Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007: The Flowers and Boogers Chronicles

I started blogging with the hopes that I would chronicle my life, even quantify moments, which at that time seemed consumed with work and mundane chores. I found that my world was actually colored with joy, wit and yes, life lived in it's attempted fullness. Why flowers and boogers? During every trial I came across, I cheekily vowed to stop blogging, or to only write of flowers and boogers. It appears I failed miserably. Here are some snippets to look back on.

January: This is the inheritance I want to pass on to my children - habits of mind and heart. They are ultimately more lasting than money and a more valuable birthright than gold.

February: She still smelled like a baby, sweet and innocent and a little like the sunshine, if sunshine has a smell. Life was pretty good...until she hurled all over the recliner, her arms and my shirt.

March: One of the mothers of the contestants actually had the poster of the 69 kids in the contest and as each student got eliminated she would scratch out their face on the poster.

April: And, there I stood. Me and my non-blowdried hair, my non Aveeno-ed face, my two minute plastic Hard-Rock-kids-cupped showered body.

May: I think now would be an appropriate time to change the name of the gas card, don't you?

June:"but like, it doesn't affect my memory and also, that stuff about memory? Not me." (uh-huh)

July: Way to go acclaimed poet Sharon Olds, for refusing to attend the National Book Festival in D.C. Here is an excerpt of her letter to Mrs. Laura Bush:

I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in
order to bear witness--as an American who loves her
country and its principles and its writing--against
this undeclared and devastating war.


September: Every once in a while I get letters from an old classmate and still good pal who is currently serving in Iraq. I haven't been too good at writing, but I try to send an email off every now and then to let him know that all of us '89ers are still praying for him and his comrades over there.

October: My mortgage is late, my quarters are in the machine and soon the tell-tale beep marking the loss of three more dollars will reverberate through the walls. I need one stamp, one stamp.

November: "Your 99 cent mood lipstick is turning purple, you saggy old witch"

December: Viola! Success and jubilation. The tree is done, the rash is gone and mommy and Peyton can rest...until next school function.
To January: Bring it on, baby! Don't forget The Great CNMI De-Lurk!
Depending on which stat counter I use, I've had roughly over 12 thousand hits on this blog this year. In one month, I've also had over 900 hits on Breathe. That's interesting.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Get ready to delurk! No, really it's legal, and it won't hurt, trust me...

Get ready CNMI, it's time for bloggers to de-lurk! I see you there peeking into my posts from the shadows, reading my most personal thoughts, and thinking to yourself is this woman for real? Uh-yeah!

I let you in, sure. Now it's time for you to let me in. Tell me what you're thinking, go ahead pull out that keyboard and let it flow, I want to know. Who cares, you ask? Lot's of other bloggers, I say. This is for all of us who ever wondered if our post smelled like fafa. Wetz brat, your post is stinky, that's why no one comments!

Yes, for all the bloggers out there who need that comment-hug they never got. For all the posts that you thought never got read, that were so funny it had folks rolling on the floor. For our country, the STAR, the NMI Inc.

Do it for your country gatchong.

It's easy. Read, comment and you're done. Don't visit a blog without leaving a thought. Even non-bloggers can de-lurk. Non-bloggers are more lurksome, after all. The Paper Napkin did this last year and remember when Mona did the Mofo Delurk in October? I can't wait for October! Can you? That's like 2, 5, 6...plenty months from now!

We in the CNMI are going to put our own little twist on this baby. Here are the rules bloggers:

1. Create your own de-lurking banner. Be as spunky. Be creative. Be cranky. Just don't be crude or use lots of words my children aren't allowed to hear, say or repeat. Here's an example of a de-lurk banner from Paper Napkin.2. Email your banner to That's me.
3. I'll post all the banners I get on my blog on January 12th for blogger viewing and selection.
4. January 14 -18 will be the Great CNMI De-Lurk. Make sure to put your banner up and remind your visitors to comment! I'll put up a short explanation later that you can use. Again, during these days, you are not to visit a blog without leaving a comment.

That's it. Easy right? If you're not a blogger, you can still join. Just make sure you post a comment. This is not about cliques or blogangs, or friending me-friending you stuff. This is me asking all of you to just hang out with me for a few days. If you really want to know why I'm doing this, I just need a friend this week. Now everybody....awwwwww

Who's in? Who's in? Who says, shut up Boni, shove your stinkin' de-lurk plan where the sun don't shine - I like being a kukaracha!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Go ahead and ask...

I know you're just dying to know!

Thanks Jane!
I got the list from this Saipan Writer and decided that it would be interesting to see what I've done.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This blog is about hastily written, drive by musings, something I've been neglecting lately.

So, here goes.

Would you think less of me if you knew?
Considering this, what would you think if you knew my sweet little three year old sampled some puppy chow yesterday? Kidshealth says that I need to try to find other finger foods more suited to humans and that dog food is not nutritionally sound. Tell that to my parents who carelessly left their puppy's dish on the kitchen floor! It was only one nugget, I promise, and the strangest thing happened. Sommer actually started barking! Ok. So this is not funny.

I don't know why, but I really like canned tuna.
It's like poke for po' folk. Only cooked. And smushed. And oily.

In addition to being claustrophobic, I think I may be agoraphobic.
I always wondered why I was only comfortable between the walk from the crowded elevator to the buffet line. Now I know.

I need a new cell phone.
But, I'm going to have to "accidentally" break my old one to justify it. Unless it accidentally breaks by itself.

If I don't get any comments on today's post, it's all my fault.

Just in case you're wondering, Tony and Hope got a new Macbook for Christmas. Sommer and I worked hard to configure settings, as you can see.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Ed took these last year, and we'll hopefully get some new ones real soon, but we thought they still looked ok. Plus, it's nicer to look at least a year younger. Okay, so we're slacking. Merry Christmas to you anyway, and we hope that you have the best gifts waiting for you tomorrow morning: love and joy, peace and good health. Open them up with warm hugs and kisses!

Sommer and Tony Jr.

Hope and Peyton

God bless, the Gomez's.
Yes, the whole bunch of us to all of you!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Because being a Christmas tree in the program is never that simple

Peyton announced she would be a Christmas tree in this year's school program. She had her heart set on being a microphone, but her teacher, Ms. Nikki, in her great wisdom, assigned the fidgety first graders their costumes. I would have done the same thing just to avoid the myriad voices echoing, "why can't I be the candle... but Ms. Nikki, I wanted to be the saxophone, Johnny always gets what he daddy said I'm not allowed to be a candy cane, and he's a police officer, he can arrest you!"

My response? Great. Where's the Benadryl because I can already feel the cardboard rash coming. I mean, "oh, how exciting my baby, you're going to be the best Christmas tree ever!" Now the truth: I should have put in a protest too, because being a Christmas tree, I know, I've done this for years, is never simple! A microphone needs maybe two colors and does not require sophisticated glitter detail. A Christmas tree, whew, that's an entirely different story.

Peyton, thankfully, is not the type of child to eat her crackers blissfully while mommy frantically designs, cuts, glues and manufactures a masterpiece in the wee hours of the night. She has always been the "roll up my sleeves and get dirty with you" kinda gal. My kinda little girlfriend, for sure. From beginning to end, with the added challenge of Sommer, the Christmas-time Mischief Maker, Peyton and I were a team. Here folks, is our Christmas tree story.

The template for a happy child and glue for binding memories
No full mommy shot, wouldn't want to disclose how disheveled I looked throughout the production phase. Notice the green t-shirt? Recycle, reduce, reuse!

Hope trying on the topper. She was technical help and created the ornaments that adorned the tree. Tony was at band practice most of the time, but he agonizingly cut out all the strips you see on the topper and tree while studying for his English Pre-Honors exam. Sommer did nothing. We don't hold it against her.

Don't let this smile fool you, underneath the twinkling eyes

hides Kung Fu Kalani!

Peace on earth

Peyton gets some creative consultation from the man himself
during his visit to GES. Santa says the less glitter, the better Pey.

Quality control: Peyton takes the topper to practice.
There's still work to be done securing it for danceability.
Viola! Success and jubilation. The tree is done, the rash is gone
and mommy and Peyton can rest ...until the next school function.

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree 2007!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Fabulous Fifties Mallard Style

These are a few of the pictures I managed to take during the awesome Christmas Party our school put together at the hotel Nikko. I can't tell you how unbelievably talented and creative these teachers and staff are, they managed to organize a truly great evening of fellowship in between exams, their own class celebrations and reading assessments. The entire theater hall was transported back to the 50's, complete with juke box, those plastic disc like things you used to listen to music with (lost me there, records?), and whoa...the soundtrack to Grease!

Finally got to wear my pink ladies jacket!
Elsie, Frank, Carol, Moi and Derwin

Lie and Cor: friends you can count on when
you have a hard time even counting your blessings.

I'll be your girl for all seasons, all the year through
ooh, ooh, ooh.....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Christmas Wish List

I'm a total list maker. I'm so bad that I have sublists on my lists. Sometimes my lists are categorized and I have marks to show levels of completion. Yes, it's quite exhausting being so anal. My kids apparently took after me. Hope gave me two wish lists, one for things she'd like to have and one for things she knows she'll probably not get. It's the thought that counts right?

The one thing I have trouble with though, is making any kind of list for myself. I end up making excuses for why I don't really want something or how this or that thing is completely unrealistic.

Like my Coach Legacy Leather Satchel (drool)

Or my Gucci Abbey Handbag

Whew, that was easier than I thought! LOL
One thing on everyone's wish list for sure

Santa are you listening?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We love Christmas time

I love Christmas time. Everyday should be filled with joy and wonder, the sounds of laughter and family fun. The house is decorated in true Gomez fashion, sans Christmas lights, but who cares? Santa can surely find his way to our house with the help of trusty Rudolph. Don't worry St. Nick, your milk and cookies will be in the same place it always is, only this year we'll light a scented candle to help you out. Don't you just love the holiday season?
Tony Jr. and his trombone

He asked us to come watch him play. He didn't mention it was a formal event. Oh well, me and Tony in our jeans were content just people watching and listening to our son during the Make A Wish Thanksmas Dinner.

Looking for a Christmas tree while Sommer dances with Santa.

I can't brush my teeth yet, that might be Santa at the door!

Peyton thinks Santa will approve,
even if we don't have any lights on the tree this year.

What? Only 14 days until Christmas? I need more time!

The shepherds watched the flocks at night, but who watched the shepherds? Hmmm

Sommer, the Nativity scene is not a toy.
Yes, mommy.
You may play with the plastic snow globes, but you cannot touch the Nativity.
Okay, mommy.
Sommy, do you understand what I am telling you?
Don't play with baby Jesus?
Or the wise men, or Mary, or Joseph, or the animals....
Yes, mommy.
You can never be too specific with a 3 year old.
Poor shepherd boy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Both wings fully engaged

Thank you to everyone, and I do mean everyone who has given us comfort this past week. Our hearts are so full. We're doing okay, hanging in there and waiting to see how the next few days unfold. Tony's Aunt Patty sent an email reminding me that "a bird with one wing flies in circles". Though some minutes are better than others, we Gomez's have put both wings on and we're determined to fly straight through this crummy storm.

So as not to bombard this blog with deployment issues, I've started a new blog dedicated to our next twelve months. There's so much more going on in this world than war. War is not our focus, Tony is. My wonderful husband is preparing himself best he can and we will too, by making sure things are squared away on the homefront. You can drop by Breathe.. to see how we're doing Army-wise. Thanks for the support guys!
By the way, I'm on official leave right now and not using the Government LAN, and not on PSS time. It's not as if I'm commenting or posting today while actually in my office scarfing down my lunch instead of eating out, or God forbid, spending my Saturday afternoon doing work instead of spending time with my children. But, all that is for another time. One crisis a day please.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Jeremiah 29:11

I'm clumsily making my way through the normal stages of Predeployment Anxiety. Yes, you heard me right. My husband is leaving for Iraq in a few weeks. As a military wife, you always know that this may happen, but you try very hard not to jinx yourself, not to prepare, because preparing means accepting. For the first time today I can almost breathe, but I know it's only temporary. I may stand up from my chair and lose it all over again or I could be fine for a dday or two. Thus is the emotional cycle of deployment, and like another blog I've visited trying to identify with the women I will soon relate more closely with for at least a year, I am undoubtedly "knee deep in the hooah."

Stage 1: denial and disconnect. He can't actually be going. Doesn't the Army know we have four kids? That he's the love of my life? That nobody else can listen to me rant and rave all day and still love me enough to bring me a glass of wine and a kiss to make it all better? I'm in a limbo state where everything is a frozen blur. Or, maybe it's more like standing at the racing line, poised for action, waiting for the gun to go off, but wanting to sprint the other way.

I'm generating the lists in my head and fighting them with my heart. What lists do I have to make and why am I so anal? There are lists for picking up and dropping off kids, what I'll need to cut out of my schedule, and ..... I forget. Why does it really matter, I'll be doing it all anyway? Wait, that's not fair, my husband will be in a war zone, what right do I have to brood? I'll be here safe with my children, not in the middle of a ridiculous combat zone fighting for something we don't even fully understand or endorse. Tony makes lists too. Our birthdays, our Social Security numbers, identifying marks like his wedding ring tattoo.

Then sadness. The mornings I wake up already crying, with a lump in my throat that travels down and engulfs my lungs so that I feel like I can't take one step further; as if moving will actually cause time itself to move forward. Moving is one step closer to Tony leaving.

Then this week, the anger. But who at? Tony? George W. Bush? Osama Bin Laden? The Army? I kick the caked red mud off my shoe, cursing the rain. I'm mad at the rain now. I'm mad at my shoe. How insane is it that I feel I need a target just because they are turning my husband into one? The anger causes distance that we cannot afford to have.

Reality sinks in. We tell the children and wait for reactions. We will watch them muddle through these phases too. Normal. Natural. We'll get through this. It's only one year. Pray. Be strong. Lord has a plan for us. Not to harm us. A plan to give us hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11. It will be my mantra this year.

Meanwhile there is a husband, a father, a son, a brother preparing to leave his family. He knows we love him, but he will need more reminders of just how much as the days draw nearer. I don't want to be rude, but if you see us out please don't talk about the war. Our children will be listening more intently to the conversations we'll be having for the next month. They will carry your words to sleep with them, they are not like us, they do not have the ability to filter their anxieties. Tony will need your hugs, your pats on the back, a good cold bottle of beer if you have one ;) and some encouragement. Most of all, if you pray, he'll need your intercession.


Now for something more light-hearted....
There goes my fried Spam!
How many firefighters does it take to put out a kitchen fire? This is what we were thinking as we watched three trucks, several DPS cars and a small brigade of firefighters donned with full gear as they attempted to extinguished what smelled like burning oil. Luckily, only one person was home, but he was probably in the shower or the back bedroom unaware that the doors were getting ready to be busted open. No one was hurt except for me tripping in the soft soil as I tried to capture the moment to share with ya'll.
The Mt. Carmel Theatre Club performed before a crowd of excited Mallards last Thursday. They did a sneak peek of two numbers from The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was nice to see Hope back in the pond, if only for a visit. Mr. G saw some old Knights in the crowd and I spotted some former Mallards in the entourage. We really are one village. It's not too late to catch tonight's performance at Mt. Carmel School, at 7pm.