Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Birthday Ball Weekend Shenanigans

Mustache Man and I attended his battalion's Marine Corps Birthday Ball on the 13th of this month. This year, it was held in San Diego and the Manchester Grand Hyatt. We had been looking forward to it since July. We paid for a plane ticket to get my mother in law down here so she could stay with the kids while we were at Ball. I had bought my dress in August. We reserved a room at the hotel, paid for another medal for Mustache Man's dress blues uniform, and amazing shoes for me. My lovely and talented friend Jen did my hair. This year was going to be the best. ball. ever.

Much to my delight, this year I was not only 21+ years old, but I was also not pregnant. Bring on the booze! I knew we couldn't be so lucky as to have an open bar, so we made a stop before getting to San Diego to pick up some rum and start the pre-running in our room. The hotel was beautiful, and so was the Ballroom. It didn't feel cramped like it did the year prior. I was three sheets to the wind before the ceremony was over. This would normally not be something I'd encourage myself to do, but I am usually very self conscious in similar situations, and it was able to relax and enjoy the event.

I vaguely remember dinner. The steak was medium and perfect, and I remember dropping a piece on my dress. There was a lot of white man dancing going around our table, and the Marines I sat with, they rocked it! I was introduced to the "Shopping Cart", and "Lawn Mower". Mustache Man and I drunkenly tried dancing to some fast songs, which he later told me were some sort of beaner music. Oh well. I don't remember, so its hard to be too embarrassed. We got in line and had our pictures taken. Then it all went downhill. We went to pick up our pictures after the allotted amount of time to have them developed, and they were nowhere to be found. We asked the photographer, who was downright rude for no reason! He told us that we should have come to him sooner, implying it was our fault and not his. I broke down into tears, which always makes Mustache Man super protective... not a good thing for the person making me cry. The photographer's employees remembered taking our pictures, and remembered printing them. The photographer tried suggesting that our friends probably picked them up - we were staying the night at the hotel so that didn't make any sense. Finally, realizing that we weren't drunk enough to just give up and walk away, he gave us our money back. Jerk.

The saddest thing was this is the skinniest I've been in years. I've been working my butt off since August to get into shape, and I had a sexy dress that looking amazing. My hair was done. I was so happy. And the asshole lost my pictures... to what might be our last formal event. I wanted to gut him. Now, I'm just hoping that karma catches up with him. And that by some miracle my pictures show up. Our room was nice, but not so much that I could understand why on Earth someone would pay 400 a night for it. Luckily, we got a major discount through the event. We woke up at 4:30 am, and couldn't go back to sleep. It felt almost like we would be wasting our precious time without the kids by sleeping. Go figure. So we watched movies in bed, and recovered from our night of booze and bad dancing.

Otherwise, we had a great visit with Mustache Man's parents. We went to Knott's Berry Farm with them, and to Julian. Julian is a small, history packed town with a fantastic cemetery and Mom's Pies. It was a very relaxing and fun visit, totally the polar opposite of what people usually expect when the in-laws come. The kids loved doing Christmas early (Zach has a new train set that he is OBSESSED with) and we are very eagerly looking to moving from California and (hopefully) back to our dear Washington.

Tomorrow, we leave for St. George, Utah. We're going to be spending Thanksgiving over there with my "other" family, the ones I lived with shortly before I got married. We're so excited to see them again. The last time was in March, and we'll be meeting my cousin's newest addition, Asher.

Enjoy the Bird, everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010


I'm still nursing a cold. Every morning I wake up stuff/yucky/headachey. Ayslyn first two teeth have broken the gums, Zach's getting another few molars in. Nothing really exciting here.

It is, in my eyes, officially winter here in sunny SoCal. We have our Christmas tree up, and last night was our first night with the fluffy "warm" comforter. This is pathetic! I was born in Utah, and grew up in Washington. This is the most miserable excuse for Winter if ever I saw one. Oh well. It's also our last one here. In 3 months, we should just be moving into our next home and into the next chapter of our lives.

Next week, for Thanksgiving, we are going to visit my family in St. George. I've missed them a lot. We haven't seen them since they were out here last March, just a few weeks before Ayslyn was born. I just hope I'm over this nasty cold by then!

I have hopes of Mustache Man getting off work semi-early today. It would be nice... they were in the field for a backyard shoot on Tuesday and Wednesday night, and luckily, Mustache Man found someone to trade duty with him (meaning instead of leaving Thanksgiving morning, we will get to leave Wednesday afternoon! Thank you, God).

Birthday Ball and Grandparents adventure reaps to come soon. When I'm feeling better and thinking more clearly.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And on this day, I am resting

This last weekend was our much anticipated Birthday Ball weekend with my in-laws visiting.

It was great. But today, I woke up with a cold and completely out of focus. It's seriously amazing that I was able to drive home without incident after dropping Mustache Man off at work this morning.

Right, out of focus. I'll be posting sometime in the next few days about how Ball was when I am thinking straight. clearly. at all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

After this post, I will utilize my will power

for the good of the house. In some way I will better my home. I think.

Where has my mojo gone? The last few days I've felt completely "meh" - for lack of a better description. My in-laws are coming to visit tomorrow. Maybe my lack of caring is my mind protecting itself from freaking out. See, our house is in the middle of being sorted through and packed. I've been selling things we don't want to move and giving to Goodwill. Our home is a topsy-turvy mess. Luckily, it's just clutter, and mostly downstairs. But still, everyone wants their house to be nice when people visit.

Grandparents land tomorrow evening. Birthday Ball is on Saturday. I'm stoked.

The other morning, I went to the gym and did some cardio. Right as I'm opening the car door to leave, I sneeze. The result is a decent sized knot on my head (from the corner of the door). Today, I was opening a regular plastic jar of JIF peanut butter, and sliced my finger open. Seriously?! Yep. The inner safety seal thing cut me while I was unscrewing the lid. Zach has been waking up between 6 and 630 am every morning. I'm not thrilled about it, but what can I do? We took his plastic door knob keeper off, and leave our door open in the morning, so he wanders in and wakes me up now. It's probably good for me... I'm still getting used to it though.

NaNoWriMo has been going on for a 10 days now. I have written ZERO words. I suck. I know myself pretty well. I know I cave under pressure and avoid things I say I'm going to do. But I love writing. This is frustrating, and I attribute some of this problem to my recent "meh-ness". There's still 20 days. I'm hoping to kick off some serious writing today.

After I do something for the good of my home.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Things I'm Learning

1. Extended weekends = me falling off the face of the Earth
2. Extended weekends never go as planned
3. Even though we have gotten rid of a bunch of stuff... we still have a lot.

Today is the beginning of the work week for us. Mustache Man had a 3 day weekend. We put up our Christmas tree and decorated. Found shoes that match my Birthday Ball dress. Took in some recycling. Basic weekend.

Zach is having craptastic potty training speed bumps. My boy, who had been a champion with his Froggie Potty Chair, is backtracking. He is having accidents more frequently and, to my horror, has popped his pants 3 times thus far. He won't ask to go. If he's not near his potty chair, he just does his thing. This is a huge source of frustration for me. Hopefully, we find a way to help him relate and to get back to being our little ace.

Ayslyn's teething is coming along slowly. Where Zach could wake up on any given morning and have teeth, we can see the bumps in Ayslyn's gums and it's a much slower process. Last night she had a hard time falling asleep, and finally had some relief when I numbed her gums up. I hope to see some pearly whites poking through before December.

Today is chock full of potential right now, and I plan on taking advantage of it. Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

As the darkness fades

I am still utterly exhausted. It's 6:57 am as I type, which means I've already been awake for 3 hours. Oi.

Yesterday was amazingly productive. We bought a car.

Jerry came home from work at an alarmingly decent time, and after sitting for a few minutes, we decided it would be best to go out and continue our car shopping. On Monday, we'd looked at an Explorer in L.A. Yesterday, we went south to look at a Taurus. Just coming out of a bankruptcy, we expected the worst possible interest rate.

It seems that we got one of the most decent salesmen at the lot. I'm just guessing from the way the other salesmen carried themselves and talked to us. We went down there with Taurus in mind. Eventually, we got them talked down 1500 under their sticker price, which is about 3,000 lower than what the car is worth Blue Book wise. It's a 2006 Ford Taurus (a sedan) with only a little over 31,000 miles. The inside is extremely clean, and the back seat has gobs of room, much to Zachary's delight. To my absolute delight, we got the car I personally had my sights set on (Jerry really wanted the SUV... he likes his 4x4). He is, however, very pleased that we got the car that I really wanted (it tends to go the other way around).

It cost about $20 less to fill the entire tank, and gets nearly double the MPG the truck gets. I really feel like we did the right thing. We both loved the Explorer we looked at in LA but this car has significantly lower miles (almost by half!) and will be more economical. We do hope to get the truck fixed over the next year, and I think it will be good for Jerry to have something to work on (though I wouldn't have minded if it was something less expensive than our engine).

While at the dealership, Zach had his first poop accident. He's been out of diapers for nearly a month, so on one hand I almost feel lucky that this is the only one so far, but lemme tell you, it was one of the most unpleasant things I've had to deal with in my time as a mother. Ew, yuck, ick, gross. Zach was, of course, delighted that I used such words that he could mimic me while I tried to clean him up. He had no problem informing as I wiped his butt that was cleaning up poop. A mini Captain Obvious.

7:12 am. Today's adventure in mothering will be kicking off very soon - Zach usually wakes up about this time. Today's plan - return our rental. We got the cheapest possible car for the week, which turned out to be an extremely uncomfortable and basic 2 door Toyota Yaris. It doesn't have power anything. Ick. Needless to say, with little kids and big car seats, a 2 door is not convenient. I can't wait to return it (and never sit in one again!).

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 1, 2010

What a weekend!

It was just so "our life" typical!

Saturday: I was able to attend Jane Wayne Day! It was an morning event with my husband's battalion, where spouses and families were able to go with their Marine and experience some of the things our men do everyday. We wore flak and Kevlar (flak is the vest that they wear to help protect from bullets. Ours didn't have the protective plates in them, and were old vests that aren't issued anymore. Kevlar was the "bullet proof" helmets they wear.) We rode from each "event/station" in 7 tons, and I was happy to get to ride in the cab of one instead of in the back. The first stop was to see live fire from the Howitzers, 50 cal, and some machine guns. The second stop was to shoot M16's. Each family member was given a magazine with 10 rounds, and was supervised closely. Out of my 10 rounds, I had 7 hits in the target's head. I didn't think that was too bad, especially considering I' never held that rifle before. The butt stock was a little long for me, but it was almost as easy as shooting our .22 rifle. There was virtually no kick, and it wasn't very loud. The 3rd station was a "pause", the almost camp-like area that the batteries set up in when they go to the field. We got a look into what FDC does (they direct where and what the guns shoot, essentially)and then walked over to the gun line to watch them shoot. The husband got an amazing video of the shoot. You'll find the video below. The final station wasn't really a station. We loaded up on tracks (big tactical vehicles that carry a lot of people, and run off of tracks instead of wheels). It was bumpy, and fun. Overall, a great day. I was blessed to have a friend offer to watch the munchkins for me (you had to be 13 and over to attend). It was nice to see how some of these things effect the Husband at work, and to have a better grasp on the things he talks about with me.

Was planned to be a semi-lazy day. We took off the plastic door knob "keeper" on Zach's room, so he can come and go as he pleases, in hopes to use his potty when he needs to. He woke up early, around 7 am, and we heard him walking down the hall chattering for us. We had Daddy-pancakes (Husband makes the best pancakes! They're so fluffy. I always burn them in my mission to get them cooked all the way through). Our plan was to take off right after breakfast to go pick up our family pictures and get Husband's medals dropped off in preparation for Birthday Ball. Medals, check. On our way to Temecula to pick up our pictures, we heard a crunching/thud. I thought maybe something had kicked up off the road, and Jerry was sure that we had a flat. Unfortunately, it was neither. We opened the hood, and upon further examination found a coil. Then a spark plug. The spark plug was smashed, and we suspect that a piston broke loose and knocked the spark plug out. Thank God, we did make it home on our 7 remaining cylinders. Currently, the truck makes a horrible noise every time we start it up an feels like it's going to die every time we come to a stop. We have talked to a shop about it to see about possibly repairing the engine, and with just what happened yesterday and what was described, the shop said their is a 50/50 chance we'll have to replace the engine. So, we are starting our car shopping earlier than we had wanted to. We had originally planned on waiting until we moved back to Washington and had a few paychecks under out belts, but now it seems like we don't have much of a choice. We've gotten many suggestions from well meaning family members - buy a cheapie car to drive until we move, buy a motor from a junk yard to replace the engine, repair the engine, etc. None of them seem cost effective to us in the long run, so we're looking for a basic, reliable family car. It's not what family would have us do, they've been very insistent on their suggestions, but ultimately we have to decide for ourselves - we will be the ones to live with the choice. Advice just isn't what it used to be...

Halloween was also our 7Th anniversary! 7 years ago, Husband and I sat in the Expedition while our friends trick-or-treated and he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was so filled with joy and amazement that this hottie would want to be with me?! Now, looking back, it's still one of my favorite memories. I am so proud of how far we have come, how we've grown together, and the life that we have. I must admit, a great deal of my pride could be misconstrued as a big "I TOLD YOU SO" to everyone who said we were too young to know what we wanted and all those who said we wouldn't make it. Oh well.

Today is November 1st, and I love it! I live for today. The day Halloween is over, and the Holidays can officially start. We usually put our Christmas tree up today, but I'm not certain it's going to happen yet. We've got to clear my craft table out of the way and pack up some of my sewing things before we can do that.

NaNoWriMo kicks off today. National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to smack down 50,000 words of brand new novel material in a month, roughly 1,667 words a day. This is a huge task, and I look forward to seeing how I do. It's my first year participating. Wish me luck!