25 April 2010

What Happens In Vegas...

doesn't stay in Vegas.  At least not this time.  On Tuesday I flew out to Vegas to visit my friend Sal.  I met Sal in 2003 while stationed in California.  I love this lady to death and really wish we closer.  She's a native NY that speaks her mind and doesn't care what you think.  We have A LOT in common.  We've both had health issues, fertility issues, I did the adoption thing, she and her husband are currently doing the adoption thing (and I hope it happens for them very quickly), we've the the military thing and our personalities are similar.  We only went to the Strip twice in the 5 days I was there.  I wasn't there to party.  I was there to visit my friend who I haven't seen in 4 1/2 yrs.  I needed to relax and unwind.  I was perfectly content sitting around at her house talking.  And we talked.  And we talked.  And we talked some more.  It was great to have some me time with her even though I did miss my kids and husband.  We ate out most of the time.  Sal cooked for me once.  A delicious penne in vodka sauce with prosciutto and a salad.  Sal's Italian and she is a very good cook! 

On Friday we met up with our friend Sadie that we were stationed with in California who was now in Vegas with Sal for lunch.  We started our lunch around 11:45 and finally left the restaurant at 4:15.  Seriously!  The 3 of us would just not shut up.  Oh how I miss all the girls I became friends with in California.  I think one of these days we will have a big reunion somewhere (hopefully in the Caribbean without the hubby's and kids) and have a good time.  It was so very good to see Sadie.

I got home last night on a flight that was dodging thunderstorms in the Southeast.  The ride was honestly not very bumpy but you could tell that a few people were not liking it.  I also come home ill.  On Wednesday night/Thursday morning I was feeling off.  I thought it was the jet lag.  Vegas is 3 hours behind Atlanta.  We went to bed after midnight the night I got there which was 3 am eastern time.  I had been up for 21 hours!  Sort of.  I got on the plane and took a 3 1/2 hour siesta.  I was barely awake when the airplane was taxiing down the runway for takeoff.  Still, it was way late.  And pretty much every night we were up late and I was going to bed after 3 am eastern time.  The weather was crazy cold Wednesday and Thursday in Vegas.  Highs only in the upper 50's which is completely unheard of this time of year there.  So I was wearing turtlenecks and sweaters on those days with jeans.  Then on Thursday it was back in to the mid 70's.  I figured the crazy weather was making me catch a cold.  I felt good during the day but at night, I felt really icky.  So I bought some Tylenol.cold and started taking it.  It helped but not really.  So by Friday night the entire left side of my face was in massive pain.  It felt like someone was trying to drive a nail between my upper teeth and my cheekbone.  I came home and immediately got online because I knew that feeling was not something that accompanied a head cold.  Lane said from experience it sounded like a sinus infection and sure enough, the symptoms I looked up for a sinus infection was exactly what I was feeling.  I decide there was no way I was waiting until Monday morning to call my Dr in hopes of getting an appointment for that day so I dragged myself into Urgent Care.  I walked out with a prescript for antibiotics because I sure did have a nasty sinus infection.  I'm hoping the antibiotics kick in soon.  I've got a busy week ahead of me!

I didn't take photos in Vegas.  I was having too much fun to bother.  Plus it wasn't like I hadn't been there over a dozen times already.  Although it has changed since I had last been there about 4 1/2 yrs.  More hotels and casinos.  I promised it wouldn't be another 4 1/2 yrs until I made another visit. 

14 April 2010

Some Photos - Air Museum, Dr. Emi & Lane's Birthday

WARNING:  This blog post contains LOTS of photos!

The first few pictures are of our trip down to Robins AFB last Tuesday.  My friend Jen took us to the Air Museum there which is really, really big and really, really neat!  The kids had a lot of fun.  We did have a hard time keeping Emi away from the airplanes on display.  There were quite a few dashes under the barriers around the airplanes.  And I'm sure she was thinking, "Gee Mom & Dad, I just wanted a closer look!"  So Lane was having to duck under and give chase to Emi who also thought it was hilarious that daddy had to go after her.
I put the photos in black & white because inside the air museum it was pretty dark and if I turned off the flash the photos came out dark.  If I used the flash, it washed them out.  In black & white, you can't see any of that.  Eriks & Emi especially enjoyed sitting in the cockpit as you can see from above.

Sunday before church Emi pulled out medical play equipment.  It was so cute watching her.  She used the play shot like the little syringes the drugstore gives to administer liquid meds to little kids.  It looked similar so why not?  It was so cute to watch her put the stethoscope around her neck.  She has changed so much in the 9 months she's been home.  I'm still in shock that we are approaching a year of being a family of 4.
And lastly, Lane celebrated another birthday on Monday.  The weather was beautiful and we went to a fairly new Mexican restaurant nearby called Mojave.  I started out with the steak & lobster enchilladas and Lane had fish tacos.  However, halfway through, I couldn't handle the saltiness of mine and asked to switch.  I have to watch my sodium intake so I'm not fond of really salty things.  Lane's fish tacos were delish and had some sort of yummy slaw that had a cucumber/cilantro/wasabi sauce.  Next time I go back I'm getting the fish tacos.  We came home and had a very yummy cake from Cold.stone Creamery.  Lane has a weakness for ice cream so why not get him an ice cream cake.  He was really, really happy about my choice.
Obviously in the last photo, Emi was excited Daddy was doing an awesome job blowing out his candles.

All is quite on the home front for now.  Emi had speech therapy this morning and slowly we are progressing.  The focus right now is just teaching her to move the air over her lips.  We actually got her to say the word 'on'.  We're really trying to work the 'Bs' and the 'Ps'.  We've gotten a 'b' sound a few times, but more than not we get lip smacking instead.  But the therapist said that's a move in the right direction.  Just need to keep encouraging her to blow things - bubbles, pinwheels, cotton balls, etc.

13 April 2010

Things I Need to Say

As I start writing this blog post it is 12:38 am.  Yes, A.M.  Why am I up so late?

1.  I've always been a night owl.  Some might consider me a vampire.  I'd rather sleep all morning and be up all night.
2.  My beautiful daughter who has been dealing with teething and a really, really horrible allergy season slept until 10:15 this/yesterday morning.  This allowed me to sleep until about 10.  So all that extra sleep has made me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed way into the night.

Now back to the "things".  To some of you this might be mindless, middle-of-the-night rambling.  Whatever it is, it is what it is!

The first topic is something that happened in my hometown "hood" over the weekend.  For the whole story, you can go here.  It's all over the headlines.  Technically it isn't really my hometown "hood".  What I consider my real hometown is a quirky place inside the Indianapolis city limits called Broad Ripple.  I spent the first 15 years of my life living in this yuppie/artsy funky-ness/skater punk, i.e. eclectic area of town.  I loved it.  I spend the last 6 yrs of my Indiana life in Carmel.  However, my parents and my two younger siblings have called Carmel home for the past 20 yrs.  So, anyway...over the weekend two 15-yr-old boys were killed when the car they were traveling in and driven by another 15-yr-old left the road after a chase, crashed into a utility pole and exploded into flames.  The driver got out alive - before the car caught fire.  One of the earliest articles at the newspaper's website included a comment from a mother who also has a child at the HS there.  I don't have the exact quote but she said something along the lines of - the police should've just taken down the license number instead of pursuing the teenagers.  I may make some people mad when I say this but, yeah, right.  That's real logic.  Well, I think I need to give a bit more background story.  The police officer was on patrol and the teenagers were clocked doing 13 miles per hr over the speed limit.  The police officer then attempted to pull said car over for the traffic/speeding violation where the chase then ensued.  I don't think the police officer knew they were teenagers and if he did how was he supposed to know they were unlicensed?  The comment made by the parent definitely pushed my button because she is pointing the blame at the police officer who was just doing his job.  If he had left them alone and just run the license plate number, they still might have been in an accident or even hit another car and killed someone else.  Also, there have been comments left about the article putting blame on the police officer as well.  Not all comments but enough to irritate me like sand inside your bathing suit.  It is a tragedy.  I totally get that and don't disagree with it.  I have a cousin who is in the same freshman class as these boys were.  She may have even had classes with them.  But, these kids had some idea of what the consequences could be if they got caught joy-riding without licenses.  It happened to a friend of mine who was out driving with a permit, not a license and was pulled over in the same city because she had a burned out tail light.  I'm pretty sure she got a warning that if she got caught again, she would not be able to get her license until she was 18.  Her dad had to come get her and the car.  Where was she going?  To my house to pick me up.  We were going to cruise over to someone else's house and hang out.  I'm sure if as my parents and my in-laws read this they will be mortified.  I never said I was perfect.  I did plenty of stupid things as a teenager.  I'm guessing most of us did.  And if you didn't, well good for you.   So what was the entire point of the story?  I'm utterly fed up with parents of irresponsible kids putting the blame on someone else instead of saying the kids made a horrible mistake.  And the 15 yr-old driver will have to live with this the rest of his life.  His two friends died because he decided not to pull the car over and face the consequences of his decision to drive a car without a license.  The consequences would've been far less severe if he had done the right thing and pulled over.  If I had been with my friend when she was pulled over, one of my parents would've had to come get me and I would've been punished never allowed to see the light of day again.  But we would not have led the police on a chase that could've left one or both of us dead.  I attribute that to fact that both her parents and my parents taught us that when we choose to do wrong, we accept the consequences of our action rather than try to run from them.  Mom & Dad, I thank you for that and I was in the wrong a lot as a teenager no matter how many times I thought I knew better than you.  But because of your teachings, as an adult I realize that what you taught me and the consequences I had to face when I chose wrong, made me a better person and definitely a better adult.  Not to mention a better parent.  As I stand in your shoes raising my own kids I still learn plenty from you and will until God takes you from this world.  I am so very sorry for all the times I hurt you not only as a child/teenager, but also as an adult (I'm sure there will be times in the future I will too) and know that when Eriks screams nasty things at us (I'm sure Emi will as well) when they get in trouble, as an adult I pray that they too are thankful for us teaching them what is right and what is wrong and can apologize for the things they thought they knew better than Lane and I.  I also want to thank you for being my PARENT instead of my friend.  Most parents are way better role models than your friends are anyway.  By the way readers, that last part was very emotional to write and as I get ready to jump to my next topic I'm blowing my nose and wiping my tears.

Next mindless ramble now that it's 1:12 am :-)

I love my hubby and kids (most of the time).  I have put up with military move after military move for about 14 yrs now.  I however, after 16 months, am still not fond of Hotlanta.  This is not where I expected to finish out my career as a military wife.  To be honest for the past 2 assignment cycles, I had been hoping for a place closer to home (aka Scott AFB).  It's 4 1/2 hrs from home.  The closest we've lived to home you ask?  Eight hours by car.  Now that we have 2 kids, it is about a 9 hour drive because of extra stops needing to be made.  We are not on a military base.  Lane is working a contract job.  That is code for, a military person has to be doing said job amongst civilians.  I'm sure you're wondering why am I having such a hard time.  Don't get me wrong, I know plenty 'o people here, but no one I spend time with on any consistent basis.  I like regular companionship with people that are not my husband and kids.  I NEED a life outside of the one I have with them.  I'm partially to blame for my situation.  But in my defense, since bringing Emi home from China last summer I have been overwhelmed with testing, surgeries, Dr's appointments, speech & hearing therapy, soccer, gymnastics and karate to name a few that when I have 5 minutes time to myself, I'm trying channel my creative outlet or decompress so my sanity returns. 

I'm assuming that most civilians know that the military moves people around.  A lot.  When you're on the move every 3 yrs and you get moved to a place that has maybe a dozen military people working in one place it's hard to get into a circle.  I'm finding a lot of people I'm meeting have been friends since their kids were itty bitty or since at least preschool.  We're here for another 14 months and then retirement.  My son won't go through grade school with all the kids in his kindergarten class.  He'll have to start over in another school next fall (2011).  In many ways I'm thankful that we didn't have kids until almost 8 yrs into our marriage because our kids won't have to deal with making friends for a few years and then having to move and make new ones over and over.  And they won't have to deal with the changing schools every 3 yrs and trying to fit in...again.  I know kids are resillient and have an easier time transitioning and making new friends.  I can tell you with near 100% certainty that it isn't always the case.  Although Eriks has some friends, he has had a hard time fitting in.  He's actually said on numerous occasions that he really does not like living here.  He either wants to go back to where we lived before or to live with my parents in Indiana.  We are renting a house in a neighborhood where there aren't many kids his age.  We are lucky to have 2 little boys his age across the street.  One of whom is in is class at school.  But they too have their own goings on.  They have lots of family and friends here and Eriks doesn't play with them all the time.  But I am glad that they are there and he's not completely lonely.

The conclusion that I am coming to is that most civilians, and please don't take this personally if you are one reading this post, have no clue what military life is like and therefore may not know how to relate.  When you're military and you move to a new base the first few questions usually asked are:
"Where did you move from?", "What group/organization/squadron does your spouse work for?", "Do you have children?"  The one's I've been asked when I've met new people here are: "Do you have kids?", "Do you live near by?", "What does your husband do?"  And usually when I utter these 4 little words to answer that last question, "He's in the military," I either get one of two responses - "Oh." or a semi-blank stare.  As a military wife, when you end up at a new base, it's a lot easier to fit in because you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll find more than one person who is in your shoes.  They completely understand what your life is like.  Here in the civilian world, not so much.  They don't understand when your husband calls at 3:00 in the afternoon on a Monday and says, "I have to go to (fill-in-the-blank) tomorrow (there are times we'll get 2 days or more notice) and you just have go with the flow.  Even when your cursing the military under your breath because there's something you really wanted to do and can't because you have to take care of the kiddos while your spouse is gone.  A decent chunk of military life is lived on the fly.  You never know what tomorrow will bring.  You just pray that on the days your hubby has to be away, you can survive without needing a straight jacket upon hubby's return.  In my case, my kiddos know when daddy is away they will be extra rotten and emotionally draining good.  I dread those days.  I also dread the days where hubby would normally work reasonable hours but ends up putting in a 12 hr day and comes home as I'm putting kids to bed and lusting for a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage to cap off my chaotic day.

Being a military wife in a civilian world also has its good.  It's shown me that life after retirement is going to be seriously different.  I'm experiencing a bit of it most of it now.  I have no base to go to.  No wives group to be a member of.  No squadron get togethers.  It's just me having to figure things out on my own without a group of gals I can complain to about how military life can suck sometimes and get what I'm talking about.

I have made some good GREAT friends along this bumpy and ever changing game called life.  One of them I will be seeing for the first time in 4 1/2 yrs next week when I visit her in Vegas.  That is one of the greatest gifts this experience has given me.  We may change addresses every 3 or so years, but we stay in contact with one another as time goes on and when we do get together again, we pick up right where we left off.  Almost as though nothing has changed since we saw one another last.  Well, almost.  There might be a few more kids in the picture.  A few fine lines on our faces and a few gray hairs in our heads (from all the grief our kids give us and the stresses our husband's job puts on us).  Other than that...  So if you're a civilian out there and you're reading my post.  My very LONG post that you very well could've just skimmed through and you meet someone like me who won't be around for long, we still need friends.  Us military wives can sometimes be the best friends you will find because we've been through the whole "been there, done that" A LOT and we learn how to make friends for life no matter where the road may take us next.  We're talented like that.

 And now that it is WAY, WAY, WAY past my bedtime, I'm saying... so long, fair well, auf wiedersehen, good night!

10 April 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

A blog friend is participating in the blog party.  She's participated in the past and I finally decided I would do it as well.  I'd really like to get more traffic to this blog and my crafting blog.  So if you hop on over there, you will see the above banner as well.  Every year the Ultimate Blog Party has some really, really fabulous prizes the give away.  Plus it's really nice to get to know new bloggers all the time!

These are my favorites this year.  Of course I would love to win the Grand Prize - The Toshiba laptop.  Not because I need a new computer, but because my parents do.  Within the past 6 months my dad started his own business and the current processor he has is a hand-me-down from my sister and it is extremely S-L-O-W.  So I'd love to win something I can give away to someone who really could use it.  The others on the favorites list are the Buds to Bloom Photo Tile Necklace, the Hilton Garden Inn 2-night stay, the Scentsy Warmer & wax scents, Build a Bear $50 GC, Silver Sweethearts necklace, Shutterfly $25 GC, $50 Visa GC, $50 Target GC and the $200 Apple Store GC (I want an i*Pad).  But to be honest, I would be honored winning any of the prizes in this years giveaway.  So if you're interested, hop on over and take a peek if you're a blogger.

If you're new to my blog(s) here's a little background:

I'm an Indiana grown girl who met her husband and one of her best friend's weddings.  Eight and a half months after we met, we were married.  We're going on 14 yrs of semi-wedded bliss (sorry, can't lie, marriage has it's moments.  It's not always smiling and holding hands).  We have 2 adopted children.  Our son was adopted here in the US in a semi-open adoption.  Our daughter was adopted last summer from China.  We're a military family nearing retirement and a life without the military.  Yippie!  Can you tell I'm just a little bit excited?? As much as I have loved living all over the country and making great friends, I'm over the uncertainty of life and want some stability for my family and especially my kids.  Most of all I miss my family and friends at home in the Hoosier state. 

Tomorrow I should be putting up a new blog post about our visit to the Air Museum at Robins AFB.  There are only a few photos I took, but they're still really cute!

07 April 2010

Feels Like Summertime

It's been super warm here.  Above average temps.  It started last Thursday with highs in the mid 70's and the past few days it's been 80 degrees or more.  However, there's a cold front on the way and we're supposed to drop down to temps in the mid 60's for the next few days and back up to the 70's after.  I am so thankful Spring has shown up.  It took forever for it to get here.

With the weather being so nice we went out to dinner on Friday night and ate outside on the restaurant's patio.  It was so nice sitting outside.  They have a playground so the kids played while we waited for our table.  The problem came after we were seated and it took over an hour for us to get our dinner.  We were not happy but we weren't complaining.  I think the server noticed that this was ridiculous and that our kids were cranky and went to speak to the manager about the huge wait for our dinner.  The manager came over and she said because of our wait and how unacceptable that was, she was going to give us our entire dinner on the house.  I still need to sit down and write a letter of thank you.  We so weren't expecting it and we gave our server a trip larger than 20%.  I'm sure she appreciated it!  I got a few photos of the kids playing on the playground.  Eriks was running around so much I only got a couple of him.  Emi loved it.  She especially loved going down the slide.  It was actually her 1st time ever going down one.  
Emi took "see-food" a little too literally.  We were actually at a seafood restaurant for dinner and she decided to show it off.  Yummy, right?

I unfortunately did not get ANY Easter photos on Sunday.  This really bit the big one.  The kids were not compliant at all that day in front of the camera.  I'm thinking I might be able to get them dressed up on Saturday and attempt "Easter/Spring" photos.  

The other day we were all outside while Lane was mowing the grass weeds.  The kids pulled out bikes, trikes, scooters, push cars...they were having a blast.  Took photos of them at play.
Nothing much else going on with us.  We're hoping Lane can do something fun with us this Friday - the last day of Spring Break.  We didn't go anywhere this year.  Eriks wishes we had gone to FL for vacation.  We're definitely going away somewhere next year although not sure where.  We went to visit a friend stationed at Robins AFB yesterday.  Lane had to have his yearly physical for work so we got out of the house and went with him.  It was fun seeing her and she took photos of my kiddos.  She's getting her photography business up and going.  You can see a few of the photos of the kiddos here.  She's mailing me the disk of photos she took.  She's making me want to get better at my photography too!

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