Saturday, May 19, 2012

Skype Dates

Thank God for technology.  Modern BTs are so much easier than those of generations past.  We don't have to wait weeks and months for letters to travel the globe.  We can set dates to "meet" on our various electronic devices.  

Overheard today:  "Papa, are you just on the other side of the trees?"  "No, the other side of the world, Madelyn."  "Cause I am looking through the trees for you and I do not see you yet."

 "Papa, can I see your room where you sleep?"

"Papa, what did you have for dinner?"  "Lasagna."  "Lasagna?  They have lasagna over there?  I want lasagna."

After we hung up, Jillson said "I wish Papa could just burst right through the phone and hug us for real."  Me, too, sweetie.  Me, too!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Crawling Practice

Pay no attention to the sounds of the big kids in the tub, the annoying coos and baby talk coming from the pushy mother, or the broken drawer in the dresser, and you've got yourself a fine video of a baby learning to crawl.

What do you think? Will she be able to motor across a room before the Gutsy Dad gets back? Baby gate time fast approacheth, I fear.

The GM

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bridging Ceremony

Jillson has enjoyed being a Daisy Girl Scout this year, and on Saturday she bridged to Brownies.  The girls themselves designed the ceremony, deciding who would do what and what kind of party they would have afterwards. One thing I have especially loved about their troop is that it is very girl-driven.  (I also love that there was zero pressure for any kind of fund raising.  We had fun with our girls on adventures, exploring the world, and learning how to be a sister to every girl.  We did not have to sell a single thing, not even a cookie.)

So, without further ado, and mainly for the Gutsy Dad's benefit, I present to you a million pictures from the ceremony.

The girls chose J.F. Gregory park as the setting for the ceremony.

They decorated the bridge themselves.

In attendance:

They began with the Flag Ceremony.  The girls marched over the bridge and recited the Pledge of Allegiance and the Girl Scout Promise. ("On my honor I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.")

Then they sang their last song as Daisies.  (I love that Girl Scouts still sing a lot of songs together.)

I'm a little Daisy dressed in blue
I am a Girl Scout, you are too
When I go to meetings I sing and shout
I love being a Daisy Girl Scout!
(to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot")

Look at that cutie on the end!

Then they each bridged individually.

"Twist me and turn me and show me the elf.  I looked in the water and there saw... MYSELF!" (You can read more about the Brownie Story here.)  

Here she comes with her daisies and her Brownie certificate and pin!

Little sister presented her with her bridging badge, which will go on her Brownies uniform to show she was once a Daisy.

Once everyone had crossed over, the girls sang their first song as Brownies.

I've got something in my pocket that belongs across my face.
I keep it very close at hand in a very special place.
I'm sure you wouldn't guess it if you guessed a long, long while,
So I'll take it out and put it on. It's a great big BROWNIE smile!

Photographic evidence that I was indeed there:

Picnic time.

These are the daisy decorations that Madelyn and I made.  (They lined the route from the parking lot to the bridge and the picnic table.)

Troop banner.

One more walk across the bridge with a Daisy sister.

Closing ceremony, passing the squeeze.  (My mom and I both remembered doing that as Girl Scouts.)

And they're off!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Those Old Familiar Feelings

Well, here we are a week ago taking our photo for our Five of Us project. After church, before a birthday party, and before the Gutsy Dad's last night at home pre-BT. (Can't really call it an RLBT or even an LBT, although I suppose by normal standards seven weeks is indeed a long business trip.)

This time he is in a different place, a place that Madelyn calls Danistan. 

I won't lie; this makes me nervous. His descriptions of the accommodations and lifestyle there make his previous destinations seem like first-class resorts.  While it sounds dirty and gross, it does not necessarily sound dangerous. I cling to that. We can deal with dirty and gross for a quite a while, given the alternative.

I've been trying very hard to think of this as just an extended exercise and not a business trip, so I was surprised when I had to confront all the same heinous emotions as I faced before his longer trips. 

That terrible pit in my stomach as the gear gets hauled out, sorted through, strewn all around our home. I hate to see it. Especially the protective gear and the gear that would be used in a defensive manner should the need arise.  Of course I am glad he has all this gear; I obviously want him to be safe; but seeing all this stuff sort of ruins my usual ostrich-like mentality. I am forced to confront what my husband really does for a living, what his job requires of him. And I do NOT like to think about that.

I prefer instead to think of all the little ways he showed his love for us before he left: especially that he planted my hydrangeas for me. I see them through the kitchen window when I am at the sink.

When he left, in the wee hours of the morning last Monday, his ride came a few minutes early. I handed him his usual peanut butter toast in a paper towel, but he left his fresh mug of hot tea on the kitchen counter untouched. For whatever reason, this was heartbreaking to me. I came back into the house, cupped my hands around his warm mug, leaned my head down on the counter and just held on.  I took a few sips of his tea, but I've never been a lover of tea.  What to do?  I couldn't bear to pour it down the drain; he had just made it!  So I stuck it in the fridge. Two days later I was able to toss it without emotional trauma.

The girls and I have been faring fairly well, though already there are several tales for the annals of RLBT lore: I've had a girls night out, I've scratched up the car (unrelated to girls' night out!), I've fed my children strange combinations of food I would never feed my husband, and I've relied on two visits from my parents for help.

This morning I made it to church with the kids by myself and felt like a super hero. Then I sat in the pew listening to a fine sermon, missing the Gutsy Dad there more than anywhere else in the past week.

And here we are this week.  I almost forgot our Five of Us photo (which features, for the time being, four of us), but I dragged out the tripod at story time.

These sweet little girls make me so happy.  They make me crazy, too, and very tired.  But also very happy.  This is what it looks like when we are pretending we've got it all together.

And here's a little glimpse of reality:

Don't worry, honey.  I've got everything under control.