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.