Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Five Pronged Approach

Even if you’re not battling a creeping waistline and struggling to tuck  your kidneys back into your pants after bending down, you might be looking for some health and fitness guidance from a personal trainer. No? Well, suck it up, I’m offering it anyway. Mostly, writing down my strategies for success in the fitness arena is a way for me to remind myself of what needs to be done. And if it benefits you too, then that’s gravy.

So over the next few days, I’ll offer a five pronged attack plan for getting on top of my eating and exercise, paving the way for a somewhat better looking Mommy at reunion time (end of June, peeps.)

The Five Pronged Plan:

1. Writing it Down
2. Moving it Around
3. Taking it up a Notch
4. Making it Mental
5. Keeping it Up (get your mind of out the gutter)

Not Winning

“No tiger blood in YOUR veins.”
I wrote recently about my renewed vigor in the fight against fat. Since then, I have demonstrated my dedication to this fight by baking excessively (must get rid of all the flour, sugar and chocolate chips that we can’t move, right??) and by trying to prove to Ben and Jerry’s that I am, indeed, their most loyal customer. The Major has not helped in my efforts (at least not the efforts to LOSE weight, but he’s a big help in my efforts to weigh more than I have since I was pregnant. Thanks, man.) Twice a day, like clockwork, he works his way around the kitchen, opening every drawer and cabinet, and then comes to me and asks, “Where are the treats?” He does it as soon as he gets home from work, and again after the kids go to bed. And when I’m fighting a fight — a friggin’ WAR — over here, I do NOT need to be reminded about TREATS all the time! Nor do I need to feel like it is my job to be in charge of these treats or to create them for YOU, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, the point was to tell on myself, I guess. I haven’t been doing the things I need to do if I actually don’t want to be flabby mom at my upcoming high school reunion. And it isn’t like I really care SO much what the people I knew in high school think of me (maybe lying just a teensy bit here…) but having an event to work towards has helped with these types of efforts in the past.

SO. It begins anew. TODAY. I have my gym bag with me at work. And since Turbo hates it when I pick him up early, I will go to the actual gym before I pick up the kids. (I used to work out in our garage, which was better equipped than many base gyms, but it’s been packed into a PODS container.) And I will NOT. EAT. CRAP. AAAGH!

Why is this so hard? I’m a friggin’ personal trainer, for crap’s sake! (Okay, not practicing, but certified!!) It isn’t like I am clueless about how people gain and lose fat!! (In case you ARE clueless, I can give you the basics. As The Major says, “It’s Physics, Homes.” Calories in, calories out. If the IN is bigger than the OUT, then you get bigger. If the IN is littler than the OUT, you get smaller. [Though there are still people who will say, "Oh, no, that doesn't work for ME." I will put my trainer hat on for one second to tell you, sure as shoeshine, that is absolute crap. YOU do not have a special metabolism designed by an alien race to DEFY THE LAWS OF PHYSICS. If you did, you would be the subject of many scientific studies. But you don't. And neither do I.])

So we start again today. Coming with me?

Monday, May 30, 2011

We Don’t Forget…

Today we are loading up a PODS container and beginning to see all the boxes appearing, dust coming off of things that haven’t been moved in forever and cabinets opened to groans — “WHY did we keep all this crap this whole time???” But while we’re going through the motions of another PCS, in the back of our minds, we’re also thinking about those we’ve known who won’t have the privilege of suffering through another crappy moving experience. Because while it certainly sucks — it is a PLEASURE. You know why? Because The Major has always come back. Every time they’ve sent him somewhere crappy. Every time I didn’t get to hear from him for weeks because he was forward deployed. Every time I have been so worried… he has come home. And that isn’t always the case.

We are part of an aviation community. And while accidents happen in all arms of the services, here at home and in theater, when they happen in airplanes and helicopters, people don’t tend to survive. And we hear news regularly about accidents here at home that happen on what those families thought were just regular old workdays and school days. And I don’t forget that. When I send my kids off to school and The Major leaves in his flight suit and kisses me goodbye as he heads out the door to an early brief, I don’t forget what he’s out there doing. I have tried, but when you live near an airbase, you hear, see and feel jets and helicopters ALL the time. And it is impossible to forget that it’s my husband up there, flying at nearly the speed of sound in a metal container. (All in a day’s work, right?) But he has always come home.

So this post, like this day, is dedicated to those who didn’t come home. We continue to go through our day to day, a proud military family putting up with whatever crap comes with it, in their honor. We don’t forget them or the families who miss them every day, not just today. Thank you for the sacrifice. We will never be able to repay you for what you gave to this country.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Answer

"Mommy, I have to pee. right. now. Mommy... MOMMY!!!"

My answer to my question from yesterday, that is… cesspool. Actually, that’s what the Major calls it. He has also said that Los Angeles is a boil on the ass of California, and has blamed the city for its very existence, made possible only by swiping water from the rest of the state.

Now before you get all huffy and defensive, let me say a couple things. First off, both the Major and I have some right to judge Hell-A, since we both lived there for 4 or 5 years while attending college. (No, we didn’t go to the same school. Our schools are cross-town rivals. And if you’re wondering, mine is totally better. Go Bruins!) Anyway, that isn’t the point. The point is that we know the place well enough to know that it sucks monkey balls.

And if you can step back from being all annoyed for a minute, then you might be able to consider a few other points about why L.A. is not a real city and should be removed from all “city” references, lest starry eyed European teenagers give up an education in hopes of traveling to LA to be discovered on Hollywood Boulevard, etc.

1. L.A. is not a well-planned city. There is no organized mass transit, few common public open areas, no real commitment to bike lanes or pedestrian accessibility.

2. It takes an hour to get anywhere. If there’s “no traffic.” I put that in quotes because there’s never no traffic. Sunday at 2am? Oh, hello four million cars on the 405 that just happen to be braking for NO APPARENT REASON. Tuesday at midnight? You betcha, backed up on the 5. Pick a number and I’ll show you a bunch of cars all crawling along at a snail’s pace. It sucks it sucks it sucks. Add a crying baby in the backseat. Then it REALLY sucks.

3. It is extremely economically segregated. Don’t get me wrong, I know that “real” big cities have ghettos and lower income neighborhoods, but in many, they blend right into the mediocre neighborhoods in a way that doesn’t make you fear for your life should you stumble into one.

4. (or 3b). Every neighborhood sees itself as an individual, independent city. “Oh, you’re from LA?” “No, loser. I’m from Orange.” “Oh, you’re from LA?” “No, loser. I’m from West Hollywood.” “Oh you’re from LA?” “No loser. I’m from Santa Monica.” Clearly, I could go on all night. If you don’t want to be a city, quit getting mad when I tell you that you’re not.

Yeah, so, I’ll quit. Maybe you can tell that I don’t like LA all that much. And still, we are headed there for a college reunion of sorts. We’re driving down and back in one day (we don’t want to stay over and risk being there when the Earth finally realizes that LA should be stricken violently from it’s surface). We are headed down to have lunch with some of my college buddies, to let Turbo and Lunchbox play with all of their kids for a while. Then we’re going to meet up with some of the Major’s friends from college and have dinner with them, again encouraging Turbo and Lunchbox to play with kids they’ve met only once before and may not see again for five years. And of course we’ll be all sad and distraught if they aren’t best buddies by the end of their forced play time. Frankly, I’ll be surprised if either of my kids avoids a screaming meltdown by the time all the shuttling around (ON the F-ing traffic-jammed freeways) and forced socializing is over. Should make for a pretty fun three hour trip home. But since we’re headed 3000 miles away pretty soon, it’s time to see the people we care about. Even if it means going to LA.

Six Word Saturday

In Los Angeles. City or cesspool?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Meddling Media

I love gossip as much as the next girl… when someone leaves a copy of US weekly or People in the loo at work, I will admit to occasionally taking a bit longer than needed to do my business so I can get a glimpse of Mariah Carey’s ridiculous nursery or Oprah’s changing looks through the years. But I have to draw the line between those who choose to be public figures and those who do absolutely nothing purposefully in the interest of becoming the subject of a media frenzy.

I’m talking, of course, about Ahhhhnold’s love child.  Isn’t this really about the Governator’s bad behavior and NOT about a 14 year old kid? So why did we need to track down the woman involved? Why isn’t it enough to know that he did this thing to his OWN already public family? I feel terrible for his children (all of them, wherever they may be) and his wife — but that’s nothing compared to how I feel about the 14 year old boy who never asked to be made a public figure in this way. He can’t help who his parents are and he certainly isn’t at fault for the way he was conceived. He is undoubtedly already struggling with the difficulties of being 14 — he hardly needs the added scrutiny, pressure and gossip. I’m sure he gets plenty of that at school.

The media often also offers tainted views of our military men and women’s actions overseas. My husband was on the ground in Iraq with a battalion that had an implanted journalist who did a hatchet job on several of the young Marines he pretended to be friends with as soon as he had a controversial idea that would make for a sensational story. I am all for the public seeing the war up close and personal, but I’m not sure there is ever a way to convey to an extremely judgmental public the realities that our warfighters face on a daily basis. That topic is an entire can of worms that I’m not going to open all the way (just popped the lid to let a worm or two squiggle out I guess). But is asking the media to cover ACTUAL NEWS just outside the realm of possibility? Puh-lease?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

That’s What he Said…

Life with a Marine can be interesting. Not only do I get to tour some extremely scenic locations (uh, yeah, this is sarcasm, folks!), but I have picked up quite a vocabulary! Unfortunately, not only do I live with one Marine who uses some colorful language from time to time, but I work with a few too. As a result, I’ve picked up some phrases — we’ll call them “Majorisms” that I thought I’d share. Ten points if you can use them all in one day after reading this.

1) Regarding something that won’t be well received: “That oughta go over like a fart in church.”

2) Regarding someone who appears to have had better days: “He looked like a bag of smashed a**holes.”


3) “…looks like he got beat with a bag of nickles.”

And my favorite:

4) Best used to explain how little you care about something: “I don’t give two squirts of piss about that.”

I’m sure there are more… I will do a better job making mental notes when The Major offers new ones up (which I swear he does almost every day).

Monday, May 23, 2011

One… Two… Two And a Half…

This is a real book... maybe it has an answer.

I used to substitute teach preschool when I was earning my teaching credential (which I never used… this is one of about a gazillion jobs I’ve had in my life … that will be another post for another day…) As a result, I believed that I really liked young children and that I had scads of patience and would therefore be one of those very composed and put together mommy-types who did not need to scream at their children to get their point across.

I was wrong.

My temper is vertically challenged. It’s shorter than Tatoo on Fantasy Island. It’s shorter than the smallest member of the Lollypop Gang. It’s… well, you get it. I’ve got nothing but more jokes about dwarves and little people and really, that just isn’t all that nice. Nor is it the point of this post.  The point is that I have found myself literally shaking in an effort to avoid doing something to Turbo that will scare him so badly that he will hate me for the rest of both our lives. I am working on this, I really am. That being said, I haven’t done that thing yet (not sure what that thing really is… I’m not gonna find out, I promise). But I have tried lots of other things in an attempt to get the little monster to step back in line. The worst thing is that Turbo has what I have decided is a nervous habit. When he is in a lot of trouble and is most likely uncomfortable and slightly scared because mommy’s face is turning crimson and spit is flying out of her mouth as she yells at him, he does the worst thing he could possibly do. He laughs. And if you’ve ever been pissed at a 3 year old, and find yourself telling ‘em how it’s gonna be, the last thing you’re going for is to make them laugh. Be silent? Yes. Tremble in fear of my sinister sounding mommy-threats? Oh yes. But laugh? No.

I’ve done things in efforts at discipline that have mostly come to no fruitful conclusion. Probably the best example is when, not a half mile from our house, Turbo was doing something — of course now I have no clue what it was — that led me to offer the lamest threat that my parents ever used, “Don’t make me pull this car over!” Well, he did. And I did. And then I had no bloody idea what to do. I pulled over, braked hard and jumped out, furious. And then I stood there wondering what parents are supposed to do once they’ve pulled the car over. The best I could come up with was to open his door and get my face right in his tiny face (which did look scared at this point) and tell him to cut. it. out. It actually did work. But I hate feeling like I’ve working  a plan with no idea how it’s supposed to turn out.

My greatest parenting tool (which will reveal how utterly clueless I am at this) is to count slowly to three. What is weird is that it usually works. It’s even starting to work with Lunchbox. They do something crappy, I give them the look, issue my warning and then start counting, and whatever it is usually stops before three. My mom was in town one day when I had reason to count, and she leaned over and whispered, “What happens at three?” I was honest with her. “Mom, I haven’t got a clue.”

So, what happens at three? Anyone? Anyone?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fighting The Good Fight

Like lots of moms in their thirties (I thought about adding a modifier there, but “late” just makes me sound almost dead, so we’ll leave it alone), I am fighting the battle of the ever-expanding waistline.  I shouldn’t make it sound like this is something I’m focused on only as a result of being a mom (though 2 pregnancies definitely added to the struggles). I’ve been focused on the physical — probably far more than is healthy — since I was a kid. I was a ballet dancer all through school, missing lots of school stuff for rehearsals and performances, and taking classes every day after school into the late evenings.  Which meant that I spent a lot of time in a leotard and tights, comparing my body to the bodies of others. And if the scrutiny had been only my own, I might be somewhat healthier, but I had a ballet teacher who taught with a long black cane, and asked questions like, “been in the cookie jar again, have we?” I’d get home and my dad would refer to me as “chubs” whenever he found me eating (I actually think he may have some fairly unhealthy attitudes about food, but that’s another story).  Anyway, add it all together and I had no clear picture of what I looked like. Now that I look back at photos from those years, I can see that I was perfectly healthy and pretty thin.  College brought ups and downs with weight — I quit dancing and struggled with having no physical outlet and gained and lost 10 or 15 pounds.  By my senior year, I’d found the gym and replaced ballet with step aerobics and treadmills.  The photos from college vary, in some I’m thin, in some I’m chubby.

As an adult, I knew that I needed to work out as a sanity insurance policy, and that has helped keep things steady for the most part. I actually became a personal trainer for a while and keep my certification current though I don’t train clients at this point (because of my “real” job, which annoyingly seems to take up quite a lot of time.) So I know how I should be eating and how to get myself in shape when things have slipped. And sometimes now I think that maybe my distorted vision has gone the other way. I’ve looked in the mirror recently and thought, “not bad,” when the swimsuit shopping experience, complete with double “check-out-your-own-ass” mirror says otherwise.

As a result of the swimsuit shopping experience, I’ve had a bit of a talk with myself, and seeing as how I’m still here after the rapture occurred and all, I think I’ve got till around October to get myself into a bit firmer shape. (Isn’t October when the rest of us, those who didn’t get “saved” yesterday are supposed to be taken to hell? Well, it’s hot in hell and I’m sure I’ll want to wear shorts, so I’d like to look good in them…)

And this long drawn out stream of consciousness boredom you are experiencing is nothing more than my way of mentioning that I’m trying to work out more often and eat better. So you may be hearing about that at times. Apologies in advance. And the eating part will have to start tomorrow, since we just arrived home from a sushi and Baskin Robbins feast. Tomorrow, look out!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Daycare Drama

I’m flummoxed. How do parents who work full time manage it? I work 24 hours a week. It’s not a lot, but it feels like full time – and there is always pressure to stay later, work more. And sometimes I do, because the current school/daycare setup that we’ve been lucky enough to work out allows for some flexibility. But we’re moving. I’ve got the kids enrolled in a school in our new home, BOTH at one place, which will be a nice change. BOTH on one schedule, which will be nice too (although, technically, neither of them has to be dropped off or picked up at any specific time here, which is really nice.)  Out there, they’ll be on a “school day” schedule – 8:30 to 2:30.  And it looks like I will be able to keep my job and work in the office out there. But I will have ZERO flexibility, since the new school has made it clear that there is no option for picking them up later or dropping them off much earlier. (Did I mention that this was the cheapest adequate option I could find and that it’s still gonna cost 50% more than what we pay here?)

I have friends who work full time… and I’m starting to wonder how they manage it (or afford it!!) And what happens when the kids are in “real” school, and they get out at like 2:30?  What do parents of school-aged kids do? And how will we get them to and from soccer/band/ piano/basketweaving classes after school?

And what do full time career parents do when schools, like Turbo’s fabulous Montessori program* decides that ohbytheway, the last week of school will be all half days.  That week will also be my last week at work (on this coast) and now I get to mention that ohbytheway BOSS, I’ll be taking half days my last week here. And burning my paid time off because I have no choice – thanks to Turbo’s school.

(*which I actually do love, but I still don’t get how they justify their scheduling…)

This is one of those things that I’m sure will work itself out (with a hell of a lot of footwork on my part), but it’s STRESSING me out. Because we’re trying to sell a house and move across the country and I don’t have enough to worry about. In fact, if there’s anything YOU are worried about, why don’t you tell me so I can help you by worrying about it too? I’m good at worrying. REALLY good.

I think I need a visit with my friend Riesling. What? it’s 10:30 am? Crap.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Giraffes And Other Signs

Turbo didn’t really talk until he was two and a half. We were actually getting kind of worried about it, but then he began spouting one and two words here and there, and before we knew it, he was into full blown sentence-long Turboisms that might or might not make sense. He often pops off with things like, “How many school days do I have, Mommy?” This question is evidently a complete thought because no amount of clarifying questioning gets any more detail out of it. The answer? I have no farking clue (what you are asking me). He seems okay with that answer.

Now Lunchbox (recently also dubbed “Tiny Whiny” thanks to some two year molar teething that has us all miserable) is beginning to try his hand at this English language thing that we all seem to think is so great. He’s just 18 months – I’m so proud. The Major thinks I’m on crack because I keep declaring new words that Lunchbox has said, although when he actually repeats them for The Major to hear they sound nothing like the actual word. I think that Mommy ears hear things more clearly (maybe this is why the shrieking and whining seem to drive me closer to the brink of utter desolation than they do him). Anyway, I know that Lunchbox says “shoes.” (He has some kind of weird fascination with shoes – he’s definitely my kid.) But when he says it, it sounds like “chewssss.” He definitely says “cracker” or some derivation thereof. And I also think he says “thank you,” though it sounds like “an choo.” When Turbo first worked on the politeness words, we used to mimic him to one another, “Shankoo.” “Y’elcome.”

In my mind (and remember, my experience is limited to mothering kids up to the ripe old age of almost four), this is the hardest stage of toddlerhood – that point where your baby realizes that all these noises you’ve been making were not actually just soothing sounds intended to entertain and encourage him. He realizes instead that all along you’ve been actually saying things, and that OTHER people, but not him, can SAY things back. I think this realization, at least in both of my boys, resulted in more than a little frustration.

A friend suggested that baby sign language might be a good way to head off this angst. Lunchbox has so far mastered “more.” The problem here is that he seems to be inherently lazy when it comes to signing. If it’s a two-handed sign, he’ll figure out a way to do it with just one hand. So basically he signs like he talks – half-assed. I’m working hard to get him to either say or sign “giraffe” because he has a deep and indefatigable love for a stuffed giraffe (there are actually three of them, intended as backup in case the first one ever gets lost, but he’s on to our game and now insists on having all three with him most of the time). The sign for giraffe, like the word, has two parts. When Lunchbox tries either, there is one part only. It’s either “raff,” or one hand shooting straight up in the air for an infinitesimal second. Oh well, any progress is good progress, right?

I don’t know why I’m in such a hurry. Soon he’ll be spouting some of the gems that Turbo has recently shared with me. Favorites include:

“Pass the green beans, Turdwaffle.”
“Get out of the way, idiot.”
“I’m going to cut off your head and throw it in the yarden.” (He hasn’t quite distinguished between garden and yard – I rather like that word…)
And my personal favorite (in an alternate universe where I think it’s cool for my three year old to order me around like an egomaniacal dictator on coke): “You get my hot chocolate RIGHT NOW MOMMY. You DO IT. RIGHT. NOW.” This is usually repeated vehemently, though the last part is often muffled because his face is planted in my chest as I carry him up the stairs and deposit him firmly in his room where he can order around whoever he wants to without having to worry about getting smacked by an infuriated mommy monster and then removed by child protective services.

And though I’ve made Turbo sound like a mean little dude, he also frequently says things like, “Mommy, you’re my favorite.” And I suppose that makes me glad that we taught him to talk after all.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Defining “dependents”

I had big (huge) plans for a witty and heartfelt post this morning about…something. Something you’d be SO excited to read. Okay, not really. And that’s why when I found this post at the great military spouse blog “They Call Me Dependent,” it just seemed the perfect solution to the lazy blogger’s conundrum. It isn’t that there’s nothing going on at our house — on the contrary, we have scheduled our pack out dates and I’m basically looking at two months of homelessness prior to actually GOING to our new destination — more on all that later. Turbo believes that we are moving because he will soon turn 4 — or at least the two things always come up in the same sentence for him: “I’m going to be 4 so we’re getting a new house.”  Ah… to be that self-centered! :)

Anyway, among all the other things I’m forced to be on a daily basis, the reality is that I am a military spouse under (above?) all else — this one definition of me determines pretty much everything else that I am, since it mandates when we move, where we live, how long we’re there, where my kids go to school and pretty much everything else in our lives that other people can decide for themselves. SO, please take a moment to read today’s post at “Anything but Dependent.” And cheers to some great writing by another military spouse!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Six Word Sunday

I know, it’s supposed to be Six Word SATURDAY… I know. It’s been a long weekend. I promise there’ll be “real” posts later this week. And no, I’m not promising that in the same way that I promise that there will *probably* be time for more Dragon Tales after the bath and before bed. Oh, hey, look at the time… even Mommies can be wrong. Valuable lesson. Go to bed.

And now for the six words. And yes, I realize that the above kind of defeats the purpose of the below. Shut up.

House viewing Saturday… offer impending? PLEASE?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Invasion of The Tomato Snatchers

I’m a closet gardener. Wait, is that really possible? No — because gardening is something you do outside that other people actually see. So I’m not so much a closet gardener, as one who doesn’t feel totally adept at a hobby that has come to mean a lot to me. I love digging in the dirt, watching something grow (something that doesn’t talk back and is happy to drink it’s water when I’m damned well good and ready to give it and not a moment before!!)  I love the peace that comes with doing something outside, feeling a part of something bigger than me… And while I’m terrified of bees (I’m allergic and they will literally. kill. me.), I have even come to a peaceful arrangement with the bees that pollinate my flowers.

I wasn’t going to plant vegetables this year. But we’re showing the house and my sad little raised bed looks pretty forlorn with nothing growing in it. So for Mother’s Day, I got myself some new dirt, fertilizer and planted some tomato and basil.  I set up the automatic watering system (very high tech), and voila! Now I just have to wait, right?

Not right. Perhaps I’ve mentioned before that I don’t love the environment in which we live… it’s hot and windy and desolate. And evidently there are large insects or evil bunnies or something that steal entire tomato plants right out of gardens!  I went out today to play with the kids, and quizzed Turbo at great length about what might’ve happened to two of my four sad little plants.  He knew nothing, or so he said… and I actually believe him.

One more reason to be excited about the move, regardless of the details, right?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

That’s it

I know I’m supposed to post today about how wonderful it is being a mom.  And I’m sure that it’s my civic responsibility to do so.  But I have to be honest that sometimes I don’t feel that way.  Don’t get me wrong — I love those little nuts, and I honestly wouldn’t give them back, ever, even knowing everything that I know now.  But whoever invented Mother’s Day surely was over 50 and did not have toddlers at home.  She had forgotten that no matter how you might try, it is impossible to make a toddler be anything other than a completely selfish ego — they just haven’t gotten to appreciation yet.  My kids show me love and affection on a daily basis, and I love that.  But they also make unreasonable (and somewhat reasonable, just poorly timed) demands all day, every day, and the fact that Turbo wants apple juice and the next episode of Dragon Tales on Netflix right F-ing NOW doesn’t change because it’s my special day.  There were no facials or massages, no “you go ahead and take the day off, honey” type things going on here at our house.  I spent part of the day trying to get over a very surprising sense of disappointment that came when the Major told me that he thought the odds were good that we’d be living in base housing after this move.  I have seen the housing in our next place — it’s not bad… but I have really come to love owning a home.  I have poured my heart into this house and have found a love for gardening and home renovation that will not have a place in base housing.  Plus we’ll lose two bedrooms, a ton of storage, a home gym and any chance of me ever having an office again.  Our neighbors will leave all their crap in their front yards and so will we — cuz that’s just what you do — and we’ll all know intimate details of each others’ lives.  Happy Mother’s Day.  I’m pouting, and I know it. And this surely isn’t interesting to read… and I’ve gotten way off on a tangent here. This is not about base housing. It’s about me hoping to love Mother’s Day more when these boys are a bit bigger.  Because without major orchestration from the Major at these ages (and I love him, but he’s just not that kind of organized unselfish guy), there’s no way it’s going to be any different from any other day.  Next year, when we live in base housing, perhaps it will be better.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Big News — Bin Laden Dead

I’m usually late to the game.  I’m not uber-political and I don’t like to dwell on war news, despite the fact that my husband is rather closely involved in the machinations that make ongoing conflict possible, at least from a “sustainment of the F-18″ perspective.  That being said, it’d be impossible not to find oneself in a reflective state of mind after hearing the news of Osama bin Laden’s death.

I’m reading a lot of celebratory news pieces, many of which quote US officials declaring this to be a major victory for our country.  And it’s all falling a bit flat for me.  I guess I can admit that I felt a hatred for this man as strong as any other American’s.  I was living in NYC when the World Trade Center was destroyed, and it sure felt personal then.  I am now feeling slightly unAmerican or unPatriotic for not wanting to celebrate this man’s death.  Don’t get me wrong — I don’t feel remorseful or sad for him, or even for his family.  Anyone who believed with such vehemence in the need to kill as many Westerners as possible has my vote for being taken out.  I feel much the same way about anyone who expresses their religious beliefs with guns and bombs rather than words.  But I do feel like this was a symbolic victory if anything, and am very doubtful that the elimination of one very connected and insidiously powerful man might actually change the course of the wars we are fighting.  It also occurs to me that in the last 10 years, this man has had to exist completely in hiding, which I think must’ve limited his sphere of influence to some degree.  How much pull did he really have in recent events, given the fact that he was unable to speak publicly, use standard means of communication or even walk down the street in his own neighborhood?

I’m glad he’s gone, but I am not sure it makes me feel much better about the course of these conflicts, and it doesn’t make me feel one lick better about what happened in New York in 2001.

Pcs Blues

Our orders are up in July.  Which means that our whole family will be moving to the other coast before too long.  And while I have spent almost 4 years in this town, and tried hard to put a positive spin on it, I will finally just come out and say that I really HATE this place.  I know people will take offense to that — people who are familiar with and fond of this tiny desert town in the middle of absolutely nowhere, at least.  So I need to make it clear that my dislike of this place in no way relates to the people I’ve come to know while we’ve been stationed here.  And in many ways, this town has been very good to me.  I was able to get a job at a relatively prestigious company (because very few talented people with any skills worth having want to live here, thus the job market is pretty easy to navigate); I made some good friends (military spouses stranded together atop a volcano or on a deserted island would befriend each other in much the same manner, I suspect); and I was able to become involved with the community (nothing snarky to add here…).  And I can respect that some people actually choose to live here.  But aside from our beautiful home, which we renovated completely over a three year period (which having another kid and living with 2 crazy boys), this place is desolate and depressing, and I’ll be so glad to watch it fade in my rear view mirror.  The heat I can handle (it’s a dry heat afterall – but 120 is still pretty f*ing hot); it’s the wind that I hate. Sustained winds of 25-45 miles per hour are no fun for anyone. Especially a long haired gas permeable contact lens wearer.

And though I am eager to leave, I’d like to just go ahead and fast forward the next 5 months.  They involve attempting to sell our house (at a great loss certainly, if we can sell at all); supervising packing; cleaning the house; getting across the country with 2 small boys; figuring out where to live on the other side (buy again because we are insane or base housing for which there is a 6 month wait?); and what my job situation will or won’t be out there.  A teensy bit stressful.  At least I’ve found a school for the boys that I believe will be good and they’re both pre-registered to begin in August 1st.  Small victories.  They’ll actually be at the same school on the same schedule, so that will be very nice.

Anyway, as the move date draws nearer, I am more and more stressed about all the details that I can’t simply shove into alignment.  Waiting is not my strong point…