Friday, December 28, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
If you know the Barrow family, you know that we LOVE to tell stories. Almost as much as we love to tell stories, we love to have the adventures that make up the stories we later tell. Well, here's another to add to the collection. . .
Aunt Charlene was having Todd and Sara and their two kids (Riley 3 and Tanner 10 months) over for Christmas so we all planned a trip on Saturday to go to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. They are trying to start a tradition of opening for the Christmas season and have a Christmas theme, like at Hershey, PA. I was excited to go. We packed up and our plan was to leave by 8am and get there around 10am and spend the morning and leave in the afternoon, before it got too cold. It took a while to get going and from what I hear, Charlene's house was a circus also so we didnt' leave until close to 9am. No worries, we were off and ready for a day of fun. We pull up to the park and no one is there. All of a sudden, we were the Griswolds pulling up to Wally World and it's closed. There is a sign telling us that the park is opened that EVENING from 4-10pm! What on earth are we going to do with 2 babies and a 3 year old for six hours?!
We decided that the Jelly Belly factory was nearby so we took the tour there. It was pretty lame because it was a Saturday and no one was working the factory. We lined up to look at a bunch of still machinery. Oooooh ahhhhh!
After the factory, we went to grab lunch. It took quite a while to decide what to have and where to go, and getting lost by taking the wrong exit didn't help. Finally, after an hour, we stopped at McDonalds. I go to get my wallet out and it's not there. Oh no. I got such a pit in my stomach. I have everything in that wallet: ID, military ID, bank card, credit card, temple recommend, insurance cards, and other vitals that make modern life possible. I tried calling over there but their phones were only running an automated message about their hours and tour information. I grabbed my mom's keys and said, "You all eat, I'm going back to Jelly Belly." I raced back to the factory, a 10 minute drive, and drove up to the door (I didn't have time to park in the parking lot) and ran up to the information desk. I told the lady there my problem. The lady was very nice and asked my name and handed back my wallet (with everything in it!). I was so grateful for honest people. Disaster averted.
After meeting up with the group we went to the Nut Tree Family Park in Vacaville. There was a carousel and some carnival rides. It was $3.50 a ride so forget it! I took William to the *free* Rocking Horse Corral and he had a big time. Until he slid off the side. I had his arm, but he twisted around the front and bumped his head. He bit his lip and there was blood gushing from his mouth. Poor guy. We went to the bathroom and cleaned him up. He was done. He fell asleep in the stroller soon after. After killing time for a couple of hours, we headed off to Discovery Kingdom. It was all lit up and the Looney Toon Characters were dressed in Santa hats and scarves. We spent most of the time in the kid park. William got to ride the tea cups, the submarine ride, the carousel, and the hot air balloons. He loved the rides. I loved getting him all bundled up, especially his hat! We played until about 8pm then there were tired kids ready to go home and their babies as well! William and I fell asleep in the car and my mom drove us home.
So that was my adventure. Like I said, it was fun, but not quite as fun as it will be retelling it with the whole family sitting around to listen to my adventures. Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I went to The Picture People on Monday and I couldn't be happier with the whole experience. They are a little pricier than say your WalMart or Target photography, but you really get your money's worth. I got William all dressed up, brought his teddy bear and they did the rest. I wish I could have bought all of the poses, but I settled on these three. What do you think?
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Here's a picture I took of me in Toulon, France with some guys I had just met. They pretty much just ignored me, but that's okay, because they were a couple of stiffs anyway.
This is a picture of me with some visitors from the French ship Jean de Vienne. It was kinda fun trying to communicate with them, but when they left, I was glad to see them go.
This is a picture of me and my guys after we'd finished prepping for Thanksgiving dinner. Left to right, it's me, FC2 Brown, GM2 Dodgin, and ET3 Smith. Aren't we pretty?
*I like how Sean is making the moves on FC2 Brown!
This is the smashed sandwich shack by the front gate of Arsenal Toulon.
Dear Mrs. Payne,
It is with a sad heart that I write to inform you about a tragic mishap on board USS San Jacinto this morning. At about 1000, your husband went to get his hair cut at the barbershop, requesting that 1½” be left on the top. Due to a misunderstanding between your husband and the barber, your husband’s hair was cut to a length of ¼”, top and sides. Valiant efforts were made to reattach the hair, including an experimental operation with a glue stick, but at 1030, the hair was declared DOA. I understand what a shock this must be, and you have my condolences.
I have included a picture of the victim, in order to assure you that he is surviving the mishap, although still in poor condition.
ENS Sean Payne
Food Service Officer
USS San Jacinto
Monday, December 3, 2007
It was in Virginia Beach at the Little Creek Amphibious Base (where the SEALS are trained). I get there and the gym is crammed with people, mostly kids. There are vendor booths lining the walls handing out freebies, mostly cheap crap with advertising on it, and a couple of food booths with free hot dogs or pizza. Every booth had a very long line in front. In fact the whole place seemed to be one long line that everyone was standing in. I wheeled my stroller around, unsure what exactly I was to do there. I saw many families with moms and dads and I started to miss Sean and wanted to leave.
I found an information booth and a nice lady told me that there would be a Christmas party for my ship at 1pm in a designated curtained off room. I decided to stick around for that and the video shoot at 2pm. I made a poster to hold up during the video so Sean could see us. Then at one I went to the small room where our party was to be. There was no one there. I thought, "How sad." Especially when the room next door had cookies, and carols, and gift exchanges going on. I almost joined with them when a few moms came in with their kids. They decided to make posters for our allotted time. I had already done this so I just stood around. I made friends with Beth Hedrick, another officer's wife. Her husband and Sean are the only LDS officers on board so we have a lot in common.
We finished up and went to make our video. There were only about 15 of us so our video Christmas greeting should have a good close up on all of us. I didn't need the poster. Good thing, because William chose that time to start acting out and I had to hold him on my lap, instead of the poster.
Overall, I had a pretty good time. It was craziness, but then I realized that there were lots and lots of people who are going through the same thing that I am. I got out of the house, made a good friend, and said, "Merry Christmas!" to my husband. It was a pretty good day.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Then Peter and Dad went home with the babies and it was an all girl adventure to Hershey, PA. It was so fun. We went to Chocolate World and took the tour to see how chocolate is made. Got a free sweet treat, and got set loose in the largest candy store I'd ever been in. I felt like I was in Willy Wonka's factory. Every Hershey candy ever made was out for sale. We bought some treats and headed off to the theme park. We rode rides and watched shows and froze our tails off. It was great fun! They had Christmas lights on everything. The whole park was a winter wonderland. Hot chocolate had never tasted so good or felt so comforting. But at 8pm, it was too cold to have any more fun. We went to dinner and headed home.
Black Friday is quickly becoming a holiday on its own. I look forward to it every year. This year was like the Superbowl of shopping days. It started with Midnight Madness at the Leesburg Outlets with 10,000 people going for the big deals at Pottery Barn, Coach, Williams Sonoma, and dozens of other outlet stores. We got some great stuff and left around 2am. This was only the first leg of our marathon shopping trip. We got to Kohl's at 2:30am to wait until their 4am opening. Robyn and I coached our mom on the rules of combat shopping. We all had our assignments and when the doors opened up, we went running. I sprinted to electronic gadgets and found my assignment, the ONLY one they had on display! I swiped and ran to help with my shopping buddies. We were out in 15 minutes. Great timing, on to Toys R Us and their 5am opening. We were not first in line, but not too far from the front. But as the doors opened and we were about to go in, some riff raff started to cut in front of us. Robyn yelled out, "The guy in the white jacket is cutting in front of everyone!!" This caused a riot. Everyone started chanting and yelling at this guy, calling him a jackass among other names. But he got his as he was blocked in a cart traffic jam and we raced ahead. We got our toys in record time and raced off to Wal Mart. They were already open so we didn't have to wait in line. Unfortunately by the time we got there, the lines were backing up at the cashiers. Robyn's expertise saved the day and we were in and out because we checked out at the Sporting Goods counter. No one was in line there. We were then off to Target and we made it before their opening so more lines to wait in. I couldn't believe it, we got everything on our lists and then some. After a few more stores in the mall, I was beat! I could barely keep my eyes open and my legs moving to get to the car. When we got home at 8:30am, I went up to bed and I remember as I sank into the soft pillow, right before I fell asleep, "Nothing has ever felt as good as this moment, right here, right now."
I never thought I'd be one of those people who would wait outside of a store in the wee hours and shove my way through just to save some money. But let me tell you. Once you experience the rush of running through a store like you're on "Supermarket Sweep" and the victory of finding the only item stocked in the store that you were there to get. All I learned about combat shopping I learned from my sister. Here are some basic rules that I've picked up along the way.
- Go in a group. Divide and conquer! You have better luck if you split up and tackle different departments at once.
- Be the first! Check your ads and if you find a deal you just have to have, you must be one of the first in line. When the ad says, "limited supplies," they could very well mean, "only one in the store!"
- Leave all sense of propriety at the door. Do not be afraid to run at top speed to get your items. If you bump something to the floor (clothing, display box, old ladies, etc.), just don't look back. Keep your eye on the goal.
- If you see there is trouble ahead (cart jam, rude people standing in the way, electronics department) go through the clothing. Avoid the crowded paths.
- Have fun! Tell your victory stories and have a good laugh over the faux pas. Celebrate by going out to breakfast, if you are up to it. If you don't have fun, then you might as well stay in bed and sleep. Black Friday is not for wimps or grumps!
We had a great couple of days, but then William started to get a runny nose. That's normal considering the weather was changing and it's runny nose season. But our fourth night there, William had a very high fever and had to be taken to Urgent Care. His temperature was 105 and an ambulance and Rescue Squads were called in. We were all really scared but our prayers were answered and his fever broke and William didn't need to go to the hospital. We were advised to give him Tylenol and Motrin for the next 24 hours. William was better but fragile by the next day. He was back to baby wrestling with Ryan within a couple of days. He still had his runny nose and by now, that had passed on to the rest of the family. I was totally stuffed up, sore throat and even had laryngitis by the end of my trip.
Like anyone who has their birthday towards the end of November knows, mine ends up on Thanksgiving every 6 or 7 years. This was my year of birthday turkey. We had a great feast. Robyn and my mom worked all day to prepare a great meal.
Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
Lime Whip Jello
Pineapple Slush Punch
White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Frosting
Friday, November 9, 2007
A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 4 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
1. I'm a closet Webkinz junkie! I love the games and activities on this website. My favorites are Home Before Dark, Goober's Lab, and Tile Towers. I used to play on my nieces accounts, but I was playing so much, it was only fair that I get my own account. So I bought myself a black cat and named it Lucky and now I play to my heart's content. After William is down of course.
2. I love to decorate my home. I will take months deciding on just the right duvet cover and matching sheets, shower curtain, towels, whatever. I can't wait until I can have a home big enough for all of my ideas.
3. I love to scrapbook. I have like 20 full scrapbooks and lots more to go. I have a room that's full of paper and supplies and a desk to go crazy at. I haven't been able to do a whole lot since moving in, but I think once I get into the swing of things here, I will probably start pumping out the pages again. I have a website dedicated to getting beginner scrapbookers excited about my favorite hobby.
4. I have lived outside of California for almost a year but I still download the podcasts of the Sacramento morning talk show, Armstrong and Getty. I guess it's my way of keeping one foot in my hometown. Plus, these guys are hilarious and who doesn't love that?
5. Okay, I know this is weird, but when I drink from a glass, I will slightly turn the glass each time so I can drink from a spot that doesn't have lip prints on it and I will usually go all the way around the rim before finishing.
6. I have to do six of these?! Okay, let's see . . . I cannot sleep unless there is noise. A fan, a radio, someone talking, a heater, whatever. If it is completely silent, someone might as well be screaming in my ear because I won't be able to sleep.
Wow, I'm such a weirdo! I guess you don't realize strange habits until you write them down. I'm going to tag Melissa Fowler, Rachel Lingmann, Becky Terry, and Erin Barnes
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Monday started very early. We had to leave by 5am. As the Food Service Officer, Sean was trying to locate more forks, knives, and spoons (the boneheads on ship keep throwing them away!) and a carrier had extra to spare. We had to load them up and be back to the ship by 8am.
It was such a short drive with long silences. Both of us didn't know what to say. I knew Sean was excited and sad, but I was just sad. William was indifferent, and asleep in the back. We went on the ship and Sean changed into uniform to get ready to collect silverware. He took William with him and when he brought him back, he tried to be sly about sticking something in William's jacket pocket. I asked him what it was, he just said, "Boys need stuff in their pockets." I thought, "Oh, he wrote me a letter and wants me to find it later in William's jacket. How sweet!"
We were walking down the pier to get to the car when someone asked if we wanted to be interviewed on the news. There was a news van nearby. I didn't really want to, I had frizzy, windblown hair and no makeup in anticipation of crying it off. I also have an uncanny talent for putting my foot in my mouth in the most embarrassing times. Why tempt fate? Sean was all for the interview so we did it. I was such a moron! Sean answered questions like a pro and knew when to stop talking. I, on the other hand, was a disaster that couldn't be stopped. The reporter asked how I was going to deal with the lack of Sean around. I don't remember exactly what I said but when I realized that I was blabbing on about the different locations of my family members, I knew I needed to stop talking. Then she asked if I was worried and I hadn't thought about it until then and holy cow, now I was worried!! I said something lame about being a little worried but not too worried and I have things to keep me busy, and blah, blah, blah. Once again I just didn't know when to stop talking. I was glad when it was over and it is not surprising the reporter went with another story.
After getting the silverware, it was time to get back to the San Jacinito. Many families were there for the send off. We hung around, not a whole lot to say. Sean tried cracking jokes to break the mood. But all too soon it was time for him to go aboard.
I was waiting to watch the ship pull out when one of the other officers came up to me and asked me to give a card to his wife. I guess I had met them at the Dining Out but I couldn't remember what his wife looked like for the life of me. Fortunately her name was on the envelope and he said she was wearing a green sweater so I had that to go by. Now I had the awkward task of finding a green clad stranger to hand her an envelope and hope she doesn't think I'm a crazy person. After several embarrassing attempts to find her, I was lucky enough to find someone who knew the woman I was supposed to find. This sweet lady said she would take the card and drop it off at her home. Thank goodness! I was off the hook.
It was a quite a wait from Sean getting on board and the actual ship off. But as they were counting down to ship off I looked in the bottom of the stroller and found an extra box of silverware that Sean had forgotten to take aboard. I grabbed it and ran to the quarterdeck. Wait! Wait! Fortunately, Sean's boss, the Supply Officer (SUPPO) walked by and noticed me trying to haul a box on board and knew that I wasn't a terrorist. He asked what was in the box and I said extra forks, knives, and spoons. He started laughing. I didn't think it was that funny at the time, but I guess I did look pretty crazy at the time.
Sean came out the side of the ship to talk for a little while and wave at the send off. We had to yell to hear each other because of the wind and ship noise. Then they made all of the families back up to a line to let the fork lifts and vehicles get by. Then our only communication was by sign language. It wasn't really sign language as it was Charades. I bet we had more than a few people laughing at our gestures.
Well, the dreaded time arrived and we had to say our last "I love you's." Then the tug boats guided the cruiser out and he was under way, not to return for more than half a year. I lost it then and started blubbering. I wasn't the only one so I wasn't making a scene.
I slowly walked William back (who had long since fallen asleep in his stroller) to the car. When I buckled him in, I thought of his jacket and the note Sean left me. I quickly went for the pockets and pulled out some folded pieces of paper. With the anticipation of a child at Christmas I unwrapped the notes and tried to find Sean's handwriting. It was no where to be found. I looked closer at what was printed on the paper and discovered it was only trash. Sean had stuffed my baby's jacket with garbage because there wasn't a trash can nearby! I was mad and disappointed but I started laughing because it was pretty funny.
I drove home and put William down for a nap and I needed a rest too. It was quite an emotional morning. I needed to recharge and get ready to be a single parent for the next seven months. So that was deployment day. I can't be specific about his whereabouts on my blog but I do keep in contact with Sean through email so I'm not in the dark. Thank goodness for email! If you want to write him let me know and I'll give you the info. Until next time. . . .
Saturday, November 3, 2007
William loves to pretend he's older than he is. He gravitates towards the older kids and tries to do what they're doing. It's a shame he just couldn't keep up. One little boy tried really hard to explain the game "Tag" but it was lost on William. When the boy started to run (because he made William be "it") William would just toddle over to some other kids and try to play their games. It will be nice when he's old enough to understand kid's games.
Sean tried to teach William how to do a summersault. He would pick him up by the waist and bend him over, tuck his head down and flip his legs over. Then William would lay on the floor and laugh and lift his legs up to go backwards. Then Sean would do summersaults in front of him and he would laugh and laugh. My favorite sound!
I'm so glad we got to spend a little time together. William is going to change so much by the time Sean returns. I hope William doesn't forget his dad or how much he is loved by him.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
10 cups popped popcorn, eyeball it (I fill up my largest mixing bowl)
2 11oz bags of candy corn
1 12oz can of honey roasted peanuts
Large bag of plain M&M's
Melt butter, sugar, and syrup on medium high heat in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Add vanilla and stir. Pour over popped popcorn in a large bowl and mix thoroughly until the popcorn is coated. Mix in the peanuts and candy corn. To prevent melting, let the popcorn cool for a few minutes before you add the M&M's (even if the candy melts, it's still tasty). So good!!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Last Saturday was the Halloween party on Sean's ship. Several sections of the ship were decorated for trick or treaters. We had a walled off section of the mess deck called the 1st class mess to decorate. We unscrewed the lights and made it dark and lit some spooky pumpkins and hung spiderwebs and shredded black trash bags. I had a large cauldron of candy to hand out. It was pretty good considering the lack of materials we had and little time to set it up. Out in the mess (right outside the door to our trick or treat room) there were kids activities like coloring and Halloween Bingo and a costume contest. It was a shame that William was a little too young to participate. But that didn't stop us from dressing up. William was Batman, I was a witch , and Sean was supposed to be Zorro but he forgot his mask so he was just guy in a cape.
Just as the party was starting, a construction crew came in and started working on the ship, right in front of our trick or treat room! There was no way anyone could come and even see the hard work we put into our room. What a shame! They moved the party to another part of the ship and Sean and I took off with William to go to lunch. We were still in costumes but we didn't get as many weird stares as you would think. Then we went back to the ship and Sean cleaned up the room then we went home. Oh well, at least we had fun doing it and got to dress up.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
People ask me what I do with myself without a car, without family nearby, and in a tiny house. Well, here is a typical day in the Payne house.
I wake up when William is sick of being in his crib. He will normally wake up and play with a few toys and his musical aquarium for an hour or so. If I'm lucky, I get to sleep in until 9am. But usually it's around 8am.
Then I watch JAG from the DVR as I feed William breakfast and get my own. I also check my email, myspace, blog, and other computer stuff. I'll also play some Webkinz games if William is occupied. Lately, I've been going out every 15 minutes to move the sprinkler on our newly seeded lawn in the backyard.
If it is Tuesday, I would have been up at 5am to take Sean to work so I can have the car. After breakfast I get William dressed and ready for playgroup. That goes from 10am to noon. If it's not Tuesday, then at this time I clean the bedrooms, do laundry, make phone calls, whatever.
It's lunch at noon and William goes down for a nap. Depending on what was for lunch, and how attentive I am, I usually have a big mess under the high chair to clean up. I sweep and mop the floor. Then pick up the front room and put the toys away. If I'm making a crock pot meal for dinner, I do it at this time. Then if I have some time left, I lay down for a little nap until William wakes up and is ready to get out of his crib, which is usually around 2:30-3pm.
Then it's Backyardigans (thank you DVR!) and toy time for William while I clean the kitchen and listen to talk radio to catch up on what's going on in the world. On Tuesdays, I have to leave at 3:15pm to pick up Sean from work.
Snack time for William around 4pm and then clean up again. Get dinner ready and pick up before Sean comes home.
Sean comes home around 5:30pm and immediately snacks unless I have a meal ready. I haven't got the timing down yet. If a recipe says 30 minute prep time, I take around 1 1/2 hours. I guess it's lack of tools, counter space, and food prep skills.
Then we relax and watch some TV and talk about our day. Sean has to do most of the talking because my day (as you can see) is pretty hum-drum. If you know Sean, you know that the talking does not last long. It's mostly TV and computer time. I'll read a couple of books to William, if he lets me.
Around 7:30pm it's bath time for William and he loves to play in the tub. He's usually done and dressed in jammies by 8pm, his bedtime.
Then I do the dishes (no dishwasher!!) and sweep and mop under the highchair again. Sean takes out the trash and we lounge about again. He usually goes to bed around 10pm. If I go to bed at this time, I usually wake up around 2am and can't go back to sleep. (like now) Most of the time I stay up longer until and watch Conan and do computer stuff until I'm tired and can stay asleep.
That's my life. Pretty boring. Until we get another car or William stays out of the Scrapbook room so I can get some work done in there, I'll continue my routine.