Thursday, September 27, 2012

I've Got My Work Cut Out For Me...

Sassy's birthday is coming up in about a month. We've been trying to get her to commit to a birthday theme so I can start planning. 374 and I were talking to her tonight over dinner about her choice, when Bubby chimed in.

"Mom, I want a tornado and Storm Chasers birthday! You can make me a cake with a big tornado and a TIV (Tornado Intercept Vehicle) driving down the road into the tornado!"

Photo from

You can imagine the looks 374 and I exchanged.

Our son has been obsessed with weather for at least the last six months. He loves watching weather documentaries on Netflix. Recently he found the show Storm Chasers and watches it daily. He plays Storm Chasers at school at recess, as well as after school with his friend who lives next door. Most conversations with him revolve around weather, clouds, and storms.

I'm always one for unique party themes. I like to think outside the box and shy away from character themes. I've also always made all of the kids' birthday cakes with the exception of Bubby's first two. I enjoy the process of them picking their theme, and brainstorming the cake and decorations. Like I mentioned in my Wordless Wednesday post yesterday, birthdays are a big deal to me!

I'm actually pretty excited about putting this one together. I'm very glad he decided to tell us this now, six months ahead of time. He wants an actual funnel cloud standing on his cake. This is going to take some research and some practice, I think.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Not Your Ordinary Wordless Wednesday

September 26th. The day the love of my life was born.

I love birthdays.

I love other people's birthdays more than my own.

I love to celebrate their role in my life, and just how much they mean to me.

Birthdays in our house consist of sneaky overnight decorating, carefully planned out breakfast and dinner menus, and meticulous gift shopping and buying. Breakfast is always served in bed, with everyone presenting cards and presents. Dinner is always shared over laughs and fond memories. There are a million hugs, kisses, and "HAPPY BIRTHDAY's" sprinkled in throughout the day.

I do it because I love seeing the joy and smiles on the faces of my loved ones. I want to show them just how grateful I am to have them in my life. I'm a do-er, and I definitely do birthdays.

I know today is Wordless Wednesday, but I couldn't let today's post go with just pictures. My husband is my rock. He's my other half. He's my best friend. We have been through A LOT in the 10 years (okay, okay it won't be 10 years until October, but what's another month after 110 of them?) we have been together. There's been a lot of ups and downs, there's joy and there's been heartache - the kind of heartache I can't even put into words. Through it all, I can't imagine life without him. 

I hope that over the years I've been able to adequately put into words and actions how proud of him I am and how happy he makes me. I hope he knows how much I appreciate everything he does for me, and for our kids. The long hours at work, and the weeks he puts in consecutively without even a day off some months. He always tells me he wanted to be a firefighter not only to help others, but so his family would be proud of him. So that his kids had something to look up to him for. I hope he knows that we were proud of him long before his firefighting days. I hope he knows that it's just icing on the already sweet cake.

This post is for you 374. I love you with everything I am. I cannot imagine this walk without you by my side. I hope we get many more birthdays together. I hope you have a wonderful day today. I hope that each day we spend together feels like your birthday - I know they do for me. Each new day with you is a gift that I'm fervently grateful for. 

You are my favorite.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: All Clear For Another Year!

Last Wednesday there was no Wordless Wednesday here. We were at a doctor's appointment with Bubby. It was time for his annual Cleft Clinic appointment. It's an almost two hour drive to the hospital. They are usually running behind from the get-go, so we always anticipate being there for at least an hour, sometimes two. After appointments we always stop at the Ronald McDonald House that we stayed at for his original cleft repair surgery, followed by lunch before heading back home.

Here are a couple pics from last Wednesday:

Our handsome man who was over the moon when the surgeon said "No more surgeries for now."

Both of my handsome men at lunch - Bubby chose Red Robin for this trip!

Here is a pic of Bubby outside the Ronald McDonald House on the bench. We take a picture every year. I joked with him about still having to oblige his mother even when he's 16!!

RMH 2012

Previous years for comparison!





Happy Wordless Wednesday!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Eenie Meanie Miney Mo - Should We Give EMT Class a Go?

When 374 started his fire class last fall, it seemed like it would never end. Class was twice a week 30 minutes from home. At that time he was working first shift, and wouldn't get home from work until 4pm some days. He'd have to turn around and leave at 5:15pm to make it to class on time. It was rough spending the winter months cooped up in the house with the kids alone some days. Monday night Sassy had dance class, so they wouldn't even get to see him on those days. I'd have to wait until 10:30pm when he got home from class to see him. At that point he was a walking vegetable, and most days just came home and went to bed.

The day he passed his state certification was a glorious day. The end had come. We found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. HALLELUJAH!

If it was such a rough six months, why are we considering class again? Why have we been debating putting him into another class? They are offering an EMT class at his station beginning in November. He already makes squad runs as a driver. A lot of times the EMS is short handed. They don't run on a schedule, people just show up - or not. When he hears them having trouble getting enough people to make the run, he will go up and drive. He loves it.

The convenience of this class makes it almost impossible to turn down. We live literally three houses from the fire station. It takes him all of 10 seconds from driveway to station parking lot. The only downfall is he is now on third shift. He leaves the house at 10:15pm to get to work on time. So depending on the hours of this class he could very well have to leave directly from class to go to work. I hope that wouldn't be the case, because I know that would deter him a little more than it should.

The class could open some doors career wise. It's very possible that any other classes in the future may be at a different location much farther from home. However, it's also a 180-200 hour class. That's at least another six months depending on how they schedule the class.  What else do we have to do in the middle of the winter though?

I think it's time to sit down and make a pros and cons list and see exactly what other doors this may open for us.

Bubby taking a peak into the back of the squad one night when Samaritan was at the station for landing zone training.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thank Goodness for his Fire Nose!

Today was one of those days where I really could have done without dinner. I just have not had an appetite lately. After 374 woke up this afternoon we were discussing dinner options. He threw around some ideas, and I told him if any of them were what he really wanted he was doing the cooking tonight.

Without any grief he agreed. He retreated to the kitchen and cooking commenced. I walked into the kitchen to give him a hand making the kids' plates when I noticed a smell that was present when I cooked dinner the night before. I thought it was just something in the drip pan under the burner, and made a mention of needing to clean them.

As we were plating up dinner, 374 commented that he didn't think drippings were the culprit - but in fact melting wires. He said that was the reason he didn't leave the kitchen while cooking because he was trying to figure out what was going on. He said he would check the stove over after dinner. Thank goodness dinner didn't require much cooking, just some reheating!

We checked the wires under the cook top and everything looked fine. 374 then pulled the stove out from the wall to give it a more thorough go-over. It was a good thing he decided to pull it out from the wall because it became glaringly obvious what the problem was.

The outlet had an obvious short. A short that had burned through the outlet cover and started to melt the cord from the stove. Thank goodness I sent him into the kitchen to cook tonight. This time of year my allergies are a raging mess and I can't smell correctly anyhow. His fire nose knew right away what the problem was. I'm grateful it happened when he was home, and it wasn't as bad of a situation as it could have been. Since becoming a fire wife, it's now my fear that we will end up having to call his department to our house. Oh the shame! *insert paranoid laughter here*

So our night ended with a trip to two home improvement stores. I say two stores because we couldn't be so lucky as to find both the outlet AND the cord IN STOCK at the same store.

374 slapped the new stuff in before he headed out to work for the night. It's times like these I'm super grateful for a handy husband!

Monday, September 10, 2012

343 and COUNTING...

For the last two weeks I've wracked my brain trying to figure out what I'd write here to commeorate the anniversary of 9/11. I dreamed of something profound - but nothing felt adequate. The anniversary is a little different for me now, being a firefighter's wife. It's just another layer to the memory of that day.

I've decided there are no words. There's nothing I can say here that will ever feel right, or to convey what I feel inside. Instead I will share this video I came across online. It speaks for not only those lives lost that day, but the lives we continue to lose because of that day. Those first responders who have become sick because of their exposure at Ground Zero. We remember September and those who gave their all that day, but we also need to remember those who are still giving - those who have died since, and who are fighting for their lives today.

I would also like to share a book I read earlier this year. Last Man Down: A Firefighter's Story of Survival and Escape from the World Trade Center gives you a first hand account of Chief Picciotto's experience that day. I couldn't put this book down once I had started it. You really felt like you were in that stairwell with him, like you were climbing over rubble along side of him. It's an amazing story that I recommend to anyone.

I know I will never forget what I was doing the day I learned the horrendous news. My mother and stepfather had dropped my sister off at her first day of preschool, and had gone out to breakfast. I had crawled out of been shortly before, and made my way down to the kitchen. I began washing a sink full of dishes when the phone rang. It was my grandmother. She asked if I had seen what was going on on the tv. I remember walking down to the family room and flipping on the tv, and just standing there horrified. I really couldn't even speak. I don't even remember hanging up the phone, or what I did after. I just remember standing there dumbfounded.

To those of you who have personal ties to 9/11, I express my deepest sympathies. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Not So Wordless Labor Day Pics

Did we really just have a holiday weekend? Why do I feel more run down and exhausted than I did before the weekend started? I'm sun burnt and drained. Despite my complaints, we had a wonderful weekend together.

Labor Day weekend in our town is also our Homecoming Weekend. We had quite a few events lined up - either that we were participating in, heading up, or just wanted to watch. 374 had to work Friday and Saturday night at his full time paid job, so that was a bit of a downer but we made it through.

Friday evening another fire wife and I set up shop at the local diner to sell the station's raffle tickets.

Saturday evening, Bubby participated in the Little King and Queen pageant. I had tossed around the idea of entering him, but ultimately decided against it. Honestly, I figured he'd protest. A few nights before the pageant, a mom of one of his classmates was asking online for a boy to escort her daughter in the event. Her previous escort had to cancel and she was heart broken. I brought it up to Bubby and he agreed. I was very impressed with him. He didn't want her to be upset because she couldn't participate. He did great on stage, waved at the judges and had the crowd laughing with his answers. On the information sheet, one of the questions asked "Favorite Hobbies." His answer was "visiting with my grandpa." The host asked him what he  liked to do with grandpa, to which he replied "we just talk." The grandpa he's referring to is actually MY grandpa. It warms my heart to know he has that kind of relationship with him.

My handsome guy. He needs to stop growing!

The rest of the weekend was scattered with fire station events. Sunday we took a truck to a neighboring town for their carnival parade.

374, Bubby and Sassy before leaving our station to head to the parade.

There's something about a man in a uniform...

Monday was our town's parade and Waterball at the fire station. 374 took on Waterball this year. We had six teams participating. It was a lot of fun. I ran stop watches with two other wives. I also got a sunburn from hell. Oh the things I do for the man I love. The guys really cut loose and had a good time. I know I had a good time. Any time you get to see your firefighter shirtless in his bunker pants means you are having a good time!

Before our parade with the engine 374 drove. Bubby and I rode with him. Sassy felt it more important to watch with her friend and collect candy.

Getting ready for Waterball

My man on the nozzle...

It takes talent to run a stop watch AND be the photographer! At least I think so!

Kids take a turn during a break...including Bubby

My little bobble head in his Daddy's helmet...

I hope you and yours had a great holiday! Leave me a comment and let me know what your family did this past weekend! Or if you blogged about it, leave your link and I'll stop by!