Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Well, we didn't have a boy. We had two girls. And they love to play with toy weapons: swords, nerf guns, whatever. To be fair, she only mentioned keeping the toy guns away from a little boy.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Team Marine has raised more than twice what we set out to raise! But let's keep it going because our Wounded Warriors are growing in numbers and the need is great. Click on the button in the upper right hand of this screen to donate to Valour-IT.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
I saw the ship that had taken me here, Iraq, 1 year ago. It would now take me home. To my family and home. It had been a long year. I was ready to go to my abode.
I stepped on the ship uncertain it would survive the trudge west. But hopefull to return to my kin. I was given a room key for my cabin, below deck. My number was 303 . The blue paint forming the numbers were nearly completly chipped off. I instantly pictured the room dank and sad, with spiders and cobwebs. I got half right. It wasn't gloomy, but it was cobweb filled.
For the first couple of days it was splendid, but then a storm hit. I felt like I needed to abandon all hope, of seeing family and living. The boat rocked uncontrollably. Passengers were throwing up and screaming. Two waves so high you'd think their water mountains, hurled them selves on deck. One wave had caused a hole and the Captain was plunging lifeboats into the angry sea. (which wasn't bright if ya ask me.) I threw myself into the murdurous sea, trying to escape the yelling and the rocking of the boat. That was a big mistake, 'cause I fell unconcious.
Next thing I know I'm bobbing along in a calm sea... above water. I'm a top 3 planks of wood from a ship, perhaps the one I was on. I look around my compass is broken and I'm wandering in the ocean. What could be worse? Oh, great. I see a fin, it's proboally a shark. To my surprise it's a dolphin. I take the rope around it's tail, and I glide after it. Dolphins are popular in FL where I live. There just might be hope, again.
Finally, I saw the shore. My luck must have been with the dolphin, because this was the beach that was 2 mi. away, from my house. Unfortanantly, it's a long walk, and would be tough without shoes. My luck ran out.
The hot sand was burning my feet as I walked toward the wooden ramp. I braced myself for the tiny, pointy, rocks in the parking lot. The pain was standable, though it stung. My feet were red, cut, and bleeding. But, I continued walking. When your a Marine, you learn to stand the pain and think about what's important. In this case reaching home, I continued walking.
Yes, I see my house! I wanted to run, but my feet were too sore. I was laughing and celebrating. As I knocked on the door and embraced my family. For the first time in a year.
The need is great. Dig deep and support the Marine Team for Valour IT by clicking on the button on the upper right of this screen. And tell your friends and family to do so, as well!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
The other day, I brought our USMC flag in because of the wind and the fact that it looked like the bracket was about to come out of the wall. This morning, Devil Pup decided to take it downstairs for a one-girl parade. She later talked our neighbors' little girl to join her with their USMC flag (we are the only 2 Marine families in the building). She tried to get our other neighbor's daughter to join her but was told, "I can't: We're an Army family!"
So there she was (and she's back out there again as I type), marching around with a Marine flag that's bigger than her. And probably freezing her little patootie off, too.
If a 6 year old has that much Marine Corps spirit, how can you refuse to donate to the Marine team in our efforts to support Valour IT? Click on the button in the upper right part of the screen to donate and support our Wounded Warriors!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Big Sis used to regularly join me at night in 2003 (she was just 2 yrs old at the time), during Stretch's first war-time deployment. But in recent years, she's been quite the independent type and she's never been a particularly touchy-feely child.
Last night, I know she was feeling vulnerable for a few different reasons. So when we found her in our bed, we left her there despite the crowded conditions (she's almost as tall as me now!). It was nice to know that she still needed us.
And she'll always be my baby.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Oh, the wailing, the screaming, the hysterical caterwauling! She covered her ears and screamed and cried. After her bath, we continued to try to calm her down and convince her to let us remove the tooth. Finally, she grudgingly allowed me to try. My first and second attempts to get the floss around her tooth were both unsuccessful except the second time, it came close enough that she had to spit her tooth out.
I've never seen anyone transform so completely, so quickly. Instantly, she was talking about how cute her tooth was. She was so proud and happy and showing everyone her tooth.
Oy! Hopefully, the next tooth will be easier...
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Then there was the house in North Carolina. I refer you to our lovely indoor waterfall and the rockin' party
Now, while we are really enjoying our new duty station, my housing karma has struck again. Just yesterday, we discovered a problem with our air conditioning. It really is a problem with the heat and humidity we've been experiencing. Two maintenance guys came by and determined that our compressor was kaput, they'd have to order a new one, and would get back to us about it. In the interim, they installed 4 window units. Then, today, we had a pretty heavy rainstorm. Afterwards, Stretch discovered that we had a pretty bad leak in our master bedroom (hmm, this sounds familiar somehow). He put a bucket under it and called housing. Every time I go in there, it looks worse! Now it is going across the ceiling toward a corner, sprouting new leaks AND in the corner, the wall and corner are completely wet. Someone has come by and they're "working on it." But they can't do anything to the roof until tomorrow. And then they have to wait for everything to dry out before they can repair our ceiling.
On the bright side, I hadn't gotten around to hanging anything on the walls in that room yet. And this time, the maintenance guy tried to exorcise the devil from our apartment. Yes, I'm serious. I couldn't make stuff up like that.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
According to the Department of Defense there are approximately 3 million Military Service Members both Active Duty and Reserve serving today. According to the Census Bureau web site there are approximately 310 million people living in the United States. Which, if you calculate the percentages, approximately 1% of the population protects the rest of us on a daily basis."
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I checked the policy and they are required to provide me with copies of anything in my kids' records that I ask for within 30 days of my request. Oh, and I don't really care how inconvenient it might be for her to do her job.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
My husband's not even gone right now, Gremlins!
I have a potential address. The housing office has assigned a house to us and I should count us lucky for that. But my luck is holding pretty steady with housing. It will be the 3rd condemned house I've been invited to use as my residence. (By condemned, I mean that these places are/were scheduled to be either completely razed to the ground or to be gutted for renovations.)
So I'm just not completely sure we will take them up on the offer. While there would be so many positives to living on base, I'm not sure we can take the living conditions. The place is TINY. I've lived in some pretty small places, so I don't say this lightly. The next tiniest place we've lived would be the doll house/apartment we lived in while in Korea. I only lasted 2 months in that place before abandoning my husband. This newest offering is less than half the space we have now, maybe closer to a third.
So now I'm frantically trying to consider all options while simultaneously trying to work up lists of all the items we'll need to put into storage if we take this place. I'm also trying to figure out how to dump at least half of my kids
Gotta love PCS season!
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Speaking of being stinkers, Stretch and I had quite a surprise last night when we went upstairs to go to bed. We found that both girls had commandeered our bed! They had also placed sticky notes above their heads on our headboard. The one above Big Sis read:
Since you are smaller than daddy try please to sleep with us. We had a tingly feeling --
PS. My head needs to be ellivated
Please allow me 2 pillows"
The one above Devil Pup read:
"Dad, you can sleep in our bed remove my fluffy pillow tho
-- [Big Sis] and [Devil Pup]"
Stretch was a little put out (not really, well, maybe a little) that they'd kicked him out of his own bed and tried to put him in one of their twin beds. I couldn't stop laughing and almost woke them up. Stretch ended up making up the guest bed and that's where we spent the night.
Friday, May 07, 2010
This week, Devil Pup turned 6, one of the last to do so in her Kindergarten class, I might add. She had her well-child check-up where we learned she was over 90th percentile for height. That really wasn't news as that's about where she's always been, except for that brief time as a baby when she was off the charts.
No, the reminder came when I took her to school. We waited in the office as her teacher sent 2 of her classmates to escort her back to the classroom. Now, I know the little boy that was sent is probably the smallest kid in the class, just a cute little peanut. But I swear she must have sent the 2 tiniest kids in class.
As Devil Pup joined her friends, I noticed that she towered over them, by almost a full head!
Then after dinner last night, both she and her sister started foraging through the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator as if they were starving. I repeat, this was after they'd eaten dinner. Immediately after. I'm just glad they aren't boys. I don't think we'd be able to afford that.
Monday, May 03, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
me: I love you, DP!
me: I said I love you!
DP: I heard you.
me: Well, what do you usually say when someone tells you that they love you?
after a pause, DP: Thank you.
And then, today, after a failed attempt at getting a milkshake (the first place we went to was out of chocolate):
me: DP, talk to me so I know you're awake! (Usually, she's Chatty Cathy and this is not an issue and I didn't want her falling asleep.)
DP: My throat is sore!
me: Why is your throat sore?
DP: Because I didn't have any milkshakes!
Friday, April 16, 2010
3 weeks ago, my husband's parents came for a visit. Then the girls had Spring Break. Then my mother flew in for a visit. Just a week ago, I spent all day (literally) on a field trip with my 4th grader. We arrived at the school at 0530 and didn't get home until around midnight. The field trip involved a 4-hour bus ride...each way! Which wouldn't have been so bad. except the next day I drove 3 hours to see my sister and her family who were in the state to visit the Mouse for the first time. It was another 3-hour drive to get back home on Sunday night, after a full day with the cousins.
Yesterday, I suddenly realized that April was already half gone. I only have 2 more months to get ready for this move.
April is half gone! Oh, snap! I have a birthday party to plan and only have a couple of weeks to
do it! My youngest will be 6 the first week in May and has been talking about her party for months.
My only saving grace is that, somehow, everything always manages to get done. Maybe I'm just one of those people who needs a looming deadline to get myself in gear. This past week, I finally managed to take some pictures and start listing items online for sale. Even though I purge with every move, this move finds us with large items to unload. Furniture that is no longer needed, large toys that my kids have outgrown, and more all need to be purged before the movers arrive. And then there's all the organizing that needs to be done and the items we need to separate out that we'll pack ourselves or move ourselves. There are services and utilities that will need to be cancelled or shut off. Medical and dental records to be collected. School records to be copied. And a thousand and one other things to be done.
I think I need a nap....
*This is cross-posted on SpouseBuzz.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Stretch: "I'm not using a purple pen to write M!!!"
me: "What's wrong with purple?"
Stretch: "It's not that kind of Marine Corps yet."
And then we watched an episode of "The Pacific."
Thank goodness my mom was here visiting and could get my youngest to and from school and watch her for me!
Saturday morning found us packing quickly to get back on the road to meet my sister and her family 3 hours away. They had come down to visit the Mouse and we were going to get to visit for just the one night.
The next morning, Sunday, we made a last minute decision to enter the park with my sister's family for half a day before driving home. Mom had 3 tickets that would expire that day so only one child's ticket needed to be purchased. It was a nice time with the cousins, but it was warm and tiring, too! By the time, I finally pulled the plug, got my group out of the park and back to my car, it was around 5 p.m.! I still had to get gas and feed the troops before heading home. We managed to get home around 8 p.m. despite the torrential rains of the last hour of the drive.
Monday, the girls went back to school and Mom and I headed to our scheduled massages. How's that for good planning? As wonderful as the massage was(and it really was!), by the end of mine, my masseuse suggested that I soak in a hot bath with Epsom salts later that night as I was still "really tight." *sigh*
Monday, April 05, 2010
Then, this nugget from L'il Sis (aka Devil Pup) when she was throwing a tantrum, not wanting to do her homework: "Grown-ups have an easy life because they get to do whatever they want and children have a hard life!" Oh, really? Maybe I'm not making her life hard enough?
Monday, March 22, 2010
- Drove to the dealership to sit for an hour so the new back to my driver's seat could be installed (see previous post). At least it was covered by the warranty.
- Have my first mammogram done. I'd been having some discomfort so the PA I saw last Friday wanted one done just as a precaution and because I'm of an age to get a baseline one done anyway. Yay. The most awkward moment had to be when the technician told me to remove the robe. Um. I can't just keep it on with the front open? Apparently not. The first two views (horizontal) she took weren't too bad although she wasn't kidding when she said, "Beginning compression." But I was not prepared for the vertical views that she then took. To her credit, she did warn me that they'd be more uncomfortable because muscle would also be, um, compressed.
- The 5 year old came home with a note saying that she'd received speech screening and needed further speech evaluation due to: "numerous articulation errors and poor speech intelligibility, very verbal." That last bit was followed by a smiley face. Never mind that my husband and I had raised these very issues with her teachers last fall during a parent-teacher conference. Oh, and yes, I know just how verbal she is since I often ask my husband to check if my ears are bleeding.
- The 9 year old continued to complain about her breathing (she'd been doing so all weekend). This prompted a call to the pediatricians' office. They got us in later this afternoon.
- We arrived 10 minutes early for the appointment because I'm well-trained by the military health care system. However, we weren't taken back to the exam room until almost 30 minutes after our appointment time where we waited another 30 minutes or more. The nurse practitioner we saw didn't hear anything untoward in her lungs but wanted a chest x-ray to be sure. He also prescribed an anti-reflux medication to try for the next couple of weeks to see if that's the problem. We're to go back in 2 weeks.
- The girls, especially the 5 year old have been bouncing off the walls and driving me insane for the past 1-1/2 hours spent at the pediatricians'.
- Leave the doctors' office. Look up the radiology place on my super-phone and call them to see about getting the chest x-ray. We can walk in anytime before 5:45 Monday thru Friday. It is already 5:15. Deciding we'll never make it and will have to wait until tomorrow, we stop at the pharmacy on the way home.
- Drop off the prescription for the anti-reflux stuff only to find he didn't put an amount on the scrip. Argh! And the office we JUST left is already closed. Somehow, while we waited, the pharmacist managed to get a message to the pediatricians' office and someone actually called back. Still, it took almost an hour to get the medication. Oh, and the girls continue to be squirrelly.
- Stretch won't be home until late tonight as he will be performing CACO duties again. It will be the first time he's had to this for someone deployed to Afghanistan. My heart goes out to his wife and parents who will be notified later tonight. Which really makes the rest of my day pale in comparison.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Then a day later, as the girls and I were returning from an errand, I hear her say "uh-oh," from the backseat. Moments later, her sister dimed her out with, "You broke Mom's chair!" That's right: My 5 year-old broke the back of my driver's seat. The entire piece has to be replaced. That's what I learned the first time I went and sat at the dealership. I'll be going again this week for the actual work to be done. Because I have nothing else to do with a move looming over my head in 3 months.
I may need to change her moniker on here from L'il Sis to DP (Devil Pup).
Sunday, February 14, 2010
On Friday, Big Sis (9) came home from school with a little pink gorilla with "I Love You" on its tummy from the boy who keeps trying to hold her hand.
Then today, a little boy from L'il Sis' (5) class who lives in our neighborhood came by with a hand-made card with a flower taped to the front that read, "Will you be my Valentine?"
It's not easy being the father of girls.
Monday, February 08, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Was it St. Barbara? Or maybe Molly Pitcher? I'm wondering this as I'm mentally preparing myself for a move this summer (and no, I don't know WHERE we're going yet, just that we ARE going). I've heard that there are military families that get to stay in one place for 3 years. I've even heard of so-called "homesteaders" who get to stay in one place for years on end. But I think that might just be an urban legend. My family certainly doesn't fit into either of those categories.
Since moving shortly after my husband's first deployment to Iraq in the summer of 2003, this is the breakdown of how long we've lived at any given place:
18 months, 23 months, 17 months (with my husband deployed for 12), and soon 2 years.
Granted, I tend to think it's time to move after 3 or 4 years in any one place. But I haven't had the chance to develop those itchy feet in 7 years. Also, I'm a bit handicapped as military spouses go: I'm an introvert. Shocking, I know. It takes me a good 12 to 18 months to really feel comfortable in a place, make friends (not just acquaintances), find doctors, dentists, and hairdressers.
Just last week, I finally found a great hairdresser whose prices are more than reasonable. Then it hit me. We're moving in 6 months.
This is cross-posted on SpouseBuzz.
*Update: The PTBs (Powers That Be) are toying with me. We just found out where we're going. From all accounts, it will be a great duty station. The kicker? It will only be for a year.
Friday, January 15, 2010
I picked her and her sister up from school and drove immediately to their dentist's office. She was x-rayed and examined and should be fine. In fact, her teeth already seem to have tightened up and no longer seem to be in danger of falling out of her head. But the whole time, I kept thinking 2 things: (1) this was very reminiscent of my sister with whom she shares more than a passing resemblance; and (2) these types of things always seem to happen to her and not her older sister. *sigh*
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I started doing the Couch to 5K (C25K) program last fall. I stuck with it pretty faithfully. For awhile. Then life and the holidays got the better of me. In mid-November, we went to DisneyWorld for a week. The following week was Thanksgiving, with my sister and her family visiting us. Then there was Toys for Tots. Then the kids were off for their winter break and Stretch had two 96's (4-day weekends). All of this threw my routine completely out the window.
But the kids have now gone back to school and there are no more excuses. Stretch and I have a done a workout DVD in the evening a few times now. And I've tried to get back into running, this time outside (I'd always run on a treadmill in the fall due to the heat where we are). The runs did not go well. I walked at least half the time and wasn't going as far.
Today, I decided I needed to go back to the C25K program. I thought I'd go back to Week 4 but couldn't find it on my iPod. So I went with Day 1 of Week 5: 5 minutes of warm-up walking, 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of brisk walking, 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running, and 5 minutes of cool-down walking. It kicked my behind! And that was only the first 5 minute run!
By the time I was on the last 5 minutes of running, Negative Nellie wasn't just whispering in my ear, she was shouting. Maybe I'm just not cut out to be a runner. Maybe those extra pounds around my middle aren't really that bad. Maybe I'm not a runner. Maybe I just don't want to lose the weight/ get in shape badly enough. What made me think I would ever be a runner?!
But I did it. I didn't cheat. I ran when I was supposed to and didn't stop to walk until I was meant to. And maybe I'm not a "runner." Yet. But Negative Nellie needs to go away and Motivated Molly needs to come back!
*This is cross-posted at SpouseBuzz.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
I know that to a 9 year old, I'm getting dumber by the day. After that remark, I really don't want to know what I look like to her.