Monday, April 28, 2008

Cloth Diapers

I love cloth diapers. But they're so expensive! Doesn't the cost defeat the purpose of being frugal?

After ABW gave me a Bumkin, I was hooked on all-in-ones (coincidentally, my friend Emily offered me some before or shortly after Tucker was born, but I was unaware of how freakin' awesome they were. I told her to give them to another interested friend. My loss. Seriously). They are $18 each, and I just can't justify spending that much, particularly when I have the ability to make them.

So I present to you the $4 version of the Bumkin. I made it, with help from the Mama Bird pattern. I thought I had chosen the right pattern size (10-20 lbs), but I can't see this think fitting Tucker eight pounds from now.

View from the back:

And the front:

On the boy:

And the fabric I plan on using for the next one:

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I was in the middle of a huge post concerning a psychopath I've encountered on eBay when someone knocked on my door. I rolled my eyes and thought, I'm NOT interested!

It was one of my students, who had made her way out of alternative school before I left to be home with Tucker. She had bad news: She was going back to alternative. I gave her a sufficient I Love You the Way You Are but I REFUSE to Let You Stay That Way lecture. And I looked her straight in the eye and said, "You can be anything you want. You can do anything you want. You are beautiful and capable and intelligent. You can make a difference in the world." It broke my heart when the look on her face told me that no one had ever taken the time to tell her that (I can still remember the time my father sat me down and said, "You can be whatever you want when you grow up. Don't let anyone ever tell you any differently.")

But that wasn't the worst news. Two of my other students were recently incarcerated. One for possession (2-4 ounces) and one for theft ($1,500-20,000). The wheels in my head started turning. How could this happen? Both of those students were so lovable and funny and intelligent. But no one ever took the time to tell them that as children. By the time I told them that, it seems as if it was too late.

When I was teaching, I spent hours on end with both of these gentlemen in the hallway, telling them that they were worth something, and regardless of the fact that they were making bad choices, I would still always be there for them. I knew that one of them was selling drugs, and I always told him, "I hope you get your crap together before you get caught." Not so coincidentally, he was the one arrested for possession. And in case you're not familiar with how much 2-4 ounces of weed is, it's enough to stash away in case of a nuclear war; it's a bit much for personal consumption (I learned that from my neighbor, who is the biggest pothead I've ever met - I mean, she smokes weed every day, all day. And she told me that 2-4 ounces would last her about three months).

I found out late last night, after arranging for a baby sitter and canceling my plans with ABW, that I would not be able to visit them in jail today. So I wrote them letters requesting that they add me to their approved visitor list. Hopefully, I will get to go see them next weekend.

Someone has failed these children. And now, since they're 18, everyone is going to look at them as felons or criminals. Not many people are going to see them the way I do: Scared little boys who are desperately trying to be men. And their only role models are not the men who parented them, but the rappers who glorify street life, selling drugs, and objectifying women.

Someone has got to rescue these kids. And if I have to buy a camper van and follow them around to make sure they're making the right choices, that's what I'm going to do. I'll be damned to be one more adult in their lives that just turns the other way and thinks, What a shame.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I got to hang out with Gunner and ABW's Junior tonight. It was so much fun.

Isn't he freakin' cute? He was kind of watching Lilo and Stitch:

And good thing I was craving boxed mac and cheese the other day at the grocery store; that's what he had for dinner (place mat courtesy of Faith's mom, cute little kid friendly dishes courtesy of Grandma San Antonio. Note to self: mac and cheese, children, and linen upholstered dining chairs are not meant for each other):

And bath time was the best. (Although I was a bit freaked out: I've heard so many stories of women leaving their children for "just a second" and then the kid is drowning in two inches of water and the whole family is devastated and....No, I'm not paranoid or anything. So I sat in the bathroom the whole time he played in the water.) At one point I told him "Junior, sit on your bottom." In that moment, I discovered a new level of personal growth; I never thought of myself as the person who says "bottom". Anyway, he told me "NO!" So I replied in the toughest mommy voice I could muster, "Do it now". He looked at me sternly and, I kid you not, started growling at me. I did what any clueless adult would do: I growled back. We both started laughing hysterically. And then I said, "Seriously, dude. Sit on your bottom". That's right, folks. I refrained from using the word "ass". Twice. So he sat down in the tub, and the fear that he would slip, fall, crack his head open, and drown subsided.

And he was just too cute walking around the house like a miniature man in a towel:
I'm actually looking forward to this age with Tucker. They're so much fun.

Monday, April 21, 2008

For Daddy

Scout saw Tucker on the web cam for the first time a couple of days ago, and after I put him back in his crib, Scout said, "Why were his eyes so wide open like he was scared?" I laughed to myself and said, "He always looks like that!" (as you can see in the first picture). It's funny how I don't notice things like that because I'm around him all the time. And it's hard to capture it all; while I was feeding Tucker this morning, the cat climbed up on our laps and I thought, what a good picture this would be. Heh. Nobody's here to take it.

(As a side note, the pillowcase in the first picture was made by my mother while she was visiting - isn't it awesome? And the amazing safari quilt in the second picture was sent to me by LoveMyTanker. I don't know what I did to deserve such amazing blogger friends.)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'm Coming Out of the Closet

There have been a lot of things that I've wanted to blog about lately, but I can't because I have a secret. It's a secret that I hate to have, and it's something I'm ashamed about, and it's something that makes me want to crawl in a hole and die.

So here it is: I started smoking again. And I don't want to hear a damn word about it (I'm hard enough on myself about it). Mkay?

I've quit on and off for ten years, and some stretches have been longer than others. Two months here, three weeks there. But in the end, I love smoking. It's not something I'm proud of, it's not something I ever want Tucker to do, and yes, I know it's something that will eventually kill me (smokers do know that, my friends. Please don't feel the need to remind them of that).

But it is what it is. The hope that I may someday be a non-smoker dwindles every time I give in to "just one" cigarette. That "just one" always turns into "just a pack" or "just for a week", and then I am REALLY quitting. And the week turns into ten years. I have been a smoker for ten years. That really is disgusting, I think.

Tomorrow, I tell myself, I'm going to wake up and be 50. And I'm either going to be a smoker, or I'm going to be able to tell my children how glad I am that I finally kicked the habit in my twenties (or thirties. Argh).

I love smoking, but I hate being a smoker.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Poor Scout

Scout sustained his first non-combat related injury today. As he describes it, his finger busted open like a grape.

Take one guess which finger it is. His trigger finger.

I'm a little confused about the details, but somehow as he was finishing up a set of reps during weightlifting, he slammed down his weights and his finger got jammed in the middle of his weight and something else. The soldier he was lifting with (who Scout describes as a non-stoned stoner- type) said nonchalantly, "Hey man, you're bleeding all over the place."

Scout said that the laceration was L-shaped, with "meat hanging out."

Two stitches and a few Motrin later, Scout is in an incredible amount of pain. But he told the medics that under no circumstances were they to tell his superiors about his injury. He told me that he'll shoot his firearm with his middle finger if he has to.

When I asked him if he thought it was a good idea to conceal the incident, he whined, "But then they won't let me go on any missions..."

How can I argue with that?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

37 Days

Scout's been gone 37 days.

I'm doing a lot better emotionally than I did during his first deployment; I'm more productive, more cheerful, and much (MUCH) busier. But there are times, like this morning, that I realize how much I miss him.

In high school, Scout worked at Taco Bell. He perfected the art of rolling a burrito/soft taco so that one end was completely sealed. I have benefited from his extraordinary talent time and time again - every time we have Taco Night, I fill my soft shell taco and slide my plate across the counter to where he's standing. I watch in awe as he turns what could be a sloppy mess into a beautiful piece of delicious art. (And I always make a point of telling him how sexy I think his talent is.)

So this morning, as I looked at my open-face egg/cheese/ketchup burrito on the counter, I wanted to slide it to where he would usually stand - except that, as you all know - he wasn't there. I sucked it up and rolled it myself, but it wasn't as beautiful. And it made me miss him.

But hey, according to ABW, we only have 59 trash days left (down from 65). There is hope, my friends.

Oh, and how could I be sad for long, when I have a little monkey as cute as this:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


For those of you who send care packages to Scout, he's in serious need of baby wipes. Apparently where they're at, they get showers about once every two weeks ( that smells good!). I, of course, have tons of baby wipes, but I'm sure with all of the other guys in need of some, the package I sent won't last long. Thank you to everyone that takes the time to send him packages - it takes a huge load off my back.

And if you weren't on the email list that I sent out with Scout's address and would like to send him a letter, please email me at

Pictures will follow as soon as I have sufficiently studied for a test I have to take on Saturday for my teacher certification.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My AC Nightmare Never Ends

My electric bill this month was "only" $165 this month. Wanna know why? Because this lovely little beast wasn't working again:

I've been living in a hot, humid house because I'm too stubborn to pay someone $500 for (what I was convinced was) a two minute fix. My neighbor, who is a certified heating and cooling guy, kept promising to come over and take a look at it. It never happened, so I just sweat my ass off and thought, "I should really go take a look at it myself."

I actually did get my lazy self out there today because I couldn't imagine living one more day, not only covered in regurgitated formula, but sweating from every pore on my body (trust me - by the end of the day, I smell amazing).

As I took a look at the air conditioner, a choir of angels started singing. I wouldn't have to call the $500 man. It was in fact, a two minute fix. Wires. I can do wires:

At the same time, an image popped into my head. I knew the culprit:

I remind this mutt daily with how horrible her life would be at the pound. She doesn't seem to care, because she chews everything she can get her annoying little teeth on.

But anyway, I turned off the breaker, vacuumed the AC (because I have so many dogs), spliced the wire, turned the breaker back on, turned the thermostat to 70, et voilĂ . The choir of angels was singing again.

And I'm not sweating. Hallelujah for two minute fixes.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Support Our Troops

I just made the change from disposable to cloth diapers and I must say I love them, particularly when they are covered in "Support Our Troops":

And I was just being silly when I put this big ol' toy on Tucker's chest the other day, but when I left the room for a few minutes and came back, I didn't expect him to be sleeping with it:

And my boy, on ABW's couch, bright-eyed as can be:

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Hey, anyone notice anything funny in the following email I just got?, which is a website I belong to, sent this email out. While it seems random for a site like this to start a dating service, it is even creepier that Todd P. from Oshkosh, WI is "ecstatically happy" with a woman but is also porking a guy from New Jersey.

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