Thursday, July 31, 2008

Something in common

Today was another fun filled morning at the big base (and for those of you familiar with WP you can only imagine how small our base is if WP seems big!). Dash-2 had his 18 mth checkup, a month and a half late but I prefer my kids to actually see a pediatrician for their well baby check instead of an adult doctor who's on loan of WR and is really a podiatrist. Call me picky that way.

Anyways, he's doing spectacular, he weighed in at 23 pounds. Despite having never met a food he wont eat he's only in the 20th percentile for his weight. The irony is not lost on me that I am paying to lose weight yet for some reason my kids are on the small size.

So after the errands at the hospital, quick commissary run, dropping off dry cleaning, we went to get lunch in the little food court. Although really is it a food court if there is only one place there to eat? I drift.

I let dash-1 pick where we sat and he happened to choose a table right next to a woman my grandparents age and her son. I apologized in advance for what would probably not be a peaceful lunch. They seemed amused with the boys. The gentleman told me that everyone was put on earth to amuse others, and so today we were there amusement. An excellent way to look at it... because amuse we do.

As soon as I got the food placed in front of the kids dash-1 had to go potty. Of course. I looked over to ask if they could just keep an eye on our things and they were laughing softly. I took this to be a yes.

When we got back and settled the woman leaned over to talk to me, she spoke so soft I could barely hear her over the yammering of my kids. She said, "I have been there, they were the best years of my life. A mother is more skilled in commanding and leading them a platoon leader."

Ain't that the truth?

It turns out that she met her husband, an Army man, after WW2 and when they were a young married couple with two little boys he headed off to Korea for a 16 mth tour. She said that they had no email, no phone calls, and the mail was pitiful. She said he came home only to then have to go to Germany for 2 years which at that time was an unaccompanied tour. At that point they had three kids. She said he was just around long enough to give her more work! But she said it with a smile and looked longingly at my boys when she said it.

It turns out her son who was eating with her was a retired Navy Corpsman, who had served with a Marine Air Wing so we had plenty to talk about. It kept going back to our kids. I told her that I recently had a civilian acquaintance offer her two cents that the life we lead was unfair to our kids and that by being a military family we are hurting them. I looked this woman in the eyes when I told her that in a way that not everyone can understand we are doing it for them. That while I know it isn't always an ideal family life, we are doing it to provide for them, to instill in them a responsibility. She just nodded and said,"You do the best you can. Lots of people asked me how I could do it and my answer always is I just did."

It was an amazing conversation with a total stranger who understood this part of my life better then most of my friends. She understands the exhaustion in being a single parent so much of the time, she has felt the hurt in having to explain again and again where daddy is and why he isn't home, she understands that holidays and birthdays spent together are normally the exception to the rule and should be cherished.

She smiled when I told her that I realized today at the doctors appointment when I was filling out the 18mth questionnaire that both boys had the very same first three word combination (they make you fill out what it is and I remember it vividly from dash-1). "daddy airplane bye-bye"

Its an amazing bond that military wives have. Generations apart, different wars, new technology to help with communications, but yet so much is the same and so much is understood.

I will try to remember this the next time a retiree disregards the line at the commissary cuts in front of me or parks crazy in the parking lot.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Almost Wordless Wednesday


Some prefer a little more space.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lost

I was worried about my weight obsessivelly while I was home. Obviously I managed to push the fear of gaining out of my mind just long enought to stop by chick-fil-a a few times but all was not lost.

I weighted in yesterday and actually some was lost but thats the point. So all my fears aside I still lost a pound and a half on vacation. Althought that hasn't stopped Dash-1 from grabbing a (granted smaller) love handle and saying "I dont like that jiggly mommy".

As I type this I am wearing a pair of jeans I haven't fit into in almost 7 months. Its a better feeling then finding five bucks in your pocket. Of course its going to be in the 90's today so I dont know why I'm hanging around in my jeans.

As much as I would kill for a chick-fil-a here up north, if one ever makes its way up here... I'm screwed.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Just another day

Does anyone else feel like weekends flying solo (well kiddies of course) just seem different?

I'm not sure why. Really at this age everyday is the same. Its not like the kids say, "oh nice the weekend is here, think I'll sleep till 10". Of course I would think 8 was sleeping in, I'm not picky. Really there are some weeks that I don't even realize its the weekend until I notice there isn't any Sesame Street on.

Man if they start running that on the weekends I'm screwed. I'll be all kinds of confused.

Maybe it's because when I go out to the store you see moms and dads and quite frankly I just get a little lonely. Very cheesy, I know. I'm baring my soul to you all dammit.

I don't know what it is, but weekends like this always feel different.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I'm over the green hype

Some of you around the blog sphere have been getting flowers and sweet gifts from your loves. I can't remember when I last got flowers but my sweet flyboy did send me something this morning. It was a link to a blog article discussing Algore and his green hypocrisy. He knows me so well.

As the green guru goes around to tell us little folks what more we should be doing for the environment his personal energy consumption went up by 10 percent this year.

I feel like I should preface this with letting y'all know that as the email was sitting in my inbox I was actually getting the trash ready to take to the dump. I'm not some anti-enviromentalist. I was sorting out all our recycling and putting the compost pile aside to go out. We do what we can around here, we recycle everything, even the little plastic thingy you pull back on the fruit cups. Food scraps go in the compost pile as do lawn clippings and weeds. We switched over to the overpriced compact florescent bulbs, only to have to replace three in one lamp already. For a household of four people we are down to one bag of trash a week. Top that gore.

I'm so tired of having green shoved down my throat by celebrities who's carbon footprint is 200 times what mine is. I mean Sheryl Crow was on to something when she suggested that we all wear clothes with detachable dining sleeves so we wouldn't have to use napkins but she does also tour around the country in some big ass tour buses so are detachable dining sleeves really going to do squat. And don't we already have something like that... cloth napkins?

I think that for the most part normal, everyday Americans are trying their best. Doing their darndest to make some small impact, I don't need celebs telling me how I could be doing more when they are doing less.

Go suck it hollyweird. I have recycling to tend to and some cow poop to sling on the compost heap.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Update

Well I'm alive. I briefly thought about curling up in the frozen food section but alas I pushed thru and now we are safely home.

Except for a giant run around at the pharmacy pretty much everything got accomplished.

Of course now the issue of nap time. No one slept in the car and its really too late to put dash-2 down now. My kids tend to go to bed around 7:15-7:30 if anyone where to nap now they'd be rocking out until 10 pm. That CAN NOT happen. So now that means all day... no nap. Not the best for me or them.

They seem ok now but come 5 o'clock my house will be breakdown central. And I haven't a clue when flyboy is getting in tonight so I'm guessing he probably wont be here to defuse any meltdowns. How does he work his schedule that way?!

In the meantime we are off for some fun. Food prices maybe on the rise but that doesn't stop the dashes from feeding all the barn animals. And the horses are picky. They really prefer organic granny smith apples. Prima Dona's.

Maybe at five the horses would like some company.... I think the boys could hold their own down there....

Big plans

I have big plans today.

I need to go weight in, you can sense my excitement after vacation cant you. Then I head down to the big post to do stuff there. I need to get some forms from the CDC, despite living 45 min away they wont mail them to me, so I get to go park, lug both little ones out of the car seats, into the CDC to pick up TWO forms and then lug them back in the car seat. Its not that I'm lazy but anyone with kids knows that if you take them out and put them right back in they revolt. In a big ugly way.

Then its off to the hospital to drop off forms to get filled out for nursery school and perscriptions from the allergiest. Of course first I have to see if they even carry them. He always has kinda off the wall stuff for a kid so rarely do they have it. I should just take it to target and cut out the middle man.... I'll think about that on my drive.

Then its off to the Burger King in the PX to feed the little ones. The promise of a happy meal is what lures them out of the house for this adventure and is usually the most peaceful part of the trip. Unless I hit it right at 12 then its a sea of cammies and other screaming toddlers.

Then the commissary. That should be a blast. It will fall right during dash-2 naptime, by that point he'll be so cranky he wont want to stay in the cart and will most likely fuss the whole time. I'll probably get stuck behind a retiree from WW1 who will take all day in the check out. (Mantra, one day that will be me, one day that will be me, nice thoughts, nice thoughts.)

I have a feeling I know how this day will end, but I must press on. I wish we lived close enough to just do one or two things down there instead of trying to fit it all in. It may not seem like much but with two little ones, anything is a lot sometimes!

If you dont see any future post then the day probably didn't go well and I'm curled up in the fetal position in the freezer section.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New additions around the farm

Not the little blonde one on the fence, we've had him around for a while. But the others are new.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

CDC rant

I'm mildly irked. Shocking right? But no seriously, I called the CDC on base today to find out what I would need to get the boys registered so I could use the hourly care as an option when I'm flying solo.

My boys are my posse but it would be nice to go to the gynecologist by myself.

Really I don't have big plans for any possible alone time I might get from this I just need some backup for when flyboy is either gone for long times or his schedule changes on a dime and I'm left in a lurch.

So I call down to the army post (45 min away) where everything is for us Marine families stationed here in Siberia (it often seems like that to a lot of us) and where we are go to the doctor (read: the command will not authorize anyone to get an outside doctor). I get some info on the hourly care program. First off you can book up to a month out and apparently the day the slots are opened up you can barely get thru and they usually all go the first day.

Wow if only they could get on board with the appointment line at the hospital down there. Cause I can never get an appointment 30 days out. That would be too simple. Usually I call and they tell me that the schedule isn't out yet and then give me three random appointment times the next day to choose from. It doesn't seem to matter when in the month, year, day I call, this always happens. Its bizarre really.

So the lady at the CDC said that some spots do open up thru out the month so it never hurts to call. So there is hope.

I asked about the waiting list and what the priority ladder was. Normal question I thought. Oh there isn't one. Military and civilians alike for hourly care, no prioritizing and no difference in the rate charged either. WHAT?! And she added, "Act fast they nab the slots up." I wish she hadn't added that, it only pissed me off more.

Maybe I'm being snooty or something, I know that civilian employees keep the military running but come on this is a military base. Am I so out of line to think that we should maybe get first pick at stuff like this?

I need a little help when my husband is flying his arse off for Uncle Sam for weeks sometimes months at a time. Really when you start to think that going to the grocery store, PX, and gyno's by your lonesome is special "me" time I think that's when you NEED the hour slots at the CDC. If I can't get a spot because other military folks have taken them then oh well, but to lose spots to civilians isn't right. It's not an equal playing field in my mind.

I know a civilian who has her kids in the CDC. She thinks its fabulous cause its so convenient for her and so darn cheap. Yeah she makes more then flyboy and her husband makes an TON more. Her family lives close by and she even uses the CDC during the summer (she's a teacher on post) and on the weekends. Good to see that the CDC is helping those who really need it.

In the flyboy house we seem to ALWAYS get surveys from the DOD. I don't know why. I don't know why we keep getting them, its not like we are ever to one extreme on them or the other. But let me tell you the next one I get I'm unleashing about the CDC. You want to make moral a little higher.... well.... I know my husband has to be gone a lot, I understand that really it ends up being A WHOLE LOT, I don't mind that when gas is $4.25 I have to drive 45 minutes to the doctors, really I don't.

I get all that stuff, but here's what y'all could get, if you want to make my moral higher, THROW US A BONE! Give us a little priority here and there on a military base. Bitchy maybe, but it would make life a little easier.

God, I just want to get a pap smear alone.....

Monday, July 21, 2008

a new tag line

Most just refer to me as trying. I think its time for a change. I'm leaving my title as Trying Our Best, it fits my life all too well, but I never really intended on trying as being my bloggy "name". It always seems kinda odd. I tried to think about what described me. I thought about using my real name but eh... I'm not ready for that, I thought about mama mayhem and as fitting as that seems most of the time, I settled on The Mrs.

It's who I am and its what I love being. So its the new me. Or at least the new tagline for me. If anyone has any better suggestions bring em on. Please. It took me a while to come up with this one. I'll be changing my commenting name as soon as I figure it out. It could take a few days.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Kids are funny little creatures

Aren't they?

I post a long blog about how they never listen, I call bitter betty to lament about my failings in motherhood and then what do you know. The next morning they wake up on the other side of the bed and are angels for the past few days.

Man they know how to screw with your head. Take you to your breaking point in sanity, then pull it back just to make you think your going nuts.

Bitter betty and I did indeed go out on Saturday. It was great, we decided to go on a mini adventure and drove out to Henderson Hall to explore the exchange there since I had never been. We took a few detours, stopped for some chickfila, and shopped as only we know how. That means balking at the price (19.00 bucks), standing there and debating the merits of it and if its necessary (it was a bra), then getting it and feeling guilty about it. Really she's the only person I know how shops like I do. Maybe she's an enabler I don't know.

Any who the boys were great with my parents. I should say that my parents love to babysit the boys and are always so willing to do so. They take them for an hour here or there while I'm down so I knew they were capable, but the boys had just been so... spirited, shall we say, lately that I was worried about leaving them for such a long chunk of time. And I hate, hate, hate, feeling like I'm taking advantage of them.

But would you know that when they took them to lunch someone actually came over to the table to compliment them on how well behaved they were? They were angels.

Angels.

I realized something too. The problem is perhaps.... well not so perhaps... it is partly my fault.

Crap.

I have horribly high expectations for them. I want so hard to have such well behaved kids that I tend to stress about it and forget what they should be acting like at their respective ages. I blame being high strung and working in a school. I know what bad kids are like, I know what people think about them and think about their parents. Oh I don't want that to be me. So I try so hard to keep them reigned in that I forget to let them just be.

Note to self. To enjoy motherhood more and to raise kids who will visit regularly and send flowers on mothers day... RELAX some.

If only relaxing were a strong suit of mine.....

Friday, July 18, 2008

My issues

I am having some issues.

Mainly with two little ones. Adorable as they maybe, a certain little 3 1/2 year old and a 19 month old seem to be having some issues of their own in the listening department. It's bad enough that I have talked about getting their hearing checked. My father tried to delicately break it to me that they can indeed hear, they just cant listen.

I really am at my wits end lately. I am stressed out by the all over behavior. The boys and I have been down at my folks for about a week and both boys are so clingy its making me nuts. My mother keeps wanting me to go out and get some time alone but I hate to "dump" my kids on her. My goodness if they are stressing me out what would they do to a woman in her fifties?! The natives could grow restless and hog tie her.

So here I am with a built in babysitter for a few days and I cant even take advantage of that really well. Bitter betty and I were thinking about taking a day trip over to Quantico to hit the Exchange, pick up some cute Marine Corps shirts for the boys, uniform stuff for flyboy, and walk around Quantico town (they have some fantastic little stores over there) but I can't bring myself to ask my parents to keep the boys for that long. The boys would miss me and I would be imposing upon my parents.

I repeat. I have issues.

I need to learn to take a break or I'm going to drive myself crazier then I already am. I am feeding into it. They act out, I respond stressed, I grow more stressed. Quite the recipe.

I love my little darlings more then life. They are smart, and thats not just the mom in me talking. Dash-1 is already writing his name and knows his letters backwards and forwards, can name the planets, can tell you what friction is. Dash-2 is already starting to get his colors down and a couple of letters. But they are a serious handful. Boys boys to say the least. Go go go nonstop, rough and tumble, I've said this before, I blame my husband and his manly genes for that. Certainly didn't come from me.

My mother keeps trying to tell me that my kids are great kids who are just both in "that" stage. Apparently its the not listening stage, lucky me. My father assures me that when they are in high school I'll be begging for these days to come back. He's probably right. But I just feel like I should be able to control them better. And I should right? Does everyone occasionally look at their kids and wonder what's happen to the adorable perfect baby they brought home from the hospital? Or is this just one more check in the crappy mom category.

I need to go get some Motrin. The smallest dash head butted me this morning and my head is throbbing. I know. Head butted me. Sigh. Aren't you guys glad your not in a playgroup with us? (actually an interesting little tidbit, they are both really good with other kids, who would have thunk it).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just in case you were wondering

My children are driving me nuts.

I love them dearly, with all my heart and then some. But that being said. They are driving me nuts.

Nuts I tell you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A new ID and jumping thru flaming hoops

All I want is to get my military ID renewed. I have the signed 1172 from the squadron, I have my old ID, my mother is even going to watch the kids so I don't have to drag them with me. So I ask... WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT!?!

Gone apparently are the days of just walking in to get one. Now you have to make an appointment online. Maybe I'm starting to become an old fart cause this is getting confusing for me.

And is anyone else confused about when the form ask for the last four SSN if they are asking for yours or your spouses? I always assume they are talking about him but since it was a form submitted online I'm afraid if I put the wrong one I wont really have an appointment and will drive down there for no reason tomorrow. If I was wrong I'll plead stupidity, I erred on the side of caution and put his. I've come to accept that the Marine Corps generally isn't asking questions about me. I'm ok with this. I do reap the benefits of the pay and what not.

Wow it just hit me that I've been married to the military long enough to now start saying "back in the day" followed by a rant. Yowza. Either that or I've just been around for a while and still don't understand it. Either or.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Speedbump

Cripes, visiting family is wrecking havoc on my arse. I was doing great at home eating healthy but the first couple days down here were a tad stressful and had a few less then healthy blips. I'm back on track I hope but there is an enemy down here.... Chickfila.

Damn you delicious chicken sandwich!

You are causing me to crumble like the hostess cupcakes couldn't!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

last night

There was a death last night in the squadron. It seems harder to accept because it was very much an avoidable circumstance. I think as military wives we have a certain amount of acceptance that something may happen to our husbands as a result of their jobs. Flyboy and I have known several guys who left for work one day and didn't come home, its very much a calculated risk for aircrew or for those in a war zone. As a spouse you never like it but you accept that it may happen.

Last night this wasn't the case, it was on home turf, no war, no flying. Too much beer was involved, too many stupid choices were made, and someone wont be coming home. Ever. I don't know how his poor wife will make sense of this. I know I couldn't.

My heart breaks for her and for her small kids. My heart breaks for them now and my heart breaks thinking about the day that they will be able to fully understand why this happened and that it didn't have too. I'm not sure what pain will be worse.

Thankfully my husband was about as far removed from this situation as one can be. Who knows what the full story will be, you know how these types of things can just spiral around like a tornado. The bits and pieces that have come out already are not pretty. When the dust settles who knows what the command will have to say. I hope that if nothing else comes of this that people will stop and think just a little bit harder about how no one is invincible and stupid decisions rarely go off without a hitch.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A time for thanks

Dash-1 and I went on an adventure today. Or at least that's what I was telling him when I snatched him out of bed and tossed him in the car at 6:30 this morning. We made it to the ID post before he realized that our adventure was a trip to the allergist at Walter Reed. He told me quite eloquently that my adventures sucked. (side note: apparently that's now another word I should remove from my vocabulary)

His visit went as expected, still has lots of allergies, I certainly didn't expect that to change, but the more you know they more you can anticipate and plan accordingly. He was a trooper thru yet another round of testing and thankfully we have a few months to wait before our next "adventure". I'll have to come up with another way to lure him into the car before then.

As I drove home from WR today, I missed my husband. I wished he was here to hold our screaming child while he was pricked over and over, but I couldn't get the pictures of the young soldiers rolling down the hallways holding the hands of their wives facing much more then us.

I am thankful that my husband came home to me unharmed. I am thankful that despite all those days and nights filled with worry and fear, I did not have to face life with those fears realized.

I am thankful that my husband is able to pick me up and swing me around when he comes home. (It sounds corny but yes, yes it happens more often then people would think around here).

I am thankful that my husband is able to get on the floor and wrestle with my boys. As babies he tossed them into the air, he carries them on his back, and now he tosses a football around with them in the front yard.

I am thankful that for whatever awfulness he saw, it has not taken over who he is.

I am so very thankful for my sweet family and how lucky we are to have all that we have. And I am so very thankful for those who are facing much greater trials and tribulations then I could possibly understand.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Could it be?

That I have nothing witty to say?

Oh whats happening to me? Could it be a certain adorable 19 month old who has recently taken to waking up at 5:30 and napping only after a heck of a fight? I'm gonna go with yes on that. I have tried everything. I've put him down early, put him down late, made the room cooler, darker, run them ragged outside, given nice "calming" baths with calming stories before bed. Phew just the list makes me tired.

Dare I say I have tried it all. But my little dash-2, my darling little one is content to wake up early and be up as late as he can make it. He and his brother are running circles around me. Not the best time to cut down my caffeine but I have faith that this is a stage and soon enough he will be sleeping longer.

I hope you all can wait a little for my wit to come back. Surely something will provoke a rant or something.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I am..

alive. I know you were all wondering.

Dash-1 has an appointment at Walter Reed the end of the week for allergy testing and to look into some other issues so I've been scrambling around trying to get some medical reports together. One person says don't worry its all electronic, talk to another and they tell you to bring everything, ask the medical file people and they wont give you anything, but we cant forget his civilian doctors. So its been fun. I think I have it together but lets be honest ultimately I wont know till I get there. I have this fear that I will have booked this appointment two months out, driven six hours to get there, then another hour (oh who are we kidding hour and a half) in traffic, only to be told that they cant see us or we dont have the right stuff.

I'll be travelling today, going the long way to stop by and visit some family before settling in tomorrow at home. Well my old home but all the same.

I must say the one nice thing about a husband who travels a lot is that it does allow for visits to family without making him come along for the ride. He gets along great with my family but really how much time does one guy want to spend with his inlaws?! Now how he always manages to miss out on the medical stuff I haven't a clue.... but I'm looking into it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Whats that spell?

Yesterday was kinda a washout sort of day here. Yucky weather for most of it so we spend the day doing what any red blooded American would.... running errands. We went by Sam's where Dash-1 had to go potty. Since flyboy was with us the little one actually got to use the men's room. After what happened I think I may just keep taking him in the women's room.

Apparently he started reading the wall in the bathroom and it went a little like this. "I see letters. F-U-C" You get where it was headed.

Then he walked all around Sam's club telling us what letters he saw in there. I tried to get him to point out the letter's in the produce or meat department. We even bought him a book to keep him occupied. But no go. He preferred to tell us the letters he saw in the stall.

I hope he forgets that before school starts this fall.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th!

Happy fourth!

I drove down to the commissary today and passed by the Last Encampment of the Continental Army. Its not much to look at but I am fascinated by history so I've been there several times to walk around the outline of the fire pits, check out the blacksmith barn, and gawk at the "living" quarters. What hits me every time I drive by it or walk around there is that the troops arrived in October of 1782.

October folks up here can be the beginning of a looong winter.

I routinely drive past it in the early winter when there are six inches of snow and your fingers freeze just walking to the car. Yet those men, fighting for our freedom were often in unbearable conditions. I cant imagine going out in that weather without my coat, scarf, gloves, and still I complain that I'm freezing. Most men had barely adequate uniforms, shoes, and protection from the elements. I'm in awe of their fortitude. And quite grateful.

Hope everyone has a wonderful fourth of July! Try not to eat to many burgers at one time, over heat outside, or blow off any fingers with fireworks. Can you imagine the company you'd have in the emergency room on today!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Just a quick question

If the line says 20 items or less and its a looooong line....

And you have 78 items in your cart (not that I had the time to count or anything)....

Why would you be in that line??!

Just one day I want to see the Walmart checkout person put their foot down. "I'm sorry ma'am your an idiot. The sign clearly says 20 items or less. You have oh lets see. Wow, 78. You're really stupid for wasting every ones time. You're going to have to go to that long line way over there. Thanks and really, have a great day."

My respect for them would know no bounds after something like that.