Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I have yet to tell the story of our littlest most powerful member of our family...she is all of 4 years old.

It's my fault, I am not in any type of denial. She just LOVED shoes before she could reach her feet. Her clothes are of better fashion sense than mine ever have been. So I may have provoked a little of her inner diva. We call it self-expression.

Our day with this little lady goes a little something along these lines; She wakes up (in our bed, because Fireman just cant say no to the raspy voice asking, "Daddy? Can I sleep with you?" This is a very sensitive task. The way she wakes up will determine how our entire day will run, so we have been known to try multiple tactics to get her to at least not kick us while squealing whale noises as she climbs out of bed.

Once that has been accomplished, we make her usual for breakfast...waffles and milk. Any variation is unacceptable. So if Costco is out of waffles...I'm screwed. She also needs a little chill time in the morning. So on mornings she doesn't go to school, I sit with her and sip my coffee for as much GMA I can possibly get in. So sweet you may think...I also sit with about 13 of her newly "can't do without" toys, a blankie that inevitably always stinks, and Cissy is also trying to wrangle our defenseless, small yorkie-poo into sitting on our laps. So, if coffee isn't spilled, its a miracle.

Getting dressed is the worst time of our day. I always dreamed that once I had my daughter, my days would be filled with dress up and makeovers. I was wrong, oh so wrong. She loves to dress herself. So after about a year of fighting this every morning- I decided to go with the flow most mornings. After all, she changes her attire at least four times a day and usually ends up running around the house with only her princess underwear on. Her taste in clothing and mine are no where near close. For example, I would prefer not to have my darling little girl dress as a modern day punky brewster. I mean, two pairs of different colored tights with socks along with a bright pink polka dot tank top that is 2 sizes two small is a little weird, right? I mean some days she even manages to get her baby doll shirts over her head and we actually go to Costco like that, because she does this exactly 2 minutes before I am ready leave the house. Occasionally I get the, "oh how cute" looks, but more often than not I am getting the, "How could her mother let her out of the house that way?" or probably more like, "Where did that outfit come from?" looks.

She has this thing lately with her silver shoes- so those are worn everywhere, along with what she calls bracelets...these are really just over sized ponytail holders of all colors. She wears them on her ankles and her wrists. Just darling. I almost forgot the purse- she changes her purse everyday. So if she is wearing Ariel's dress-up costume for the day, it has to be a red purse filled with her 13 can't so without toys of the day. Under NO circumstance am I allowed to offer any suggestions with regards to her wardrobe.

So what, right? I guess at least she is clean and fed? It really is my issue... who cares what everyone at Costco sees or thinks. At least that is what I try to tell myself every God forsaken day of my life right now.

Until the day she actually cares that what she is wearing is well... different, I am choosing to relish in the absolute carefree attitude my daughter has. Her lesson to me is so much greater than having her clothes match head to toe. She is teaching me every day that it is OK to be caught up in doing what you want to do, not what other people expect. She is so much her own spirit, and I find myself envious of her naive ability to run around in princess panties. I want to twirl around with her little hands in mine singing princess tunes.

So for now, and as long as I can have it, I accept this little rambunctious precious energy as one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever received.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Well, I am definitely not going to be receiving Mother of the Year for 2009. Not just because of my track record this year, but most definitely because of my actions, or in this case, lack of.

I call myself CFO because my home is run like a business. There is a time and place for pretty much every activity involved in our lives. Laundry is no exception. OK- this week it was.

Mondays are always the busiest day of the week. For myself it is the start of my work week. I am always overwhelmed with the list I make for myself and I usually feel as if I have to accomplish the complete list on Mondays. Anyone who knows me personally will tell you- I have a problem. I am OCD in many ways...but that's for another day.

As I am driving my two boys to school this past Monday coffee cup in hand, I just happened to glance over at my 12 year old's jeans. Were those grass stains covering both knees? I quickly looked back at the 9 year old who was dazing out the window. His jeans were covered in mud.

My mind raced. Yes, I started to panic. "WHY ARE YOU BOTH WEARING DIRTY JEANS?" I was on the verge of yelling. They are very aware of my rule. I don't care what kind of fad or style they try to pull off through the years, but they HAVE to be clean. Clean clothes and clean bodies are a must.

They both immediately sang the same tune. "I had no more clean jeans!" says the 9 year old. "I didn't have any clean jeans or shorts, mom." As soon as the vision of my children walking into school with dirty clothes became my reality, I did what any mom would do in a pinch...I immediately called Fireman and told him to rummage through their hampers to find the cleanest of the dirty jeans and I turned that car around as quick as I could. No kids of mine would ever go to school dirty, I didn't care if they were late or not!

Laundry was on my to do list, of course, but now I was in full panic mode. Guilt and shame clouded my brain. That's what I get for taking the weekend off. What was I thinking napping both Saturday and Sunday? I am battling a head cold but that is NO excuse! After 12 and 1/2 years of my job as a mommy, I should know better than to take a sick day, let alone two!

Now Fireman thinks I am crazy. Although he is home nowadays, he never really understood why when he was on shift I would still be doing laundry until late hours of the night watching my TiVo. He now understands. He has been shown the light on my business operation quite a bit lately. He has actually told me he can't believe how much I pack into our day. He has acknowledged I don't really sit on my butt watching Oprah and eating bon bons. You laugh, but talk to any of my stay at home mom friends and their husbands will jokingly say that is what we all do. (They joke because it would get ugly if they were ever precieved serious). Along with, "your always on the computer" or "Geez! Our children know the story line of General Hospital (or in some cases Dr. Phil)" all the while inferring we pack our day with TV shows and ice cream.

So after two whole days of laundry, and cleaning the house Fireman is right smack in the middle of what makes our world here at home turn. I am thankful he can see it as well as experience it first hand. I don't think in the 10 weeks he has been home he has seen me once sit myself down on the couch to catch Oprah while eating anything, let alone bon bons.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Well I kew it wouldnt take long for the white trash mom in me to poke through...

Tomorrow night we are going down the street to have dinner with our friends. These are some good friends, though we've never been to their house intimately. "What can I bring?" I asked, being the giver I am..."dessert would be great!" She emailed back.

Hmmm....what to make? I looked through some recipe books. I remembered some old potluck desserts I had tasted over the recent years. Maybe a tart? I could whip that up in no time. No, better than that, "How about pumpkin shaped rice krispie treats?" I yelled downstairs to Fireman. Silence.

I waited. I knew exactly what was going through his mind. You see, I do this ALL the time. I have an inner Martha Stewart that is dying to have some show off time. Kids birthday at school? It's not your simple cupcakes to share with the class, its pink flower candy molds with organic pretzels, or homemade lollipops with sugarfree bubble gum. You should see my Christmas baking routine. It looks so easy in the magazines! So he was thinking, "Oh GOD! she is going to pull out Martha!"

Normally, this wouldn't invoke fear into the mind of a normal person with a normal wife. However, I can sort of understand. I mean I start with the greatest intentions. My ingriendients all lined up, my $75 apron on (yes, if you cook with a $75 apron wrapped around you your food tastes better). I may even start with the kids around helping measure and pour. Somewhere around hour 2, my good intentions are no where to be found. I have kicked the kids out side of the house (even if it is raining) and start using words I dont normally use. My kitchen becomes my worst enemy. I suddenly decide very loudly "I am NEVER doing this again!" I start planning the letter I am going to write to the author of the recipe, and I usually end up on the phone with my BFF to vent my anger and blame all turning into feeling defeated and a horrible mother, wife and overall person for not being able to pull off the calm cool collected and yet gorgeous dessert. Fireman is around for this half the time, and that is enough for him.

In the beginning he would just quietly move the children outside away from their crazed mother. Then he began to calmly suggest other easier recipes, he even made the mistake of trying to help one time, to which I responded, "So do you want to do this or what?" among other things. Finally he has come to the conclusion that offering to pay for the dessert of my choice was his golden ticket to a day of bliss instead of living in his own personal hell.

So I waited, and honestly I was waiting just to hear the tone of voice when he responded, "Well honey..." he hesitated. "That sounds pretty easy? I mean you already have the cookie cutter right?" The fact that Fireman knows what a pumpkin cookie cutter is says a lot about his dealings with me in the kitchen. He had probably mentally thought over what it would take for me to accomplish this dessert.

My minds eye actually gleemed at the thought of me pulling off an absolutely divine dessert... I could color vanilla frosting orange, and then make some green! I could pull out the black frosting gel for the eyes! The kids would love it! My mind continued...what could I make for the adults to savor as the kids gleefully ran around munching on rice krispie pumpkins? Reality quickly set in as I turned the hallway corner and saw fear in his eyes. Who was I kidding? We have a total of three "have to" events this weekend, Fireman is still gimpy, and the kids are, well... kids. Even I was in no mood to turn into The Wicked Witch for the day.

Our eyes met and I knew right then. I would be picking up a Pumpkin Pie from Costco. I am even serving it in the tin it comes in. Cool whip as well. Nope this weekend Martha wouldn't get her chance...but Christmas is right around the corner.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guilty? A little...

So I slept in this morning. So what? Fireman has been out on injury for 9 weeks and 5 days and doesn't return back until the earliest, February 2010. That's right, 4 long months from now.

Depending on how you look at this predicament... it can be a blessing and a curse all at once. He is in my way all of the time, we don't have the overtime money flowing in, and he is really not able to help tons due to his injury (its just a torn ACL- he will be fully recovered after months of intense Physical Therapy. I am not completely heartless!) On the blessing side, which I find myself constantly needing to remind myself of lately, he missed the brutal fire season this year and I know he is safe for now, as well as the boys have daddy to go to for all their math homework.

So, I guess I decided to check out this morning. I felt no need to hustle out of bed and rush through school routines, arguing with Cissy about which clothes she would wear. I wanted nothing to do with refereeing the boys arguments. I didn't want to make waffles for one child, toast for another, and oatmeal for the third...it was Fireman's turn.

I sauntered downstairs around 9 ish. I had prepared to look flustered, I even had a "I'm innocent" line ready...something like "Gosh, I can't believe I over slept!" or maybe it was "Geez! I hope the kids made it to school OK?!" But as I poured my coffee, I noticed Fireman was no where to be seen. The kitchen looked unscathed...no breakfast carnage to be found. So had I pulled it off? Or did Fireman forget to feed them all? That, I quickly decided, I would find out later, like after school.

I sank into the couch and turned on Good Morning America. What was America up to these days? My heart got a funny warm feeling when Diane Sawyer's voice flowed through the family room. I really didn't care what she said, boy had I missed my GMA! It had been 2 weeks since I had been able to join them for coffee, and I know Chris Como had been wondering where I had been.

Fireman came in and joined me. Nothing was mentioned about me being MIA for the carnival that is our morning rountine today. Neither of us spoke a word of it. I noticed half way through my coffee, I was relaxed. For the first time in 9 weeks and 5 days, I was calm. I didn't even ask if the kids ate breakfast.

Fireman is on the road to recovery, however inconvenient right now he, I mean this, may be, it is only temporary. The kids weren't my problem until at least 2 pm. I had a long awaited hair appointment to look forward to. Did I mention the kids weren't my problem?

So did I feel guilty? No, not at all. I think I am going to start sleeping in more often.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Taken from "The Fireman's Wife" by Susan Farren
I am thank ful. This has not always been an easy walk for me.
I am disappointed. We have missed family gatherings, weddings, dinner engagements, birthday parties, and holidays because of shift schedules and overtime.
I am patient. There have been dinners spent at the firehouse waiting for Daddy to return from a call while the kids get cranky and the food gets cold.
I am nervous. I awake at 3:00 A.M. hearing creaks in the house and don't have the comfort of my husband beside me.
I am tired. The house is full of sick kids and there is no relief in site because Daddy is on a seventy-two-hour shift.
I am jealous. Jealous of all the women whose husbands came home at 5:00 P.M. to have dinner and hold them at the end of their day.
I am worried. I worry that he may not come home one day. This I try to tuck away.
I am content. We have decided to give up my career so I can stay home and raise our children. We no longer have an abundance of money or things. It is the greatest freedom I have ever known.
I am incompetent.There was a time when I considered myself moderately intelligent. I now struggle to remember where I left my car keys, the diaper bag, and, occasionally, the baby.
I am waiting. Knowing the phone may one day ring for me.
I am doubting. Doubting that God hears all my prayers. Doubting I am the kind of wife and mother He needs me to be.
I am trusting. Trusting that my husband will come home again.
I am confident, I am embarrassed, I am lonely, I am surprised, I am overworked, I am underpaid.

I am...The Fireman's Wife.

Just Starting to Find My Way...

I have always wanted to know how other fire families operate. I often feel very out of ordinary when I talk with my girl friends about their daily 9-5 routines. A fire family is different. Our children grow up with daddy gone for 24 hours at a time (who am I kidding) often times multiple days at a time. As wives, we grow used to our husbands and best friends being unavailable to us. Though I have a wonderful extended fire family, I still feel a need to touch base on a different level. I want to hear how other fire families run the show. What do you cook in your kitchens? Are you able to maintain perfection at all times? If so, PLEASE share your strategies with all of us who battle the daily grind of our hectic lives. I want recipes, child rearing tips, ideas how to reconnect with a long lost mate, Holiday shuffle ideas, living frugal, putting out our own daily fires, depression busters ...you name it- I wanna know!!! In return I promise to share the good the bad and the ugly of my daily life. And believe me, I have a lot to dish on! We accept the fire service for the wonderful life it has given us...but this blog is all about the down and dirty daily life I live in the wake of my husbands beloved career. No one tells a fire wife what to expect for her children, not what kinds of things she gains and loses when her husband takes an oath to the fire service. One thing I do know for sure is that my life is a lot like everyone elses life when you open their front door, REAL!