Surviving in a Male Dominated Household

Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Love Thursday....IMAGE HEAVY POST

Since I haven't hooked my computer up to the internet and uploaded new photos, you'll have to deal with old ones.

That being said, I love my digital camera. I bought it off of ebay shortly after Liam was born...and I'm so glad I did. I've been able to snap some great pictures of Liam over the past year and a half (yes, he turned 18 months on Saturday) and I'm hoping to take many, many, many more.

Love is taking great pictures of your growing son and loving family...

Liam at three months

My husband and son watching Fox News and reading the paper

Liam (7 months) and Dave at a friend's wedding

Fourth of July, 2006

Ready for Tim and Emma's wedding, August 2006

Discovering Shadows...August 2006

Discovering Houseplants...and eating the dirt...September 2006

Fun at the park...September 2006

BUSTED!! Playing in the the cat's food...November 2006

First Birthday...November 2006

Liam the Reindeer..December 2006

BEFORE his THIRD haircut---January 2007 (only 13 months old and three haircuts!!)

AFTER his haircut

Watching the snow...February 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fhoto Friday....Memorial Day Weekend Edition...Family and Service

We come from a long line of military service. My maternal grandfather fought in WWII, Dave's dad and both of his grandpas served in wars.

But the strangest coincidence of David and I...the Sarah I was named after.

Sarah, my great-great grandmother, was a teacher in a one room schoolhouse. She met a gentleman named David. When Dave and I first started dating, my dad was the first to point this out.

David (my great-great grandfather) had fought in the civil war (for the North). David (the guy I was dating) was in the Army Reserves. So both David's were military men as well.

Well, as you all know, David and Sarah (us) were there is yet another David and Sarah in the family...the strangest coincidence? Sarah and David's first son was also named William. We didn't realize this until some time after we'd had William.

But David and Sarah (the first set) had something like 10 kids. As much as Grandma Bowman would like this, I can tell you that won't happen.

Here some pictures from David's (my husband's) "see you in a year" party we held for him.

David and his maternal Grandfather (both Veterans)

David's Cake

David and his best friend, Josh, who drove all the way from Chicago to come to the party for only a few hours

As you can read here, President Bush is asking all Americans, beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 28 as a time to unite in prayer. He also asks all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m.

So if you see a veteran, or a family member of a service member this weekend, thank them. It's not just an extra day off of is so much more.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Love Thursday....

Love is taking your husband and son, on a cold November day, to the Des Moines Botanical center and getting some great pictures...

Love is watching your husband explain to your son that the fishies swim in the water...

Love is seeing the excitement in your child's eyes...

Love is great shots like this one...

Love is waiting...and praying that you will be able to do this again soon....

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Supporting the troops EVERYWHERE....even in the media.


Article is below and can be found here

Carlson: Shift news to successes in Iraq, soldier urges

May 23, 2007

A tired and disgusted Iowa soldier fired off an e-mail a few days ago, telling family and friends how things are going in Iraq.

A Blackhawk helicopter pilot, Chief Warrant Officer Jim Funk has flown more than 80 combat missions since he arrived there in October.

He described his Boone-based unit's successes after 5,000 hours of flying out of LSA Anaconda, a huge American base north of Baghdad. He talked about the tragedies he and his fellow Iowans have witnessed and his worries of becoming complacent as he goes on mission after mission.


"We're treading water," the Ames man told the people closest to him. "We continue to kick butt on missions and take care of each other, even though we know the American public and government DOES NOT stand behind us.

Ohhhh, they all say they support us, but how can you support me (the soldier) if you don't support my mission or my objectives. We watch the news over here. Every time we turn it on we see the American public and Hollywood conducting protests and rallies against our 'illegal occupation' of Iraq."

His greatest frustration? The performance of the people who deliver the news to the American people.

I'll let him say it, in his own words, in the letter, which found its way to me:

"Hello media, do you know you indirectly kill American soldiers every day? You inspire and report the enemy's objective every day. You are the enemy's greatest weapon. The enemy cannot beat us on the battlefield so all he does is try to wreak enough havoc and have you report it every day. With you and the enemy using each other, you continually break the will of the American public and American government.

"We go out daily and bust and kill the enemy, uncover and destroy huge weapons caches and continue to establish infrastructure. So daily we put a whoopin on the enemy, but all the enemy has to do is turn on the TV and get re-inspired. He gets to see his daily roadside bomb, truck bomb, suicide bomber or mortar attack. He doesn't see any accomplishments of the U.S. military (FOX, you're not exempt, you suck also).

"Let's give you an example. A couple of days ago we conducted an air assault. We lifted troops into an area for an operation. The operation went well and our ground troops killed (insurgents) and took several prisoners, freed a few hostages and uncovered a weapons cache containing munitions and chemicals that were going to be used in improvised bombs.

"The next morning I woke up and turned on AFN (Armed Forces Network) and watched the nightly news (NBC). Nothing, none of that reported. But the daily car bomb report was reported, and the file footage was not even from the event. There was a car bomb in the Sadr City area and your news report showed old car bomb footage from another part of town from some other time.

"So we really set the enemy back that night but all the enemy had to do was turn on the news and be reassured that the enemy's agenda (objective) was still going to be fed to the American public.

"We, the soldiers, keep breaking the back of the enemy. You, the media, keep rejuvenating the enemy.

"How hard would it be to contact the PAO (public affairs officer) of the 1st CAV, 36th CAB, 25th ID or the Marines and ask what did you guys accomplish today - good and bad? How about some insurgent blooper videos? Now that would be something to show on the evening news.

"Media, we know you hate the George Bush administration, but report both sides, not just your one-sided agenda. You have got to realize how you are continually motivating every extremist, jihadist and terrorist to continue their resolve to kill American soldiers."

It's a punch in the nose to the news media from Funk, 39, a full-time employee of the Iowa National Guard.

Why did he write it?

"I am just tired of busting my butt over here and coming home every night and turning on the TV (Armed Forces Network) and hearing how we are failing miserably," he told me in an e-mail.

You may agree with what Funk has to say. You may not.

Many in my business certainly won't. But Funk is a soldier, fighting a war, who has earned the right to be heard.

Columnist John Carlson can be reached at (515) 284-8204 or

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Totally Twisted Tuesday...No funds for family???

First of all, I'd like to start of this post by thanking all of my readers. I wouldn't keep writing if no one is reading! I appreciate the comments, both on this blog and via e-mail...keep them coming!! Let's keep this blog alive!!

That being said, I had a family meeting on Saturday at the unit. It was very informative.

They said NOT to send baked goods, as most of them get bugs in them by the time they get to the soldiers. Also, if we don't send enough for the whole unit...Dave gets in trouble. And we don't want that, do we?

Also, they suggested that we NOT put yellow ribbons on trees or the star in the window. Why?? Because it makes your home more of a target. Traditionally, these are put up by family of soldiers. Most soldiers are men. Therefore, many of these homes have the wife/children of the soldiers in them...with no man. So its a target to theives. I know, it's horrible that we can't do this...but better safe than sorry.

I've recieved a few e-mails from folks asking when we can send David items. He's still in the states, so he says nothing is necessary yet. We were informed at the meeting that most of the things the guys need, they can purchase at the PX on base when they get to Iraq. I know he will need some things, and I will give you a list of these things when the time comes.

That being said, we (the two other mothers of soldiers in Dave's unit at the meeting and I) decided we'd like to do a family readiness event this summer for every one. Dave's unit has had a lot of deployments over the last year. The problem is, there is no money in the family fund. That's when a lightbulb went on over my head. Everything happens for a reason. I said, "I used to work for Senator Grassley...I can make a call." And I did. We're working on it right now and hopefully we can get some money so that we can have an event for all of the family. I'm considering making a call to Congressman King (he gave me his cell phone number when he found out that Dave was being deployed) to see what he might be able to do as well.

There was a reason I didn't take that job I was offered at Wells Fargo back in 2003. I had to make connections that I would need in the future...just for this occasion.

Wish me luck, hopefully this will all work out and we can get the ball rolling on this event. I informed Dave of this and he said it was "crap" that there was no money for the family, but he seemed excited that I knew someone who would be able to help us. =)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Fhoto Friday...Family Traditions...

David and I grew up in two very different homes. He was a city boy, I grew up near/on a farm. We both have our family traditions and our son is getting the best of both worlds...and he seems to like both city and country life.

He likes to watch sports with mommy

and make monkey sounds playing with daddy.

He likes trucks and tractors like what mommy grew up around,

and movies and popcorn, like daddy.

Being a parent is a lot of fun...and I think Liam is getting the best of both worlds.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Love Thursday....

Now that the weather is warming up, that means it is baseball season!! YAY!! We're Cubs fans (well, Liam and I are, Dave is a Yankee's fan) and we went to a Chicago Cubs game last year. We met a friend of mine (from Livejournal) and her daughter (same birth month as Liam) for the game. Dave's Aunt and Uncle from Minnesota also met us for the game. do like the Cubs, don't you??

Go CUBS!!!

Dave pretending he's interested in the game...

Love is short but sweet family vacations...and the Chicago Cubs.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

It has come to my attention...

that there are a few of my blog readers who are not pleased with my current living situation. While I do not need to justify myself to ANYONE I feel I need to stand up for myself.

I'm 26 years old. I'm married and we have one 17 month old son. Do you recall how hectic life was when your children were this age? Can you imagine working full time while taking care of your child and your home...and yourself? Can you imagine doing it all alone--KNOWING that your husband is in a region where people are set out to kill him?!?!

I moved in with my sister in law for many reasons.

For financial help. I plan on putting money aside so when David returns, most of our debt will be paid off and we will have a nice downpayment for a home.

I did it for emotional help. Surviving a deployment isn't easy. Knowing your husband is in harms way, knowing that he is seeing things that NO ONE should see isn't going to be easy on him. Having him in such a dangerous place isn't going to be easy on me. I cannot call him if I want. I cannot hear his voice or see his face every day. I just wait and pray that no officer comes to our door in the middle of the night to deliver horrible news...and I wait. I wait for the day he calls to tell me, "Honey, I'm coming home."

I have accomplished quite a bit in my 26 years on this planet. I have TWO college degrees. I graduated with honors. I have worked on a Senatorial campaign. I have had my poetry published. I have been a published opinion columnist.

I have a wonderful selfless husband and we have a bright, friendly, loving little boy. I have made a great name for myself, not only in the political realm but in Des Moines. I have risen the ranks from member of the Polk County Republican Central Committee to Secretary to Co-Chair. I am a breastfeeding mentor to three young mothers, and they are all succeeding. I have many great friends and collegues. And I'm planning for my future.

So we don't own a home. How many 26 year olds really do? We have a plan. And we're working our plan. Some may say that, at the age of 26, I should have more. I think I have plenty for where I am at right now. I've experienced a lot. A lot more than most 50 year olds. Homes, cars, expensive purses and shoes are just things. You can't take them with you when you go...but as long as people remember you, you live on. I've touched many lives so far with my mentoring, my writing, my political work...and I do not plan to stop.

So yes, for now I am living in the lower level of my sister in law's home.

But keep in mind that I am living there because my husband is over fighting a war so that your husband/brother/son doesn't have to.

The last thing I need right now is people judging me and my decisions at this point in my life, when I need support the most. I appreciate all of the support I've had so far...from my parents, my in-laws, our friends...and all of the support will be remembered.

I leave you with this:

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment that you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

Matthew 7. 1-5

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness....

David wanted some Transformers sheets cause all of the other guys were getting them (no one ever accused him of growing up). So, I made a call to his parents and requested the sheets. They delivered them last night and I washed and packed them.

I went to the post office to mail them...I had already postaged it at work (I have a running total and pay it off at the end of the month) and thought it was good to go. The clerk at the post office told me that for only a dime more, I could have sent it priority and it would get there a day sooner. I sighed. I asked her if I could run out to my car and grab a dime (I didn't take my purse in with me). She sighed and said it was "fine" as she slammed her "Next Window Please" sign down.

Then I hear a "I've got a dime!" The guy in line next to me hands me a quarter. He says, "Keep the change. Buy yourself something nice" with a laugh. I smile and thank him.

So, because of a random act of kindness from a stranger, Dave will get his transformers sheets a day earlier. And I can honestly say that I'd never thought I'd type that sentence.

It was only a dime, but it made my day. It's the small things, folks.

No. Freaking. Way.

I'm ashamed to say he shares the same name as my father.

Who screws up the National Anthem?? Really?!?!

Totally Twisted Tuesday...What NOT to Say to an Army Wife...

I recently heard someone say, "We need to pull out of Iraq. Our guys aren't doing anything over there."

Yeah. You DON'T say that to someone whose husband just left to go over there. Not cool. Thankfully, someone did stand up and say, "I don't appreciate your comment."

Everyone is entitled to their opinion...but keep your audience in mind before speaking.

I'm only a week into the deployment and I've already heard too many things that I hope to never hear again...


Do you miss him?

Of course I miss him! He's my husband!

I don't know what I'd do if my husband was away for three days much less 18 months!

I hardly notice if he's gone for three days. He's done months at a time for training. I miss him horribly any time he's gone, but that's the job of an Army wife!

Will you be scared of him when he comes back?

No. Why should I be?

It must be so hard. Isn't it hard?

No, it's easy (note the sarcasam). Yes it's hard. Thanks for reminding me.

Your husband should come back. He has no business being over there.

Hey, thanks for the support, asshat! Just keep in mind that the reason you can say what you feel is because my husband is fighting so you can have that freedom.

And the worst one so far???

It must be hard with your husband leaving you.

No. My husband didn't leave me. He's deployed. There is a BIG difference.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dave is away...

The family went together and bought David an Ipod for a going away gift. Angela and Sandy were nice enough to stay up on Tuesday night and load over 800 songs on it for him. YAY!!

Per Dave's request, I will be the point of contact while he's deployed. If you would like to send something to him, please send it to me and I will send it on. Dave wants to do this for security reasons (address safety) and mailing reasons (if everyone condensed their mail, there would be less volume and things would move faster).

If you do not have my mailing address, please e-mail me and I will e-mail it to you. I'm sure we'll be sending packages bi-weekly so your letters, treats etc will get to Dave in a timely manner.

Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes. I'm sure we'll both be needing them in the upcoming months.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Funny Fhoto Friday...The infamous bunny photo...

Liam has always done well with Holiday figures...he wasn't scared of Santa when he first met him...because, well, he was asleep.

And Santa this year wasn't a problem either....

But the Easter Bunny this year?? Not a fan....

Here he is at the mall with the bunny....

He struggled...but no tears...

And then we went to Grandma Bowman's workplace. I'll be honest. I was terrified of the bunny...and I think you can tell by Liam's expression, he's not amused either.

This photo makes for some good blackmail material when he starts dating...LOL.

Love Thursday...A Day late....

So we sent Dave off. It was a very sad moment, but he's going to do something great. He's a brave, brave, man.

Love is being thankful that you were able to get a few family pictures before leaving. Love is taking time off of work just to go to the park with your boys. Love is seeing the look in Liam's eyes when his dad pushes him on the swing.

Here are a few family pictures we were able to take before he left.

Love is our little family...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Totally Twisted Tuesday....Terrible Timing...

It's strange how someone can plan everything to go smoothly and in one fail swoop of an arm, plans are shattered...and elbows are fractured.

Yesterday, Dave and I went to TGIFriday's (yes, on a Monday) to have lunch with Liam. I had just placed Liam in his high chair and went to sit down. As I did, I slammed my left elbow into the chair next to mine. I hit my funny bone. Whoever named it the funny bone was a dirty, dirty liar. It hurt...bad.

This was at 1:00 P.M. My left pinkie and ring finger had the sensation of being asleep and just woken up (the high pain tinglies) from about 1:20 until about 5:30 when Sandy arrived home and was able to check out my arm. I had even taken a nap because the pain was too much (and Sandy says ibuprofen isn't allowed).

She adjusted my arm (I had no idea it could pop like that) and used her tools on it. She brought out the tuning fork...aka Satan's wand. She used it on the lower and upper part of my arm before she placed the tool of death on my elbow. I snapped at her, "Don't ever do that again." She laughed, I apologized and she said that I might have a fracture, that I should ice it and we'd see what it looked like in the morning.

I iced it all night and it still hurts. I refuse to spend Dave's last day here in a hospital waiting room (if this had happened 4 weeks from now we could have x-rayed it at Sandy's office--but she doesn't have her machine yet) so I'm being a stubborn butt and having to drive through the pain. It hurts to pick up my purse so you can imagine it hurts to pick up Liam.

Maybe I'll go to the Doctor on Wednesday...AFTER Dave leaves. But not before. I'm a tough mama...a fractured elbow is nothing.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Funny Fhoto Friday...Family...

Liam loves his cousins...he's learned he can beat up on Mitchell (who is four) and Matthew (who is four months younger than him). I'll admit it. My son can be a bully. I don't know what we did to cause him to be a bully, but he is one. You can see this documented in pictures from Christmas...Liam and Matthew, hanging out and talking.

It started innocent enough...with our son being a "Christmas Ham" for the camera...

But then came the baby drama...Note: Matthew has the duck

And Liam takes the duck

And then smacks Matthew in the face with the duck

Matthew is not amused. Liam, however, thinks this is really funny...

Yes, we've raised a bully. But he's a cute bully...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Love Thursday...Cherished Moments...

With Dave's pending deployment, Love Thursday is kind of hard to do. There are so many things that I am thankful for...the fact that he still is sleeping next to me, the fact that he still is spending time with Liam etc.

And it makes me think of the little moments that I cherish. Sunday mornings with the paper, reading and relaxing. Allowing your toddler to tear at the papers you don't want, watching him read just like Daddy is.

These pictures were taken last fall, but are timeless to me. It's memories like this that I will keep close to my heart while he's deployed.

My boys reading the paper...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

There must have been something interesting in Liam's section...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

See mom? It's a sale!!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Totally Twisted Tuesday...A Republican Living with Lesbians?? OH NO!!

Angela came up with the idea of this entry. We have Love Thursday, Fhoto Friday...Angela said, "What about Totally Twisted Tuesday??" She even gave me the idea for the first post! I told you this was going to be a "family" blog!

So here we go!

As many of you know, my husband, David, is in the Army Reserves and is being deployed to Iraq. In order for me to have some help while he's away, Dave's sister, Angela, has opened her home to David, Liam and I.

We moved in last weekend and David is now in the process of arranging our items. We had a lot of help moving, from my parents, Dave's dad (his mom is currently in Ireland on vacation with her dad), and Angela and Sandy.

Sandy is Angela's partner. Yes. Angela and Sandy are lesbians. I, a Republican, have moved in with two lesbians. While many Republicans are against that "different" lifestyle, I do not oppose it. I don't think they should get married, but if they want to live with one another, the government shouldn't legislate that.

That is one of the reasons my husband is in the Army. To defend our rights to do as we please. Angela and Sandy are two great people, hard workers, educated (a scientist and a chiropractor), strong, wonderful women who contribute to our society. So they love each other, what's wrong with that?

While I'm not going to compare myself to Vice President Cheney at all, I can't help think of the similarities. His daughter, Mary, is a lesbian. This has been brought out many times in the media. So what? He can't control who his daughter loves...what does it matter?

Many people may not understand why I chose to do what I did. But those folks are closed minded. You can't help who you fall in love with. You can't help who they are related to. Granted, you can pick your friends, but why choose to deny to be friends with someone because of who they fall in love with...especially when it doesn't hurt anyone.

So yes, I moved in with lesbians to help me while my husband is serving in Iraq.
And I had a baby out of wedlock. I was an un-married mother for almost a year.
And I breastfeed our toddler.
And we own cloth diapers.
And I write poetry.
And drink flavored coffee.
And I'm still a Republican!!!!

Look out...I just might infect others with my open minded thinking!! OH NO!!