Wednesday Walkabout – A Patriotic Day

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Happy Hump Day Ya’ll (have you seen that Geico commercial?  Oh man, I laugh so hard EVERY time I see it).  Its been two weeks since the 4th of July but I never got to share with all of you how we spent our day.  The Fourth is a difficult holiday to be so far away from my family.  It sounds silly, because I know that holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving should be hard too.  They are, don’t get me wrong, but the Fourth is really, really hard.  We are such a “tradition is important” family and we do the same things every year – parade, eat, some of us go to a movie, camp out at the fireworks viewing area way early and talk, play cards, eat dessert.  Its so much fun and I miss my parents, my sister and my Aunt and Uncle.

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What I am thankful for is the new family we have found here.  It is so vital to the life of a military family (or a family that happens to move to a new location without family or a prior support group).  Last year we went to a parade in one of the nearby towns and had a BBQ and very awesome “never allowed in California or Nevada” fireworks.  Our neighbors/adopted family have taken care of us since we moved here practically and I can’t even tell you how grateful I have been for that.  This move has been way more difficult then I ever imagined it would be and without them it would have been much harder.

So, how did we spend our very Patriotic Day this year?

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Walking down Constitution Avenue in DC!  Yep, you read that right!  My two oldest joined me with my awesome Blue Star Families friend while we marched down the middle of DC with the MilKidz Club.  It was such a strange and crazy experience.  I really hope that I never lose the awe-factor when it comes to living here.  Everything I do and experience almost leaves me breathless.  Visit Blue Star Families, MilKidz Club page and look for a chapter in your area.  It’s great for kids!  The organization of the parade was really good, but I thought we were there far too early, especially with small children.  I was really glad I had decided to leave Phillip home with Mr. Air Force.  They had lots of doctors and EMTs at the end of the parade with misting tents (that weren’t misting enough) and warm water and gatorade (not good).  Some local fireman also were spraying water with a huge fan that actually was so much better then the misting tents.  It really sucked that we had to walk so far to get to a metro, but other than that it went really well and I was super proud of my kids.

After that Daddy came and rescued us with Chick-Fil-A and cold water and lemonade.  We went home and rested and got ready for our friends to come over.  It still is crazy to me that we ended up living across the country with someone I’ve known since I was a Senior in High School; and my sister and his brother were very good friends.  It’s pretty crazy.  His wife is amazing and we are besties.  My neighbor and her little boy came over as well.  Then we ventured out for Fire Works this year at a local high school.  It was incredible!!!

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No pics of the actual fireworks (who seriously hasn’t seen a firework), because I was actually enjoying them.  It really cracks me up to look around and see everyone with their Phones and IPads taking pictures and videos of the fireworks instead of actually watching them.  It’s a sickness seriously.

Are you a tradition person?  How was your 4th of July?!

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How children deal….

 

 Over the many years of our military life, we’ve experienced many days, weeks and months without daddy.  It’s interesting how children evolve in their understanding.  Military kids are quite a breed of their own.  They experience things not a lot of other children do, and they adapt in their own ways.  One particular time in our life that comes to mind was when my oldest was about 4.  Ami was not really aware nor did I think she cared much.  At that point in her short little life it was all about mommy.  Brian, however, didn’t handle it quite as well.  He never wanted to leave me, even to be in the next room at Gymboree.  He was sad and cried all the time.  He couldn’t, however, explain it to me all that well.  He knew daddy was gone and thought he was in the computer.  I remember breaking down in Gymboree when my friend was visiting, trying to manage things.  Pretending like I had it all together when clearly I didn’t.  I think there was some lingering depression and just the fact that I couldn’t help my son.  The pressure on moms in general is undeniable.  We want to provide stability and happiness to our children; when we can’t it wrecks havoc in our mom brain and heart.  I had no other real support do to the nature of our location, and I didn’t have a lot of friends whose husbands were with mine.  Most of them weren’t married or were married to other service members.  The load was too much to bare and I kept it all in.  In turn I think whatever the kids were feeling was compounded by the feelings I thought I was keeping to myself.  They are pretty smart little devils aren’t they?

                   Getting in a little wrestle time

                                                                                                                           Daddy’s Home!
So now, during this most recent time apart I have a 17-month-old, an almost five-year-old and an almost seven-year-old.  Phillip is aware in his own way, and I notice it way more than Ami at his age.  Every time the phone rings he says “daddy daddy!”  He checks the bed and the closed bathroom door.  Brian is more talkative and obviously his understanding is way more developed than when he was 4.  He discusses it with his school counselor and his other military buddies at school (school counselor = amazing support).  Ami, so far, isn’t displaying any issues, verbal or otherwise.  However, her relationship with her daddy has recently developed into that typical daddy/daughter thing so we’ll see if that changes.

 
 of course, Murphy’s Law applies – via a hole in the chin

All I can do is take this one day at a time.  My support system here isn’t well developed, but what I do have is wonderful.  I recently just met a lady (while volunteering) that lives a similar life to mine.  She has young kids and doesn’t have support system that is connected to her husband’s career ( like me), which is different then a separate support system).  It was a little God moment.  I didn’t have to take this volunteer slot, I didn’t know much about her.  I also didn’t know I would need a ride to another metro station because the one where I was at was closed.  Sometimes its those little moments that you least expect, that don’t seem all that important, that make all the difference?

 post-deployment trip – my favorite picture ever

Have you noticed changes in your kids over the years?  How do you handle it?
What about little moments…..what’s your deployment “little moment’?

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Wednesday Walkabout – My thoughts on Recalls

Today as I was running errands I was listening to our all news radio station here. Its kind of lame that I really enjoy listening to an all news station, but there you go. So as I’m listening and an announcement for the latest baby related recall comes on. Now, there are some that might be thinking that I should list some sort of disclaimer, or many exceptions to the rules. Maybe I should talk about the fact that there are accidents and not every parent is stupid. Maybe I should but I would just like to think that I don’t have to, that most of the things one might think would already be assumed and I’m not just some crazy person running around calling everyone stupid. I guess that was sort of a disclaimer, now wasn’t it.

The latest baby recall is for the Rock N Sleep……truthfully I still haven’t recovered from the hysterical laughing fit when I received the recall kit for my bumbo seat.

If you want further information about the recall, here’s one of the news articles that popped up.  The gist of it that mold can grow between the pad and the plastic.  A reported 600 cases have been reported (out of how many that have been sold in comparison) and there have been 16 cases of infants being treated for respiratory, cough and hives after sleeping in it.
Maybe I’m cynical, or just easily annoyed, but seriously?!  I feel horrible that these cases happened. how did they happen, will the recall prevent more?  Is it really anyones fault, even Fisher Prices, because mold can grow anywhere in those kinds of conditions.  If wet fabric is left folded together against a dark wet surface mold will grow.  Let me tell you about mold.  Ever since we moved to the East Coast mold has become my worst enemy.  I’m not used to having to even think about it.  Nevada has negative humidity, so worrying about that isn’t something that even crosses my mind ever.  Here, a towel might not dry before your next shower.  How crazy is that?  So I’m wondering if issues occurred just because, and it was purely a fluke sort of thing  Did the child leak through and no one cleaned it – not because they are a bad parent, but because they forgot.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they forgot because I have!
The whole bumbo recall and the issuing of the new kit with the seat belt cracked me up as well.  That’s when I really started getting annoyed with a lot of the recalls.  A baby could still be injured in the bumbo with the seat belt on, because most of the injuries were reported when babies were put on tables or high surfaces too close to the edge.  So a baby that is going to try to crawl out will just tip the whole thing over instead of just themselves now.  Maybe I’m thinking about this too much, but I feel really bad for these companies AND the parents too.  Everyone wants to sue everyone, be mad at everyone and find someone else to blame for everything!  Most of these cases probably occurred and it was just an accident…no one is to blame.  Why must we find someone to blame for every little thing?
The truth of the matter is that almost anything can be proved defective or dangerous if used improperly or if some weird, freak accident occurs.  Where will it end and when will it stop.  Like I said, these companies issue recalls and people must comply, its just the way it is.  I’m not telling anyone to say “shove off” and disregard any warning.  Its just sort of a vent I guess.  
Am I crazy or does anyone get what I’m saying?
Link up for Walkabout Wednesday with some of my favorite blogging pals!

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What’s wrong with being a mom….

     
         This topic is as old as the day is long, and it’s been done so many times before.  But I can’t help it.  Everytime I see a story/article where a women writer is bashing another woman it makes me just foam at the mouth.  I’m not going to deny that perhaps my religious beliefs don’t play a roll in how I feel, but I personally know another mom who has the complete opposite beliefs in religion as I do, but our view on being a mother and parenting are right in line with each other.  I am so tired of women bashing women.  I’m so tired of being accused of being some sort of 1950s Stepford Wife, trying to keep women down.  It absolutely infuriates me.  It makes me so mad I could just spit.  Why in the heck would one mean the other?  Frankly, I don’t see what is wrong with wanting to stay at home and provide the best that I can for my children.  What is wrong with me wanting to fully support my husband’s career?  What is wrong with making dinner for my family, doing the laundry and most of the cleaning?  I argue that nothing is wrong with any of those things?  What’s more, why am I subjected to thoughts that aren’t my own if I say that.  Somehow I become so old fashioned woman basher if I don’t think that everyone women should just do whatever they want regardless of whether or not they have kids.  And that somehow my husband is probably brainwashing me, and that’s the only possible way that I could come to these facts and opinions on my own.  That every women in the 1940s and 50s was some oppressed person.

         I’m not an idiot, I’m not going to deny that there were plenty of cases where women were forced to do things they didn’t want to do.  I get it.  But did anyone ever stop to think that maybe a woman’s biggest enemy is another woman?  Having a personal belief these days only subjects you to a lecture about how are basically against woman’s right and ability to do anything for herself.  No.  I’m not against women being educated, or working or anything like that.  I have a degree and had I not gotten pregnant my last semester in college I would have gone to work.  I plan on working once all my children are in school in school and grown.  Yes, my husband and I both prefer that I am home to raise the children.  Why is it weird that I wouldn’t want to raise my children myself?  Why is it weird that I wouldn’t want to spend money letting someone spend more time with my children than I do?  I get that some people don’t have a choice, for a long time my mom wasn’t at home.  I don’t think those women or my mother are some horrible slacker of a mom.  It doesn’t seem so hard for me to believe that while I feel personally that my place is at home, and at the same time not pass horrible judgements on someone who doesn’t choose that life for themselves.

     
         How do we know what Ward Cleaver did or didn’t do?  What if he was the one that taught his kids to tie their shoes, throw baseballs, change tires, mow laws, clip bushes, taught his sons the value of women – how they are to be honored and treasured.  Why do we assume that because a women back then may have done most of the cooking and cleaning that the men in their life thought of them as nothing more than slaves?  I happen to believe that men and women are designed differently.  That we have different strengths and weaknesses.  My husband doesn’t cleaning, does laundry and spends time with the kids without me around.  But he does it differently.  He talks with them differently.  He knows and does things that I don’t.  Little girls are continually being taught that they can do anything, but be a mom.  Little boys are basically taught that opening doors for girls is wrong and that girls can open their own freaking doors.  Opening a door for a girl must mean you’re a sexists jerk face.  We don’t let boys be boys, even from a young age.  We need to celebrate each others strengths and weaknesses.  I think that’s what this world needs.

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