Archives for posts with tag: art projects

After the pure exhaustion of yesterday we took the morning off to lounge around, which for me is cleaning therapy. Not so much for the kiddos. They spent their morning making up a complicated make believe story, which I only caught snippets of as I dusted and swept and mopped and baked. Pure bliss!

Afterwards we headed to the pool with Brooks’s friends in tow to meet up with one of my friends. Texas is hot. Really, really hot. The kind of hot that makes you appreciate being inside the pool hours at a time. The kind that makes you plan outings for either early morning or late afternoon. I was grateful to spend some time catching up with my friend and I know the kiddos were grateful as well.

Since we came home fairly early, as far as pool days go, we played a few board games and then headed outside for some bouncy ball splat painting. I love that The Boy doesn’t question me when I begin lugging things outside. He quietly helps, a thin smile on his face, as he patiently waits for me to tell him we’ll be doing. Today, his eyes danced at the site of a ball in my hand, butcher paper (which I found in the far reached of the homeschool closet, it would have come in handy yesterday), and a big bowl of paint.

Brooksy helped me tape the paper to the patio floor.

In hindsight, I should have covered the area with newspaper, but since I was using washable paint and there was a hose nearby I opted to go sans newspaper. For those who want to try this, either keep a hose nearby, for you, the kiddos, the furniture, the dogs, the plants, and of course, the floor, or be ready to hose everything down.

Clean up wasn’t bad at all. It took us about 15 minutes and the kiddos had as much fun cleaning as they had splat painting. One wielded a broom while the other went nuts with the hose, and then they traded. We were all soaked, but that was half the fun, right?!

After we set up the paper the kiddos took turns bouncing the ball to each other across the paper. Sometimes they skipped and hopped before letting the ball loose, sometimes they caught it, sometimes they didn’t. They laughed and giggled and had a blast.

I think the finished result is pretty neat, and after it dries I’ll save it. We’ll either use it to decorate the inside of a care package for Daddy Brooks or save it to wrap a present for a friend.

I call that a perfect day. And I think the kiddos agree.

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For the record, I’m exhausted.

I had to get that out there because at one moment tonight I really considered not posting to the blog, but then it wouldn’t be 365 days of deployment, so here I am.

It’s a good exhausted, but I’m worn out, nonetheless.

I knew we had a few hours off this morning before tutoring, gymnastics, and tennis, so right away I knew spending some time dabbling in art would be appreciated by the kiddos. I usually navigate through art and parenting blogs to find some ideas but today for some reason spin tops popped into my head.

I cannot imagine that no one else has done this, and wasn’t able to google anything so I’m sure there might be better ways to do this, but here was our take.

First, we went on a hunt through Brooks’s toys for various spin tops. After we located them we selected two colors of paint. The kiddos choice, not mine. I think butcher paper would have been amazing for this project but I had none on hand so we used letter sized cardstock. We then placed newspaper over the table in the dining room and after sticking the bottom of the top in a good amount of paint set the top spinning on top of the paper. Lo and behold, we ended up with some amazing swirls and splatters of paint, EVERYWHERE, including the paper. This set the kiddos and I into hysterics, since we were all now covered in little splotches of purple paint.

So outside we went.

A little mess was not going to deter us!

Oh, how I wish we’d had butcher paper on hand!

We set up more newspaper outside, which we weighed down with rocks from our hike yesterday. Then the kiddos took turns creating some pretty amazing pieces. There were plenty of giggles, shrieks, and chortles. They had a blast with the process and I had fun watching them experiment with different tops and methods.

This  one is definitely a do over art project.

An FYI, it did make a bit of a mess, but we hosed down outside and we were good to go!

After our fun art project we headed to the Resiliency Campus on Fort Hood to try out hand at rock climbing. Those who know me know that we are always in sandals. Last time we had gone rock climbing on post they had let Brooksy up with his sandals, but this time they geared him up in special rock climbing shoes and wouldn’t let poor Marilyn up because they didn’t have shoes in her size. Poor kiddo! So now we know for next time.

Marilyn tried her hand at the boulder adjacent to the rock wall while Brooks got coached in the “secrets” of rock climbing by one of the soldiers working there today. She was super with him and taught him a few new things.

Afterwards we had a picnic lunch at the playground outside before we headed to tutoring and gymnastics.

I was tired after gymnastics. True story.

But we had our first day of Tennis on post and we weren’t going to miss that. They had a few USTA members out coaching the kids. It was loads of fun, so I’m super glad we didn’t miss it. Brooks wasn’t sure he was going to enjoy Tennis but LOVED it. It looks like we’ll be heading out to get him a racket this week so he can practice at home. He was nonstop chatter the whole way home. I love how much he enjoys sports in general and being active. He came home and immediately ran off to play pretend while I somehow managed to complete my evening chores, all the while moaning under my breath that 3o is not old. 🙂

I love the energy kids possess. It’s priceless.

We’ve attended Blora’s Waterfest before. Some years are better than others, so I for sure did not know what to expect. But with two kiddos in tow, and the “beach” close by I figured we’d have a good time either way.

If there is one thing I know, though, it’s that any event is better experienced early on, when people are still waking up and the day is still rather cool. My plan of action was to get to all the extra fun stuff first and after a late lunch we could do the normal Blora things; ie. water slides, paddleboats, hiking, and “beach.”

Thankfully my plan worked out because when we got there the place was virtually deserted. I was worried, from the looks of it, that set up was still on going. I was wrong. The kiddos were able to take a nice long turn on the kayaks, since no one else was in line.

Brooksy got the hang of it right away but said he’d had experience at Brooks’s cousin’s wedding. Marilyn had a bit of trouble with her oars but the volunteers or workers, I couldn’t figure out which, were wonderful about helping her and teaching her some basics.

Afterwards the kiddos headed to this ginormous slip and slide water slide they had set up. The line was pretty bare and the kiddos played for a long time. Little Brooks was so thrilled and fully enjoyed coming up with different spins, rolls, jumps, etc. And all the while he waited his turn, which were thankfully very quick, he sang and danced in line. I love his zeal for life. It’s infectious!

From there we moved on to the water balloon water sling war zone. The kiddos had a rough time with this one. They didn’t have much arm power to really get their water balloons going the distance required. After his first turn BB figured that instead of going for the big ol water balloons that little one’s would serve him better. He was right, and afterwards had no trouble hitting his targets.

The giant “hamster balls,” (I call them that, I”m sure there’s a better name for them), were our next stop. They had the balls set up in an area for racing, which is a good thing because there is an incline nearby and it was windy. I could just imagine my poor kiddos getting blown down the hill into the lake. Oh boy, oh boy!

This stop was so much fun the kiddos couldn’t be turned away, until the line got so long that they rethought their whole need for a fourth turn. Smart kiddos.

The petting zoo, pony rides, and bouncers were next. I love that on the way there the kids “had” to stop at the playground to play a game of Zombies. We hit the playground a lot and I LOVE that it’s one of their favorite places to go.

Brooksy usually forgoes pony rides. He hates that they’re tied up and you just go around in a circle. Somehow the whole thing appealed to him today and he hopped on for a turn. Marilyn said she’d never been on a pony and was super thrilled, and although she was a little bit anxious, she was brave and hopped on for a turn as well.

The petting zoo was my favorite. It was the only thing at the Waterfest that had a fee associated with it. It was free to pet the animals but cost a dollar to feed them. I happily doled out three dollars. What, you all thought I’d skip on that myself? 😉

The animals were a bit too aggressive. I think maybe they skipped breakfast? If you didn’t have a feed cup in hand they were fine, but as soon as they caught sight of one you were doomed. The big ol’ cow was my fav, until I asked the guy, half jokingly if he’d end up on someone’s dinner plate, and the guy said, “Yup!.” Poor cute cow.

On our way back to the car to pick up our lunches the kiddos had to do everything a few more times. After lunch we hit the water slides, and then headed to the beach so the kiddos could make mud babies. One of my friends daughter’s taught the kiddos to scoop up the mud from the bottom of the lake, bring it back to the beach, roll it around the sand, bury it, and a few minutes later you have a “mud baby.”

The kiddos didn’t even want to swim. They made about five babies each and were happy to sit and watch them “cook.”

We were at the waterfest for six hours before I cried, “Mercy!” My foot was swollen and sore and I was getting a migraine. Probably from the lack of water in a my system. True story.

We had such a blast at the waterfest. It was def a perfect day.

We came home, showered, worked on the first part of an art project,

made carob brownies and popcorn, played Pictureka, and then vegged out in front of the TV watching Netflix movies.

I love summer break!

 

I make a horrible Tooth Fairy. I make it a few steps into the room and immediately burst into peals of laughter. True story. Or worst  yet, as I’ve shared before, I forget to replace the tooth with money, let alone swipe it.

I’m a bit better at the Santa thing, though forget about being any of the Three Kings… again, I can’t seem to get the grass out of the shoe box and all over the house without making some kind of commotion. It’s a miracle That Child still believes in anything make believe.

Add Easter Bunny to the list of characters I am not able to emulate in any way, shape, or form. I went to bed so late last night I figured I’d wake up early and put the kids baskets together, spread confetti everywhere (Brooks thinks it’s magic left behind by the Easter Bunny, I think it was a pain to clean up, but hey…), get myself dressed and ready for the sunrise Easter service at Tanja’s church, and then wake up the kiddos.

Except that I didn’t count on Brooks being so excited about the Easter Bunny coming to visit that he woke up three times last night to check the house to see if he could find his basket ( which the aforementioned bunny hides every year). That third time awake? Five minutes after I got up at four am. And I still had to go to the car and get all the supplies for the baskets. And everything was so loud and crinkly. Torture. Thankfully I was so worried about messing up something the kiddos were so excited about that I didn’t even come close to giggling, not once. I was more petrified than anything.

But it got done, the kiddos had fun searching for their baskets and exclaiming over the messy bunny’s mess.

The rest of the day was amazing. The Sunrise Easter service was beautiful and the service later that morning was wonderful. Tanja’s church is growing on me 🙂

My foot has been less than stellar lately. That, coupled with the lack of sleep as a result of my painful foot, had me wishing for a nap after church. But I had the mess the Easter Bunny had left behind to clean up and activities to coordinate for the kiddos.

I kept the whole thing low key since I was feeling so crummy.

We had an indoor Easter Egg hunt because Brooksy enjoys finding the eggs around the house. I try and hide them really, really well so that it takes awhile, enough for the excitement to run it’s course. Both kids were ecstatic since this year I did things a bit differently. I figured instead of stuffing the eggs with candy, since they’d done that at three egg hunts already, that I would place stickers in some of the eggs, which the kiddos would then redeem for a prize. That made the kiddos really excited and pumped up. I couldn’t hid the eggs fast enough for them.

Afterwards we sat down for some art. I had seen a blog post a few days ago about using shaving cream and food coloring to create dyed Easter eggs with a marbled effect. Shaving cream and kids is just fun so I knew it would be perfect, plus setting up was a breeze. The kiddos went nuts laying down shaving cream into a large platter, added drops of food coloring and then used a chopstick to run the colors together in streaks. They then rolled their eggs in the fluffy stuff and laid them out to dry. Over time the shaving cream disappears and leaves behind a cool, dyed egg.

Obviously we can’t pull out shaving cream without playing with it, so after the kids were done I let them spray a whole bunch on the table and let them go at it. I’m not quite sure my mother invisioned so much messy art occuring on the table she was gifting us. I wonder if she would have still given it to us 🙂

We headed outside for the kiddos to stretch their legs and lungs and play in the sun. I’m being terrible at posting links today, but I had also seen a blog post about a egg rolling variation game. Instead of just rolling the eggs this game entailed drawing three circles on the ground, within each other, each designated with different points, in which the egg was supposed to land, thereby awarding points to the rollee. Such a super simple thing and yet the kids were excited and couldn’t get enough of it. Kind of reminded me of the simplicity and joy of boxes and kids, bubble wrap and kids, balloons and kids… you all get the gist.  At first the game was kaput because the wind was messing with the rolls, so we fixed the whole thing by stuffing the plastic eggs full of candy.

And after a few rounds we loaded ourselves into the car and headed to the movie theater on post to watch Mars Needs Moms. I didn’t think anything of the fact that the kiddos had been up since five am and had also gone to bed late the night before. Needless to say by the time we drove home poor Marilyn was nodding off and I could tell Brooks was hoping I wouldn’t mention a bath or tooth brushing.

Silly boy!

We were busy bees today. I had a ton of errands to run, a meeting to attend, and homeschooling to boot. Let’s not mention the exam that was looming large over my head. Thankfully I took a deep breath this morning, charted out the day and adjusted as necessary. The kiddos were troopers since we were in the car for a large portion of the day.

Crazy busy days like today are normally ones I would look forward to coming home, since Brooks would have normally been here waiting for us. The house is much too quiet without him. It’s hard to get used to that. Thankfully the kiddos fill up all that loud silence with lots of chatter and giggling and noise. It makes it bearable in some ways.

I swear, the two month mark is rotten. I’m looking forward to May; to Brook’s birthday party and the pools being open on post, to school ending and field trips galore. I’m even looking forward to the heat, but check back with me on that once June swings around. I’m apt to change my mind on that one.

I was able to squeeze in some art with the kiddos today. I had seen a blog post on an easter egg rolling paint project. I thought the kiddos would enjoy that, and figured once their pieces dried out we could cut the paper into egg shapes and use them to decorate the house a little bit for the Easter Bunny. The kiddos took their plastic Easter eggs and rolled them across bright yellow copier paper. They had a lot of fun and then took blank sheets of paper and finger painted.

After our art projects were placed to dry I pulled out an activity. I had originally thought we could play a boardgame but that just wasn’t going to happen today. I was too pressed for time. Instead, thankfully, I caught sight of this blog post: http://tinkerlab.com/2011/04/balloon-yo-yo/

I love activities where Brooks is able to make something that can later keep him occupied. These balloon yo-yos we made today were just the right thing. They were simple to make and the kiddos were so excited and spent the rest of the day playing with them.

The kiddos picked out a balloon, filled the balloons with flour through a funnel, and then used rubber bands to attach the tied balloons to their hands. The rubber bands were fun because they were super stretchy, hence the balloon yo-yo’s.

Super simple, ridiculously cheap, and I see myself repeating this project at some later date in the future.

So all in all, though the day was busy, we had a fantastic day.

Little Brooks and I did some crazy, intensive homeschooling today. With two and a half weeks of Mommy being crippled by pain it was more a necessity than an aim for extra excellence. Homeschooling in June is not on my current to do list. I intend to keep it that way, especially since we’re thinking of enrolling Brooks in school next year (gasp!).

So after an all day school fest Brooks and I were ready for some low key art. Poor Marilyn has been sick all day with a fever and cough. She’d been sleeping on and off all day, which was def for the best since she’d been having a tough time sleeping through the night. She’d wanted to join us for art but fell asleep before we got around to it. BB said for sure we’d have to redo this project with her, since he loved it so much and knew she’d enjoy it too.

As a side note, I made chicken and dumplings for lunch/dinner (since with my gimpy foot making one meal that lasts two just makes the most sense) for Ms. Marilyn, since I always think chicken soup of any kind hits the spot when sick. Here’s the link for that because it was insanely fabulous: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/12/chicken-and-dumplings/

And back to the art project…

I found this project on a blog called Bloesem Kids. http://bkids.typepad.com/bookhoucraftprojects/2008/04/project-17-scri.html The original project called for doodles and scribbles created with india ink being cut and then pasted into a surreal flower garden collage. Brilliant! Little B, being Little B, decided that what he really wanted to do was create a surreal flower garden with india ink, sans the cutting and collage making. And so he did. He told me later this one was frame-able.

After art we headed into the kitchen to make marbled Easter egg cookies. I wasn’t able to take pictures of the process since I was helping The Boy and we both ended up with marbled hands from the process. We’re both used to making big batches of whatever it is we’re baking and had to giggle furiously at the small amount of cookie dough produced. We both hedged bets on how many cookies we’d end up with. I figured six, BB eight, and we ended up with ten.

Hopefully Marilyn feels better tomorrow, I get my walking/driving papers at the podiatrist, and BB does well at his soccer practice. Tomorrow is going to be a busy, but good day.

My heart just broke a little today.

The last few weeks it’s been clear that Little Brooks is well, not so little anymore. He’s not just grown taller but he’s acting in a more mature, measured manner. I’ve given him kuddos for that and have been excited to see how he’s changing as he’s growing.

And then today we went to help stuff easter eggs for a friend’s Battalion Easter Egg Hunt.

They arranged for the Easter Bunny to make an appearance to surprise everyone. I fully expected Brooks to jump up excited about the whole thing. Yes, I know he’s almost eight, but really, this kid has always been pretty young at heart. Although for the last several holiday’s he’s been keen on the whole that’s-not-the-real-(insert random holiday character here) he’s been excited to get up close and personal with whoever it may be.

Not so today. He was actually upset that someone would pretend to be the Easter Bunny and he wanted me to know that he knew this guy wasn’t the real thing and he knew, somehow he said, that this guy wasn’t working for the real deal Easter Bunny in any way, shape, or form.

Thankfully he allowed himself to be photographed with the Easter Bunny, though I suspect he did so more for me then anything else. I suppose this moment was coming and I should have known, but man, where does the time go? It doesn’t seem like that long ago that he was toddling everywhere, burying his face in my neck when I’d pick him up.

And so he grows up a little, moment by moment, and I’d be silly to want to hold him back. I’m not sure I’m ready for him to tell me Santa’s not real, though I have a feeling it’s coming. Oh, boy.

After we came home from the egg stuffing and my first physical therapy (not my favorite thing to do by any means) The Boy and I sat down to make a project. I wanted to combine the project with an activity because I was in a bit of pain from the PT and wanted to take some pain meds and pass out, though not before spending some time with Little B.

I browsed the internet and came upon this activity: http://bkids.typepad.com/bookhoucraftprojects/2009/09/project-33-jumping-cups.html

The Jumping Cups are ingenious and I knew right away that it would intrigue Brooksy and that he’d be excited about the whole thing. I was just glad I found something that was easy to assemble and create.

Here is our process:

Little B began by creating a monster for his jumping cup. He nixed the idea of a jumping animal, though he temporarily fancied the idea of a creating a geyser.

After he cut out his monster he began working on his cup. He poked four holes in the lip of the cup using a small screwdriver.

Then he attached two rubber bands to the holes and I tied off the ends for him.

Lastly, we attached his monster. Super duper easy. And he was one happy boy.

He’d been playing off and on all day with his paper wand we made yesterday and now he had a jumping cup, which he really fancied. Now, as the mother of a boy, who can be quite rowdy at times, I should have know that a jumping cup would turn into a weapon. He learned that if held both cups against his chest, the top cup would shoot out straight, like a missile. Nice!

And so we had a great day, insightful as it was. And tomorrow is going to be a special day since my cousin’s daughter is coming to visit. The Boy is beyond excited to have a visitor and I’m looking forward to catching up with family. Life remains good.

Little Brooks has been having such a hard time with his Daddy being gone. He’s pretty quiet about his sadness; sometimes you’ll see it in his face, sometimes in the offhand way he mentions how things would have been different with Daddy around, but mostly he’ll ask for extra cuddles and hugs. There are times when his sadness is evident in the tears he sheds, and those displays are the hardest to bear, for me at least.

I know not being on a schedule isn’t helping things. I’ve felt the effects of it, but so has Little B.

I was extremely excited when Brooks got BB a cute little pink pig. As a side note, pink happens to be one of The Boy’s favorite colors. The plan was to place the pig next to a slumbering Brooksy so that when he woke up he’d awaken with his new stuffed friend laying next to him.

But then I suffered insomnia and as a result slept in. And completely forgot.

This kind of reminds me of the time the Tooth Fairy kept forgetting to come each night. For three nights. Each night The Boy went to sleep a little earlier hoping that she had just skipped him because when she was in the area he was still awake. And then each morning disappointment. Not one of my finest parenting moments, indeed.

I swear, I’m really a morning person.

But I digress.

My friend Dalia joined us again to help with some more yard work. She’s wonderful, which is pretty needless to say, but she is. She also brought us breakfast. And the makings for an amazing pork chop/ asparagus / potato lunch. While she was here I finally remembered the pink pig!

Little Brooks was so excited! He been carrying around Penny the Pig all day (she’s currently napping in her box). He’s been hugging her and talking to her, and BB even mentioned he invented a magazine just for her (but he knew writing it would take too long so he’s currently composing articles in his head, though I wonder what they would be about).  So score for a thoughtful Daddy, and bigger score for a happy little boy, who at least for the moment, is at peace with this deployment.

Dalia spent the whole morning with us and after she left I propped my foot up and took it easy for a bit as my foot was extremely sore and swollen. Afterwards The Boy and I worked on a art project/activity/toy.

I saw a link for a paper garland wand on Facebook and knew for sure Little Brooks would love this project. Not only would he be able to draw, one of his favorite things, but he would also get to sew, which he loves, and he would end up with a new toy.

Here is the link: http://kvbarn.blogspot.com/2011/03/paper-garland-wand.html

The premise of the project is to take small rectangles of paper (colored paper would be best, but we currently have no colored copier paper) sew them into a streamer, and then attach the whole thing to a stick, pencil, chopstick, etc. As soon as Little B saw the sewing machine his eyes got huge. He loves sewing and I love this project because it’s so simple and I knew he could work on this independantly.

Brooks drew designs on the slips of paper (I helped on some, as he was more keen on sewing today). He fed the paper pieces through the sewing machine, aiming for the middle of each slip of paper. I told Brooks not to worry so much about hitting the middle as I knew as long as it wasn’t completely off to the sides that the thing would work.

After he finished sewing all the pieces we attached the streamer to a chopstick, and voila, he ended up with a self made paper streamer.

For sure an easy project and too much fun!

 

 

So I woke up this morning with the pressing desire to get a good art project into our day. When our days stretch too long with errands, or activities, like they did earlier this week, then something has to give and sometimes it’s an art project that goes by the wayside. I’ve been wanting to get some bubble wrap printing done, like I saw on the The Artful Parent blog, but then I saw something else that caught my eye: tissue paper stained glass inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. Here is the link: http://artfulparent.typepad.com/artfulparent/2009/10/tissue-paper-stained-glass-inspired-by-frank-lloyd-wright.html

When we moved on post I was thrilled. We were fortunate enough to be given housing in a neighborhood that we actually wanted. The commute is awesome for D.Brooks, there are tons of old trees everywhere, and some of the houses are cute. Seriously, only some. It’s an older neighborhood, and we really love that. We love our hardwood floors, the layout of the house, the yard… you get the picture. What I’m not crazy about are the kitchen counters and the window in the door leading out  into the yard. The window, at one time, had the ability to open and close. It no longer has that ability and unfortunately, the glass is all gross but I can’t clean it because someone has nailed it shut. But I love the house and I’ve begun to ignore the counters (or I’ve become used to them, one or the other) although the window has always been another story.

So when I saw the tissue paper stained glass project I immediately thought that I would commission Brooksy to make me something to help cover up the awful window. I don’t like to ask Brooks to make me anything in particular because I feel like it may stunt his creativity. Thankfully he was excited to learn all about Frank Lloyd Wright and was even more excited to start working on his own piece.

I had no idea what he would end up creating. I shouldn’t have been surprised that what he came up with included monsters, because he spends hours sketching them in his notebooks, and imagining the places they live and what they do. He asked me to be his assistant, which entailed cutting shapes to precise specifications and handing them to him when needed. This was his process:

I’m not quite sure of Broooks’ room specifications when he finally gets to where he’s supposed to be mostly, but I think this might be a good project to include in one of his care packages… just in case he’s got an ugly window he wants to cover up too!

After he finished his commission it was time for our Campfire USA club meeting. The Boy and I look forward to the meetings. He enjoys spending time with his friends. I enjoy putting together lesson plans for the kiddos in our group. We’re finishing up our environmental emblem and were learning all about habitats. After a lesson, a group activity, a video, and individual projects it was finally time for what most of the kids were excited for: creating a habitat in a jar.

It’s a super simple concept: the kiddos take a jar, fill the bottom with pebbles, layer some moss on top, then add a bit of dirt before adding a small plant. The last step is to fill in any gaps with soil and to water the plant. After the children screw on the lids they shouldn’t have to reopen the jars to rewater their plants. They have created a virtual ecosystem in a jar, replete with it’s own water cycle. Little Brooks spent some of his own allowance so that he could purchase a jar of his choice. His finished project is pretty neat, and I’m kind of hoping he’ll let me keep it in my kitchen it’s so pretty. But we’ll see!

So after a full day of learning, play, and fun my little boy left to spend the night with his best friend. Thankfully I got a big hug and kiss or I’m not sure I’d make it through the night with both Brooks’ gone. I’m that he’s helping his best friend celebrate his birthday and that, as much as I miss him, he’s creating some special memories all on his own.

I’m officially spending most of my day tomorrow in my jammies. If it wasn’t for my Camp Fire group showing up for a meeting in the early evening for some fossil learning and “making” fun, I would be tempted to finish my day in the same state. I’m calling my first official rest and relaxation day, because the tempo of the past week, although doable and not entirely stressful, has deemed it so.

It’s been our first true week on any type of schedule after Brooks’ departure. I’ve been quite pleased with how on task we’ve been, as well as the activities we’ve immersed ourselves in. Staying busy keeps you focused, and well, sane, while you try to adapt to a new normal without your spouse. And it would all be peachy and wonderful if not for the lack of sleep I’ve been experiencing since the deployment began.

Staying up until one and two in the morning is just not conducive to meeting the demands of raising a very high energy, creative little boy. Especially when sleeping past six or seven in the morning is just not doable for me.

I’ve experienced deployments where sleeping has been an anomaly because getting used to sleeping without Brooks in the house has been nearly impossible. This deployment I’ve felt so centered, and again, been so busy, that sleeping should be the least of my worries. But I can’t sleep. Regardless of really, really trying.

So tonight, while visiting a wonderful friend (and dropping off her V-Day muffins and being treated to hot cocoa) I happened to mention my lack of sleep, wondering if she was facing a similar problem. Because truly and honestly I just felt like it wasn’t related to the deployment. My friend, and might I add, I absolutely love the insight our dear friends can bring to our lives about our very own selves, asks me without even blinking if it could have anything to do with all the cola I scored at the commissary the week past, for thirty cents per 2 litter bottle.  I was really excited about scoring that cola for so cheap! 30 cents!

I should point out that I’ve recently recovered from both kidney stones (in December) and a severe kidney infection (January). I”m supposed to be laying off the cola, but it’s just so hard, and tastes so good. I really need a twelve step program. It’s quite honestly my only vice. I won’t divulge how much cola I’ve been consuming, because I’m bound to get a super severe talking to by my better half when he reads this, but suffice it to say I am on my last 2 litter bottle of cola.

What the kidney stones and infection were unable to do, perhaps my insomnia will fix. Because if I don’t start sleeping soon I’m not quite sure how I’ll get through February, let alone the rest of the year. I’m super exhausted! I’m ever grateful for friends who can see the things we aren’t able to see about ourselves, and aren’t scared or shy to tell it how it is!

For sure and for certain I am extremely thankful to be homeschooling, because tomorrow I can wake up in my pj’s AND remain that way. Well at least until fivish or so…

and no cola for me.