Friday, October 31, 2008

EEK! There's a giant mouse running down the street!

What a big day we had here! In the morning, we went to the campus to welcome home some more of our neighborhood Papas. WOO HOO!

After nap time (or what was really nap refusal--two hours of babbling and singing) Jillsie donned her costume and we headed off to Jess's for a little munchkin gathering. (Group photos to follow.) On the way home, Jillsie got to trick or treat at about ten houses with her Papa (it was dark by then) and she bumped into all of our neighborhood friends in their little costumes. TOO CUTE!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thank God.

He's here. He made it. I just keep saying "thank you thank you thank you" in my head, over and over. A new, shorter prayer, I suppose, to replace our lengthier special bedtime prayer, which we didn't have to say last night.

I am so grateful we made it through this thing.

I'll have pictures soon, I promise. The Gutsy Dad is sound asleep, and the pics from last night's reunion feature the work clothes...

Needless to say, all of the Gutsy Girls are very, very happy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dispatch from the Donut of Hope

The Gutsy Dad has been gone for:

63+ weeks
442+ days
10,622 hours
637,364 minutes
38,241,890 seconds

This is lasting forever.

Still Waiting

Rather than complain, I am posting this super-happy song. I heard this song on the radio a while a back and thought "I need that song" but I didn't know the name of it, who sang it, or any of the lyrics. I remembered the tune, though! In college, I used to go to the local HMV music store and say "it goes like this!" and then I would hum or "doo-doo-doo" various songs for the people who worked there. In every case, except for one--more on that later--, they knew what I was singing and found me my song. Well, Google doesn't respond to "it sounds like this." So, thank you Vicki, for posting this song on your site. It led me to many happy hours of surfing and reading and listening.

I know, I know. Jason Mraz been around for a while, and saying you like "I'm Yours" was a little bit like saying you liked UB40's "Red, Red Wine" in 8th grade. You'd be lame not to like it. I'm sure Jason's popular on the prep school circuit (he looks like he's still a student at one) and the college circuit. (According to the comments on his myspace, he is also quite popular with young girls in the Philippines. Hmm. Am I aging myself by saying that, as a mom, I am deeply paranoid about myspace and facebook?)

I am for sure aging myself by saying that I have come to realize that many of the new or new-to-me artists I am discovering these days are younger than I am. This is sobering. I remember my Dad talking a bit wistfully about the time(s) when he was watching baseball on TV only to realize that all the ballplayers were younger than he was. Is this my equivalent? Sigh.

Here's hoping that listening to Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson and Brandi Carlile will help keep me young. Or will they be to me what Tina Turner, Barry Manilow, and Lionel Richie were to our parents? Just my last attempt at staying hip? (Flash forward 12 years or so. I can just hear Jillsie and Sieby saying "Mom, pleeeease don't pick us up from school with that Jason Mraz stuff blasting, it's soooooo embarrassing.)

Finally, readers, if this song doesn't make you bop in your seat I think you need to have a serious reality check with yourself. Just let the pop reggae mellowness get on inside ya...

Cheers from the land of insomnia--
Still no news on the arrival of the Gutsy Dad--

The Immer-Hip Gutsy Mom

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Time, Time, Tickin' On Me

Look to the clock on the wall
Hands hardly moving at all
I can't stand the state that I'm in
Sometimes it feels like the wall's closing in
Oh Lord, what can I say?
I'm so sad since you went away
Time, time, tickin' on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord, what can I say?

-- "What Can I Say?" Brandi Carlile (of course)

Yesterday I finally received the official email that said this:
"Ladies: [We are] expecting a flight in the next 24-48hrs. This is a [Cheetah] flight."
YEEHAW! Okay, so my husband's group is not really called the Cheetah Group, but you don't think after 15 months of carefully not mentioning a single word about what group he is with, I'd go and drop the name in this post, did you?

Then, today, I was chatting with the Gutsy Dad online, and he ended by inadvertently quoting a popular song from Annie. That's right, people, the sun WILL come out... Not so sure I'll be sleeping well tonight.

In the meantime, here are some things for you to look at that I made for my design course.

WEEK ONE: Symmetrical Balance

WEEK TWO: Asymmetrical BalanceThis is one of my favorite layouts I've ever done. I wish I could show you my other homework assignment from Asymmetry Week, but it features my husband wearing his work clothes.

REAL WORLD COLOR: Challenge #1

REAL WORLD COLOR: Challenge #2In these "Real World Color" challenges, the instructor sends us something from the real world that has inspired her, color-wise, for design. She also sends us a sketch to follow for the design, so that all we have to worry about is getting the colors to work together. Pretty cool. The first challenge came from a carpet catalog. We had to use a sort of chocolate brown, peach, and sky blue. The second challenge came from a Crate & Barrel ad. We had to use another deep brown (I think my instructor has a thing for brown), bright pink, and bright orange. I'm fond of how the layout turned out with Zephie & Tilly. Not as fond of the one with Jills & The Gutsy Dad. But it was fun to figure it all out anyway.

So, now I am caught up on my homework from Weeks 1 and 2. Of course, Week 3 homework is due tomorrow, and I haven't even started. Good thing this is such a flexible class! Hmm, maybe that's what I can work on while I am not sleeping tonight. I can finally watch my Week 3 lecture. Oh goody! A plan for insomnia! Love it.

Time to load the kid into the car for our daily drive to the campus to see if the car paperwork has come in the mail or not.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The In-Between Country

See? All I had to do was post a whiny paragraph or two, and the situation improved. The Gutsy Dad has made it to the country in between where he has been all this time and where I am.

He is in a much safer place. Next stop: Germany!

Stay tuned.

By the Skin of Our Teeth

That is how we are hanging on. In other words, just barely. These days are lasting forever and they are filled with hope and anticipation and anxiety and worry. The "campus" is filling up with my husband's co-workers. I keep doing double-takes because I keep thinking I see him even though I know darn well it is NOT POSSIBLE for him to be here yet or without my knowing it. When we are on the campus, Jillsie says "There's a man!" and "There's anudder man!" Sometimes she will say "That man is a papa" or "That man is a daddy" or "Where is the udder man's childer-en?" Obviously, she's got Papa on the brain, too.

This morning I learned that the Gutsy Dad is still waiting at the airport in the country where he has been all this time. He hasn't even made it to the in-between country yet.

Jillson and I went to hang some decorations in the Gutsy Dad's office today, only to learn that he doesn't really have an office yet. Jillsie was peeved at me because she somehow misinterpreted "let's go hang your paintings in Papa's office" as "let's go color pictures with Papa in his office." She was miffed he wasn't there. Thank God Miss Jenny and Miss Laurie were there or I really would've been in the doghouse.

I have vacuumed out the car and bathed the dogs. I have stocked the pantry with the Gutsy Dad's favorites: poptarts, hot chocolate, tea, chips and salsa, diet coke. (Yes, I am apparently married to a teenager.) I have ingredients for a favorite breakfast and a favorite dinner, depending on what time of day he gets here.

The Red Sox blew it in Game 7 (had the pleasure of waking up to innings 8 and 9 this morning), so there is no more baseball to watch. I keep wondering how many more nights Jillsie and I will say our special prayer for Papa. It's on repeat in my brain all day long right now. I need a shorter mantra. Or a Valium. Or a stiff drink. OR JUST MY HUSBAND.

Dear Lord,
Please watch over our Papa, keep him safe, guard him from harm, and enfold him in Your love. Keep him busy and happy so the time flies by until he can come home to us, safe and sound.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Present

At the beginning of the month, Stacy Julian posted this challenge on her site:

You have everything you need right now to be vibrant, happy and fully engaged in the creative process of life. Sometimes you just have to slow down, look around and realize it!

Here’s what I want you to do …

• Snap ten or twelve photos of your life right now. Or find recent photos that you've already taken.
• Compile these photos in [a mini album]
• Keep or carry this album with you, tucked in your purse or desk drawer for one full year.
• Promise to glance through the album every time you stumble upon it or pull it out.
• On October 1st, 2009, create a scrapbook page about your experience.

I think you'll find that regardless of what you choose to photograph, be it nature, your children, your pets, your home, your current projects --- anything and everything, that life is in flux. We and our surroundings are constantly changing (even when you don't see it or believe it) and this little challenge/project is designed to STOP you, in the throws of your busy-ness and show you in an instant ALL that you have and can choose to be grateful for -- ALL that is here NOW...
I decided to participate, and I made this 4x4 mini album from scratch (following a tutorial on Tresa Black's site) and filled it with 10 recent pictures. The pages have pockets with pull-out inserts on which I've written about the pictures and life as it is today. Believe me, I know my life will be changing QUITE A BIT in the next year, what with the Gutsy Dad coming home, the baby arriving, and a move back to the States, so it was nice to pause and reflect on what makes up my life RIGHT NOW.

Thanks, Stacy and Tresa, for the inspiration. Focusing on this little project got me a few days closer to the end of the RLBT.

(This last picture also features a cameo appearance by part of The Belly, as well as a glimpse of another one of the rugs from the Gutsy Dad.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pregnancy + End of RLBT = Nest-O-Rama

You'd think that the Gutsy Dad's rapidly approaching return would be enough to send me into a housekeeping frenzy, but add in some third trimester nesting instincts and you've got Martha Stewart on Crack. I am having trouble sleeping because I want everything to be JUST SO. Anyone who has ever experienced a post-RLBT reunion or anyone who has ever been pregnant can tell you--nothing is ever really JUST SO in time for the big event. But damn if we don't almost kill ourselves trying. (Just ask the Gutsy Dad about the furniture we HAD to move around umpti-nine times when I was 7 months along with Jillsie.)

I believe this latest nesting and shopping frenzy was catalyzed by the arrival of three Turkish rugs that my honey sent me from his neck of the woods. The dogs were immediately excited by them. Tilly tried to stake her claim on one of the rugs by lying down on it before it was even unfolded. Zephie joined for an inaugural romp. Jillsie and Denali preferred to snuggle on top of a second rug while it was still in its box. Zephie is modeling the new living room rug which the Gutsy Dad picked all by himself. Isn't it just gorgeous?

The new tires I ordered for my car have arrived, so I just need to get them put on. Will do this when my new tail light arrives so it can all happen at once. Many, many other new acquisitions are here or en route, but I cannot write about them or display any pictures because some of them are surprises.

I still need to prepare my "brief" before my meeting on Tuesday with the German lawyer who is going to help me get the money I am owed by our phone company (long story). I still need to find a babysitter for two events next week and buy a baby present for a party I am attending. And what am I doing? Vacuuming like a freak, getting OCD about dishes and laundry, browsing online stores for home decor items, and arranging pumpkins on my front stoop. (I know you are wondering where the real Gutsy Mom has gone and when she will be coming back. I really don't know. Martha lives here now.)

And, oh yeah. We bought a new car today. WHAT??? That's right, people. The Gutsy Dad needs to drive something when he gets back and I'd rather take care of that sooner rather than later. However, I'd like to wait until I can put up new car photos before I rhapsodize about it any further, so for that you might have to wait a week or two. Hang in there. The Gutsy Dad hasn't seen his new car either.

Just be satisfied to know this tidbit from my new car story: when I arrived at the dealership this morning to finalize everything, I hopped out of the car with my 2-year-old assistant hot on my heels. She looked right at the saleswoman and said "My name is Jillson. I am a SWEET GIRL." So, apparently, I'm going to have to pause long enough in my nesting frenzy to start teaching my daughter about modesty. Woo hoo!

Stay tuned for more on the Nest-O-Rama.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I was tagged on a friend's blog to participate in this bloggy version of what feels like a chain letter. Because said friend knows where I live, and because she is apparently stalking me with spyware, and because, well, I like her, here we go.

The rules:
1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. List six random things about yourself.
3. Tag six people at the end of the post.

Six random things about me:
1. As a child, I dreaded playing tag on the playground.
2. I am currently obsessed with Brandi Carlile, to the extent that my daughter knows many of the words to her songs.
3. We still haven't come up with a real name for Sieby.
4. I went on a 2.5-mile walk today to honor co-workers of my husband who will not be returning from the RLBT. (Sorry that is worded so weirdly, but there are so many words I am afraid to use on this blog.)
5. I crave red wine and margaritas and beer.
6. I love making lists.

Six Tagged People:
Thank goodness it wasn't more than six, because I only know exactly six other bloggers who weren't already tagged by the above mentioned friend. If you don't feel like participating, I will still love you, especially since two of you are under the age of 3 and may find this assignment challenging...
1. Adventures From Us
2. Gjetost
3. Just What I Always Wanted
4. Life in Perpetual Motion
5. Lillian
6. Little Duff(s) on the Go

The Gutsy Mom

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just In Case You Need It

I have the latest "Van Dykes" taxidermy supply catalog. It is 330 pages long and, needless to say, a bit freaky. Not sure what I did or bought that got me on THAT mailing list.

It is October...

...and I've got a goofy smile on my face because I will see the Gutsy Dad some time this month. Sieby is doing flips in my belly this morning and that's just how I feel, too.