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.