Friday, May 30, 2008

That's What I'm Talkin' About!

Okay, you all know me. You know I don't like being screwed with, pushed around or intimidated, and I usually say/do something about it when it happens. I haven't mentioned this yet, but Chris' leave almost got canceled. Some of the guys were told a couple of weeks ago that there weren't enough leave slots and they were basically SOL. Needless to say, I was pretty upset. I gave the chain of command a few days to fix the situation, and when it became clear that they weren't doing anything about it, I decided to take matters into my own hands and I filed a congressional complaint of unfair treatment. You can screw with me all you want, but don't screw with my family. As soon as I sent it however, Chris called and said that they had managed to get him back his leave slot and he was coming home after all. So I let the matter drop. Well, this afternoon I got a very interesting phone call. It was from Congressman Mike Rogers of Alabama. He was calling to see if the situation had been taken care of, or if I still needed help getting him home. That's right, the Congressman CALLED ME to see if he could help. I was totally shocked. But really, isn't that what they are there for, to help us little people? It's sad that we are so surprised when they actually do. I know who I'm voting for in the next election!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mr. GQ

I can't resist posting pictures of my cute kids...I know, I'm one of those Moms...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Smiles and Giggles

Here are two pictures, one of Aiden at 6 weeks, and one of Jack at 6 weeks. Can you tell they're related, or what??

Taking the Pressure Off

I called the Housing Office at Fort Irwin today, to check on how long the wait times are for on-post housing. Turns out that the wait time for an E-6/three bedroom is less than 30 days!! That is AWESOME! Considering that most wait times at other posts are months if not years, I think we are lucking out! Barstow is the closest town to Irwin, but it's still at least a 30 mile commute each way. With gas prices what they are right now, that would have been pretty bad. So living on post will really save us a lot of money in gas. Now, if we can only sell our house here!

By the way, we are on the countdown for Chris to come home for R&R - 8 days!!! Woohoo!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Just wanted to share with everyone that we had a successful potty-training attempt this morning! Aiden did his business on the potty first thing this morning, so it looks like potty-training has officially commenced at our house. Wish us luck!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day

It's almost Memorial Day again. Most people think of Memorial Day as the kick-off to the Summer season, and an excuse for big sales. While I have no problem with a good deal, let's not forget what this day is really about. It's a time to remember our soldiers, and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice that we might live in peace and freedom. It's not really a cause for celebration, when you think about it. So this weekend, when you are enjoying the BBQ's and good shopping, take a moment to remember our fallen - they deserve it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I like to write. I don't have a lot of time for it, but I do it occasionally. This blog is one way I get my writing fix, but I also like to write other things. I've written a few little short "commentaries" I guess you could call them, about motherhood, and little stories about my kids. So I've decided to start posting them in a new blog, it's called Mommyland. I hope you'll check it out, and give me some feedback!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Survivor Corps

I've recently been made aware of an organization called Survivor Corps.
It's a non-profit group working to help the victims of global violence, including members of our military who have served in combat. They help people to survive the effects of war and trauma, and to overcome the obstacles they may face because of it.

Almost everyone nowadays has been touched by our global war on terror, and while I still feel that it is a cause worth fighting for, several years of war does take a toll. My family has made sacrifices - I have a son who has yet to meet his father, or even hear his voice. And while I am confident that he'll meet him soon enough, it's tough. But I know that many others have paid a far greater price than we have, and it's comforting to know that in a world as full of violence as this one, there are people working to combat that violence, and help the people who pay the price. If you'd like more info about Survivor Corps, you can visit their website:

One of their founders, Jerry White, has recently written a book entitled I will Not Be Broken. I'm lucky enough to be receiving a copy of it from Survivor Corps, and I'll be posting a review of it when I'm finished. It talks about how to deal with adversity, and the ups and downs that life throws us all too often, and I know we can ALL benefit from some advice on that subject! So if you're interested, keep your eyes peeled for that. And if you want to check it out now, there are several chapters available for download at:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Who's the Boss?

I had a small disagreement with my 2 year old son yesterday. I gave him a small bowl of marshmallows for a snack and he inhaled them and then wanted more. I told him no, that he could wait until lunch time to have anything else to eat. He wasn't thrilled with that idea, and so went to the kitchen counter, got the bag of marshmallows and proceeded to pour some more into his bowl. Then he brought them to me with an "I dare you to do something" attitude. So of course, I obliged him and did something. He lost the marshmallows and got sent to his room. I mean, what part of NO don't you understand here, kiddo?

But this got me thinking. So many parents have problems with their children not obeying them and thinking they can just do whatever they want. Now, I'm no parenting expert, after all I've only been in the game for two and a half years, but it seems to me that this is probably not how you want your children to behave, especially as they get older. I think the problem comes from parents trying too hard to please their children, and wanting to be their friend, rather than their parent. And yeah, it's easier to be a friend than a parent, but is that really our job? To be their friends? Call me old-fashioned, but I was under the impression that as a mother, my job is to love them unconditionally and teach them how to be well-adjusted, functioning, contributing members of society, not to be their bud. And sure, I want to be a "cool mom", but not at the expense of my kids. If raising them right means that I'm a very uncool mom, than so be it. My boys are not going to grow up thinking that they rule the roost. Sorry buddy, but the buck stops here.

I just shake my head when people complain about how much their children don't listen to them. Well, my son doesn't listen to me half the time either, but that doesn't mean he gets away with it. He may only be two, but there are consequences to ignoring mom, which he understands full well. Kids aren't stupid, they're actually incredibly smart, and very adept at manipulation. How do you deal with that? Simple - be the boss. If you don't know you're the boss, how are they going to know it? Children need boundaries, and people to tell them how to act, and what's acceptable and not acceptable. That's why God gives them parents. I mean, come on people! This isn't rocket science! Aiden is not the most well-behaved child, and I'm not trying to say that he is. He has his moments, (and sometimes his days or weeks) of behaving like a little Neanderthal. Just because he does it doesn't mean I consider it acceptable behavior, and when he acts like that he gets in trouble. How else is he going to learn not to do it?

I totally believe in picking your battles, you can't nitpick everything they do, especially when they're little. But I'm a big believer in follow-through. If you say no about something, no matter WHAT it is, you had better follow through. Even if as soon as you say it you decide it's not that big of a deal. Because if you don't, they are going to think they can manipulate you, and it's all downhill from there. Take the marshmallows. Was it really the end of the world if he ate a few more marshmallows? No, not really, but I had told him no. He was deliberately disobedient by going and getting them anyway, and that just doesn't fly in my house. In my house, Mom is the boss, and what I say goes, whether his little two year old self likes it or not. And when Daddy gets home, there's going to be two people on his case, but Lord help me, Aiden WILL grow into a functioning adult! Jack is still little enough that he still gets away with pretty much everything. Everything being eating, pooping, and sleeping.... :-)

I don't want Aiden to think of me as his friend. I'd rather he think of me as his mother. Always loving, but smarter than he is, iron-willed and taking no crap off him. When he's grown up, then we can be friends. After all, being his friend is not my job. I heard a quote once - "I would love to be friends with my kids, but now is not that time." Amen!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Today is our wedding anniversary, eight years! I have a hard time believing that we've been married that long. Where does the time go? I guess it's a good thing when it flies by, it means you're doing something right. Since we aren't together this year (again) I was thinking about where we've spent our anniversaries, and how many of them we have actually been together for. So here's the list:

#1 - Korea. We were both there, but he was in the field, so we were apart.
#2 - Germany. Together.
#3 - Bulgaria. Chris was deployed to Kosovo, but we were able to meet in Bulgaria that weekend (and that's a WHOLE other story, right Brandy and Lindsay?). Together.
#4 - Germany. Chris was deployed to Iraq, so were apart.
#5 - The US (California). We had just PCS'd from Germany the day before. We took a trip to Greece in April to celebrate. Together.
#6 - The US (Georgia). Together.
#7 - The US (Alabama). Together.
#8 - The US (Alabama). Once again, deployed and apart.

I can't believe I remember them all...pretty soon I won't be able to! I want to do something/go somewhere for our tenth, but since that's in two years I guess I'd better start saving! I'm thinking Hawaii.... :-)

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie, I love you!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Death of a Vacuum Cleaner

I have hated my vacuum cleaner for some time now. It sucks, and not in a good way. I don't think that you can really call it cleaning if the vacuum spits out as much dirt as it takes in. But there was always something else to spend money on, so I've been putting up with it. That, and borrowing my mom's Dyson whenever I needed to really vacuum well. Well, I finally had it with the darn thing and decided it had to go. My Mom knows people at Dyson, and I was able to use the "friends and family" discount they offer and get one half-price.

So I have officially entered the modern world of housecleaning and bought myself a Dyson. I was so excited about it arriving that I walked out to meet the UPS man yesterday when he drove up to deliver it. He understood my excitement, however, as he had bought one already and totally loved it. When a guy loves to vacuum, you know it's a good one! That, or....hmmm.... Anyway, this is no ordinary vacuum cleaner, no, this is the granddaddy of all vacuum cleaners, the Dyson Absolute. Not only is it huge, but this sucker can, well, suck! It's really powerful, and I decided to do a little test the first time out.

I have been vacuuming my carpet everyday for the past two weeks (more on that later) with my mom's Dyson Slim, which is a great vacuum. It's the lightweight model, though, and the Absolute is decidedly a heavyweight. So I vacuumed my bedroom and Aiden's bedroom, and this is what I got. Now keep in mind that this is after 2 weeks of daily vacuuming.

Can I just say, YUCK!! The reason it's so good is that it has these rotating bristles that actually pull apart the carpet fibers, so that instead of just vacuuming up what's on the surface of the carpet, it gets what's deep down inside, in between the fibers. Totally gross, right? That's not all. My Dyson came with a mini-turbine head for vacuuming upholstery and your car and stuff like that. So I decided to vacuum the couch with it, and see what I ended up with....

Again, YUCK! I've been sitting on that?? So I am totally sold on my Dyson vacuum, and if you were unsure before and didn't believe all the hype, BELIEVE it. This vacuum will give any stay-at-home mom or housewife a happy.

Now my old vacuum has been with me for about 7 years, and it served me well for most of those years, so I decided it needed a proper burial. So here is my Hoover, laid to rest in a Dyson coffin.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'm Not Dead

In case you were wondering. I haven't posted this week because my friend Sara came to visit from California! We've been busy traipsing around Georgia and Alabama, doing some sightseeing, and I was just too tired at the end of the day to get on the computer! Anyway, she went home yesterday, so I decided I should get my butt in gear and get online.

We took a few day trips around the area, we went to Eufaula, AL (about an hour away) and saw some plantation homes and other historical houses. We toured the Shorter Mansion, which was featured in the movie Sweet Home Alabama with Reese Witherspoon. If you've seen that movie, the "Carmichael Plantation" is actually the Shorter Mansion, and the street she is driving on when she first goes back to Alabama is North Eufaula Avenue, we walked by all those cool houses! We also went up to Warm Springs, GA and did some sightseeing. We went to a fish hatchery for Aiden, he had fun feeding the "Nemo's". Then we did a tour of historical homes here in Columbus, which was pretty cool. I learned some interesting facts about Columbus, apparently Levi's were made right here until 1986. Shopping was also a major theme, I decided I needed some Summer clothes.... :-)

Anyway, we had a good time catching up, Sara and I have been friends for almost 20 years. WOW! I'm not old enough to have had friends for that I? Here are some pictures from this week, I'll post some more later.

Friday, May 2, 2008


I just had to share - Aiden went to bed tonight with no crying at all! He would usually start as soon as he got into bed, but tonight he got in bed, gave me a kiss and let me tuck him in, all without crying. When I got up to leave the room, he just said "night-night" and that was that. I can't believe it....

I have tried this approach before with him and it's never worked. I guess I just had to wait until he was ready. It's been less than a week! He even took a nap yesterday on his own. I mean, huh? My kid willingly took a nap by himself? Maybe he really WAS abducted by aliens....

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sweet Face

Last night I posted Aiden sleeping, tonight it's Jack's turn....