Sunday, October 23, 2011


You know those commercials where a woman is dressed in really comfortable clothes, like pajamas, but still looks impossibly pretty settles down into some really comfortable couch or chair that is not covered in cat hair?  The one where she has something like a cup of coffee, or a thing of yogurt, or a chocolate bar?  The commercial where she sits down and as soon as she indulges in whatever she has she experiences a moment of utter bliss and contentment that you feel you need to emulate because honestly you really, truly, need to have a moment of utter contentment and bliss?  You know that commercial?  You know that moment?

I had one last night.  I was wearing Hello Kitty pajamas covered in baby food.  My hair was frizzy and messy.  I was covered in Pumpkin Patch dirt.  My couch was covered in cat hair despite being just vacuumed.  My husband was making some strange noise with his cocoa.  But I had that moment anyway.

It was Chocolate Mint Truffle Hot Cocoa.  Ahhh.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I love Halloween.  I love it.  I adore it.  I love the fact that there is a time every year where my obsession with costumes, goth, hay, and candy are all perfectly acceptable.

So the other weekend while D was napping and Emily and I were running out of fun things to do.  I collected a bunch of stuff and made myself a scarecrow.

He is wearing my father's gardening pants (that were hanging in the guest room), my snuggly flannel jacket, a kerchief, and my father's gardening gloves (that I found hiding in the pockets of his pants).  I stuffed him with plastic shopping bags and his shoulders are made from a palm frond with the leaves stripped off.  I think the effect is a little ruined by the fact he's sitting in front of a bunch of palm trees, ti plants, and there are two pink hibiscus trees behind him.  No colored leaves or spooky trees in Hawaii.  However, D managed to convince the little boys next door that this guy was real and if they came too close he'd jump up and grab them.

Since this picture I've given him some pumpkins to hang on to and I want to add some lights and my other decorations in the front windows.  12 days left till Halloween and that's as far as I've gotten.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Awhile ago there were some rumblings in my husband's squadron for a volunteer from the dependent ranks.  There were little hints, some talk, my husband brought it up a few times, nods were made.  Eventually I volunteered.  My common sense must have been broken.

In order to do this particular volunteer job I need a few things.  A special piece of paper, a few training classes, communication with certain people, and good, correct, information.

My first problem was meeting the person I need to work closely with.  I met him (twice).  We talked.  Then the next day I saw him again.  When my husband asked if we had been introduced this person said "no, we haven't met."  Grr.

My second problem was the person who promised me to get the piece of paper had to PCS out.  She did not leave information to anyone else who could get the paper.  Grr.

Now classes.  I was informed (the first day I volunteered) that the most important class I needed would be on October 7th.  I got a babysitter (actually I begged a babysitter to skip her other weekly job and come hang out with Emily).  I got the kid up extra early.  I got down to base.  I showed up early and prepared. The class had been rescheduled.  For October 5th.  No one was contacted about the change.  Grr.

Finally, I wrote to the person in charge and politely asked for information about when another class would be, how I could be informed of changes, what else I needed to do, etc.  There might have been a passing remark about me showing up on the wrong day because there was no communication, but it was really, really polite.

A week later I got an email stating that 1) This person needed the piece of paper not the person who has it (no information). 2) The class they told me to go to wasn't even the class I needed to go to. 3)  There were three other classes I also needed and I had to sign up for them at a completely different place (no information).  Grr.

Today I found out that those classes are 1) Actually not being offered on the day stated, or, you know, at all.  And you can't sign up for them at the place I was told to sign up for them.  Also, the person in charge is on vacation, but the receptionist was happy to send me to her line over and over without actually telling me that she wouldn't be answering it anytime soon.  Grr.

What I did not get in any of this was anyone saying "Hey, sorry you had the wrong information."  What I did not get was "Hey, sorry you had to get a babysitter when you didn't need to pay for one."  What I did not get was "Oh, I understand you might be frustrated, but here is what you really need to know."  What I didn't get was an email that was written in a polite and/or welcoming manner.  I got fussed at.  Treated like I was dumb.  And no apology of any kind.  I got a whole lot of nothing.  And a big babysitter bill.

Everything above is typical of my military-wife experiences with two different branches of service.  Almost all of it is completely understandable.  A volunteer isn't a priority, though it sure helps and looks good one someone's EPR.  The people involved meet hundreds of people a day, it is not easy to remember them all.  They read thousands of emails a week.  They write thousands of pieces of paper.  They have a hundred balls in the air and things need to be prioritized.  I am okay with all of that.  I totally understand that I'm the one that needs to be on top of it.  I understand that I need to call often to get updated information and be ready to move when a free moment is available.  I'm okay with my stuff not being important.

What I am not okay with is when someone else drops the ball, give bad info, or just forgets to be polite.  What I am not okay with is this lack of customer service happening in the service section of the military. The are called Services, they work in the Service Center, and everyone of them makes me feel as though I'm asking a huge favor to ask them to perform their specific service.

I know there is a huge fear of admitting that something was done improperly in the military-civilian world.  No one wants to admit fault, just in case it comes back at them.  Fine.  I don't expect anyone to say it was their fault.  I do expect them to acknowledge that while it wasn't their fault that I have been bounced from one place to another and given nothing but poor information, it must be pretty frustrating that it happened that way.  Because it has.  And I'm a person.  And I get frustrated.  Because I'm a person.

I'd like them to acknowledge that I am, you know, a person.  Just like them.  And they won't.  Ever.


Thursday, October 6, 2011


Yesterday evening I got an awesome package in the mail from Mommy used to be so pretty...  A little while ago I had "won" a giveaway from her.  Just finding out I had won an internet giveaway was awesome, actually finding the package in my mail was even better.  Made my day.

In the little package was a bottle of Soothage Soothing Gel and Prenatal Vitamins.

We are sorta, kinda, maybe, it'd-be-a-happy-thing-if-it-happened-but-I'm-not-sure-I'm-fully-ready-but-I-sorta-want-to-get-excited-about trying to conceive.  Kinda.  In a way.  A little bit.  So I'm kinda, in a way, hoping these prenatal vitamins coming now might be a sign.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


My husband has been helping with Emily's clothes more lately.  Usually he has nothing to do with her dressing or changing as he's either at work or asleep when it happens.  So he doesn't really know the clothing system I've devised where there are some things that Emily does not fit hanging in her closet and some that she does fit into.  This is for two reasons.  One - I don't want to pack things away to early.  There needs to be a critical mass of clothes that are too small for me to want to break out the boxes and put away a new set of clothes.  Two - there are things she will fit soon.  Things like pajamas that will be perfect when Emily has another growth spurt, but don't fit now because her arms and legs are fat.  If these are left in the box or drawers now, while she doesn't fit them, I will forget them when she is finally ready to wear them and once again my kid will be stuck squeezing into the same dang pair as always - or going naked.  Poor Emily.

Of course I know what is part of what system, but my husband doesn't, so the other day he had to attempt to fit a bunch of different pairs of pajamas on her before giving up and handing the screaming toddler over to me.

All of this means it's time to pack.  This morning we moved half of the 12 clothes into the bin and made sure all the 18 month clothes were out of storage.  There is a giant lack of 18 month clothes so I also went through her 24 month sets and picked out the ones that run small.  Circo, Garanimals, and Gerber tend to run smaller.  This is all bitter sweet for me.  First of all, there are far more casual play clothes in these sets.  No more frilly dresses.  There are some of course, but for some reason people think toddlers should wear shorts and jeans and play shirts.  I personally think she should still wear lacy, frilly things.  You can still climb a tree in frilly dresses - trust me I've destroyed enough lace to know.

It's also bittersweet because these clothes are designed to be easier for little people to dress themselves.  Emily is already an expert at getting my shorts on over her head and she has figured out sleeves on her shirts.  In just a little while she'll be pulling up her own jeans and picking out her own shirts.  Gone are the days of me playing dress-up with my little doll.  She'll want to put on what she wants and I'll have to nod and say "Okay honey.  Good job."  As exciting as it is to watch my child make her own choices and take care of herself it is also super sad.  I spent a long year trying to remember to savor all this itty-bitty baby-ness.  And I still feel like I didn't get enough.  I need more baby snuggles, more hours with an tiny hand wrapped around mine.

So maybe I had a third reason for my clothing system:  Keeping those little baby things around just a little longer.