30 August 2008

I conquered Blackie

Mount Blackie, that is. Its a "large hill" on post. Its named for its color, obviously. If you look at it compared to the other "large hills" and small mountains on post it really is the only one that looks black. There is a trail leading up to the top and I've been itching to climb since I found out it was allowed.

Last night my friend Laura and I finally did it. I had my nose splints taken out yesterday so I was cleared to finally start working out again...FINALLY! We got out to the hill and it looked SO easy. As this picture shows, it doesn't look that difficult from a distance.

Well, I was huffing and puffing before we were even halfway up. It was embarrassing to say the least. Its amazing how not working out for a few weeks drains you of any endurance that you worked to build up! Thankfully, someone as out of shape as me must've suggested placing a bench halfway up. You'd better believe I took a rest. We reached the top (it only took about 20 minutes, but felt like an hour!) and there was a picnic table, fire pit, and a cross made of metal tubes placed in a large pile of rocks. It was amazing to complete the climb. Its a mere fraction of what I plan to be able to do, but its a start. We both almost fell on the way down! Here are more pictures. They really don't do the true view justice.

26 August 2008


OK, I turned in paperwork on post to become an FCC provider. I don't want an entire daycare center inside my home, but I would like to either be a substitute for other providers when needed, or maybe just fill one full-time slot.

So I was all set on this, and then at playgroup today I see my friend who tells me our other friend applied for role play. No...its not what you're thinking.... If you're hired for role play, you are assigned a role as an Iraqi female citizen(remember, we're stationed at the home of role playing in the sand), you are dressed in full attire (face covered, long "dresses", etc) and you are out in "the box" playing your assigned role all day long. You're allowed to come home in the evenings (unless you're detained as part of an exercise) and in a matter of just 10 days (which is a short rotation) you can bring home almost two grand!

OK...for those of you who know me...which of these two options would I rather do? Yes! Role playing! But...I'd be gone for 12 hours for up to three weeks depending on the rotation. This means my daughter would have to be in childcare that entire time. Something I said I didn't want to do. However, she's over a year old now. She wouldn't forget me, lose a bond with me, resent me, etc. I would make three times the amount, in one rotation, than I would doing a month of daycare. Plus I get out of the house, have fun, sweat a lot (hey and maybe lose weight?!)....ugh...I can't decide! If you're reading this, I'm wondering what your opinion is?

23 August 2008


I had a doctor's appointment to follow with on my schnauze, and it was in the town of Apple Valley. As my mother said, it just sounds like a cheery place to be. Its true! I had the best morning I've had in a long time.

The drive is agonizing. Nothing but desert hills to see along the way, and it takes about an hour and twenty minutes from post. However, once you leave the interstate and drive up the hill and through the two rocky hills, you feel like you've gone through a gateway to a better place. Most of the area of California we are near is barren, dumpy and lacks any decent shopping, structures, level of cleanliness, etc. Apple Valley, on the other hand, feels like home. I listened to country music on the way there and actually teared up at one point, listening to a song about a farmer driving his planter along a highway with cars lining up behind him flipping him off. I laughed because I pictured my dad driving the planter and I instantly became homesick.

Once I got finished at the doctor's office (everything up the good old sniffer is doing well, by the way), I headed down the road. I'd heard there was a Target, Wal-Mart, etc about three miles away. I couldn't fathom this being true. I had to see it for myself.

I drove as fast as I could, within reason, the three miles.I came around a small bend and there it was....the red and white sign, gleaming in the sun...it was SUPER TARGET! My happy-mones (good version of hormones) were soaring! My daughter and I stopped to grab a bite to eat at McDonald's and off we went on our Target adventure. Walking down the aisles (which were clean), sifting through the clothes racks (and not just cheap foreign clothes with dumb sayings...Wal-Mart), seeing interesting and unqique home decor, the familiar red shirts with khaki pants clad employees and the cute little Archer's Farm brand boxes of food brought back countless memories of home. Target is my mom and I's (is that proper grammar?) favorite place to get groceries and shop for every day items. In fact, most of my close friends do the same. When I used to get bored, I'd stroll around Target. When I needed a baby shower gift or to register for my own, I went to Target. When I needed new comfy pants (I'm addicted to comfy pants) I went to Target to buy them.

I spent two hours in that store. I easily surpassed my $100 cover charge. I purchased four floor runners, foam bath letters/numbers for my daughter, diapers, and foil. Every day items made extra special just because I bought them at Target. I felt like I had gone to two hours of therapy. I feel so much better!

19 August 2008

May the Force NOT be with You

So my son comes home today (after our dramatic morning), and I cheerfully greet him, hoping he'd completely forgotten my melt down from several hours previous. I asked him how his day was and he told me not too good. He proceeds to tell me someone used "the force" on him. I didn't think Star Wars at first. I thought he meant physical force, as in abuse. So I asked him what it meant. He gives me a demonstration and says, "Its when someone shoves their hand in your face really fast but just close enough so they don't hit you" (palm open, towards the other person's face). It took everything in me not to start laughing at this point! He said he got blamed for doing it and was sent to the principal's office to do work instead of recess. Now, when my son tells me he's blamed for something he didn't do, but then adds that he received a consequence as severe as going to the principal's office, that spells l-i-e in my book! I looked at him and asked if he used the force on anyone (again, trying not to start cracking up) and he hung his head and admitted he did. "Mom, it was so hard not to use the force when everyone else was doing it!". I figured he'd had punishment enough. Besides, if I'd gone any further with the conversation I'd never be able to come up with yet another punishment off the top of my head while trying to act like I really thought it was that serious.


I totally lost it this morning. I feel awful. My son has ADHD. We're trying to get him off medicine. I don't like it and neither does his father or my husband. We cut his dose in half this past week as a start. I guess I thought I was prepared for what was to happen because of that, but I guess I was wrong and now he's going to have a horrible day at school because of me.

This morning was one of the "bad" mornings. Husband is in the field after all and I'm still exhausted, trying to recover from the foreign invasion in my nose. I wake my son up on time, 0645. By 0710 nothing has been accomplished. Now this is nothing out of the ordinary. So I kick into "drill mom" mode. Take your medicine? No. OK, get it done. 15 seconds later he's outside with the hose turned on filling up the dog dish. This is one of his responsibilities around the house, but not what he was told to do. Redirect. Get in here and take your medicine. 15 seconds later, he's playing with his sister, giving her animal crackers. Redirect. Take your medicine now! Takes the medicine...with me looking over his shoulder. I check the backpack. Homework done? Yes mom. I look. Homework NOT done. Come over here and finish your homework. 15 seconds later he's lying on the sofa, feet in the air, blankly starint at homework. Redirect. Sit up and finish your homework (its time for him to leave at this point). 15 seconds later, walking around the house looking for pencil. Redirect. Just grab a pen and fill in the answers, you're late. Finally fills in answers.

This is just an example of about 20 minutes out of the hour this morning before school. I was exhausted. My nose was bleeding (again). Mattea was throwing a fit, wanting more crackers. I was running around with toilet paper stuck near my nose. The dogs are shedding all over the house AND getting under my feet (again). I forgot to pack his lunch and had no cash to send with him so he uses the $20 he made selling his old gamecube this past weekend. As he's finally walking out the door I apologize, feeling like a 5-year-old, for losing my temper. I remind him he's better than leaving homework half done. I remind him I love him. He mumbles it back and walks out the door.

Another "bad" morning gone. Good news is, we usually have several "good" days following one of these. I pray for it.

16 August 2008

Day three

OK, so I wasn't coherent enough to take any "immediately after" pictures from my surgery and frankly, you would've lost your wheaties had you seen them.

Here's a picture of me on my third day. Minimal swelling, no bruising (yet), and I made sure to clean off my nose before taking the picture. My face is very sensitive to any touch, and a bit red and chapped from tearing medical tape off my face several times a day to change the dressing stuffed under my nose...which thankfully I don't need anymore. I just make a dash to the toilet paper roll if I feel stuff start to leak out. Nice mental picture, eh? I'm sorry about the picture...frightening, I know. Could have something to do with the lack of hairstyle and no make-up. I'll spare you the "up-the-nose" photo.

12 August 2008

Nose Job

So I am having surgery in two days and I have to admit, I'm terrified. Look, its nothing huge. Its nothing compared to what a lot of people I know have had to go through. This is my first surgery though and I can't help but feel apprehensive. I am having a bilateral septoplasty (getting a deviated septum straightened). Its going to be icky and I'll look like someone kicked my face in but the rewards of a couple of weeks of suffering will be life long. I'll actually be able to breathe normally out both sides of my nose! This is the closest thing to a nose job I'll ever have. Apparently it will change the appearance of my nose from the outside (I initially didn't think it did). I looked at my nose in the mirror last night and after staring at differnt angles, I noticed it IS crooked! See? I posted a picture just so you could share in my shock.

11 August 2008

Fifth Grade

Tater started back to school this morning. Its earlier than when I was growing up. We normally didn't start until the last week of August. Its nice though, because we were most definitely ready to get back on a schedule. He got a hair cut yesterday, which he always dreads. He has a very sensitive head and with his thick, curly hair it usually hurts at first, even when its combed out ahead of time. I'm always suprised at how much older and more mature he looks when he gets home from getting his haircut. He looked like a 10 year old when he left, his hair grown out and scruffy from the summer, and when he retured he looked like a maturing pre-teen boy...still 10 years old though :)

I packed his lunch last night which included a turkey sandwhich (I allowed him to have white bread this time...kind of a long story), some strawberries and some carrot sticks with ranch dressing for dip. He forgot to grab his water bottle on the way out of the house though,so hopefully he's allowed to visit the drinking fountain often! Out here, because its so extremely hot and dry, the kids are allowed to bring a water bottle every day. Its actually strongly encouraged.

Here is a couple pictures of Tate this morning before leaving for the bus stop. He wanted to make sure he took one with his sister and one by himself. Doesn't he look so handsome?

08 August 2008

Mass Emotion

Ugh...I just read one of my sister's blog posts and I'm totally depressed. We both tried out a new budget this month in our families. She, apparently, is doing outstanding with hers. I am completely opposite. It seems like every time I try to stick to a budget in this household, some kind of unexpected expenses come flying out of nowhere at us and we're taking cover, only able to fight back by dipping into accounts we don't wanna dip in to!

We live in a very remote location on a military post. My options for grocery shopping are ... the commissary. The lovely commissary with its half rotted produce, limited meat selection, and the lack of ability to keep anything stocked most of the time! I can always drive 34 miles to the nearest town and grocery shop there, but then I have to spend an additonal $25 in gas to get there and back on top of the grocery bill. I don't get a Sunday paper so I never have coupons to pair up with specials that any store might be having. We aren't given COLA to help compensate for our location and the sickening expenses involved in getting anywhere. I'm spitting mad, also, that the Army will pay civilian contractors and employees at least twice what it pays its own soldiers. They expect an E6 to live off a salary that, in a civilian lifestyle, would put us under. In a military lifestyle, it allows us to barely break even every month.

Sometimes envy can be a monster. It can be all consuming. Sometimes my envy of other people (in this case, my sister) drags me down to a point that is hard to come back from. I'm tired of struggling. I'm tired of never feeling like I'm making progress on anything. I'm just tired.

I consciously try to not always be negative in my posts on this blog. I don't want readers to feel like being a military family is a bad thing and we're always unhappy and stressed and broke. The reality of it is, when I'm feeling low like this, my desire to blog is at its highest. I need to work on blogging when positive things happen around me or when funny things happen around me.

I feel like our lives are on the verge of change. I have often felt like this before. I felt it when we first came into the military, before we knew all the details. I felt it before I got pregnant. I have felt it before major changes physically, monetarily and with our careers. I hang on to that feeling, because usually, I have found, it means the Lord is going to bless us with something we need. Its a small beacon of light ahead of me I can stay focused on. Its the only positive anxiety one can feel. I'm ready for change again, whatever it might be that is coming our way.

07 August 2008

Its Thursday...

I start my 5am mornings tomorrow. Yes, I know, I said I was starting Monday, but smarty pants here forgot my hubs wasn't done in the field until yesterday. Yes..when you're in the military long enough, you actually FORGET you're husband is going to be gone for a few days.

So, instead, I got up at 0700 Monday and Wed morning and walked a little over three miles. I put my daughter in the stroller with some snacks and a drink, brought enough water to rehydrate the entire desert, and weaved myself in and out of the soldiers as they did their running around. It was nice...especially the last half of the walk which goes on a winding up-and-down path along Outer Loop. It runs along the outside of the housing area, right up next to the "mini-mountains" and its so quiet out there with the wind going through the dried up little bushes and the lizards scurrying away into the sand as they realize I'm too close. My son came with me on Wed instead of sleeping in and it was nice to have someone to talk to.

Tuesday and today I did my strength routine. I was able to adapt everything on my list to be done in my home and I was actually REALLY sore yesterday so I know it all worked.

Eating...well eating is coming around slowly. I spoke to a friend of mine today who is also insane enough to go to the gym at 5am. She reminded me that eating better can't just instantly happen overnight without any adjustments along the way. I guess that made me feel better about the M&Ms and few bites of ice cream I had yesterday (hanging head in shame). But I did make a kickin' grilled chicken wrap last night for dinner. I went to a farmer's market this morning with another friend. It wasn't worth the drive (took over an hour to get there) but it was nice to see what it was all about. I got some peaches for hubs, he's a fan, and a monstrosity of a tomato to use in my salads the rest of the week. I wanted to bring home a lot more, but it wasn't really any better than the grocery store prices and I already had a lot of produce in the fridge at home.

So...there is the update. I'm doing well, I'm pleased with myself, and only see it getting better. OH! And I have lost a pound :) One is better than none!

03 August 2008

On a Monday...

Tomorrow is the day...I start my work out/eating plan. I have agreed to meet a friend of mine at the gym three mornings a week at 5am. What has possessed me to do such an insane thing? I'm normally out of bed at the last possible moment before I have to get ready for something, be somewhere, or one of the kids wakes up. I've decided though, that I schedule time for eating, sleeping, appointments, even napping...why shouldn't I schedule time for my health? It just so happens that 5am is really the only time of the day I don't have to get a sitter just to go for a jog. I'll be a walking zombie for a few weeks while I get used to this new routine, but I'm looking forward to that first five or ten pounds lost...which really means that I can stop rotating the same three outifts during the week and actually wear my pre-baby clothes (that aren't stretchy cotton)! Ah...no more chipmunk cheeks in pictures...no more innertube around my midsection...no more jiggly arms... Feel free to ask me how I'm doing. The more people checking in on me, the more likely I am to follow through!