excuse me, sir

Parenting is by far the most difficult and rewarding job I have ever had. It takes an incredible amount of consistency, and at the end of the day you hope you're doing a good job. Most of the time the evidence of your long hours come out in little tiny moments. This happened with Davis just a couple days ago...

I was at the mall on Tuesday with a friend and we were perusing the shoe section of a certain store. Davis was making me proud by looking around at the shoes (and not touching them) and trying out the chairs. We were ready to head to Chic-fil-A to get some lunch, so I asked to Davis to come with us and it was time to go, again, he immediately obeyed and headed our direction.

There was an elderly couple right in his path, he got close to them, slowed down, and said, "Excuse me sir" then passed by them. Both of them looked at him with this look on their faces that communicated, "Wow, have you ever seen such a polite little child!"

A tiny moment that I don't think I'll ever forget!


c'mon Loves

On a whim, we decided to go to Amarillo and surprise my mom who was visiting my Granny and aunt. Our first stop was in Clayton, NM. I pulled up to this gas station, pulled the handle to open the door and heard a snap-ish sound; I looked around and didn't see anything on the ground, and assumed everything was okay. Just as I was about to get out of the car, I noticed the sign indicating that the bathrooms were around back...outside. Now I may be a mother of two and talented at many things, but bathrooms that require keys and walking around the building (when it's cold outside) are not in my repertoire, so I buckled Davis back into his seat, shut my door and went to the next station. To my delight, I saw a Love's!

All my experiences with Love's have been good, they always have fairly clean bathrooms (that are inside!) and changing tables for babies. I pulled up to the pump, pulled the handle on my door and nothing happened. That snap-ish sound earlier was my handle breaking. So I climbed over to the passenger side got out, pumped the gas, then got the boys out. (Survival tip: get an umbrella stroller; since Ronin doesn't walk, it's nearly impossible for me to make a bathroom trip while holding him, the stroller makes it easy for all of us to go to the bathroom) I get into the bathroom...no changing tables. I've stopped in Clayton several other times and I now know that there is not a single place there that has a changing table! What to do? Improvise. I sat on the floor with my legs spread out in front of me, laid Ronin on my legs and changed him while Davis played with the stroller.

By the time we got to Amarillo I had climbed over to the passenger side door at least four times or more. I was telling my mom and everyone else about my door and she says to me, "Oh well, at least you can roll your window down and open it from the outside."

"Yes, yes, I can do that." Though I was saying this, I was realizing it, because I hadn't thought to do this at all!


Mosul is not cool

The entire batallion is now fairly settled in Mosul, Iraq. Kevin has a quote on his myspace currently that says, "Mosul is cool." I beg to differ. I know the argument that there is no safe place in Iraq, but there are some that are a bit calmer than others. Mosul is not one of them, which is precisely why they sent 1-8 there. It's great to think that they have the confidence in 1-8 to get the job done, but it's also a little ominous thinking of the dangers there. If you are someone who prays, pray for 1-8. For vigilance, for protection, and for wise leadership.


just like Daddy

At some point in each day, Davis pretends to be a Soldier like Daddy. He has to "poom" (as in the sound a gun makes: poom poom) the bad guys like Daddy does. While in our culture being married to someone doesn't always indicate that you love them deeply and that they are your favorite person to be around, this is definitely the case for Kevin and me. Consequently, I love that Davis wants to be just like his Daddy.

Before Kevin left, he gave Davis a couple ACE bandages to play with because he didn't need them for his Aid bag. Those bandages have been many things: roads for the cars, gates, and a device for propelling things into the air; but most recently they have become his Soldier uniform. I have to wrap him up in the bandages then put his reflector on and then he takes a sword and a pretend gun and he gets to work pooming the bad guys. A couple days ago, while in action, he says in this tough guy voice, "I have to poom the bad guys because Bush told me to poom the bad guys!" Let this be a lesson that children are always listening!

Today was the one of the best though, he looks at his sock and says excitedly, "Hey, I have a hole in my sock too!" I asked in return, "Who else has a hole in their sock?" His response,
"Daddy does!!"


422 days

Isn't that just a bit intimidating? And really, no matter how you add it up--days, weeks, months, it still looks like a huge chunk of time.

Last weekend the weather here was beautiful! Everyone was enjoying it, and I started thinking, ahhh...warmer weather is on its way here, but alas, the snow has returned. We had about three inches on Sunday, another four or five on Monday, and then today it's been snowing since a little bit after lunch time. I have now established one of my brooms as a "snow broom" to sweep the snow off of our car for when we have to get out in the wonderful white! So...winter is still here, and Davis loving shoving his feet through the piles of snow makes it much more bearable.


they grow up so fast

So--in the last week and half Ronin has started sitting up by himself, had his first Cheerios, taken a bath with brother in the big tub (too fun!), changed to Stage 2 foods, and eats something like three meals a day. It just goes too fast, but everyday is an adventure, especially when you put a big brother into the mix too! One thing that warms my heart is to hear my children laugh, Davis and Ronin both, that genuine laughter--there's not much better (except maybe when Kevin calls :) ). In light of that, here's a video taken with Davis's camera of Ronin being tickled and laughing.

gotta love technology!

Davis got a new camera for Christmas (thank you Mawmo and Papa) and he loves it...we just discovered the video function, and here is one of the first videos we have taken: Davis talking to Daddy. It's pretty great.


the road is a little longer this time

One month down and only 14 to go! I try to say that enthusiastically, but it still seems like a pretty long time--because it is. Last tour was only (in the end) 11 months, and I appreciate that more now than ever because of the long road that lies ahead of us in this deployment. For grown ups it doesn't seem quite as long because we don't age much in a year and a half, but children--oh my goodness, they are different people. Our seven month old will be nearly two by the time Kevin gets back and our other son-nearly five. When you think in terms of the entire deployment, it gets pretty overwhelming, so we're taking this very long journey a day at a time.