Monday, April 11, 2011

Running circles in Theme Park

A lot of running, actually. So far, I'm sticking to it. I say that because I haven't solidly committed to be a runner. Because I have a tragic habit of not REALLY committing to something I have indeed claimed to commit to. You understand.

I ran 5 miles today in just under 55 minutes. That's not terribly fast, but it IS dang good for me, and totally set a new standard for myself. Today, for the first time, my lungs actually outlasted my legs. It was a major break through. I feel healthy, I feel pumped, I feel happy.

Around mile 3, I got to thinking about what inspires my running. A small, papery old man got onto the treadmill to my right. He was frail and slow. But he was THERE. With tubes hooked around his ears and into his nose, and his travel sized oxygen tank on the floor between our treamills, he panted next to me. A heavier set woman got onto the treadmill to my left, and began speed walking. She took a couple breaks. She sweated next to me, with me, and I wanted to tell her she was doing great. These people inspired me. I can't say that if I was old I would still exercise with that type of dedication. And I can't say that if I was heavier and more out of shape that I would be working at a healthier body. These two people embodied what I'm running from, and hopefully what I'm running towards.

What inspires you, and keeps you going when you feel like you've reached your limit?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lost My Way to the Theme Park

Once again, I remembered to write Theme Park too late at night on Sunday.

But now it's Tuesday. Let's just call yesterday unsuccessful. I was foggy, and barely convincing my body to cooperate for normal tasks, but I never got my brain started. I exercised, I drank coffee, and nothing. I suspect it was a sleep hangover - my body doesn't seem to know how to process a full 8 hours of sleep. I'm going to have to have a chat with it because I, like most people, am very fond of 8 hours of sleep.


Since beginning my weekly Theme Park posts, most of my frustration and dissapointment in our current residence has faded. I look at this as a positive thing. I know that we aren't here forever, and that our living here now will serve a greater purpose in our future. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

The past week has been spent running, reading, and cleaning. I ran 12 miles last week, which is not a lot for a serious runner. None-the-less, its a huge accomplishment for me.

Books I've read recently include:
- The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dias
- The Scarletti Curse by Christine Feehan
- Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins
- Call of the Writer's Craft by Tom Bird (this is my current read-in-progress)

I've found myself on a roller coaster these days. I've felt incredibly inspired (unfortunately this inspiration hits around 11 pm) to run/exercise, write, be the perfect housewife all at the same time. Then I coax myself to sleep and when I wake up in the morning, the inspiration is gone. Being a night owl with 2 small kids who don't go to school is not an option. I battle moments of feverish motivation followed by days of complete dispair. I constantly feel as though I don't have time, don't have the talent/drive, and it's downright frustrating. Mustache Man is ever encouraging and supportive, and I thank God for him.

My figuative wall is all the criticism I recieved from my mother while I was growing up. How being a writer isn't a REAL job that will pay the bills, that I'm not good enough, and that I just need to marry a doctor/lawyer/Ichiro. I kid you not, she used to tell me that I should marry Ichiro. Money is a sign of success to the woman-who-gave-me-life. How do you get past your figurative road blocks?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

It's in the water, it's in the air! Baby fever and adoption

Baby fever seems to be going around.

I've been seeing many a Facebook post about this epidemic as of late, and have a confession of my own. I, too, was recently bitten by the baby fever bug. Never fear - Mustache Man and I anticipated this "sickness" and after the birth of our second child I had a tubal ligation. Fearing repercussions of my surgery might crop up later and cause marital discord, Mustache Man also underwent a vasectomy. We are a very sterile couple. I do believe I was made to have babies, my pregnancies were wonderful experiences and my labor/deliveries were "easy" in the realms of such occasions. My body seems to be a baby making machine. You can see why we had to put an end to such madness.

I desperately wanted both our children, and they are my greatest joys. But I also know where my personal limits are, and I want to live a life of adventure and give my children every possible opportunity available to them.

I am still open to expanding our family. Mustache Man and I have talked about the possibility of adopting since we started dating. It's an important decision, and not one that we take lightly. The other day I brought it to his attention that I may still want more children in the future, and his eyes nearly popped out with shock. I suppose he thought I might find our two to be too much work. They are a handful.

But I do know that we could offer someone a very good home full of love, later in life. (This would definitely not happen for a few more years at least and only if our family is ready for it as a whole.) I look forward to the possibilities.

I'm a big supporter of adoption. Obviously, our family is not in a place to do this just yet, but I plan on participating in this year's Adoption Run which will benefit Antioch Adoptions. The event will take place on June 11th, 2011 though they are still working out some kinks in registration. You can find more information about the run and Antioch Adoptions at Adoption Run. Donations can be made online for anyone who is interested. In 2010, they had 123 participants and raised $8533 dollars allowing one child to be adopted.

Please consider participating in the event or in donating towards this wonderful cause.

Monday, March 28, 2011

3D 5K

I've been trying to expand my personal horizons lately.

Recently, I've felt a little bit "consumed" by being a mom and a wife. Disclosure #1: I love both of those roles, and am completely in love with my children and husband. BUT, I've been restless. I needed something for myself, and I've found this in running. WHAT? I've never been a runner. But I have found immense joy in it. Figuartively, I'm a runner in that I really don't care to committ to much and generally dislike expectations and responsibility. Oh the irony!

Back to running. It gives me the sense of freedom that I've been longing for. 2 weeks ago, I happened upon a brouchure for the CanDo5k. (, and decided to just go for it. 30 bucks later, I was panicking. 3.1 miles wasn't all that intimidating to me, but I was realizing that there would be other people there, experienced people who regularaly participate in these kinds of events. I must have looked just nervous when I picked up my packet the day before the event. The lady said there was a running chip in the bag and not to throw it away. I wanted to throw up. I'm working on being less reclusive and more out-going, but this seemed like to big of step to take all at once. Disclousure #2: The "what have I agreed to?!" feeling overwhelms me in just about every situation. I almost always come out on the other side feeling pumped and excited and proud that I did it, but it's getting to the end where I can appreciate the experience that is difficult for me.

The night before the 5k was Ayslyn's 1st birthday. We had a house-full of friends and kids to celebrate. It was a regular night in every way except that I didn't sleep at all. I would say it was nerves, but I have a regular problem with sleep. When morning came around, I dropped the kids off with Grandma half an hour late. I almost just climbed into bed instead of going for my run. I remembered to shave my legs (thank heavens my mind was working well enough for that!) and climbed into my spandex and got into the car to go to the event (which was right down the hill from where we live. Convenient, and I should have walked, but I didn't have a place to leave my purse and stuff so in the car I went).

Panic engulfed me when I got to the bottom of the hill, where all I had to do was take a left and I'd be there. I was a few minutes early, but the road was blocked off by some not-so-friendly police officers and the 5k'ers were already starting! I parked in an empty lot and jogged across the wet grass to the back of the group, cursing myself for my procrastinating ways. I jogged past the tail and up to the middle of the group.

My personal summary:
Overall place - 229 out of 654
Division place - 7 out of 23
Gender place - 121
Total time - 32:40 (minutes)
Pace - 10:32

Race summary:
Finishers - 654
Females - 421
Males - 233
Average Time - 42:21

My usual panic was magnified by the fact that I was alone. Most people were participating with their spouses/children, a friend, or group. I had no one, which wasn't that bad, I just definitly find courage in numbers. I was inspired by the other participants, and the sense of team spirit. Everyone was so encouraging and the whole event was charged with positive energy. My favorite volunteer was the lady at the half-mile-left mark, I'm not certain whether or not it was because she was so full of energy or because she was at the half-mile-to-go mark. Either way.

It was a great event, and I forgot all about my insecurities and being alone. I never thought I'd be doing this but now, I'm hooked. In fact, I'm going to register for a 10k that's coming up on April 17th.

What is going outside of your personal comfort zone? And how do you deal with it?

Belated Theme Park #5


I didn't quite forget Theme Park yesterday. It honestly flashed in my mind right before my hunky Hubby walked through the front door. All sane thoughts were forgotten as I realized not only was Mustache Man home from work but also the kids were still asleep! Putting two and two together, I followed him around the house until he dutifully sat down so I could accost (read: cuddle) him.

This week for Theme Park, I am pleased to announce that we have an installed garage door. Please note, that having a garage door and having an INSTALLED garage door are two very different scenarios. I am thrilled. The biggest selling point for me is not having to remove/reattach the front wheel on my jogging stroller every time I want to use it. I'd been hoarding said front wheel to deter anybody who might walk/drive by and think "Hey, that's a nice looking jogging stroller. I think I better take it home with me". It also makes the house look a little more finished/complete/normal.

We have also continued our fight agaist the muddy back yard. We managed to do some yard work during a sliver of time when the sun was shining. We have been dilligently aerating (poking holes) the back yard in hopes of helping our lawn come in. This process also includes spreading more grass seed. I am determined to have a full and beautiful lawn this summer, no more mud/dirt for me... er, for my kids.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Theme Park #4 - A basket of thoughts

1. The other day, a big, fat rat scuttled into the middle of the cul-d-sac, and just sat there. It was so round that I actually wondered, at first, if someones pet chinchilla got out. Then I saw the tail. I immediately hollered for Mustache Man to come and do something. This rat had to go - not only is it vermin and carries diseases, and could potentially bite my kids or dog if left alone, but they breed so quickly! This one rat could help produce hundreds, maybe thousands of other rats. My hubby valiantly went after the rat with a shovel... and while he successfully exterminated the rodent in question, he also broke his shovel handle into 2 pieces. I owe him a new shovel.

2. Our lovely trailer park neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks. I take daily walks with the offspring and pooch, and have taken note that the sidewalks start/end with the nice neighborhoods (aka the 2 story homes). What? Don't us trailer park residents deserve sidewalks too?!

3. My fellow residents here seem to be quite patriotic. I counted 4 American Flags and a Stars-and-Stripes bell/wind chime today.

4. We got our couches yesterday. This has significantly brightened my outlook on in regards to our living room. There is something extremely uncomfortable about going a month and a half without furniture.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Eat my treadmill dust

I've always wanted to be a "runner". I loved the speed when I was growing up, but managed to become one of those not-so-fit kids. I was skinny fat. One marriage and 2 babies later, I'm finally getting "fit". I picked up a lovely book by Dawn Dais "The Nonrunners Marathon Guide For Women" and find it to be not only something I can relate to but its also hilarious. As a back up, I also have "Marathon Training for Dummies". No joke.

I'm not committing to doing a complete marathon (26.2 miles) yet, but I AM committing to doing a half marathon (13.1 miles). Baby steps for me. Other than my marriage and kids, I tend to shy away from commitment/responsibility.

So, I have the books. The other day, Mustache Man got me some serious-runner's clothing - SPANDEX. If my get fit dream wasn't enough, just making sure I use this workout clothing is. My gosh it was spendy stuff! However, horror stories of chafing and sweat got to me, and if I'm going to see this through, I'm going to be as comfortable as possible. As a rule, I avoid anything form fitting and tight (hello, I've had two children, I'm not exactly eager to display the proof if ya know what I mean)... but it feels AMAZING, and what's more is how great I feel. I did 3.34 miles tonight at the gym, something I had thought would be impossible for me, personally. Yes, running on a treadmill is different from pounding the pavement, but it's something. I'm proud of myself.

I'm planning on entering in a Mother's Day run as the first of many stepping stones. It's a 5k, and I'm really looking forward to it. My only disappointment is that Mustache Man will be at work instead of the finish line.

It's 11 pm, and the kids don't appreciate the concept of sleeping in yet, but for your viewing pleasure, tonight's spandex-y outfit.

Monday, March 14, 2011

All this Japanese business

Certainly is a tragedy.

I have family over there, a set of grandparents, an aunt, and 2 cousins close to my age.

I haven't seen them since I was in the 1st grade. My siblings and I had flown over with my mother for a visit during February/March way back when. I can't speak a lick of Japanese (its a life goal to be fluent, but we will see...).

My family came through this "event" ok. I'm so very grateful for their wellbeing and safety.

I guess I look at all this and just feel really detached, and kind of sad that I'm not closer to them. I don't see how I could have built a closer relationship since I can't communicate with them at all, but the regret is there all the same.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Theme Park #3, Where's my lithium battery?

Since my previous two rants, my bitterness towards our residence seems to have evaporated. It's as if I just don't have the emotional energy/capacity to care anymore. I can't decide if feeling numb in this way is a good or a bad thing, and I wonder if this numbing is spreading to the other parts of my life.

I'm still irritated with living so closely to other people. We were in a town house on base before we moved here, and shared walls with our neighbors, but I felt like we had more privacy there. We have a new neighbor right behind us, and she seems very pleasant so far. Due to the amount of rain we've had lately, we've been inside, a lot. I miss the cold air and frozen ground we had a few weeks ago.

I'm trying to be glass-half-full but I'm consumed by emptiness. I have a lot of really great & happy moments, but they never last and it seems like I'm never happy for long. I have general unhappiness like most people (still haven't won the Mega Millions, and those bills keep finding their way into my mailbox dang it) but no unusual problems. Don't they make a pill for this?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm my own 12 step program

It didn't take long to hear back on the job. I received an email stating that the department was going to be "looking at other candidates to fill the position" (people who are not stay-at-home-mom's, people who interview better, people with college educations, people who are more qualified). I was pretty crushed at first, but to be honest... my interview/oral board sucked. While I had spent about a week preparing, I was still completely unprepared. It was a great experience though, and my interviewers were very kind to me which was the perfect way for me to jump back into the swing of things. Disappointing? Yes, very. But I am feeling very encouraged and I can honestly say that I learned a lot.

The day after I received this email, Mustache Man got a letter from a department he is trying to get hired on at. They've accepted his application (after re-sending forms and explaining a couple tickets) and want him to come do a written and physical test. If he passes, he will move on to oral boards the following week. Talk about a blessing! Sometimes it's very hard for me to accept God's plan and what his will is, but I hope this is it! I'd like to not have to work and continue my education instead, and Mustache Man would prefer to be the bread winner anyways.

Change is a constant part of life, and it's something I am trying to embrace. During Mustache Man's enlistment, I embraced being a tad... reclusive. We stayed home a lot and I kind of lost touch with my social side. I've heard that being a parent can do that to you. There were a lot of other factors as well, but it got to the point where I was actually socially nervous. ME. SOCIALLY NERVOUS?! Something has to change. Jumping into job hunting, and the oral board, helped give me that little bit of confidence that I can, in fact, survive meeting people and being rejected by them. That probably sounds ridiculous but that's where my mind set is. To change this, I'm throwing myself into being a runner. Yes, one of THOSE people. I've always wanted to be a "runner", one of those nimble, fit, healthy looking individuals. I'm also the girl who walked the mile in the 8th and 9th grade for P.E. I've just started training (man, I feel lame saying "training") and have picked out a couple events to compete in. I've found a couple 5K's, a 10 mile, and a half marathon I'd like to do this year. My family went running yesterday - Mustache Man, bless his heart, hates running but humors me anyways - and we managed to do 2+ miles. Not bad for people who haven't run in a few weeks and used a double jogging stroller that we had to pull back on because our dog wanted to full out gallop. I'm calling today "Day 2" of training. If I don't just do it, then I never will. I told Mustache Man about the "10 mile" last night, and he raised his eyebrows at me and called me "ambitious". Hah! I'll show him. He has faith in me, but other than being a wife and mother, I don't tend to like commitment very much. Also, as part of busting through my little reclusive habit, I plan on volunteering somewhere. This might get a little trickier, just because it already feels like we have no time to spare, but it's something that I really want to do. I want to make a difference with my time, and want to enjoy the experience as well. My thoughts are animal rescue/juvenile related. Does anyone have any volunteering ideas/opportunities?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Glee-fully yours

Both my children are currently napping (or quiet and in their respective rooms, at least). I can't believe it. Its like we have been non-stop running and never catch a break other than our 5-6 hours of sleep a night. Sure, I wish that we got a full 8 hours, but I loving working towards our future and bettering our life.

Right now, I'm waiting to hear back on that interview I had on Monday. My interviewer said to expect a letter within 2 weeks. It makes me excited/nervous, giddy/scared and just downright impatient. I want this job so badly. Quite frankly, I think I sucked at the interview and couldn't blame either of the officers if they just ripped up my eval. packet as soon as I walked out the door. Mustache Man says I'm being too hard on myself and that I did great (from the things I told him), but the point is, I had a higher expectation for myself and failed. Oh well, now I wait. I can't help but think that this is the job God has for me. I sure hope so.

Mustache Man and I take the ACT's in less than a month (for the first time ever)! We get our couches in a week and a half, and also have Pixie's 1st birthday to plan.

On top of scheduled craziness, yesterday we had quite the scare. I was getting lunch ready and was watching Pixie from the weird bar thing on the counter. I looked down for a split second, and next thing I know she is screaming because she got a plastic coat hanger (about the thickness of a penci!) hooked in her mouth and under her tongue. I seriously thought that she punctured the soft membrane under her tongue. It took a bit of work and twisting to get the hanger out of her mouth, and of course she was scared and not exactly cooperating. In the end, everything is ok. The nurse said that because the mouth heals so quickly she wouldn't need stitches and just to watch for infection. We still don't know if its a puncture (babies, soooo cooperative) but it seems to just be a nasty scratch. I seemed to be the only person seriously concerned. Mustache Man was, but he is always the epitomy of "cool". It's ridiculous... makes me look high strung.

Finally, after way too much waiting, I can now proudly say that I am a revolver-packin' mama. I finally got my S&W .38 SPL +P, complete with pink handgrips. Tomorrow we will be going to get my concealed pistol permit. Oh yeah. Pictures to come later, for some reason they didn't want to load...

A little funny I saw today, hope you get a chuckle out of it! --> Women are angels until someone clips their wings, then they just fly around on broomsticks - they're flexible like that.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Theme Park #2, Chronicles of Trailer Park Living

It'll be interesting to see how long we end up being in this house.

Everyday is still a love/hate relationship here. I love what how much we pay for rent, and Mustache Man and I have finished decorating our bedroom. We went with a zen type of idea, and its completely relaxing. We tell the kids that its a "whine free zone", and miraculously they lose the attitude while in our room. I pretty much hate everything else about this house. It's always cold, the floor is always freezing. It has old, metal frame windows that actually cause a draft in the house. We had to buy curtains just keep the house a little warmer. We've been testing the temperature with a couple thermometers, and its 15-20 degrees colder by the windows than it is in the middle of the living room. I can't imagine how much money we will be throwing away on heating this place. Mustache Man has valiantly been trying to do everything he can to make me happy here, bless him. When he gets home from work, he starts on the "honey do" list and has been working his butt off trying to make this place as homey as possible for me. Last night he hung up my blueberry dishes in the dining room.

Together we've been tackling the yard. The whole yard needs work - there is a retaining wall in the backyard, so it does give us something to start with, but its one big mud pit. We're working at seeding and trying to get more grass in, I'd really like to actually have a lawn (no matter how tiny) and have a place for the kids to play. We're focusing right now on the side of the house - there was a ton of wasted space! It had been really neglected. The bushes and plants had been forgotten and had overgrown so much that everything was rotting. There was a make-shift retaining wall that we ripped out and are now cutting the dirt back to create a parking pad. It will be nice to have a decent place for Mustache Man to park his truck, as it is, parking our two vehicles in the driveway and tying to open the doors wide enough to stuff the kids in doesn't work very well.

My week's big frustration? Our landlord situation. Lord knows I love my in-laws, they are fantastic people. My frustration most likely stems from my own personal issues but I'm stressed all the same. I just plain hate feeling obligated to people. Even more than that, I hate it when someone tries to micromanage me. My sister in law is on the house with her parents, all 3 are co-owners but everyone refers to it as "her" house because she lived here previous to our family moving in. Well, she skipped out early (was supposed to live here for a certain amount of years due to a credit that she got when she bought the house) to go play house with her fiance in a different state. For one, I feel like we're helping to clean up her "mess" by renting the place (we are getting a killer deal on rent,so we do benefit a little). I mean, owning a house is a big deal. It's a very adult thing and with that comes increased responsibility. I don't think its very cool to just ditch said responsibility just because its not what you want anymore. That's not grown up, its down right immature and ridiculous. Consequences are a part of life, and growing up means making difficult decisions that aren't always what we want (like maybe staying in the house you chose to buy and seeing your obligation through). It's not like I enjoy living in this shack! But it is the best possible option for my family at this moment, so I'm gritting my teeth and dealing with it.

So, sister in law... she is a few states away and is virtually nothing but a name on this house as far as we are concerned. She doesn't come to do any work on the place and as far as I know, she isn't paying anything to the mortgage. I could be wrong, but its not my business to know. I just view my husband's parents as our active landlords, we pay them the rent and pretty much don't have any reason to contact Mustache Man's sister about the house. Yet, it appears we need to "clear" things with her. My mother in law as said that she would like to sell the house as soon as we move out, so chances are my sister in law might never see this place again (she won't be visiting until early Fall, and we plan on ditching this heap as soon as we are able to). The term investment house gets thrown around every now and then, but facts are facts. Manufactured houses don't retain value, period. This thing has drastically lost value since it was made in the 1980's. They pretty much just paid for the land its sitting on. In my humble, non-home-owner opinion, an investment is something you put money/work into to have gain later. Of course, I live here so things annoy me more than someone who owns it but does not deal with the issues as a tenant... BUT MY GOSH. PUT DECENT WINDOWS IN THIS THING. INSULATE IT. Not only will it be more energy efficient, and make your currently disgruntled tenant (me) happier (warmer), but you will be adding to the value of the house, and making it a better buy than the other old and outdated houses for sale here in the trailer park.

This concludes Theme Park #2. Thanks for ranting along with me. Tune in next week.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Hunting We Will Go

Job hunting that is, we don't yet have 2011's hunting regs, though I think they should be out by now.

On Wednesday, I went to Bellevue for a job test. It was with a private dispatching company that contracts out to different agencies in the area. Long story short, my time spent testing there was brief. I pretty much failed it. The test was listening to layered recordings of colors and numbers/phonetic alphabet in sets of 3, and writing down exactly what we heard.

It was difficult, half of us didn't pass.

I'm a little disappointed that I didn't do better, but am actually relieved that I didn't even need to consider accepting a job offer from them. Mustache Man had asked around at work (about 3 or 4 people had worked for this same company before) and they said that it was an extremely demanding (read: soul sucking) job and not to even go for the test. The salary was very tempting, but I know myself. Even if the pay is good and I get benefits, I wouldn't be able to work a job that I don't like. I don't have that kind of drive, especially if it means working a job I hate instead of staying at home with my kids.

My next interview is on Monday. This one I am feeling very excited for - butterflies-in-my-stomach excited. Which in turn makes me feel very nervous. That excited/nervous feeling is reassuring to me - I know that I want the job, and even more than that, I can see myself working in this field 5 years from now.

So, even though I'm married and a mom and all, this is kind of making me feel like a grown up. I mean, lets face it, anyone can get married (Brittney Spears), and anyone can reproduce (all the teen mom stuff, I don't watch or keep up on it, but I do pass by the tabloids in the grocery store), but I feel like my "real" life is just beginning, and I love it! I also just registered for the ACT test. I debated taking the SAT's, but I ended up deciding against it. As soon as I've taken that, I kick back and wait for an admissions letter to WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY (online).

My kids are great, my hubby is the love of my life, and God is good. Have a great Saturday, everyone!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Yesterday was a fantastic and terrible day. The Offspring were SUPER whiny. I think we were all just getting some cabin fever, so my mom came over and we went to our lovely Mall (after California, I have such a huge appreciation for Alderwood). I was also starting to feel discouraged about the my job hunt. I know I haven't been applying for that long, but I'm not the most patient person, and we need more income! That's the terrible part.

The FANTASTIC part of yesterday is that I was contacted by the two employers I'd like to work for the most. Both of them are well paying full time positions, which makes me nervous and excited. I test for one tomorrow afternoon, and interview with the other on Monday. I am so excited.

However, I'm nervous too. If I get hired, Lord knows what kind of shift I will be working, and chances are we will have to find a nanny. Or a really awesome daycare. Both thoughts make me nervous. My kids' happiness and well being is my main concern, and I refuse to leave them just anywhere with anyone.

On to happier thoughts for now - the title of this post, LOIN FRUIT.

I was mentioning something to my mom about Zach-attack and Ayslyn. I was droning for effect and said "my children, my offspring, the fruit of my loins" and no sooner than I said "fruit of my loins" was I picturing in my mind someone pointing at my kids and calling them loin fruit. It made me giggle.

I've probably got only a few seconds to down the rest of my coffee before Zach is up for the day.

Here we go again!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Theme Park

Or more acurately, trailer park.

It's my new theme for Sunday. Mostly because 1) I wanted a theme for one day a week and 2) I currently live in a trailer park (which happens to be one of my biggest frustrations).

My basic views - After apartment living with my college parents as a baby, we moved in a rambler (stick built) in Everett. My parents purchased property in Snohomish, and after spending years of chopping trees and clearing it, they bought a manufactured home to put on it while they *planned* on building a house. They had the plans done up by an architecht, and it would have been a beautiful house, but saddly, it was never built. In Everett, I never noticed a difference between people's houses. It was their home, and where ever they lived (house, apartment) didn't effect me. When we moved to Snohomish, the other kids made me painfully aware that I didn't have as nice a house as they did.

My view of an ideal home became a stick built 2 story house. I was ashamed of where I lived. When Mustache Man and I were first dating, the very first time I went over to his house I was immensely relieved to find that he lived in a rambler. Sure, it wasn't a manufactured, BUT it made me feel a little better. Later, when we got our first apartment, I was so proud. I loved our first place together. Through our time with the Marine Corps, we spent time in a condo, apartments, and finally a townhouse on base. Our townshouse was nice. It was basic, and there were things that I didn't like about it, such as the tile countertops, but it was a two story with a nice big garage. My idea of "nice".

Now that we are out of the military and moved back home, I find myself in another manufactured house - a trailer. My in-laws own this house, and we are renting it from them. It's a really good price for us that we honestly couldn't beat, but I loathe this whole situation. Even though I lived in a house like this before, it was brand new when my parents bought it (our rental is from the 80's) and at least my parent's house is on some property. Our rental barely has a backyard!

So. I find myself being in the exact place I swore to never be in, in a kind of house I absolutely cannot stand. Whelp.

Our plan of action right now is to work our butts off and pay off our debt so we can blow this Mexican Taco Stand. That's what is fueling my job search right now - I'll take any job I can get at this point just to move out of this house sooner. My only conslation is that I don't own it - but it doesn't really change anything either.

And so marks this Sunday, the beginning of "Theme Park".

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Holy Snowflakes

We have been in this house for nearly 3 weeks.

It feels like our new life is JUST now coming to some sort of normalcy.

The kids are back to their regular bedtime of 8 pm, mostly because late afternoon/evening has been the longest hardest parts of the day and I would lose my mind if they stayed up one minute longer. Luckily, they fall asleep easily and its not a power struggle (yet... knock on wood). The house is still coming together slowly. Maybe it's because we are renting this house from my in-laws and it isn't "our" home, maybe it's because we don't have any furniture yet, but there are still some boxes lining the walls and hanging out in the dining area waiting for my attention. We still don't have a couch, even! It's been rough and we our feet and backs and tired at the end of the day, but it does make us appreciate our very comfy bed all the more. We should be picking out our sofa next week, and I can't wait!

I love our new 4-legged kid, and so do the kids. Ayslyn is slowly getting used to her size and being less intimidated when she is crawling around the house, and Zach and Abbey run each other up and down the house (I appreciate the mutual exercise for the winter).

Mustache Man is enjoying being a civillian again. He works days, and it has been incredible to have him home so early in the afternoon again. I have been job hunting and applying like crazy! We made the decision to work as hard and long as possible for the next 6 months - 1 year to pay bills down and save for a down on our own house. After we reach a few goals, if I don't have a good job that I like, I'll probably continue my Homemaker gig, but for now, I'll take just about anything. It's nice to have goals and feel like we can actually work towards them again.

Happily for me, it snowed the other day, and has been so cold that it's still clinging to rooftops and trees. I love seeing it, it's my favorite time of year. If only we could get away to go snowboarding... there's always next year. Oddly, optimism seems to be my friend today and I think I may bundle my offpring up and go for a walk in spite of the freezing cold.

It's actually been very hard to feel positive lately. I've had an immense amount of dissatisfaction with nearly everything - the house we are in, our job situation, our lack of furniture, etc. One minute, I love the sun, the next I'm cursing it because it's melting my snow. I'd like to be more positive, but it's been a struggle for me since we moved and "started over". I feel like after 4 years in the military that we should be more "ahead" in life. It's such a bummer to realize we're not.

What do you do to stay positive?

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I kind of think technology is a pain. So much time and attention goes into talking/texting, surfing the web, gaming, etc. I love getting away from it all and going camping. BUT I HAVE TO HAVE INTERNET!

Not necessarily while camping of course, that is usually only for a few days and then I come back to the "real" world again and catch up. Internet is seriously my addiction/weakness. I don't play many games, but I did get sucked into Facebook and blogging/reading blogs. It's my way of accessing the world and trying to stay current (and let's face it, somewhat interesting) while being a stay-at-home mom.

We just got our internet hooked up this morning. We have been in this house for almost 2 weeks. It was good to take a break from it, but I'm glad to be back!

SO. Anyways.

Our move ended up being crazy, the packing/cleaning/turning over the keys part. We started out strong, and had the entire trailer packed up the same day we got it (Thursday). Mustache Man and I had gone through most of our possessions, and got rid of a ton of stuff, but apparently not enough. We ended up shipping 13 boxes through UPS and made last minute cut throat decisions for the garbage pile.

The housing office had neglected to tell us that our garbage bins had to be empty and rinsed out when we left. I had barely finished getting the floors cleaned when the "Housing Guy" came by to inspect and sign us off. We still had a pile of stuff in the garage that was getting packed into a few last boxes and some full garbage bags. We managed to drag everything outside the garage and finish in the driveway, just so the house could be secured and us released from responsibility over it. Mustache Man had run out to ship some boxes (he could only take 4 at a time with the car, and the truck was already stuffed with our things to move and therefore useless), which left me panicking about the garbage bins. They were full. How that happened, I'm not entirely sure, but I'm going to chalk it up to moving. We tried renting a pickup from U-haul to make a dump run and take the remaining boxes to UPS, but we had only an hour and they wanted that much time to have a LOCAL U-haul location contact us. I called every Home Depot in the area (they rent pickup's, but in the Camp Pendleton area, each store only had one truck) and managed to track one down in time. Mustache Man had to pickup the truck (thus leaving the car at Home Depot) rush to load everything, and rushed to empty and drop the truck back off. After signing the house off, this left Mustache Man's mom, myself, and my two munchkins next to our truck, with everything that was going to be packed into the car on the side walk. Thank God we were in California or we would have froze.

Once we left Camp Pendleton, the drive went well. We made good time, the kids did GREAT, and we even stopped in Oregon at an Elk Viewing Area and the Sea Lion Caves near Florence.

Since arriving at our new residence, I've realized a couple of things.

- The tap water here is AMAZING. It was definitely something I took for granted before we moved away.
- The air even smells better! It feels clean.
- I really like "green". The trees are gorgeous.

Seriously though, while I hoped that life would suddenly be dream-like and happy, I didn't have any real expectations. Life is still life - it's still going to have up's and down's and hard times. The changes that have taken place over the last few weeks are many and significant. I'm very pleased to be back to a regular lifestyle. I can't get over the fact that almost everyday, I can expect my husband to work 8 hours and then come home. He doesn't have to do overtime, and if he chooses to, HE GETS PAID FOR IT. He doesn't have people calling him after he gets home from work all night because they are sick/drunk, got a ticket, or need some gear for their next field op. It's great. We don't have all the benefits we had before, but we do have Mustache Man with us more, and that's worth it!

Our new home feels smaller to us, but we're settling in alright. It's always cold but I refuse to turn the thermostat up any more. My in-laws are installing a garage door, and I am dying for it to be completed! Our home in California had a nice big garag that we had stuffed with tools, camping things, and our bikes. Now all that "garage stuff" is crammed in a tiny yard shed and the back room (enclosed porch) that I am currently typing in. Needless to say, it's an adjustment.

One of the perks of this house is that we have a small, fenced back yard! We got a family dog right away. I'm very much a dog person - I'd have a whole pack if I could! We named her Abbey, and adopted her from the Everett Animal Shelter. They said she was a stray and estimated her to be about 8 months old. She is perfect for our family and so tolerant of the kids. I caught Zach poking her eye and she just laid there and took it! (He certainly won't be doing that again, I couldn't believe it...) Ayslyn tries to pet her, but it ends up being more of a smacking than anything - luckily Ayslyn is 11 months old and it feels more like a "tapping". Abbey is going to be a great running partner, and we're working on basic commands with her.

So far, so good.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Being contrary seems to be an almost unavoidable thing for me.

I said I probably wouldn't blog much over the next few days, but I am just bursting with optimisim this morning! Rare, and beautiful these days.

Last night, Mustache Man helped me pack up 3 big boxes. Mostly kitchen stuff. The house now looks absolutely bare, and I plan on starting some cleaning today.

One of Little Pixie's top/front teeth cut through the gums last night. It had been causing her quite a bit of discomfort over the last few weeks, and finally this morning there it was! Talk about being grateful for the little things - it came through just in time for the move!

Mustache Man has taken the car to work lately, as we're still waiting on our rear shocks to be delivered to the parts store. To add to some of my stress, he accidentally took the stroller with him in the trunk the last two days. Lately, I've been surviving on California sunshine and crisp ocean air (okay, who are we kidding, I could care less about the ocean air... I'm in it for the playground and how it zaps some of Z's energy!) Anyways, last night, that wonderful man I married took the stroller out and left it in the garage for me, without being asked. Ladies and Gents, this may not seem like a big deal, but the fact that my busy, gotta-get-everything-done Hubby remembered on his own... that's REAL love right there.

The in-laws are flying down tonight, and will be getting in late-ish. The munchkins will already be in bed, and I hopefully will have gotten some cleaning done. It's still hard to imagine that the day after tomorrow, I will be on my way home. Slowly, it's becoming more real, and I am starting to let myself believe that it's finally happening. And each day, and each time I think about it, the excitement seeps into bones, and I can't help but feel hope again.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Friend Surrealism

Today is Tuesday. Tomorrow night my in-laws will be flying down to help me pack the trailer and clean the house. Thursday, Mustache Man will pick up the trailer. Friday, we will leave this life behind, taking with our household goods only lessons learned and memories.

It doesn't feel real yet. The packing is tangible enough, but it's as though I'm waiting for the big "F-U" from the Marine Corps. The big haha, jokes-on-you. I'm waiting to have everything packed up, everything loaded into the trailer, about to turn onto 1-5 North just for Mustache Man to get a phone call telling him that we can't actually leave yet.

It's an awful feeling.

I don't think any of it will feel like reality until we unpack that trailer and start settling into our new home. My mother in law has been a saint, and for the last week or two has been dilligently painting the house and having new carpet installed into the kids' bedrooms. It's going to be cold and rainy, I'm personally hoping it snows right after we get the trailer returned. We will be going back to a place where the road names are almost all English names and words, and where I track pine needles and dirt into the house and car.

I wonder if we'll have a hard time fitting into the house. It's not really smaller, just different. Different is good. We've been so numb to life for the last few years. The weather in California is almost always sunny and rarely cold. The road names in every city seem the same. I'm tired of feeling "happy" when I'm around more white people than Hispanic because I can understand everything everyone is saying. I'm tired of not having anywhere decent to go hiking or camping or fishing. Different will be very good.

Most of all, I wonder how long it will take me to get back to "normal". How long until I'm more happy and not angry or frustrated all the time? How long until I can fall asleep at night without a sleep aid? How long untl I don't have headaches anymore? How long until I don't feel like we're on vacation? We've been looking forward to this day for the last few years. We keep saying "once this is over, things will get better" but I'm starting to wonder if that's true. We've been surviving one day at a time, always dragging ourselves towards tomorrow and one day closer to the end. Now that the end is here, what's next?

Mustache Man and I have both applied to Washington State University's Online Degree Program. We are eager to start school, but there's that possibility that we may be rejected. That scares the heck out of me. WSU is the only college I've ever really, REALLY wanted to go to. What if they don't accept me? I'll be crushed. Mustache Man has a job waiting for him when we get home, and I'll start looking as soon as we are up there so I can interview ASAP. Other than these "hopes", our future is unknown.

I kind of like that.

I probably won't blog much over the next few days, but I'll be back with updates and pictures when we've unpacked the trailer.

See you on the other side.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Packer Who Didn't

Quote that rubbed me just the right way this morning:

"If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page." - Mark Houlahan

I love this. Being a book whore, and a writer in progress, I especially appreciated this quote instead of all the over-used typical dance-in-the-rain crap. I hate those! No more dancing in the rain while nobody is watching junk! A person can do almost anything if they know nobody else is watching them. You want to enjoy life? Have the nerve to dance in front of people! Just don't do it on a table, pole, or accept singles for it.

Tangent over. I hope.

I'm just procrastinating. Unfortunately, it's what I do... fortunately, I'm aware and working on it. Today is our first official single digit day! 9 days until the big day... the day we leave SoCal, leave the Marine Corps, and move back home. I thought I would take a minute to dive a little deeper into my thoughts about this whole thing. I'm certain that I have been very negative about the Marine Corps and California. It's not that petty, those are just the quickest ways to express my unhappiness.

Regarding the military:
Mustache Man and I were married for just over two years when we talked it over and decided he would enlist. I've wondered if it was perhaps harder for us because we had our married life together before the military came along. A lot of the other military wives I have come to know married into this lifestyle. My conclusion is that being a military family is hard no matter what. I don't think that our 13 month deployment was more difficult than a 6 or 9 month deployment. Gone is gone.

We had a few reasons for enlisting. We wanted Mustache Man to be able to pursue his education. We couldn't have afforded the student loans, and the GI Bill was a great solution for us. Mustache Man had a dream of being a fighter pilot, but that wasn't going to happen. When we started dating, he gave up the idea of being in the military because he didn't want to be away from me. We got married just 2 1/2 months after he turned 18. When he promised to love me forever, I personally resolved to make sure that he wouldn't miss out on opportunities or life experiences because he married me at such a young age. Mustache Man did 4 years of JROTC in high school, and while we knew he wouldn't be a fighter pilot, I didn't want him to wonder "what-if?" later down the road. The medical and dental benefits were also desirable.

The benefits have been great. Mustache Man is planning on starting college in the fall and his GI Bill will pay for everything. Because of the medical benefits, we have our 2 beautiful children for whom we haven't had to pay any hospital expenses. I've had my tubes ties free of charge - we no longer have to worry about paying for birth control or about a "surprise" baby down the road. We even appreciated moving away from Washington. While we missed "home" severely, we were able to completely leave our families and grow closer together and create our own family identity.

The costs - Mustache Man has been gone so much. While we've formed our own family identity, we've also fractured our family in a way. We knew to expect all the training (boot camp, combat training, then his MOS *read: job* training). We knew before we signed papers that he would go on a deployment. What we didn't expect was for him to be gone for a total of 4-5 months every year for weeks, and sometimes a month, at a time as a regular part of his job. We didn't expect for his normal working hours (when at home) to be from 6:30 am to whenever the guy in charge decided to let him come home (sometimes 8 or 9 pm). I certainly didn't expect the stupidity Mustache Man deals with on a daily basis. Every Thursday the Marines have to field day the barracks, and since the CAG came back from deployment (and especially since Mustache Man was relocated to his current battery), this includes married Marines who don't live at the barracks. One of the Thursday's this month found the entire battalion in the parking lot picking grass and weeds out of the cracks in the parking lot because some big wig was on a power trip. I am tired of my children not seeing/knowing their father. Every time we get into a routine, Mustache Man leaves again for 3 weeks, maybe a month, and we get thrown into a "single parent" scenario. When he gets home again, Ayslyn doesn't have that special bond with him anymore, and Zach has no idea why Dad was gone and is suddenly back again.

A lot of everyday people (read civilians) look at our life and say "but the military pays you for housing!" or "you have a guaranteed paycheck and free medical!". Those are true statements. But what do we have to give in order to receive those things?

I spent 13 months praying my husband would be safe and come home. I gave birth to our first child 6 months into the deployment. My husband came home to a 7 month old son. I've been so, so, so alone. My heart has been broken, knowing that my husband can't be reliable because he has to answer his phone at all times of the day and on weekends, and is expected to go into work at a moment's notice. Any say he has had over his life was signed over to the United States Marine Corps.

This last year has been a time of decision for us. For the first time in 4 years, we are choosing what we can do with our life. We did talk of re-enlisting in the beginning - but my bottom line wouldn't be matched by the Marine Corps. I handed Mustache Man the power over our lives. I told him that I respected him as the head of our household and the choice was his. I told him, honestly, that I hated this lifestyle and some days I felt like I couldn't do it anymore. BUT, if this was the way that he wanted to provide for our family, and if this was what he wanted to do with his life, I would support him in his decision and stand next to him in it.

He ultimately made the decision to "get out". I'm so grateful for my husband, his hard work, and all of his sacrifice. He is the greatest man I know.

So we're picking our family up and going home. We're going to make the life we've always wanted for ourselves. In 9 days, we get to stop waiting, push the play button, and move forward onto the next chapter. Finally.

It's a great thing to get back control over your life, your family, and your decisions. If I could do it over again, I don't know if I would choose to do the same thing. My only advice is this: never give away the power over your life.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Girl Who Played Mechanic

Yesterday I had the pleasure of accompanying Mustache Man to the Auto Skills Center here on Camp Pendleton. Let me just say, I think this is one of the best resources Camp Pendleton has! If you work on your own vehicle, I highly recommend it. Because we were replacing the front shocks and the leaf springs on our truck, we used a lift, which cost us $5 an hour. Included in that fee was use of the Skills Center tools (wrenches, sockets, pneumatic stuff) which is extremely convenient if you don't have many tools (we do, but why take our own when we can use theirs?). We worked on the leaf springs first. We replaced them with slightly upgraded leaf springs which more or less gives our Ford F150 an F250 rating. Overall it betters our towing/hauling experience. It also lifted the truck about 2 inches which made Mustache Man very happy. It was definitely a project. The bolts were rusted in, and even after applying quite a bit of Power Blaster, it was still a battle getting the bolts loose. I used pneumatic tools for my first time ever, and enjoyed the experience. There were a couple other spouses at the Skills Center with their respective military member, but for the most part they sat in their vehicle looking bored out of their minds!

After installing the new leaf springs, we replaced the front shocks. We planned on replacing all 4 shocks, but the rear ones are still en route, so I may end up changing those out in our drive way this week. The first shock was quick and easy, and we were sure we were going to have our project wrapped up in no time. We started the passenger side shock and, much to my frustration, realized that the accessory pack hadn't been packaged with the shock. This meant we had no washers or bushings or nut to install the shock with. The washers and bushings on the old shock had been mangled and we couldn't reuse them, and the old nut was too small to fit on the new shock. I called 4 Wheel Parts to see what we could work out, and they told me to just come to the store and they'd get me what I needed - the catch was that they closed in 45 minutes.

I raced down there like a bat out of hell. Normally, I'm really good about not speeding or driving erratically, but I couldn't imagine what we would do if we couldn't drive the truck home or how we would pay for the solution. I had to take a different gate than I am used to exiting Camp Pendleton, and plugged the store's address into our GPS. Not only did I hit every single red light, but the signs at one crucial intersection weren't accurate and I got lost. I broke down, cried, called Mustache Man sobbing, called the guy at 4 Wheel Parts sobbing, and ended up making it in time. Then, I ended up working with not the guy I talked to on the phone, but some other idiot who was a complete jerk. He treated me like I knew nothing, and was extremely rude (his first comment to me was that it wasn't his first day on the job, and his last comment was that I should be careful with the open end of the box). I was pretty disappointed - Mustache Man always raves about how great the guys at 4 Wheel Parts are, and this was my first experience there alone. Mustache Man is contemplating calling or going in and finding the guy who "helped" me... and I'm not discouraging him!

All in all, we ended up getting the last shock installed and were able to leave right as the Skills Center was closing. Here are some pictures of our project for your viewing pleasure.

Our truck on the lift

New shock, old shock

New leaf spring, old leaf spring

Inner/under view of installed new leaf spring

Me working on the front passenger side shock

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The sun will come out tomorrow

Mostly because I'm in California. But figuratively speaking, I'm hopeful that tomorrow will be an amazing day.

Today was fast and hard. I took a unisom pill, so here's a quick overview before I pass out. Pictures and details to come tomorrow.

- Today I played mechanic with Mustache Man at the Auto Skills Center on base. We replaced the leaf springs and front shocks on our truck.

- While at the Skills Center, I tried to save a caterpillar. It literally dove off my hand while I was walking it to safety.

- Realized we were missing parts, ran to the store to get them, got lost (causing a breakdown and much panic) and barely made it before they closed, and was treated like crap for being a woman (I'm assuming).

All in all, it was a welcome kind of stress. It was nice to have a project to work on without having to referee kiddos every couple seconds. 12 Days until moving day!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Ghost of Birthday's Past

Birthday Girl!

Mustache Man at his finest

Steve The Zombie, our new favorite target!

Friday the 14th was my birthday. I'm at that fantastic part of life where I still look forward to getting older. I'm eager for the big 2-5. To celebrate, I got a fabulous new haircut, and to the local gun range with Mustache Man for a few hours. (We were very blessed to have a friend volunteer to take our 2 munchkins and add them to her pile of 3 kids for a few hours.) It was so dad gum freeing to not have to carry a diaper bag, change a diaper, or feed a mouth. For 3 hours nobody called me "Mom". At the end of those 3 blissful hours, I missed my kids. That was a wonderful feeling. Sometimes I wish I had the opportunity to "miss" my children more often.

My in-laws sent me "Living Write" by Kelly L. Stone, a book I'd had my eye on for quite sometime. I already have "Time to Write", so just one more left to a complete set! Here is the web address for her website and blog, check it out!

Speaking of... my kids are simultaneously napping at the moment, a feat that is becoming more rare as the days go by. I'm going to take advantage of this brief pause and flip through "Living Write".

What do you do with your sacred moments of peace?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oh what a beautiful morning!

It's just a scant minute after 7 am, and the hum of garbage trucks resonates through the neighborhood like it does every Thursday morning. Very soon, my son will pop out of bed and tear out of his room, down the stairs to the window by our front door, and rip the blinds aside. Hearing the trucks, but probably not seeing them, he will excitedly look back towards me and exclaim "Mom! Beep-beeps!" (He calls them beep-beeps because of the noise they make when they back up).

Last Thursday, I was still abed still a-snoozing when he did this. This week, I am awake and happy, and looking forward to it. I can't wait to hug him good morning and ask him if he would like his vitamin and some cereal (he always does, of course).

In fact, just now as I took a quick pause to open the blinds and let the early morning sunlight in, he came rushing down to see his beep-beeps. And he was just in time to watch the one right outside our house. His hair is disheveled and his eyes are still sleepy, but he has an excitement and zest for life that I wish I still had sometimes. These are the moments where motherhood has truly blessed me.

Not only do I get the extreme privilege to be a mother to two, beautiful and spunky children, but I get to experience childhood again through the eyes of my children.

In 3 weeks, life with change for us. We will move on, away from the Marine Corps and California, and towards what I hope to be an even happier time for our family. Zach has asked to watch Thomas the Tank Engine and has settled onto our bed, in his Thomas pajamas with his milk. I'd better get on that... one day, Zach will wake up and he won't want to lay next to me to watch cartoons. I'm going to love on my boy while I still can.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Writing Life

Or current lack thereof.

During the Fall, I was on an amazing roll. I had inspiration, I had energy and motivation, I had progress.

Then, I hit a bit of a speed bump. We visited some of my family for Thanksgiving. The visit was wonderful, and I loved it. But because of the visit, I took time off of writing. A lot of time. About 3 months of it. See, I'm working on a memoir. And I didn't want my writing, and the voice of my memoir to get mangled up by my emotional baggage. It's been hard, I've thought about writing almost everyday since I stopped, but I think the time off was good. I'm ready to start again. Where's my pen? Where's my paper?

Now if I could just make myself get up in the morning with Mustache Man, I think I'll be alright. We made a date to go to bed early tonight (and by bed, I mean to sleep), so tomorrow will by my first official writing morning of 2011. I can do this, with a lot of green tea and a lot of coffee, I can do this.

I wanted to share a post I ran across for 33 different ways to start the day.

Tomorrow, I think I may have to open the windows and shock myself awake with the cold air.

What's your favorite way to start the day?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Packing/Moving Progress


And a busy 26 days they will be. Mustache Man and I plan on being all packed up and ready to go a week before our actual moving day, which gives us even less time... but, we will be prepared this time, instead of scrambling and cramming.

Ayslyn has started growing out of her 6-9 month clothes, which thrills me to no end. As I've always said, I love watching my kids grow up! We got a jumperoo off Pendleton Yard Sales, and she is delighted with the standing and bouncing she can now do on her own. Zach is full of energy, and I'm eager to have a backyard he can burn his energy off in. We hope to get a family dog soon after moving into our new place - we've been waiting rather impatiently for one. We've been day dreaming about our new home, and all the happiness and new opportunities we hope to experience in it.

Mustache Man is steadfastly applying to whatever jobs he comes across, and while I know we are both concerned about not yet having a job lined up, we are taking great comfort in the blessings in our situation and our family.

I am still "contemplating" exercising and writing, and fighting my dead/inspiration-less feelings. The stress of packing and our continuing job hunt is exhausting. I'm sure it's all in my head and an excuse, but I have hope that I will perk up once we are back home with the trees we love and the rain we've missed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Moment of shame for me - I threw a temper tantrum this morning, as is evident from my last post. I'm not proud of it, and it is something I am aware that I struggle with. My 2 year old isn't the only one in this family who has trouble managing emotional ups and downs.

A little jam with the toast.... an update!

I got my navel re-pierced! I had to take my original piercing out for the last 3 or 4 months of my pregnancy with Zach (ironically, that was where I got my first stretch mark). It closed up, and I wanted to wait until I was finished reproudcing before I thought about having it done again. With my tubal ligation, my belly button was "reconstructed", so it's pretty bumpy and weird looking, and there's a lot of scar tissue considering how small the surgery was. So, finally, I decided to do it. I wanted my "pretty" back, and I'm loving it! I was worried that it might be more painful since I'm hefting my two kiddos around, but there have been only a few minor incidents. I had it done on the 28th (it was a Christmas present from Mustache Man).

Our nightstand project is about complete! Mustache Man applied the last coat of varnish last night! Now it's just a matter of getting the hardware painted. We were originally going to try to replace the hardware with something newer and less 80's/90's style, but I'm having some trouble matching the posts. We test painted one of the drawer pulls last night, but Mustache Man thinks we may need to get something to remove the old finish first. Either way, pictures will be following soon!

Operation Get out and Move Home: The house is steadily being packed away. We are moved out of half of the upstairs, and now only using the kids' rooms and their bathroom. We've primed out bedroom. I would say about 50-60% of the house is packed. I've been selling furniture and things we don't use/need on the yardsale website. That's been great! Making room, moving less stuff, and collecting a small amount of cash in the process. We had our pre-inspection today, and the guy said our house looked great and that it was well taken care of - all we need to do is basic cleaning and move everything out by the final inspection.

My kids contiue to be a challenge and a joy. The older they get, the more crazy about them I seem to be. Zach is talking more and more, and Ayslyn is crawling around and pulling herself up. We're trasitioning her from bottles to sippy cups slowly. Zach's potty training has been fantastic!

As for me, I'm plugging along trying to stay sane amidst all the crazyness and extreme change. My lowest weight during 2010 was 134 (I think, it may have been a pound or two less), and after all the Holiday food and extra eating I do with Mustache Man home, I only gained 2 pounds. I have hit the gym again, and hope to make it a habit this year. I did not make any New Year's Resolutions, for the first time ever. I have things in mind that I would like to have happen, and like to accomplish, but I'm going to take this year like I've tackled the past 4... one day at a time.

Speaking of which, Mustache Man applied to another Sheriff's Dept. last night. They will stop accepting applications in 2 weeks, and we should hear back 2-3 weeks after that if he is a candidate. More on our job hunt later.

What kinds of big change are you expecting this year?

Rants and raves from yours truly

Dear Well Meaning People of the World,

I'm sure your intentions are good.


Seriously. If I hear one more individual tell us we are coming back to the "real world", I will flip out. And all the irritation that's been building will end up pouring out of me on one poor soul.

For 4 years we have had a "guaranteed" paycheck. We have had medical & dental insurance. We've recieved a housing allotment. However, Mustache Man has worked his ass off for all these things - it may have been guaranteed, but that man has never once sat back and slacked off. Don't you dare try telling me that my husband hasn't worked hard for everything we've had. He gave up being present at the birth of his first child, and missed out on the first 7 months of our son's life. He's run himself into the grown just to function on sometimes no more than an hour or two of sleep. He spent 13 months in Iraq. Get off your pedestal before I take you off of it.

Secondly, we've been job hunting for months. We've been hardcore looking and applying since the beginning of September. Mustache Man is on waiting lists for so many departments. We're not a family who doesn't look ahead into the future. There's been little else on our minds. Do us, and yourself, a favor and get out of our life and back to your own. Take a hard look at yourself - maybe you'll realize you need to get off your soap box and work on your own unperfect life.

One helluva pissed off wife and mother