On a Learning Curve

Life may not be easy, but it's always an adventure.

2014 in Review


Yes, I know we’re a mere 3 weeks into 2014, but I decided that I’m going to document Ryan’s deployment. I’m a little late with my first post, but that probably tells you how the deployment started. My goal is to post at least once a week through the remaining months, but this post will get you caught up to today.

Day 1: Nobody cries at good-byes anymore, and this was no exception. Busy day for us with morning church service and afternoon Awana meeting. So far, so good.

No visit to DC is complete without seeing Dorothy’s ruby red slippers.

Day 2: I have a bright idea to combine S’s regular endocrinology check-up with a field trip to DC. We get out of the door by 9 AM, drive to the Green Line, and hop on the Metro. Three of us decide to visit the Museum of American History, but one of us is very displeased by this decision. After a quick visit to see the American Stories exhibit, I realize that the entire West Wing is still closed. We walk down the block to the Museum Natural History, but first I set some ground rules:

  1. I will not visit the early humans exhibit.
  2. G can visit the Hope Diamond and gemstones but not the crystals.
  3. H gets to visit the Insect Zoo.
  4. S gets to pick out her own lunch in the cafeteria.

By lunchtime, I realize we’re barely halfway through our day. We still need to catch 2 trains to get to S’s appointment on time; then our visit takes twice the usual time; I had promised that the girls could stop by Barnes & Noble to use their Christmas gift cards; and ack! It was rush hour by the time we hopped on the Metro for the final time. We arrived home just before 6:30 PM. Do you think I bit off more than I could chew?!

Day 3: Decided never, ever kick off a deployment with a combined medical appointment/Metro ride/Smithsonian visit again. Ever.

Day  5: The day got off to a bad start. No one was dressed or ready for school. No one wanted to do chores. So I called a family meeting. Yes, I know it’s terribly lopsided of me to call a family meeting when I’m the only adult and I’ve already set the agenda. Summarized minutes: Get out of bed before 8 AM; clean up after yourself; do your household chores; show up at the school table by 9 AM.

Later that day, a friend volunteered to have H over for a playdate this afternoon. My wonderful friend Tracy even drove to our house–and brought me a chai tea latte!–to pick up H. Guess who suddenly decided she was a piece of Velcro? Yep, H refused to rip herself from my leg. Tracy is a true friend and very flexible: she took all 3 girls instead and I left for an hour-long run. I felt much nicer when I returned.

Day 6: We had a lovely day. I set 2 separate alarms so that everyone G would get out of bed by 8 AM; S and H also set 2 alarms on their own. It was a noisy beginning to a great day. We finished all subjects except for history before lunch. G and S took their regular Friday afternoon art lesson while I enjoyed a latte and H ate a scone at a nearby coffee shop.

Day 7: Took the girls to see Frozen at the base theater. I have now officially seen a movie in a theater for 2014.

Day 9: Realized why school went so quickly and smoothly last Friday. Apparently we forgot about G’s math lesson.

Day 12: Ryan surprised the girls by driving home for a weekend visit. Is there anything better than hearing your girls shriek, “Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!”? (Grammar friends: Please excuse the punctuation of the previous sentence.)

Days 14-15: I discovered that H is a fabulous kitchen assistant. On Saturday I decided to make the Banana Energy Bars from my new Runner’s World Cookbook. H wanted to help; the next thing I knew we were whipping up a batch of cinnamon apple scones for Sunday’s breakfast. On Sunday afternoon, my recipe book completely fell apart. As I sorted through recipes, H asked to bake something else. I have to admit that we baked some excellent almond biscotti. (Note: If you’re interested, I substituted Whey Low Gold and Whey Low D for the sugars in all 3 recipes.) On another note, I learned that H isn’t interested in throwing tantrums or misbehaving while she’s cooking in the kitchen. I foresee a lot of baked goods in the next few months.

Day 16: G celebrated MLK, Jr. Day with a day of horse camp at a nearby state park. The rest of us took a break from our schoolwork, too, and enjoyed a nice lunch, some time at the gym, and visiting with friends we hadn’t seen in a while.

Don't the 3 of them look like they're having a serious conversation?

Don’t the 3 of them look like they’re having a serious conversation?

Day 17: My girls love adore snow. If you somehow missed yesterday’s East Coast forecast, we were under a winter storm warning from 7 AM until 11 PM. Apparently my children expected all 6 inches of snow to have arrived exactly at 7 AM. Boy, there were some grumpy children at breakfast. Eventually I banned the use of the word snow. H decided to call it the “S word” instead. There’s nothing like trying to keep a straight face when your 6-year-old tattles that one of her sisters is using the “S word.”

She can't see a thing, but her smile says it all!

She can’t see a thing, but her smile says it all!

Day 18: G woke me up at 2:30 AM to let me know that the snow plow was on our street; I sent her back to bed. When we awoke the second time today, we had 6 gorgeous inches of white powdery snow on the ground, and the thermometer read 11 °F.

Climbing up the hill for another ride.

Climbing up the hill for another ride.

I love snow days. The girls are super-motivated to complete their assignments, and nobody whines about not getting to watch TV. Everyone spends time outside and gets plenty of sleep-inducing exercise, too. Today was no exception. We finished all our work, and the girls spent their free time sledding, snowboarding, and building a snow fort. I spent almost an hour acquiring a new skill, too: snow shoveling. I shoveled our driveway and sidewalk in a manner that reminded me of the first time I mowed my parents’ grass. It wasn’t pretty, but I got the job done. Emboldened by my accomplishment, I decided to surprise my neighbor Ted by shoveling out his driveway and walk. It’s very difficult to quietly shovel someone’s asphalt and concrete, but he was definitely surprised.

PE doesn't get any better.

PE doesn’t get any better.

And now the girls are asleep in their beds. Actually, that’s not true. H is asleep in my bed, and G is pretending that she turned off her night at 9 PM. The thermometer reads 9°F, and my arms are pleasantly sore. I have 2 more blood sugar checks tonight, and then it’s time for me to sleep, too.


2 thoughts on “2014 in Review

  1. Always enjoy your posts! Your girls are beautiful. Keep up the great work mom.

  2. Whew! You ARE a super-mom! How long is your husband gone? You are one strong woman – and family. Loved the post.

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