Monday, July 30, 2007

It figures

I have two more weeks to get stuff done around here before Chowhound gets home and now I get a freaking cold.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Silence is a Strange noise

Quiet. The house is quiet of kid sounds. It still has house sounds and dog sounds. And if the dog doesn't get quiet I may have to do something about that. But, the house is absent of kids.

It's a strange sound. I can hear the hum of the air conditioner. The rattle of the vents. The compressor on the refrigerator. I hear the laughter of my boys but it's in my head and my heart.

I've spent the last twenty-one years surrounded by sounds. Babies crying. Toddlers laughing. Brother's arguing, teasing and fighting all in a pretense that they don't love each other. There have been the sounds of broken hearts and suppressed tears. Joys and screams of accomplishment. Musical instruments banging, clanging and blowing. Bedroom doors slamming. Car doors slamming. Basketballs dribbling. Dishes banging in the sink. The TV blaring.

Now I can hear myself think. And I think I miss it.

Scuba Sexy

Erotic wear for scuba divers?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bootcamp past and present

Bootcamp Present

I was talking with my sister earlier this evening when all of a sudden she exclaims, "(Recruit) is home". What? No. Her son is supposed to be in Parris Island with my son. Nope. Not gonna happen. Yet. It seems they messed up his paper work. His report date and social security number were wrong. He spent two days at the processing center in Montgomery, AL, just to get on a bus and head back home to Florida for another week. By the time they corrected all the paperwork Parris Island was full. He will report next Monday. Recruit Daredevil is going to be looking for him. I hope this doesn't mentally make things harder on him since he was expecting his cousin to be there enduring this with him. Now, we will have to make two trips to Parris Island for graduation if all goes according to schedule and there are no other delays.

Bootcamp Past

When my boys were younger they were involved in the Sea Cadet Program at the Naval Air Station here in Jacksonville. The Program consists of two parts, The Navy League, which is for 11 -14 year olds and the Sea Cadets which is 13 - 17. These program are essentially Navy Reserve for kids. They meet once a month, learn to march, wear the same uniforms, and perform the same PT as the Navy Enlisted Personnel. They learn from the same books. Take the same test. Do the same drills. They get yelled at. They also go to Bootcamp.

All three boys went to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, for bootcamp. Improviser was so little that they duct-taped his canteen belt on him because it kept falling off. Their uniforms were all the smallest female uniforms I could find. I would cut about a foot and a half off of the leg length and hem them.

Let me tell you. It is hard to drive three hours from home and drop your 11 year old off for bootcamp. It didn't matter that it was only for a week. I was a wreck. Of course, I'm probably doing better now because of it. I know that my son has been prepared because of that and marching band. He knows how to sweat. He knows what it feels like to be yelled at. Yeah, I know Parris Island is on a much, much higher scale but he has had a taste.

Anyhow, the point of this post is that I found the letter that Daredevil wrote me from bootcamp when he was 11. I'm going to send it to him. He will get a kick out of it. It says,

Dear family,

Hi Mom, Dad and the rest of the family. Here in bootcamp thing aren't going as I planned that means it's going very well. The reason I say that is because on the first day I missed dinner and I missed to get me a canteen and a canteen belt, but the good thing are instead of the dry steaks I got TV dinners. I sorry my letter is so short but I have to take a shower.

Your son

P.S. I haven't got yelled at yet.
The envelope is post-marked June 30, 1999.

I wonder how that will compare to his first letter from this bootcamp. I'll keep you posted.

Support a Recruit

Recruit Daredevil is officially at Parris Island. He called his Dad last night with his scripted telephone call. Apparently, they have a card next to the telephone and they are only allowed to say what is on the card. I'm glad he saved that call for his father. It would have broke my heart. He called me from his cell phone a couple of hours earlier to tell me goodbye again and that he would see me in 13 weeks. He was almost to Parris Island. He sounded better than he had the previous couple of days.

My nephew had a few glitches in his paperwork so he was delayed a day. He should get to Parris Island sometime early this morning or today.

It's nice not having to go through this alone. My sister and I went through our pregnancies together (not these two particular kids) and now we go through the trials of Marine making. Of course, she has already given birth to one Marine last year. Now, come October 19, barring any setbacks, we will have three Marines in the family.

So, this officially makes me a Recruit Mom and Aunt. I've been doing a little research on the Marines to familiarize myself with the particulars of their branch. I have been "Navy" all of my life. I was a Navy brat and then a Navy wife.

There is a wealth of information and support at While browsing graduation information I found the Marine Graduation Foundation. Their mission is to help the families that can't afford to come to graduation. No Marine should have to begin their journey alone. I think it is a wonderful cause. At first, I was shocked that everyone would not flock to this grand occasion. Then, it hit me that when Daredevil's Dad graduated from Navy bootcamp there was no one there for him. Daredevil is fortunate. There will be a slew of people there for him and his cousin. But, others are not so lucky. Right now they need $925 to help two families attend the August 3 graduation. Spread the word through this wonderful blog community. I know we can help. These boys will have been through 13 weeks of hell and it would be a shame if they didn't have someone to celebrate their accomplishments with.

UPDATE: A total of $210 has been donated today and has been marked off the needed amount for the August 3 Marine Graduation Fund. Thank you to any of my readers that may have contributed today. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You are all awesome.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Sign that your children are being coming adults.

When they see a bag full of quarters and yell "Laundry money!!".

Last night...

... was reunion and goodbye.

Chowhound is in town for a performance. Six weeks ago he left to tour the country with a DCI group. This was Chowhound's last chance to see Daredevil before he leaves for bootcamp tonight and Chowhound won't be back again until August 12.

After the performance we went to a local sports bar. Chowhound's girlfriend and her family joined us as well as Daredevil's girlfriend and a couple of their other good friends.

It was tough watching my boys with their girlfriends knowing that goodbye was inevitable. Chowhound not so much as they just officially started dating the day before he left for tour. But, still she was there pouting that she only had three hours with "Cinderella". Chowhound had to be back with his group by midnight.

It broke my heart watching "Nana", Daredevil's girlfriend. She was quiet and sad. Deployment sad. At different times, Daredevil would brush her hair from her face, kiss her head and then whisper in her ear. Young love. It's not hardened by heartbreak and life yet. It's fresh, it's real, and it's raw.

The toughest part won't be anything that the DI will do to my son. It will be what this separation will do to the relationship between Nana and Daredevil. They are facing lifetime changes. Do they have what it takes to endure military life? The separations, the waiting, the reunions just followed by another goodbye. They have hung onto this relationship for almost two years. They have faced obstacles and walls. The odds are against them. The facts and figures show that more than likely they won't make it. I want them to defeat the odds.

Goodbyes Part II

I had to stop the post above mid thought. It was probably a good thing as I was getting teary eyed.

All final goodbyes have finally been said and everyone is gone. It's just me and the dog for the next three weeks. I wonder who will crack first. The dog has a head start. He's neurotic in the first place and his hair has been falling out since Chowhound left six weeks ago. He used to break out in hives now he just loses his hair. He needs doggie prozac or something. Of course, I started loses my mind the moment I gave birth to the first child so technically I have a 21 year head start.

Daredevil is gone and headed to Parris Island tomorrow. Chowhound is gone and ultimately headed for California. Improviser is still in town and took possession of Daredevil's car until his is repaired. I was proud of Daredevil for volunteering to let him use it. It is his car. He saved up his money and paid for it. He did lecture Improviser and give him the what for's and what not to do as far as his car is concerned.

I'll probably be catching up on my blog now that my time is my own. So be prepared for lots of whining and crying that my babies are growing up.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Who knew...

...that one day this would be a Marine. He leaves for bootcamp tomorrow.

Friday, July 06, 2007

I've been lost... thought and busy work. I'm back in the Islands spending a wonderful week with my Sweetie. He recently moved and he packed and unpacked in the true male tradition. Crap is everywhere with no sense of order at all. The spare bedroom and kitchen were the worse. I haven't figured out why men just stuff crap whereever. One cabinet contained dishes, food, and batteries. So, I have had plenty to keep me busy while he is at work. This also gives me time to think about my answers to the meme Tammi tagged me with.