Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another Birthday

We are celebrating another birthday at our house today - Daddy's. Not only is it Chris's birthday, but it's a big one, he's 30 today! Luckily, he got to come in from the field today for a break, so we get to celebrate together. I got him a cake from the bakery, I wanted the one that said "older than dirt", but that one wasn't available, so I had to settle for the camo/army cake.

Aiden was excited when we picked up the cake, and then upset to realize that it wasn't for him. The kid doesn't even like cake, so I don't know why he's so upset. I guess he's just 3.

Happy Birthday Chris! You'll always be older than me....:-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Conversations With Little People

In the last couple of weeks, the floodgates of Aiden's conversation skills have opened, and it's like he's had a word explosion. He can suddenly, like, talk, and use these huge long sentences and all kinds of words that I had no idea he knew just come spilling out. It's crazy! He's also learning how to do all kinds of things by himself. For example, he can now get himself completely dressed, including his socks. He can also make toast. At least, he thinks he can make toast, and he probably could if I would let him, which I won't. We've had some interesting talks lately. Have you ever wondered what actually goes through a three year-old's mind? It's fascinating. Here's an example.

Aiden is in the playroom upstairs, watching Diego this morning....

"Aiden, it's time to get dressed."

"Oh, not right now. Diego's saving the baby birds. I'm helping. I get dressed in a minute, okay?"

"Ummm...okay. Heaven forbid I interfere with the saving of the baby birds. Just make sure you get dressed when the show's over, okay? Please?"

"Okay. Yeah. In a minute."

"Here's your clothes, I'm setting them right next to you."

"Oh...I don't want to wear those. I get my clothes later."

"Yeah...okay...whatever..."

After this little exchange I went downstairs. About 30 minutes later Aiden came downstairs for breakfast. He was dressed. And I can tell you for a fact that what he was wearing was NOT what I picked out for him. He was wearing camo shorts and a gray and blue t-shirt with black socks. He told me proudly -

"I get dressed Mommy! I match!"

"Uh, not exactly. But good job!!" Good thing we aren't going anywhere today....

Jack talks too. He's not quite as understandable though. He mostly blabbers, although he does say "Mama" and "Aid". He's starting to throw "Daddy" in there sometimes too. He says "NaNa" when he's hungry, although I'm not sure what that's supposed to be. Jack's big accomplishment this week is that he can now stand, unassisted, for up to 30 seconds. HE'S NINE MONTHS OLD! I am not ready for him to walk yet. Once he starts walking that will be the end of his babyhood, and I just can't handle that yet. I might have to knock him over so he stops trying. Kidding...I'm kidding. Not really.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lullaby...and Good Night...

I'm trying something new with Jack, to help him sleep better (he wakes up ALL the time). I'm going to be blogging about our experiences over on Mommyland, so if you'd like to read more about it and follow along with us, be sure to check it out!

Jack's First Haircut

My little Jack got his hair cut yesterday, it was getting kind of scraggly. Daddy came in from the field for a little while and took one look at the boys and declared them both in need of a haircut. So off we went to the barber shop. Jack was so good, he just sat there and looked very serious for the most part. Aiden wasn't thrilled at first (he doesn't like getting his hair cut) but then once the buzzer started he laughed and laughed, I think it tickled. So now both my boys have little soldier-boy haircuts, they are too cute.

Anyway, in honor of Jack's first haircut, I did a comparison of both the boys and their first haircuts. We got Jack's cut a lot earlier than we did Aiden's (mainly because Jack has much more hair than Aiden did at this age!), so Aiden is 14 months old in this picture, and Jack is 9 months.


Here are some more shots of Jack at the barber shop, as well as one of the final result!





Friday, January 23, 2009

Political Venting

I don't usually talk about politics, on this blog or in person. But sometimes things just fester and since this is my forum, I'll say what I want.

First of all - I did not vote for Obama. Agree with me or not, I don't really care. That being said, however, I wish this country the best and hope that he manages to do a good job as our leader. I'm not impressed so far, and it's only been 3 days. Choosing Hilary Clinton as our Secretary of State made me want to throw up. The woman's politics aside, she has an arrogance about her that just makes me want to hit something. She seems to think she's the Queen of America and that everybody loves her. Personally I think she's egotistical and power hungry, and someone with that type of attitude is probably not suited to be our country's top diplomat.

Now Obama has overturned the ban on federal funding for abortion clinics and family planning centers. I don't agree with abortion, I believe that life begins at conception, but I'm not going to say that I should have the right to make that decision for everyone else. BUT, I don't think I should have to pay for it, either. Now that federal funding will be available for those wanting an abortion, that's basically what we as tax-payers are doing - paying for it. Our president is now forcing me to go against my beliefs and contribute to what I feel is the slaughter of the most innocent form of human life - our unborn. And I'm definitely not happy about that.

But you know what really bugs me? The way everyone is dissing Bush. I'm not saying that Bush is perfect, I'm sure some things could have been done differently, but hey - hindsight's 20/20 folks. Bush did some great things for our military, he improved our quality of life by quite a bit. Better pay, better benefits, better housing. And yes, he did send us to war. Something that shouldn't be all together unexpected for the military. Everyone acts like it was such a horrible thing that Bush sent us to war - like he did it all by himself. No one seems to remember that the President can't send us to war just because he feels like it, it takes the approval of the Congress. Something else everyone seems to have forgotten is that in the early days of the War on Terrorism, Bush had upwards of a 90% approval rating from the public. That means that 90% of the country agreed with us going to war. Now people just think it's taking too long. Why are we still there? Well folks - changing the world takes time. Introducing democracy to a country that's been living under tyranny for the last several decades takes time. Here's an idea - if you don't like the way things are going in Iraq and Afghanistan, how about you put on a uniform, strap on a rifle and go fight it yourself.

The Economy. People are again blaming Bush, like he tanked the economy all by his lonesome. Somehow I don't think it was Bush who was approving all those sub-prime loans, or convincing people that they can afford a $700,000 mortgage on a $50,000 annual salary. I don't think that Bush was whispering in the Big Three automaker's ears, telling them to make bad business decisions. I believe that We The People have contributed to the state of our failing economy more than anything else. Through our greed and the sense that WE MUST have the biggest and the best of everything, we have done this to ourselves. And now we expect the federal government to come bail us out, and again, we're mad that it's taking so long. Grow up. Buy a house that you can afford, drive a car that's a few years old, and stop acting like you deserve everything.

And last but not least - Obama Worship. Am I the only person that's noticed this? People act like he's some kind of Messiah, come to save our country from the evil Republicans. I keep hearing things like, "With Obama, there is hope again!", and " Obama's going to make this country great again"...blah, blah, blah. He's just a man, folks! One who happens to be a good speaker and knows how to make grand promises. Let's wait to see if he keeps them before we elevate him to Hero Status, shall we?

There...I feel much better now. And I am still proud to be an American, if for no other reason than that my saying this will not earn me a trip to the guillotine.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Happy Jack

Here is a video I took of Jack the other day. I put it on my Facebook, but I've had requests to put it on here as well, so here you go...:-)


video

Thursday, January 15, 2009

To the Field!

There comes a time in every Army Wife's life that she looks forward to with unmatched anticipation. That time when your husband comes home and says, "Honey, I'm going to the field!" All my fellow AW's know what I'm talking about, say it with me ladies...

"Field Problem!!"

Despite it's name, a field problem is not actually a problem at all, at least not for those of us who don't have to actually go to the field. No, a field problem is when our soldiers go out and "play GI Joe" for a while, in this case, TWO WHOLE WEEKS!! They take their rucksacks and their canteens and their who knows whatsits and go sleep outside and eat MRE's and pretend they are fighting bad guys.

Now, a normal woman when told she will have to live without her husband for 2 weeks may get upset, and dread the time away...blah, blah, blah. We Army Wives answer the field problem with two words: "WOO HOO!" Why am I excited about the prospect of my husband being gone for 2 weeks? Let me spell it out for you. It's a time when our homes will be cleaned and actually remain so (or mostly). A time when we can watch whatever the heck we want on TV after the kids go to bed. A time when dirty socks will not "magically appear" in the middle of the living room floor every day. A time when we can make cereal for dinner and nobody complains.

You may be thinking to yourself that this sounds an awful lot like life during a deployment, why is this exciting? Well, it is kind of like life during a deployment, only you don't have to worry about your husband getting shot, or blown up, or captured, or whatever. Plus, two weeks is much better than 12 months. They are simply out of your hair for a while, and as every good Army Wife knows, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

So early Saturday morning my hubby departs for the field. I think an ice cream run is in order....:-)

Mommyland Update

I finally updated my Mommyland Blog, so click on the link to the right and check it out!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Problem with the System

As you know, we have on-post housing here on Fort Irwin. It's beautiful and I love it, and I'm not complaining, let's just get that out of the way. I would much rather live here on post than 30 miles away in Barstow. That's not my problem. I have a problem with the way they do the rent system here. Now, it used to be that when you lived in on-post housing, you simply didn't pay rent. You didn't receive a housing allowance either, the Government just provided you with a house and utilities and that was that. Now, however, since the housing has all been privatized tenants are put into a lease. We receive our housing allowance, and it's automatically deducted out at the beginning of the month for our rent. Not a big deal, at least I don't have to remember to pay it, right? No, what I don't like is this - the way the rent is calculated is by the highest-ranking service member's housing allowance rate. Basically - you pay the whole amount in rent. Again...okay, whatever. But check this out - the guy in the house next door to us is an E-5. He has a lower allowance rate than we do. So for the exact same house, he pays less in rent. When Chris gets promoted, and our allowance rate goes up, our rent automatically goes up. It's almost like, "you showed such responsibility in getting promoted, hey - we'll raise your rent!" Doesn't seem right, does it?

I think the rent should be set at whatever the allowance rate is for the lowest rank allowed in the particular housing area, for instance, E-4. Then, as you get promoted and your allowance rate goes up, that's more money in your pocket. Makes sense to me.

The Army has what they call AFAP - Army Family Action Plan. The Army loves giving things initials....anyway, what AFAP basically is is a chance for family members to voice their concerns about life in the Army, particular issues that they think need to be addressed. Every issue is looked at and tossed around by a group of delegates - made up of family members - and tried to be resolved. I took part in AFAP as a delegate when we lived in Korea, it was an interesting experience. I think I might bring this issue up at the next AFAP conference, I have a feeling I'm not the only one who thinks this is unfair. Why should we be penalized for getting promoted and have our rent go up?

Any other thoughts on this issue?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Funk

I'm in a funk. Sometimes you just get in a funk, you know? I have a feeling that mine is being contributed to by a big dose of PMS, but whatever. Today, everything is irritating me. I have no patience. My kids are bugging me. I just want to sit on my butt and do nothing. Of course, the fact that I am not actually able to sit on my butt and do nothing is irritating me. I have mountains of laundry that refuse to wash themselves, kids that insist on being fed, changed and paid attention too. and food that just stays in the fridge until I cook it. What's up with that? Shouldn't a person be allowed to just sit on their butt occasionally without the world grinding to a halt? Apparently not when you're a mom....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Update from the Sick Ward

The good news is, Aiden is all better and has been since Friday morning. The bad news is, the rest of us are sick now. Jack came down with it on Thursday, I came down with it on Friday, and now Chris is sick, too. Jack is feeling better I think, his fever only lasted a day or so. I, on the other hand, am heading into day three of fever, chills, body aches and more congestion than I thought possible. So now my kids are back to being crazy and running around like normal, and I pretty much feel like curling up in a corner and dying. And now that Daddy is down for the count as well, things really aren't fun around here. Oh well....I guess we'll survive!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another Visit to the ER

Aiden woke up at 7:30 this morning screaming his head off. That's not like him at all, so I ran into his room and I could feel the heat radiating off him from 2 feet away. Not good. I took his temperature and it came up at 103.6 and climbing. I gave him some Tylenol and put him in a cool bath to try to bring it down as much as I could. We only have one car right now, and Chris usually takes it to PT, so I grabbed my phone to call him to see if he could come home and take us to the ER. I dial his number and his cell phone rings - right next to the bed. Great, he forgot his phone, what am I going to do now? Aiden really needs to go to the ER, with that high of a temp I'm not playing around. So I decided that since we are only about 4 blocks from the hospital, we'll just walk. Then I remembered that Chris ran over my nifty double stroller with the car a couple days ago. I checked the stroller and it still works, just a little beat up. It'll work. Aiden's still in the bath, so I got dressed as fast as I could, got Jack changed and dressed, got the diaper bag together, got cups of juice and bags of Cheerios, a bottle and some binkies. All in about 10 minutes. I get Aiden out of the bath - he's still crying - and get some clothes on him. I really don't want to take both of them down there, but I don't have a choice, I'm just glad the weather is back up to the high-60's today. So we get loaded up into the run-over stroller and start down the driveway when Daddy turns the corner in the Explorer. Thank God!

I explain the situation, he helps me load the kids up into the car and hands me the keys. He can't come with me because he's in the middle of the OC Academy right now and he can't miss today. Good ol' Army. No big deal, it's not like I'm a stranger to dealing with things by myself. So we get to the hospital and get checked in. After seeing the nurse for the initial vital signs exam, we sit in the waiting room for almost 2 hours. While this is never an enjoyable experience, it's even more fun with a sick 3 year-old and a happy, wired 8 month old who wants to get down and crawl around on the dirty hospital floor. We finally get called to see the doctor. I load them both back into the stroller and the nurse stops me.

"We only allow the child being treated into the treatment room. The other one has to stay in the waiting room."

"Okay, well, there's only me. I'm not leaving my 8 month old in the waiting room by himself." I really wanted to insert the word dumbass in there somewhere, but I restrained myself.

"Where's your husband, can you call him?"

"No, my husband is unavailable right now, which I'm sure is not an unusual occurrence on an Army base." Double the dumbass thought.

"Well, we really can't allow him into the treatment room."

"Well, I really can't allow him to remain in the waiting room unattended, so you'll have to deal with it, because my older son needs to be treated. Are you going to turn us away?" Don't mess with me, I'm in Mama Bear mode right now.

"No...just don't let him touch anything. We don't want him getting sick as well."

Yeah...the fact that they live in the same house together and share a room makes no difference....I swear, some people have no common sense at all. Anyway, after Nurse Hatchet left the doctor came in and looked at Aiden. No ear infection (there's a first), no sinus infection or lung infection. It's probably viral. Just keep giving him Tylenol and Motrin and keep an eye on him. Other than that there's nothing we can do. You mean after all that, I get a "give him Tylenol"? Sheesh. If the fever is not gone within a couple of days I'm supposed to bring him back. Fun.

So...we're in watch mode. He seems to be okay, the fever is down for now and he's playing, (and watching Star Wars) but he sure looks sick. Big bags under his eyes, and he's pale. He's got a runny nose to go along with the fever, so I'm sure he's feeling just great. Let's just hope my Happy Jack lucks out and doesn't catch it as well!

Now for the coffee I didn't get this morning....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Birthday Pictures

Here are a few pics from Aiden's birthday. We went ahead and got him a cake, even though last year he refused to eat it. He's the only toddler I've ever met who doesn't like sweet stuff. He'll take 2 bites and that's it. But I figured, Hey, why should the rest of us miss out just because he's weird? Anyway, he LOVED his Cars cake, but of course, he only ate his standard 2 bites and was more interested in playing with the Lightning McQueen that came on the top. Jack, however, chowed down. He is my human garbage disposal, he will eat whatever you put in front of him, as long as it's not baby food. Of course birthday cake passes the test....





Monday, January 5, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth?

I mentioned before that we bought annual passes to Disneyland for our family Christmas present. This past weekend we took the boys for their first trip to Disney. One of my bestest friends ever lives in Huntington Beach, and she graciously offered up her 2 spare bedrooms for us to stay while we were down there - Thanks Alethia!!

We left Thursday morning around 10:30 for the 2 hour trip down to Orange County. We didn't get there until about 7. This is why....we started to pull out of the garage when my low tire pressure light came on in the Explorer. Crap. Chris checked the tire at the gas station and we had a big screw in the back tire. Great!! So we put on the spare and planned to stop in Victorville (an hour away) at Costco to get a tire. We get to Costco and...they're closed. So is everyone else - it's New Year's Day. Double crap! We lucked out and found a Sears at the mall, and they're auto department was open, AND they had our tires in stock. Phew! The tires were $230 a piece. BUT, if you bought 2, they were $130 a piece. Hmmm...let me think...I can pay $230 for one tire, or $260 for 2 tires. I'm not a rocket scientist, but I think I'll take two! So we pay for the tires and then the guy tells us it'll be 2 hours. So we went and got something to eat, and wandered around the mall for a bit. 4 HOURS later, our car was ready, and we were back on the road. After a couple more "this and that" stops, we made it to HB.

Disneyland was great, but really crowded. We had a good time, and Aiden only screamed when we had to wait in line, or get off the rides. A three-year-old really doesn't understand the concept of patience. He was pretty much totally overwhelmed the whole time, and dealt with it by being a turd. Oh well, he's learning. He got really excited for the Christmas parade, and of course, LIGHTNING MCQUEEN!! Jack was overwhelmed also, and he dealt with it by sleeping. Pretty much the whole time, both days we were there. There are several pictures of my sweet boy sleeping away his trip to Disneyland. Good thing we have passes!! Our next trip is planned for the beginning of February, we have a 4 day weekend coming up. We're hoping that Grandma and Grandpa are going to join us this time....:-)

Here are the pictures, enjoy! There is music also, if you click the icon in the lower left corner....


The Big 0-3

Today is Aiden's birthday. He's three. I can't believe it. We've been trying to get him excited the last few days, since he really didn't have a clue what a birthday was, never mind that it was his. He's been saying, "It's my birthday! It's my birthday!", and when someone asks him how old he will be, he just gets all shy. I told him he's going to be three, and he just shrugged. Like, "yeah, okay, whatever". So this morning when he got up we said, "Happy Birthday!!!" and he goes, "it's Aiden's birthday now?" Too cute. So we gave him one of his presents this morning, the rest will be when Daddy gets home from work. I bought him a Lightning McQueen blanket at Disneyland with his name embroidered on it. It's pretty sweet. More on Disneyland later, I have a whole other blog post about that, and lots of pictures, but I'm still gathering my thoughts...

Anyway, here are some pics in honor of Aiden's birthday...

Home from the hospital...


First Birthday...



Second birthday - (don't ask why this is underlined..I couldn't seem to fix it!)


Third Birthday...


Happy Birthday Aiden!!