Thursday, December 29, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bella Girl!

It's Bella's fifth birthday! We got her a new stuffed animal to play with, even though she doesn't like to play. It's more for the parents' entertainment, anyhow.

Bella is quite the cuddle bug though.

Her grandma bought her a bag of bones to snack on. She loves food!

I guess it's a little cruel to tease her on her birthday.

We also cut up a giant apple and let her eat it all on her own. She was ecstatic.

Five things The Hubby loves about Bella Face:

  1. She always loves to cuddle.
  2. Her paws smell like Fritos.
  3. She likes to sleep.
  4. She always greets me when I come home.
  5. She's a companion to my love (The Hubby's words, not mine).
Happy Birthday, sweet Bella Girl. Our lives would be a lot less happy (and furry) without you.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Sweet Competition

The Hubby and I picked up a gingerbread house kit at Target because it was 50% off and we didn't have anything to do on a Saturday night. During the car ride home, The Hubby asked if he could do the icicles on the house and I asked, "But will it look good?" We quickly turned what was to be a new holiday tradition to a competition. 

"You're f**ked," he claimed.

Each one of us would do a front of the pre-built house and a side and we agreed to have my readers decide who the winner was. Here, The Hubby carefully plans out his design before proceeding.

Look at that intensity. There was a lot of trash talking on his part.

So, my neutral blog readers, which decorator did the better job?

Fronts of houses

Decorator 1's side

Decorator 2's side

Help us settle this friendly feud by answering the poll below!

Who Decorated the Best Gingerbread House?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm a Terrible Person

I made Ina Garten's recipe for lemon and garlic roast chicken for dinner tonight. I've never roasted a chicken before, and I don't know why I thought I had the stomach to handle a whole raw chicken. I gagged the entire time and was whining like a baby. The Hubby had to pull out the giblets because I couldn't bare to do it without throwing up, probably on the chicken. I tied up its little legs with pretty bakers twine since I didn't have anything else. Bakers twine should be used for crafts, not chicken!

The chicken is stuffed with garlic. I quickly looked up a video on how to peel garlic easily as I've always used pre-minced garlic and never had to deal with it before. The Hubby came over and watched with me and we were amazed by how easy it seemed.

The Hubby declared that he would be in charge of doing it. Smashing the garlic with his bare hands seemed like a horrible idea to me, but he was committed and smashed away. Except the garlic head was not dented at all by his hand and The Hubby screamed in pain.

Instead of running over and checking to see if he was okay, I laughed hard. I laughed until I fell on the floor. I laughed until my laughter was no longer making a sound. I laughed until I had tears in my eyes.

I am a terrible person.

He's okay, by the way. I knew he would be. 

He's my big, strong Army man. 

Who was defeated by a garlic head.

After he eventually broke the garlic head open, the trick worked like magic. It turns out that I didn't read the instructions carefully enough and didn't see the part about not even having to peel the garlic head at all. 

The chicken was delicious and wonderfully juicy. Success!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hello There

I promise to post tomorrow, but in the meantime, here's a happy bear waving.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Looks Like We Made It

 I must say that I have to give myself a little pat on the back for getting through this deployment with very few breakdowns. I've cried three times since The Hubby left for Iraq, not counting the time I watched the last Harry Potter film or when I was addicted to watching “surprise Solider homecomings” on Youtube.
The first time I cried was not when The Hubby left, but a week later when I felt trapped with a crap job at the bank on post. I bawled when I had to drop The Hubby off at the airport after R&R and was thankful that he didn't turn around to catch me. And then I cried again a few weeks ago when I had an especially bad day at work and felt utterly defeated.

All in all, I think I did pretty great. I didn't cry or freak out when our Skype screen went black, but I could still hear alarms and yelling in the background because rockets were coming their way. This has happened twice. Instead, I told myself to end the call and just wait for him to call back because I knew everything would be fine. How on earth was I able to keep my composure?
With the combination of great friends, embracing my independence, and keeping busy, this deployment was (dare I say it?) fairly easy. I think the most important thing I did for myself to make it thus far was to keep a good attitude about our situation. I know that there are other military wives reading, and I hope I don't offend anyone, but this is my truth. I think it is applicable for any wife dealing with a hardworking husband, or vice versa.

Source: via Min on Pinterest

There are women who complain daily about how the Army takes their husbands away or even when they miss a day of Skype with their Soldier. I find myself extremely thankful that The Hubby had it relatively good in Iraq compared to other friends I know who are currently deployed to Afghanistan. If your husband doesn't have to crap in a hole in the ground, cook meals over open fires, or pump their own water for showers, there really isn't much to complain about. There is absolutely no way these women, myself included, would be able to survive previous wars. To go through months or maybe years not knowing whether or not your spouse is still alive would be absolute torture.

Sure, he's been gone for nearly a year and you have had to take care of everything yourself, but bitching about it really does not do anyone any good. I think it is incredibly important to be respectful to what your husband signed up to do. You should not show any hints that you are in any way angry at his occupation. This doesn't mean you can't express your opinions on things. If he bitches about the Army (and he will), bitch along with him. Just be sure that you don't put any blame on him.

He doesn't want to leave you any more than you want him to. He wants to be there to sing “Happy Birthday” when you turn 23 or heat up some precooked turkey with you on Thanksgiving. He wishes he could see Bella swim in a pool with dozens of other crazy pups. If he has to go out in the field for a few days and leaves you carless, so be it. You deal with it. Adapt to these circumstances. He knows it sucks, too. There is no need to remind him of it. He already feels guilty enough.

Do I feel a little sorry for myself when I have to deal with the auto shop and insurance company on my own when someone rear ends me? What about when three lightbulbs go out at one time and two out of the three replacements are duds? Or when Bella decides to throw up her dinner and permanently stain the bedroom carpet? Yes, but only for a moment. Then I remind myself of my own strength and my abilities of handling everything life throws at me.

I survived nine months minus two weeks without my husband. I have proved to myself that I can live on my own. However, this is different than saying that I can live without him. The simple thought that he would be back eventually is what kept me going. Even though I didn't need his help putting together massive Ikea furniture or changing the air filter, I still needed him in my life. I like to think that he needed me as well.

We're back physically in each other's lives, but we never truly left each other. Good job, Luv. I'm so proud of you.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Nine Months Ago

We took this almost exactly nine months ago. Our final kisses before his deployment.

This was taken yesterday morning. Our first kiss after coming back home from his deployment.

Apparently, I really like red coats and I really love my husband.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Because She's Chinese

I wrote this during an off period yesterday at work. I was extremely bored so this post is lengthy. I don't have time to edit as I am cleaning late into the night...

Student A: Where are you from? Ain't you from Houston?
Me: No, I'm from California.
Student B: What race are you?
Me: I'm Chinese.
Student B: See? I told you!

Student C was asked to toss her gum at the beginning of the period. Half an hour later, I caught her chewing gum again. I'm not sure if it was the same piece of gum and she had just pretended to get up and toss it or if it was a fresh piece. I told her to throw it away again.

Student C: Why don't you let us chew gum in class?
Me: Because it's school policy. No food or drinks in class.
Student D: All the other teachers don't care if we chew gum.
Me: That's because they're sick and tired of telling you to spit out your gum so they ignore it.
Student C (under her breath): It's because she's Chinese.
Me: Did you just say that I don't let you chew gum because I'm Chinese?
Student C (sheepishly): No.

I let it go. What I should have said was:

Me: Did you just say that I don't let you chew gum because I'm Chinese?
Student C (sheepishly): No.
Me: Oh, well I'm glad I misheard you because that would have been an incredibly ignorant comment.

Student C was visibly upset when I told her I would be their sub for tomorrow as well. I don't let them get away with shit that their teachers have given up caring about.

By the end of the first period, I had collected three cell phones and one iPod. Students are always absolutely shocked when I catch them with their cell phones out. It's become a game for me. When I first started subbing, I would just ask them to put it away. Now, I have to physically confiscate them because a warning isn't enough. They will just attempt to hide it another way.

For example, yesterday I didn't feel like getting out of my seat to grab a cell phone so I just asked a student to put it away. She put it in her pocket, got out of her seat, sat behind a bigger guy, and tried to get on her phone that way. I immediately caught her and she was pissed.

Taking their cell phones and returning them at the end of class is a nice gesture, in my opinion. I don't write them up and I don't turn them in to the office. As long as they hand it to me willingly and they behave for the rest of the period, they get their phones back. Easy. Except 50% of the time they argue with me.

This morning, I caught a boy with his phone out. It is so obvious when they are using their cell phones. I only get so upset about cell phones because they think they are smarter than me and I want to prove that they aren't. We actually made eye contact when he realized I had caught him. I walked over to grab it from him, but instead he tried to play it off as if he didn't have a phone at all.

Student D: My mama don't let me have cell phones.
Me: I saw it. Hand it over.
Student D: I don't have a cell phone. I really don't. My mama don't let me.
Me: Really? We're going to do this? Turn out your pockets.
Student D: I don't have a phone!
Me: Yes, you do. Hand it over and you'll get it at the end of class. If you keep arguing I'll write you up.
Student D: You mean this thing? (Hands me a cell phone.) It's not a cell phone. It's a smart phone.

The absolute disrespect of some of these students still continues to astonish me. I don't know where they learned this bad behavior, but it is unacceptable. I honestly don't know how I have resisted cussing them out by now.

“You think this shit is going to work later on in your life? You keep pulling these stunts and behave this way and you will get nowhere in life. You're going to end up in jail or on the streets and I'm going to walk past you and not give a fuck because you deserved this. Good luck to you because you're going to need it. I feel bad for yo mama.”

“Yo mama” seems appropriate.

That's what I would love to say to them. Except I can't because I'll get fired. They wouldn't take me seriously, anyway. One of my proudest moments was when I said to a student, “Get out of my classroom, Oscar. I'm sick of you disrupting my class. Get out.” He came crawling back to me after the period ended and begged me not to write his name down for the teacher. I told him I already did and explained why. He was not happy, but at least he understood my reasoning and admitted that he was at fault.

My classes yesterday had an extra credit assignment due at the end of the period. It was just a maze so it should have been a fun assignment. Instead, I caught four students cheating. Cheating for extra credit! If I had been caught cheating, I think I would have felt extremely embarrassed. These kids didn't have the same mindset and instead became very angry with me.

One rude girl continued copying another boy's work even while I was standing right in front of her as if she was doing nothing wrong. I told her she might as well hand both papers in as neither one of them was going to get any credit. As a final act of defiance, she tossed the blue highlighter she borrowed on the floor instead of turning it in to me. Such class, huh?

I would like to only blame the parents of the students, but the teachers are also responsible. They are the ones who don't follow the school policies and allow the kids to use their phones and mp3 players in class. I've seen it in person. They need to establish a controlled classroom instead of attempting to get their attention only when they need it or resort to speaking over them. I know that this is easier said than done. There has only been one teacher I subbed for that I could obviously see had a well disciplined classroom. I approached him another day and let him know this. I told him I would be more than happy to watch his classes again.

The problem with disciplining these students is that they have very little fear. I had to send a student to the Assistant Principal because he refused to stay awake in class. I told him I would be checking with the AP office to see if he actually went and he boldly responded with, “I ain't going anyway.” I had to ask another adult to escort him.

The word “ain't” makes me want to barf. I think the only way the word should be used is for humorous reasons or for the sentence, “I ain't playin' wit chu.”

This is what I deal with every day at work. I don't remember the last time I had a truly good day at work, yet I still want to do it. The few students who tell me, “Have a good day,” before they leave the classroom or thank me when I hand them an assignment is enough for me.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Texting My Sister

Me: The Hubby is coming home on ______ :)
Sister: Make a dog sees soldier returning video!

A few minutes later...

Me: I like that you seem more excited about HP Land than about my husband coming home from war.
Sister: ...I'm a bad person.
Me: Yes. Yes you are. (I'm super excited about HP Land, too)



Cabana's mama requested some pictures to go with last night's post, so here they are! The first picture is a duplicate of the one I sent my mother. We are at a kindergarten family picnic. I'm pretty sure I made that hat for her. My mother was wearing the bug eyed sunglasses before the Olsen twins were.

I found these embarrassing school pictures. Like I mentioned before, I did not know how to smile naturally. Why didn't anyone tell me this?!

I think this picture was from some sort of a Halloween celebration at school. I LOVED this dress. I wore it whenever I could, even though it is obviously at least two sizes too big. I remember one day I was supposed to go to a friend's birthday party at the Discovery Zone and wanted to wear this dress. My mother told me I could not go unless I wore a pair of overalls. I did the logical thing and locked myself in the bathroom for the rest of the day.

I think I should bring the bangs back.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Texting My Mom

My mom's birthday was on Thanksgiving. I sent her a birthday card with a picture of the two of us back when I was in kindergarten. She had a bad perm and I was rocking bangs and an awful smile.

Mom: I got your greeting card, thank you. You are much beautiful now.
Me: Haha. I know I was an ugly child.
Mom: Yes, I did not know until now. Haha! But, you are alway my baby and cute, beautiful girl.

Just call me Married Minzilla, the Ugly Duckling.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quotes of the Day

Me: Does everyone have the handout?
Student: I ain't got one.
Me: You mean you don't have one?
Student: No, I ain't got one.
Me: Have. You don't have one.
Student: I AIN'T GOT ONE!


Student: Are you Korean?
Me: No.
Student: Are you Japanese?
Me: No.
Different student: Ain't Korean and Japanese the same thing?
Me: No.
Student: What are you then?
Me: It doesn't matter. Stop talking.

Good Day

Source: via Min on Pinterest

Monday, November 28, 2011

Get Me My Legal Pad

Robin, get me my legal pad. It's pros and cons time!

The Hubby often brings up a subject, asks me for my opinion, has to run off somewhere, and ends the conversation with, "Ok, go make a list."

I love lists. 

This list I'm currently working on, however, is the best list of all because it means something very special is about to happen. 

I'll let you figure it out.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Chocolate One?

Source: on Pinterest

Conversation I had with my BFF recently:

Me: I'm eating Special K cereal right now.
BFF: The chocolate one?
Me: What else?

I'm a sucker for healthful foods camouflaged with chocolate. How am I just realizing this now? These are the food items that I have been living off of for the past week or so. Unsalted almonds, soy chai tea lattes and fruit sometimes get into the mix as well. I hate cooking because I despise doing dishes, so much so that last night I ate frozen waffles instead of oatmeal because I ran out of clean bowls.

I used to be so satisfied with giant organic romaine lettuce salads with chicken, raspberry vinaigrette, sliced almonds and corn. The thought of eating another one is sickening. The Hubby claims that he wants to do a lot of the cooking when he returns. I'm pretty excited to stop eating like a poor/lazy college student.

Yes, Another Baby Post

So cute I can't stand it!

I spend an embarrassing amount of time looking at "dog and baby" videos on YouTube.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Around the House

This post is long overdue. It takes a lot of time and money to fill up an empty house, and we're almost complete. By the time we finish we will probably be moving again. I hope everything fits in our next home! Here are a few pictures of a few of my favorite details around the house. I think it's pretty obvious who does the decorating around here.

The Front Entrance:

Urban Outfitters 2x3 rug. After receiving it, I texted a picture of the rug to my sister and she replied that she had just purchased the exact same thing. This happens more often than normal.

The Living Room

It took a lot of time and energy putting this wall collage together, but I am in love with it. The Hang & Level tool is the best $12 we've ever spent. I purchased many of these prints at the Renegade Craft Fair in May. I bought a cheap voucher for Nan Lawson, thus all the Nan Lawson prints. We used RIBBA frames from Ikea because they were the cheapest option and I appreciate the nice, clean lines.

top row: Bella and Billy as puppies, Nan Lawson's The Boy Who Lived Print, Kate Thomas' Happy Letters, Kate Thomas' Sometimes Said Pooh print
middle row: Kissing the War Goodbye, wedding pictures by Hannah Suh, Nan Lawson's Wild Things Max print
bottom row: Nan Lawson's I Heart California print, Kate Thomas' It's Not What the World Holds print, Paper Pastries' I Left My Heart card, Viva Greetings card, Brainstorm Print + Design print

 We have a sofa table pushed against our back wall. Displayed on this table (from left to right): framed engagement picture, American flag flown in Iraq, shadow boxes (details below), a travel map, and little birdies my sister gave me as a housewarming gift. 

The travel map idea was from Design Sponge. I used a large picture frame for Ikea as a backing and pasted on top of it a cut out of the United States from a roll of cork from Hobby Lobby. The template for the shape of the U.S. did not work so I had to draw it out by hand, which is why Texas looks a bit sketchy. 

In purple are the cities The Hubby and I have visited together since being married and in yellow are the cities we travelled to before marriage. I plan on doing a different color for when we travel after having children. 

I like to collect pressed pennies when I can. I have one from the Nixon Library where we were married, many from Disneyland, and one from the San Diego Zoo. I stole our house key from Georgia and framed it. I will do the same with our house key from this house.

This vase was one of our first purchase for this house. I think it was about $7 from Ross. The candlesticks were a gift from our first dinner guest. Bella is a permanent resident of the living room. She looks upset because she finished her food.

I'm still in love with the pillow covers I made in July. I've since made a second one to complete a pair.

On a shelf above our television sits a print my sister gave us last Christmas and two hand painted wooden pegs we used as cake toppers for our wedding. Aren't they adorable?

The Kitchen

A quote by Julia Childs hangs on a wall in our tiny dining room: "People who love to eat are always the best people." If you do not like to eat, you are not allowed in this house. This is a fact. (The Best People Print by Kate Moore)

My Mickey Mouse timer and labrador salt and peper shakers bring so much joy into my kitchen.

I'm missing pictures from our guest room, bedroom, and craft room. It is so difficult getting good pictures from those rooms because of poor lighting. It's been so gloomy outside that I can't get anything worthy of posting, but hopefully I can share with you soon.

Active Duty Hallmark Commercial

This commercial makes me tear up every single time it airs on television. It makes me so thankful that The Hubby will be home for Christmas this year. It also makes me think of all our friends overseas and the sacrifices they make every day.

Have some time to fill out an extra Christmas card? Find an address here and mail out a holiday greeting to a Soldier. You can also participate in Holiday Mail for Heroes.

Deadline to send priority mail with guaranteed Christmas arrival through USPS to an APO/FPO address is December 3rd!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Oh, Martha

Rerun of Martha Stewart on Leno last night:

Martha: As a good hostess or host, you don't let disasters phase you. If you drop your pot roast on the floor, just pick it up and say, "Luckily, I have another one in the kitchen." Then you clean it up in the kitchen and everything's fine.

Leno: You follow the three second rule, then?

Martha: My floors are impeccably clean, Jay. You can eat dinner off my floors.

Oh, Martha. You slay me.

Bella Fur

Bella's fur finds its way absolutely everywhere. There are parts of her in New York, California, Iraq, Georgia, New Mexico, Florida Texas, and who knows where else. Her fur migrates wherever we go. I have even found a strand of her fur stuck in-between my teeth one morning. Because of this, many of my clothing decisions are based on the fact that Bella has light colored fur.

So when I was going absolutely nuts in the adorableness that is Baby Gap, I couldn't help but think of Bella.

After swooning over this little bow hat and mitten set, I immediately thought, "Oh, no. I can't get this color. Bella's fur would be all over that."

And then I caught myself.


The Hubby keeps pushing our baby timeline back. I don't think I can make it seven more years, especially when I find myself dying a little bit every time I see tiny articles of clothing. We are in sooo much trouble.

Oh, Bella girl. Please make it seven more years because I want you to meet Future Kiddo.

If we have a boy in the future, he must have this cable knit one-piece. In french vanilla, of course. Bella's fur won't show up on that!

I have a feeling that I'm going to be a mom dressed in sweats with the most fashionable kid in town.

Lazy Black Friday

Went to bed at 11pm. Woke up at 3:10am. Drove to Target with T at 3:30am. Absolutely astonished to find a somewhat empty store with still loads of big ticket items left over from the midnight rush. High fived myself for picking a good time to go to the store.

Came out with our usual "Weeds" DVD sets for $7.99, a flannel shirt I've been eyeing for years, and a crockpot for $19. Good finds? Yes. Worthy of waking up at 3am? Most definitely not. Especially since the crockpot has very mixed reviews and I'm thinking of returning it already. At least T was able to find a great peacoat for $25 at Old Navy and I actually had a pretty great time.

Me with my finds and a very empty store. My eyes ARE open, btw, T!!

Toy Story wrapping paper. Awesome.

Justin Bieber wrapping paper. UNACCEPTABLE.

P.S. I found a great tutorial on how to keep your bangs out of your face while working out (or when you wake up at 3am and find that your hair is just out of control). No braiding necessary, which is perfect for me. When I put my bangs up I felt like I had brand new vision.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Single Married Wives Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a spectacular Thanksgiving! The Hubby is still in Iraq, which made this Thanksgiving more pitiful than our last minute meal last year, but I am so glad that my friends decided to get together to celebrate. We headed to the DFAC on post for a $7 Thanksgiving buffet.

 I am truly thankful for my friends here. They have made this deployment so much easier. 

There were so many Soldiers sitting by themselves, which just broke my heart. Again, so thankful I have wonderful people here to keep me company on this holiday.

I asked for "a little bit of everything," but they kept piling it on my plates. There was a lot of food wasted and I felt pretty bad. There were Soldiers in their dress blues serving the food and everyone was so polite and kind. Although at one point a Soldier asked me my name and told me that I resembled a Lieutenant they had kicked out recently.

The people at the DFAC put so much effort to make the facility nice for everyone. It was very much appreciated.

Later in the evening, I took Bella to the local high school and ran on the track. I let Bella loose because the area was gated and she went absolutely crazy darting around back and forth. I also went home and did my 30 Day Shred DVD. It is so difficult to find motivation to exercise when your warm dog looks like this about 23 hours of the day.

I know that exercising on Thanksgiving is not allowed, but The Hubby is coming home very soon and I am running out of time. The man works out twice a day and has stuck with his crazy Paleo diet. I, however, still like to eat five cookies in one sitting and use winter as an excuse to get fat.

I'm off to take a quick power nap before heading out to Target for some Black Friday shopping. A friend and I spontaneously decided to participate in this madness just to say that we did it. All I want are the last two seasons of "Weeds" on DVD. I wonder what I'll come out with...