Friday, December 26, 2008

And to All a Goodnight!

This was the first year Turner really "got" the whole gift thing. I was so excited I practically threw him down the stairs. He was a little confused but the realized there were some new toys out. He first recognized that the tree had gifts under it. Then, he saw the Thomas stuff in his stocking and went for that. After a little coaxing, he started investigating his trampoline and that was really fun! My little Nern is such a cautious kid, he always asks first. We'll see how long that lasts...

We had a great time opening gifts, sifting through tiny bits of paper and trying not to get stabbed by the tree. Ollie was in to EVERYTHING. We realized he's a wire chewer and that's no fun...

In all, Turner got waaaaaay too much. Trains, track, cars, trucks, a Sprig Rig, clothes, trampoline, musical instruments, doctor kits and the list goes on and on. Ollie got the usual 6 month old toys. It was just fun to get up early and enjoy John's gingerbread pancakes and turkey and apple sausage!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Military and Civilian Wives

I was setting up the move to Jacksonville and just starting to feeling like our shore tour is really coming to an end. All of the top-siders in John's class are home, relaxing. It's 3:40. I know this will never happen for us, again. Shore duty is really ending. Not that we won't go back on a shore tour, but this one has been so long and quiet (except having kids!). Our next shore tour will be busier and feel like sea duty. We really got to live like our "civilian" friends. John came home from work every night, we got cozy in our little neighborhood in Monterey and just lived happy! I came across this on a webiste that I check...

The Difference Between Military and Civilian Wives:

Other spouses get married and look forward to building equity in a home and putting down family roots. Military spouses get married and know they'll live in base housing or rent, and their roots must be short so they can be transplanted frequently.

Other spouses decorate a home with flair and personality that will last a lifetime. Military spouses decorate a home with flare tempered with the knowledge that no two base houses have the same size windows or same size rooms. Curtains have to be flexible and multiple sets are a plus. Furniture must fit like puzzle pieces.

Other spouses have living rooms that are immaculate and seldom used. Military spouses have immaculate living room/dining room combos. The coffee table got a scratch or two moving from Germany, but it still looks pretty good.

Other spouses say good-bye to their spouse for a business trip and know they won't see them for a week. They are lonely, but can survive. Military spouses say good-bye to their deploying spouse and know they won't see them for months, or for a remote, a year. They are lonely, but will survive.

Other spouses, when a washer hose blows off, call Maytag and then write a check out for getting the hose reconnected. Military spouses will cut the water off and fix it themselves.

Other spouses get used to saying "hello" to friends they see all the time. Military spouses get used to saying "good-bye" to friends made the last two years. -This is probably the hardest!

Other spouses worry about whether their child will be class president next year. Military spouses worry about whether their child will be accepted in yet another new school next year and whether that school will be the worst in the city ... again.

Other spouses can count on spouse participation in special events ... birthdays, anniversaries, concerts, football games, graduation, and even the birth of a child. Military spouses only count on each other; because they realize that the Flag has to come first if freedom is to survive. It has to be that way.

Other spouses put up yellow ribbons when the troops are imperiled across the globe and take them down when the troops come home. Military spouses wear yellow ribbons around their hearts and they never go away.

Other spouses worry about being late for mom's Thanksgiving dinner. Military spouses worry about getting back from Japan in time for dad's funeral.

And other spouses are touched by the television program showing an elderly lady putting a card down in front of a long, black wall that has names on it. The card simply says "Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. You would have been sixty today." A military spouse is the lady with the card. And the wall is the Vietnam Memorial.

I would never say military spouses are better or worse than other spouses are. But I will say there is a difference. And I will say that our country asks more of military spouses than is asked of other spouses. And I will say without hesitation, that military spouses pay just as high a price for freedom as do their active duty husbands or wives. Perhaps the price they pay is even higher. Dying in service to our country isn't nearly as hard as loving someone who has died in service to our country and having to live without them.

God bless our military spouses for All they freely give!

Author Unknown

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Offical!

We've got orders! I mean, we already knew we were headed to Mayport Naval Station but now we've got the papers to prove it. Or, at least I know they're online and "offical." It's funny, because Jacksonville was our 8th choice (out of 10) but I cannot imagine going to our top three choices right now (Japan, Hawaii, San Diego). With John deploying twice, and all the other underway times I need to be able to lean on my family.

Jacksonville was our 8th choice just because we thought we weren't ready for the east coast yet. Our goal was to not get back to the same duty station twice, until we were forced to. As it turns out, we were forced to. I guess all the front-runners for John's peer group were sent to be CHENGS -Chief Engineers, the people that make the ships run. John was #1 (excuse my horn-tooting) in his class and, so to a broke-ass friggate we go...

I'm afraide we're going to enjoy Jacksonville and not want to leave. I really want to make the most of the nomadic life-style we signed up for and then be able to settle a little when the kids are in high school. We'll see how that works out...

Time to do the SmartWeb Move stuff!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Must Be Nice

John will often come home and tell me about his day (mostly after I've told him about mine), which usually includes going to the gym and getting some sort of break for lunch. To which I sometimes reply "Must be nice..." It comes out especially easy after a long day with the kiddos. I don't mean to do it, but I think it's a defense mechanisim of sorts. I sometimes get frustrated and it just falls out.

It doesn't sound like a big deal...but it is when you consider the fact that he'll be deploying soon. He will be away from his boys, the loves of his life, for 6 months (at least...not counting work-ups and subsequent deployments within our 18 month tour). I am starting to cringe at the thought. I cried last night thinking about how it will affect Turner. When John comes home from work now, Turner rips off John's cover and throws it. Any time John is in uniform, Turner has a hard time making sense of the situation -especially if John is just home for lunch. What makes it hard is that Turner's at the age where Daddy = Buddy. It just gets confusing for him since he doesn't understand time. "Yes, Turner, Daddy is coming home but not for 21 more weeks." All he hears is "yes" but daddy doesn't walk in the door that night, again.

Will Ollie even understand? He'll know Daddy's gone but will have no way to express his feelings. It's killing me. BUT, I have to get in to a better frame of mind. I know any stress will be projected on the kids. There will be no crying at the fence (well, I only cried at night), no whining. Just a lot of hugs and kiss for my boys and empathy for my husband. He is a better person that I will ever be. I could never leave my kids, even if it was a direct order. There aren't many people, aside from the brave people that serve our country, that can leave their babies and not complain.

I promise to never, again, said "Must be nice..." He might get a break during lunch, or get to go to the gym more than I do...but he's got the harder job. By far.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Fun!

I am SO excited for Christmas this year. Turner knows how to tear open gifts and it just makes everything fun when you see the look on his face! Eli is a grabby little monster, so I'm sure he'll have fun too.

Gifts for Turner
trampoline (I'm anticipating lots of indoor time this winter)
rocker for his reading corner in his room
tons of Thomas stuff from our Day Out with Thomas
an Elmo doctor kit
new trucks
play food for his shopping cart
a velcro mit and ball
stocking stuffers (dinosaurs, random plastic animals, an Army helment, small toys)

Gifts for Eli
Laugh and Learn Kitchen (which also doubles for an additional toy for Turner!)
a cool rattle ball that he can push around since he's crawling!
lots of other random toys I found
more spoons! E loves some Sassy brand flexible spoons!

We've put up the few decos we owned and I just raided Marshalls and TJMaxx with the dream of finding Potterybarn-esque things. I'm making my PB-ish wreath. It's $100 bucks right now so I paid $19.99 for a real (huge) plain wreath from the NEX. I bought small and large red and silver glass ornaments ($8 for all) that I'm going to stick on with floral wiring. Cute for now...until I can pretend PB is going to have a blow-out sale and I'll get the really pretty wreath I want!

Now, it's on to creative, inexpensive, decorations for the rest of the house...until I get to go after-Christmas shopping!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

5 of the Best Years

November 29th, 2003 I married on of the last, true, Good ol' Boys. Even though he's only Southern at heart. It's true. (Why blog on my anniversary night? No baby sitter and it's football rivalry time, duh!) Five years and two kids later and he still opens my door. He still puts toothpaste on my toothbrush, notices when I put on make-up, thanks me for cooking, remembers things I say, agrees with me when I'm right and loves me.

We were just talking about what we remembered from our wedding day...
Our crazy "destination" wedding at the Citadel, in Charleston, SC. I'll never forget being so tired from finishing up classes, driving up there, and studying for up-coming exams. John had been underway so didn't get to partake in any of the planning. We picked this particular date so we could squeeze the wedding in between underways and tests and just in time for all the paperwork for Japan. There was no logic involved, only this crazy little thing called love. We were married, got to spend two days together (well, one night and the day driving back to Jacksonville! All thanks to those lovely two women in my life who braved the cold with no heat. Oh, yes, I remember...) and then John left for a month. I had to get back to USF to finish tests in time for Christmas break and my last semester. It was nuts. But, I still remeber the details.

I remember all the great things...and the two minor details that I'd love to forget (the D.J. forgetting that we requested AC/DC's "Back in Black" and how our photographer sent his chain-smoking "What do you want to do next?" assistant). It was the first day of the rest of our lives together and we've never looked back!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I am thankful for...
  • my awesome and crazy babies
  • a life that is painfully boring and busy in the same minute
  • wine (that I am enjoying right now...on my anniversary...with a babe on a boob)
  • my husband whom I would be worse off without
  • Spanx
  • my friends, those lucky few, that keep me going when I need it
  • the thankful
  • the illusion I believe to be sleep
  • my family

I'm just thankful for all the opportunities in my life. My family takes me back in even though I miss so much by living so far away. My friends let me pick up conversations where they left off, no matter when we last spoke. My husband appreciates and loves me despite my nurosis. Best of all, my boys love me unconditionally - no matter what.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And Now, For the First Time...

Mr. and Mrs. Garcia!

(this post stayed in "edit" mode a little too long!)

That sounds a little weird, considering that's my grandparents' title. My sister brought the Garcia name back to the family and married her "baby daddy" (tee hee hee). I love saying that, but guess I can't now...

Eli and I flew down to the Land O' on Friday and got in late. Saturday was a blur since Ollie didn't fall asleep until 2am and bit me about 10 times while nursing. *Sigh* My dress from Anthropologie didn't fit and I forgot my shoes! The dress was a jersey knit and must have been hanging too long. My awesome nursing bra would have "wowed" everyone as the top drooped down to my ribs... We spent forEVER looking for a replacement at the new mall by the house and finally found my jewel-tone purple number. Thank God for Spanx or my wobbly bits would have rivaled...well, Thanksgiving is around the corner...don't want to gross you out.

Sunday Stacie and Nelson got hitched on the lake behind Hungry Harry's. Yes, laugh if you must -lakeside wedding in Land O' Lakes - but it was a really cute set-up. Eli was adorable in his little green chinos, white shirt and striped tie! Everything was perfect and I'm happy I was able to be there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Of all the things toddlers do, talking is probably my favorite. I smile every day at the things Nern says. Sometimes, "I'll doooo it" gets a little bothersome BUT, I love it the same.

I remember when he was probably 6 months old he made the sign for milk. John was in Hawaii and I was home, alone, with Turn. I had given him his bath and was changing him and all of the sudden, with both hands, he made the "milk" sign. I was so excited, I called everyone. The sign for milk eventually turnerd into the word "na" and it's been the word for milk since. He's two and still says "na!" in the morning. Well, now he says "warm na!"

Little words like "mama" and "dada" were easy firsts for him. We really pushed "up" so he didn't whine at our feet.

Around 18 months, we noticed the words just started tumbling out. We were moving across the country and Turner was just babbling away. It was around then that he stopped using signs and started just saying the word. He still uses the sign for please and we're not sure why. I think it's because he says "sees" instead of "please" and he knows it's not right.

Just in the last few weeks he's started working on syllables. He's got Ramone, the car, from the movie Cars and used to call him "Mone." Last night he said "Ra Mone." He surprised me when he said "ellafant" instead of "phant." My favorite is "Foss da Chain" (Thomas the Train). Lately, he's been getting in to directions. I was trying to be a fun mommy and rake leaves around the bottom of his slide when he says "Mommy, put down." He's also a fan of "Mommy, sit here" and "Daddy, sit on floor."

The funniest word happened when he asked for "more porn." He likes popcorn and I guess that's what came out!

"Turner did it!"
"Socks off"
"Turner penis, mommy parts" is what he says when we take a shower together.
"Ollie buddy"
"I see you, and I love you" -John taught him to do the sniper two fingers for "I see you/target/whatever" and Turner says this when you do the two fingers.

I just love hearing his sweet voice say "I luh loo, Mom" and even his little teenager-style, matter-of-fact "No." I know sometimes behavior gets a little more difficult to navigate when more words and cognition are involved, but I really look forward to the day when I can ask Turner a question and he can tell me all about what he's doing.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Attack of the Weekend

The weekend sort of attacked us. We didn't even have time to put our hands up and say "WAIT!" We should have made plans, but the weather man said it was supposed to be raining and windy. (Really? When did we start listening to him?) Saturday just unravelled after Turner's nap and before I knew what happened it was Sunday 4pm and I was still in my jams. Yikes.

The boys had a contest last night. They were trying to see who could wake up the most. Eli started it and then Turner evened the score out. Eli pulled ahead two more times and then Turner made up with a grand slam. Neither had anything wrong with them. Diapers clean? Check. Fed? Check. Teeth? Nope. WTF?

I knew it was truely a case of the Monday's when I rounded the corner in to the kitchen and realized we hadn't loaded the dishwasher. Damn. And I'm still in the same pants (at least I sorta showered) as Sunday? Crap.

On a good note, though, I finally pulled the trigger and bought tickets to go to my sister's wedding in Land O' this weekend. I dunno, I guess I was waiting for some divine intervention to tell me I should go. Not that I didn't want to. Just travelling with kids, the price of tickets. That and, well, she finally made up her damn mind about the plans! Tickets are non-refundable, you know?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Smash & Grab

John got home early yesterday and we decided it would be a good idea to go to Whole Foods to grab a few things. Actually, Turner was a little whiney so it was a way to kill the rest of the rainy evening. I said we should go check out the new Trader Joes in Warwick, but Whole Foods in Cranston it was...

We hit traffic, I said "Let's just go back..."

Get to WF and I nursed Ollie for a minute and thought "Hmmm, that man in the car facing us is just staring...weird..."

Put Ollie in his suit (for the cold weather!) and in the Mei Tai and saw the GPS and thought "Eh, whatever..."

While we were shopping, Nern did some business so John had to go back out to the truck to get diaper, etc.

Done shopping, ate some yummy treats and we walk back out to the truck.

Uh oh. Smashed window. We both immediately knew what happened. The GPS was yanked.

We NEVER leave it in the winshield and I'm pretty sure if I would have just went with my gut we wouldn't have been at WF until 7:30. Good thing our insurance is great. Everything is taken care of and we're just waiting to hear what's covered. John just switched the deductible to $100! The window is getting fixed today

I'm just thankful that we didn't walk out on the break-in. Everyone is fine and it's just material stuff.

Next time I have all these "thoughts" we'll just stay home!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Seasonal Sniffles

My sweet Ollie is sick. It started on Saturday, Nern and I had the sniffles. We went to ride "Foss the Chain" (Thomas the Train) in Connecticut on Sunday and everyone was fine. Later that night my baby couldn't breath through his nose. By midnight I knew we were in for a long one. Tuesday Ollie sounded hoarse and had a "barking" type cough. I called the clinic and was told to just watch. Today, Wednesday, he's still sick. No fever at all. I feel so bad! There's nothing I can do and he's just been wincing all day. I know his throat hurts and he's still so sweet. He just winces and smiles. It kills me that I can't do anything! He's been sleeping in the Mei Tai or Kippawa for the last 3 days. My back burns but I know he needs to sleep to feel better. Turner keeps saying "Ollie better, ok?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh, Christmas Tree...

We tagged our Christmas tree today at Sweetberry! Ollie hasn't been feeling well so Nern and I did the scouting while John stayed at the truck. Then, he came out to do the "reality" check while I stayed. Visions of sugar plums dance in my head and I forget the size of our living room when it comes to the tree. BUT...we found a perfect tree and got to put our tag on it. Nern thoght the whole thing was pretty cool, especially the Charlie Brown sized trees. He kept saying "take home" and didn't want to leave. One mention of the cookies from the bakery at the farm stand and that fight was over.

I'm super excited for the holidays this year. No travelling. At all. Unless New Jersey is going to rain free money, I'm not budging.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Babies Don't Keep

When the laundry's piled up and the floor is sticky (again). When I'm wearing Ollie for the 25th hour of the day and Nern wants to dig up "wocks" I think of this...

Song for a Fifth Child

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

--Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Fair Winds, and Following Seas

It seems that it's getting harder and harder to update friends. I can't seem to tell the same cute (or insanely crazy) stories to everyone before something else happens. With another move coming up in just a few months, deployment around the corner and a two year old on my hands I've decided to BLOG! Yes, Blogger World, here I am!