he had to take one last look at the sleeping girls before he left, and that was pretty cry-worthy, but I have to keep reminding myself that reupping with the Army is not the end of the world and that we will see him again fairly soon. He's at Ft. Knox for 9 weeks, learning how to make tanks or some shit, and hopefully soon we will know when he will be deployed and where/when he will be stationed etc. So I shouldn't panic yet, but I am, and it's only Day 2. Shit.
Fortunately or unfortunately, Annie and I (I say mostly us because Charlie, while totally pumped at James' presence and smiles galore when he comes home, will not really remember all this, and is still basically dependent on the boob and Daddy's just a nice warm toy) are used to James working a million hours, so Annie is pretty used to "Daddy's at work" as the stock comment of the moment. However, even when James would only have 30 minutes between his day job and his night job, he'd STILL come home to give Pants her bath and play with her and love on her and put her to bed before he'd have run off again... and there was always thing Thing, this moment Annie and I would be waiting for each night, whether it was his 30 minutes or done for the day, that Thing at the end of the day where we were waiting for him to come home so we could all End Our Day (Annie, needing bath and "chasing" and other daddy-fun-bonding-time, and me, exhausted, waiting to dump the kids on him so I could have 10 minutes to myself, and if we were lucky on a non-Fedex night, putting the kids to bed together so we could actually look at each other and talk in relative peace before we both passed out). Anyway, that Thing is missing and it's weird.
Thursday morning, Annie just asked where Nanna was ("at work"), said "Daddy at work too" and "Sissy downstairs" and that was the end of it really. Tonight however, when we were on the front porch after coming home from the store, she saw some random dude in the dark park his car and get out, and asked "Daddy home?" all excited, then realized "that not Daddy, Daddy at work" and went off to explore something else, but in that tiny moment, my heart broke. What do I tell her tomorrow? Yes, Mom helped me bathe the girls Thursday night, and exhausted as we were, we skipped bathtime tonight, but at SOME point, Pants is GOING to realize that Daddy hasn't been home to give her her bath in like... forever. And it's going to SUCK.
Kids are like dogs that way - they know SOMETHING is up, even if they don't really know what it is, and they can't articulate it, they just KNOW. Pants has been cumulatively more squirrely and Chuckles has been more cranky and needy (granted, she IS teething), but they are SO feeding off of OUR stresses, it's ridiculous! Maintaining some form of Normal is an effort, though not in the way that you'd think. We are USED to being alone, having him work so many hours for the last few years, but the effort is emotional on my part, not necessarily physical (though taking out our trash myself and other heavy lifting is gonna be a pain :), but just trying not to be bummed and carry on as if nothing is different, THAT'S the hard part. Can't wallow in self-pity like the old days now because I still have to be "on" for the sake of the kids, but they're not stupid - Annie can see it, Charlie can feel it, hell, even the damn dog is acting funny, though I'm not sure if that's because she misses James or if she thinks his spot in the bed is open...
I just feel like I'm not as good of a mom when he's not here. Yes, it's only Day 2, but I'm crabby and sad and short-tempered, and the kids (in all their unarticulated turmoil) don't deserve that. I WILL say again that I do think going active duty again WAS the right choice, and as much as it upends our lives, it IS a good thing - I'm just having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel just yet is all. James says that when I see that first paycheck and all the insurance coverage we're going to get, I'll shit myself and it will be well worth it - yes, I'm sure that is true, but right now, after today's long day, I just would rather have him HOME.
Whatever, I am tired to my very bones, so off I go, to dream of going to the dentist and sending the girls to fancy schools and only buying the best local organic groceries... it makes me feel better to think that way of the situation. Ugh. That's enough world, more tomorrow...
P.S. It was the first St. Paddy's day in a LONG time that I didn't wear green or go out or celebrate in some way - even being Irish (which usually brings me great pride and joy) wasn't getting me into the spirit of the day. I went the other way with that one - instead of drinking green beer (eeew!) somewhere getting my raucous on, I stayed home, crying in my regular-colored beer... listening to "If We Never Meet Again"... feeling oppressed... and hating the British (typical thursday night if you're me? :)
Last night after the kids had gone to bed, we were watching some show or another wherein a character was acting particularly paranoid, and I told James that he gets that same look on his face as the paranoid character. He asked what I meant and I said he was damaged goods too and was equally paranoid. He replied that it's because everyone IS out to get you. But I told him he was worse because he even eyes benign things with undue suspicion, like when his loving wife, mother of his children, makes him dinner after a hard day, and asks "what is it?" before taking the plate. I tell him the name of the food, and he still won't take the plate and further asks "what IN it?" THAT kind of suspicion. He defends his weird behavior by saying that I'm always trying to sneak onions and garlic and things he doesn't like into his food, to which I reply because you don't like FLAVOR! I need to come to grips with the fact that I married one of the strangest beings on the planet (his paranoia and not liking of decent food aside) and perhaps just name the book Jamesisms: the Man Behind the Maniac. :)