April 21, 2005

Put in Perspective

I got an email from a buddy stationed in Iraq; his unit is one of those patroling Baghdad, and up until now, it's been pretty boring (his words).

Not so anymore:
Things have been quiet in Baghdad since we got here... stuff happens but not around our area. Maybe we get some info about some guys who are anti-coalition and we do a raid and sometimes we find weapons. Mostly it's like being a beat cop... you ride around watching to make sure everyone is behaving. It really doesn't give me much to talk about...

That changed last night. Our 1st platoon, while out on patrol, took contact from about three men, and while distracted, another man drove a car filled with explosives into their squad. Two of my friends were killed instantly... four others were wounded, two of them severely enough to warrant them being moved to a higher level hospital in Germany. Needless to say, the mood has been pretty gray here all day... there are questions that seem to have no answer, and things don't make sense... trying to think about what happened is useless, because our minds can't fit around the situation... we just all somehow know that we lost two of our brothers last night to an act of terrorism.

Make no mistake: it has not shaken our resolve to carry out our mission here and fulfill our sworn duty to the people of the United States and to the people of Iraq whom we vowed to defend... I believe that if anything it will strengthen our will to rid this country of terrorists.

The reason I let you all know about this is so that you can continue to pray for the guys here, specifically for the six fallen men. One of the KIA's was twenty-two years old, married with an unborn child... he had plans to attend college and pursue a degree in sound engineering. The second KIA was a twenty-year-old kid, unmarried, who was dedicated to serving the country in the army... he talked about nothing else. He was like everybody's kid brother, always tagging along trying to do what the big kids were doing... he wanted to go out for Special Forces with me when we got back after this deployment. I think he would have made it, too, with a little more maturity... he certainly had the heart.

So... please remember them and their families... they will need your prayers.

I am and will remain safe in God's hand - I love you all very much.

God bless and keep thee, even though you're half a world away - I'm fiercely proud of being able to call you my friend.

April 14, 2005

From Ships to Shoes to Sealing Wax...

-no cabbages or kings today, though; my apologies to Lewis Carroll.

I work in a front office as the main secretary, and the broad ranging requests I get... I've had to track down a missing baby gerbil, figure out when a wood-carving class met, answer a question of whether rain fell on the earth prior to the Great Flood - you name it, I've probably had it.

Today it included figuring out which genus specie of fig tree was the biblical one and how tall they grow (ficus carica and 30', if you wanted to know) and if it's possible to make gummy candy at home.

I'm an information geek; I like to know how to do things or what they mean or how they work. The internet and libraries (to say nothing of bookstores) are my friends - particularly this site, which is a gathering site for used bookstores around the world. I've found all kinds of incredible deals on books there...

Is it any wonder I'm paranoid I'll have a child that doesn't want to learn?

April 13, 2005

Life is Never So Bad...

...that it couldn't be worse. I don't know if 'worse' in this case is that Ms. Spears is about the same point in her pregnancy as I am in mine, or if 'worse' would be going through pregnancy under the hot lights of tabloidal glare. Just imagine if there'd been eager photographers snapping pictures of me at 5:30 this morning regurgitating a recently-ingested pear down the garbage disposal...

I would say that pregnancy symptoms and Hollywood don't mix, but hormonal swings, a skin glow, weight fluctuation, mammary alteration, appetite abnormalities, marital miscommunications and unaccountable brain absences are right up Hollywood's alley. Maybe I should be saying that Hollywood's the perfect place to get pregnant; I mean, c'mon... who'd notice a difference in behavior?

April 12, 2005

Recipe for Insanity

Take one (somewhat) normal couple, add two lab-sized dogs and allow to marinate for a couple years.

Now add in a pregnancy, a job change (out of state), sorting/packing/staging/selling a house, moving aforementioned dogs and blend for a period of three weeks.

We move May 2nd.

I think I'm gonna' cry - that or sleep for the next 20 days; I don't know which yet.

April 08, 2005

Nesting and No-no's

Hel-looo, nesting instinct...
Last night I wiped down all kitchen cabinets and drawer fronts (38 of those turkeys) with Orange-Glo wood cleaner/polish. You'd have thought the Midwest had its first citrus grove.

I also attempted to clean the brass pulls for all of those doors and drawers, which was less successful. Now, I may be nesting, but I'm not stupid; no scrubbing for hours with a rag and nasty-smelling metal polishing agent. I found a site that said I could soak them in ketchup or vinegar for two hours, wash with cool water and a soft nail brush, and voila! Bright, shiny, clean brass pulls!

I overlooked a gross assumption: you must first have brass pulls. Ours, I discovered while scrubbing, are brass-plated pulls.

Turns out two hours in vinegar removes brass plating. Who'd a'thunk it?

-Oh, and we realized this morning that after unloading groceries last evening, we forgot to close the driver's side back door on my car. It was still open this morning. Hallelujah for the neighborhood we live in; I think the pregnant-stupids must be contagious...

April 07, 2005

A New Four-Letter Word

I've discovered a new four-letter word for expectant moms - 'chip.'

While we were at my in-laws for Christmas, I was introduced to Plocky's Black Beans 'N Rice chips. We took two bags home with us, which were gone in a week. When we were down there again this last weekend, two more bags came back with us.

My doctor said to avoid foods that start with C except for fruits, veggies and chicken. I asked about chocolate (since I'm a dark chocolate fiend), and when he said it started with a C, I responded that "Andre's" (a Swiss chocolatier in the area) didn't.

Well, I've decided 'chips' might be bad, but 'black beans 'n rice crisped tortillas' aren't - esp. with mildly spicy cheese dip. Yum, yum, yum... I'll lay you odds that first bag will be gone in a day or two. [crunch]

April 04, 2005


Me this weekend at my in-laws, to my husband: "I felt the baby move this morning."

H: "You did?!" [w/ an instantaneous, lit-up grin]

M: "I think so..."

H: "What did it feel like?"

M: "Kind of like a muscle twitch, only one I wasn't moving."

I really have no idea how to explain it. Part upset stomach that isn't gas? Kind of spasmodic and innocuous, but could possibly become injurious if it increases in force? I don't go along with the whole 'butterflies in my stomach' feeling. I know no butterflies that could give me that sensation - and besides, I've been in too many nerve-wracking performance situations to confuse that feeling with 'complete other being moving inside me.'

How wrong of me is it to rejoice in having felt movement at 17 weeks when all the books I read said 1st time mothers normally feel it at 18-20 weeks? I can't tell if I'm rejoicing in my apparent over-achievement or Baby's. Either possibility has frightening soccer mom implications.