MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #25


So over on Wife of a Sailor, Wife posts questions for other bloggers to answer on their own military spouse blogs. (Still with me so far?) And since the kids are watching A Bug’s Life on the Disney channel, I thought it might be fun to fill this out while taking a break from studying. More about that later…

20120705-195609.jpg

1. What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed?
I would have started Saturday’s 5K closer to the start line. I stuck to the back because I didn’t want to be trampled on by the warp-speed runners but I didn’t even reach the start line until a minute into the race!

2. What was your favorite thing that happened in June?
I ran a 5K last Saturday and committed to running a couple more this year. I run at a slow enough pace that I’m probably grinning during the entire run. It’s hard not to smile when this guy

20120705-200650.jpg (Source)
is singing in your ear.

My personal fitness goals are:
1. to run a 10K (6.2 miles) without stopping by September
2. to run 10 miles by December
3. to run a half marathon by March.
Seeing this written out is VERY intimidating. I hope I don’t sleep in a fetal position tonight while sucking my thumb.

3. What did you do to celebrate Independence Day?
My mom invited herself and my brother and uncle for a lunchtime barbecue. They brought the food. I provided the venue and entertainment in the form of three children and two dogs. Afterward, we went to my aunt’s house for another barbecue and pooled our (expensive) fireworks.

Personally I am over fireworks and the exorbitant prices but the kids loved them. Between my cousins and I, we had six very excited kids!

4. When you PCS, what items do you take with you and not let the movers pack (and if you do a DITY, what do you take with you and not box up)
I only take personal documents (birth certificates, shot records, etc.) and my jewelry box. The rest I let the movers pack and move. True, I would hate it if stuff like pictures and scrapbooks got ruined but now I’m so old wiser that I know it is just stuff and not as important as the little ones buckled up in the backseat and the big one pretending to pay attention to the road whenever I drive to our next destination.

5. What are you looking forward to in July?
This young lady is turning FIVE YEARS OLD.

20120705-194141.jpg
That thought alone will make me fall asleep in the fetal position, sucking my thumb. It is amazing how time flies. She was our souvenir from Virginia, the one from the 2006 deployment. My husband is still trying to come to terms with his accident, sometimes regretting ever taking orders to Virginia. I told him over the phone this morning: “I DON’T.”

I know he is going through a trying time adapting and accepting this new life but the truth is had we not moved to Virginia we would never have had L. We would have moved back to Fort Gordon and he would have realized that he needed to get that vasectomy he always said he’d get after the second one was born.

Yes, the months apart, the accident, the neverending recovery was and is awful, tumultuous, and at times so effing depressing that no one really understands but the bottom line is, we would not have her had we not taken the path that led us to this point right now.

In other news, I am preparing to take a subject competency test in science so I can get a single subject credential to teach in middle/high school. The test is next week!

#

I hope you had a wonderful and restful Independence Day. I don’t pretend to know everything there is to being patriotic. Being a military spouse doesn’t give me a pass; I know I still have a lot to learn.

When I was a kid, as a child of Filipino immigrants, I remembered school baffled me. Why am I studying about Greek and Roman gods? Why am I studying about Christopher Columbus, ancient Egypt, and the gold rush? Why do I need to know about the civil rights? I am clearly not white nor black. My family didn’t even get here until the 70s!

What did this have to do with me?

Over and over I would ask that question to myself. For years, my father told me we were in America; we spoke English. “Why would we need to go back to the Philippines? You need to speak English in school to go to college.” While I respect the decision he made, I still wonder about the ramifications.

It wasn’t until I got to college (yes, college) that I found the answer to the question, “WHAT DID THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ME?”

The truth is… IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH ME.

Wars, revolutions, battles, boycotts, discrimination, laws, the pursuit of equal rights… all of these things did not just shape one country or one people. It shaped ALL OF US. It affects ALL OF US.

Whenever I am in a class that is studying history, I keep political opinions to myself like any educator would but I make sure I connect what we’re studying to how this lesson effects all of us, directly or indirectly. The hell if a generation gets by me without knowing what took me decades to learn! o

I need to not only know about victims of natural disasters around the world, I need to care and do something.

I need to not only know about social injustice or genocide, I need to get angry and do something.

I need to not only know who SNL satirizes, I need to really know them to cast my vote based on what I value and not how hilarious Tina Fey’s impressions are.

I need to stop thinking about other people as “THEM” and start thinking about “US”. As a nation, I believe with all of my heart that we can.

WE WILL.

20120705-195556.jpg

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #24

I am going a little crazy with the iPad so bear with me. Apparently nothing is more amusing to me than catching my kids doing something silly. This clip is of my daughter A making a birdbath

and another of both girls allegedly cleaning their room. OMG…


So over on Wife of a Sailor, Wife posts questions for other bloggers to answer on their own military spouse blogs. (Still with me so far?) And since the kids are already in bed, I thought it might be fun to fill this out while watching The Big Bang Theory reruns and fighting the urge to eat the rest of the pint of Haagan Daaz hidden on the top shelf of the freezer. I have savored every spoonful for the last two weeks. I can’t eat a whole pint in one sitting. I know, I’ve tried!

1. What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed?
Eat less junk. Make less excuses for eating junk. I think I’ve blogged about this before but when my husband is home we go into “Eff it, we’re on va-cay!” mode and we ignore the little voices in our heads telling we shouldn’t eat massive quantities of fattening food.

Dang it! Every single time!

2. What was your favorite thing that happened in May?
This girl

20120531-215820.jpg

20120531-215827.jpg

20120531-215832.jpg
graduated from preschool. I know, I know. I am a dork for making such a big deal out of a preschool graduation but she’s the youngest child and my husband couldn’t be here for it. For any of it. But here’s a video of L saying hi to Daddy.

3. June includes the first day of summer… what are your plans for the summer?
The boy loves going to karate so I know that will take most afternoons. I think we’ll probably spend most of the summer in the gym. Mornings for Zumba and swim aerobics, afternoons at the gym pool and/or a couple of fun classes like Hot Hula. It gets so hot in Sacramento that I will go anywhere there is A/C or a pool. Wait, also has to be cheap too. Seeing as we already pay for a family gym membership, we’re good.

4. Do you use the services on base (gym, financial planning, family services, daycare)? And if so, what’s your favorite one?
We don’t live anywhere near a base. The closest commissary is a half an hour away but Travis AFB is an hour away. When we lived outside of gate 5 of JEB Little Creek, I took the kids to the beach on base all the time. What’s not to love? Free parking, no crowds. It was great. I also loved walking to Starbucks a couple of times a week. Awww… makes me remember when I used to walk M to the bus stop then put the girls in the stroller to go for a walk to the Starbucks on base. Also, I used to push L in her stroller around the track while the older two rode their bikes in circles around me. Those were fun, but lonely, times. When R wasn’t deployed, he was always gone at trainings.

5. What are you looking forward to in June?
The kids will end the school year in a few weeks. We don’t have any plans for the summer since (1) I am trying to watch our spending because I won’t have any work as a sub for several months, (2) the kids will go back to school in July for the new school year, and (3) R isn’t coming home for a while. I’d rather save our pennies for his plane trip!

#

This is a project my son did. He had to draw a self-portrait

20120531-222624.jpg
The resemblance is uncanny, non?

and fill out this questionnaire.

20120601-001428.jpg

I asked him why he drew chicken legs all over the paper. He said he was hungry. That’s nice. Oh, I like the part about how he becomes famous because he defeats Chuck Norris.

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #23


So over on Wife of a Sailor, Wife posts questions for other bloggers to answer on their own military spouse blogs. (Still with me so far?) And since I was getting married on Friday, I thought it might be fun to fill this out while I sub today. Have I piqued your curiosity? Well, what are you waiting for? Keep reading… (BTW, see #2 for that answer.)

1. What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed?

Nothing comes to mind. I have been trying to adopt a go-with-the-flow attitude, or at least remembering to when I can. I know I have made mistakes and attempted to correct them and/or vowed to not repeat them. I know that life could be a lot easier and without drama, but eh, c’est la vie…

Oh, wait. Maybe when I went on a coffee run at the Disneyland Hotel, I should have had one of these…

20120510-134611.jpg
Or one of these…

20120510-134650.jpg
Would you believe that I did not have any of those scrumptious desserts?

2. What was your favorite thing that happened in April?

Everything! The kids were off track and started a free month long trial at a local karate studio. My husband came home and my family threw a party for him the day he arrived. The following day we drove down to Disneyland, partaking in the military discount for the 3-day hopper tickets. Last Friday, we got married!

Again!

When we got married twelve years ago, we did not get married in the Catholic church. On Friday, our marriage was convalidated (I keep saying “consubstatiated” and giggling; all of you Catholics who have been to mass lately know why) in a very brief ceremony with a handful of friends who could make it. It was last-minute but we were grateful that our priest could accomodate us. Ask me later why my husband’s wedding ring is in the shape of Hello Kitty.

3. What are your plans for Memorial Day?

We don’t have plans yet. We don’t live near a base but I look for local commemorative events that honor our veterans.

4. Have you ever traveled Space A? If yes, where… if no, would you ever try it?

I have no idea what Space A means and do not have internet access to Google it. I suppose I would try anything once, especially if I could do this without the kids!

5. What are you looking forward to in May?

I look forward to heading to the gym to work out more and use the pool. School and church are winding down. Nothing quite compares to afternoons at the pool, bringing a picnic lunch, and tiring out the kidlets!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #22


So over on Wife of a Sailor, Wife posts questions for other bloggers to answer on their own military spouse blogs. (Still with me so far?) And since the kids are surprisingly mellow and the house is half-clean (uh… the downstairs is clean), I thought it might be fun to fill this out before we make a mess with Easter egg dye.

BTW, anyone else having trouble commenting on other blogs? Maybe I am just a techno dinosaur when it comes to this darn iPad. (You’re picturing a tyrannosaurus rex getting down at a rave too, right? No? Just me?)

20120407-152916.jpg

1. What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed?

Probably nothing. It’s a fact proven time and time again that when the kids are sick, I put on weight. Seriously. I’m exhausted, my food-filter defenses are down, and I am unable to go to the gym. It would make more sense to eat less but eh. I wouldn’t have realized how my body image has changed even though little has. I put on some pounds during the kids’ three rounds of stomach virus (trust me, it was not pretty) but I noticed I am not beating myself up over it. Brushed myself off, moved on, and tried again. Repeated as necessary.

Wait. I’d take away the pain that the kids went through when they were ill but I’d keep my extra poundage. Self-image is just as important as diet and exercise and it took me this month to realize it.

2. What was your favorite thing that happened in March?

This girl

20120407-152519.jpg
turned seven! She is sassy and doesn’t care what you think about her, like a true Texan!

3. Check your phone… who was the last person you called and what is your favorite thing about them?

My husband. “Everything” is my favorite thing about him. Totally sappy, I know. But he’s a geobachelor for another year. Ask me two months after he moves back. I might not even be abe to answer the question.

4. If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why?

I’ve seen this question before on one of those FB quizzes back when almost everyone was filling them out. My answer is the same: white. That way I would frustrate thousands of children all over the world, wondering if I was working on their white paper.

5. What are you looking forward to in April?

My husband is coming home on leave for two weeks. We’re taking the kids to Disneyland again. It will be the second time taking them. The first time was two years ago, right before R was injured. Come to think of it, we will probably be down there on the second “anniversary” of the car accident. We didn’t acknowledge the date last year. It came and went without even knowing. I know many families have a celebration of life on the day something significant like this happened; R has never been one for sentiments especially since he has daily painful reminders of that day. (STILL! Right? He JUST shared this with me a few weeks ago!) When he’s home on leave, when one of us realizes that it is April 23rd, we will probably give each other a knowing glance and be grateful for the moment that we can realize the date together.

20120407-153028.jpg

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #21


So over on Wife of a Sailor, Wife posts questions for other bloggers to answer on their own military spouse blogs. (Still with me so far?) And since the kids are going to bed in a few minutes, I thought it might be fun to fill this out before I watch Harold and Kumar on their crazy Christmas adventure.

1. What is your favorite/most unique anniversary/birthday gift from your spouse?

Last month I told my husband R I didn’t want him to buy me anything for Valentine’s Day. I wanted a homemade Valentine, a real love letter penned by him. Not by Hallmark. Not by Google docs. What I got was the most beautiful love letter in the entire world… and he wrote it with a calligraphy pen! He even decorated the glass bottle it came in.

And no, you can’t read it!

2. What’s your first thought when you see it’s snowing (or what would you say if you don’t live somewhere with snow)?

Not gonna lie, I get excited! I want to make snowballs and throw them but first… I have to find puffy jackets and mismatched mittens! I saw snow for the first time when I was sixteen. I didn’t see snow again until I lived in Augusta, Georgia a decade later.

3. What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed?

I would have cut myself more slack. For a couple of weeks, my diet went down the drain and I skipped the gym more times than I care to quantify. When I finally picked myself up, I started getting migraines and came down with a bad cold. I am finally getting over it but the cough still lingers as does the scars of self-criticism. If this happens again, I hope I can pick myself up without knocking myself down first!

4.What was your favorite thing that happened in February?

Everything that had to do with Valentine’s Day. I loved making cheap yet cute decorations for the house. Some are still up! Okay, I am a teensy bit lazy too. I enjoyed making six dozen cupcakes for the kids’ classes. I didn’t even eat that many. Also, see number 1.

5. What are you looking forward to in March?

This princess

20120301-201117.jpg
turns seven! I look forward to buying R’s plane ticket for his next trip out here in April. We are also planning to surprise the kids with a trip to the happiest place on earth (which, surprisingly, is NOT the shoe section of Nordstrom). Two years ago before R’s accident we told the kids we were taking them to see the King Tut exhibit in San Francisco and they were pretty stoked. I’m thinking about waiting until the kids go to sleep then driving down there in the middle of the night so they can wake up at D-land!

#

So I am watching the third Harold and Kumar movie and while this movie is wrong on so many levels, I would be lying through my teeth if I said I wasn’t cracking up right now. It is not a movie I recommend to anyone unless you have a very immature specific sense of humor.

Gah! Since I have been uder the weather this week, I will not be able to do the 5K on Saturday. I’m pretty bummed and would push myself if it was just the sniffles but my coughs (TMI alert!) are still producing nasty stuff. Next one is on Mother’s Day and I will beat my first 5K time!

Speaking of illness, R has come down with the same symptoms.

“Isn’t that weird?” he asked.

“Why would it be weird?”

He replied, “Uh… we don’t live together? We live on opposite coasts!”

I laughed. “It’s because we’re so connected!”

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #20

So over on Wife of a Sailor, Wife posts questions for other bloggers to answer on their own military spouse blogs. (Still with me so far?) And since the boy is at a sleepover while the girls and I are getting ice cream, I thought it might be fun to fill this out and catch up on months of blog posts I have missed dearly in the past few months before subbing and Pinterest took over my life.

1. What is your favorite winter memory?

We did not have Christmas together until our second year and by then I had already gotten pregnant and given birth. Yes, insert sailor jokes here. Well, we had been home a week or so when Augusta, Georgia had a freak snow storm. R and I decided to go out on the balcony and make a snowman, my very first ever. As new parents with family timezones away, we didn’t have anyone tell us how silly we were being because surely we could not bring the newborn out in the snow but we didn’t want to leave him alone in the apartment, especially with two kittens. We discussed it more than we needed to and ended up making a mini snowman using our tiny grill as the base.

2. What is your current favorite TV show?

I don’t love Glee as much as I used to. Ever since Lost, I have been. I love watching Zooey Deschanel in the New Girl but my obsession in the past few weeks has been watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory. Bazinga! Where was this show when I was making puns… um, all my life? I still don’t get the hierarchy of Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock. Yet.

3. What was your favorite thing that happened in January?

I finally admitted to myself that I was overcommitting myself. Last year was okay because R was home I wasn’t working, just enjoying our time with him as a couple and together as a family. Then he went back to work. Then I started subbing. And I started taking things on which one at a time are fine but weekly commitments were just too much and I carried a lot of guilt for wanting to stop volunteering. In the end, my heart was not in it so I had to admit to myself and others that I simply couldn’t continue. The anguish and anxiety sucked but it was a huge relief to just admit I was overwhelmed and that it was okay.

4. What is the best sound in the world to you?

The first few seconds when recognizing our wedding song. Best feeling in the world when it comes on the radio.

5. What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a MilSpouse?

This was hard to answer because I am constantly learning something new even after eleven years of marriage and three kids. The most recent lesson I learned (and am constantly relearning) is patience. Having patience is far less stressful than worrying, getting angry, feeling frustrated, and takes practice! Don’t even get me started on my broken netbook!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #20

So over on Wife of a Sailor, Wife posts questions for other bloggers to answer on their own military spouse blogs. (Still with me so far?) And since I just tucked the kids in their beds, I thought this might be fun to fill out because I’m waiting a few more minutes until they’re actually asleep to sneak some Ben & Jerry’s.

1. I WANT…

…to do a 5K next month. I walked two miles on Tuesday and today I… wait for it… jogged 4.6K today without stopping! Don’t be too impressed as I jog very slowly. So slow, in fact, that whenever I bring the big dog with me, he looks at me as if he’s saying, “Are you effing kidding me???”

2. I HAVE…

… to apologize to the kids tomorrow morning. Again. It has not been the best of times in this hizzouse this week. The kids have been taking turns getting sick and Lord knows I can’t sleep when they’re sick. I haven’t been able to work or work out in the past two weeks! Hopefully, running twice this week and working tomorrow will kick everything back into balance. Either that or I will have to find a sitter to watch my kids so I can put myself in time out for a while.

3. I WISH…

…it was Thanksgiving already then that would mean you-know-who would be home.

4. I HOPE…

…our household avoids illnesses this cold/flu season! I’ve had quite enough of hospitals, doctors, antibiotics, stitches, and sleepless nights to last me several seasons.

5. I WONDER…

…if I would be able to cut it in a doctoral program. It’s exciting to think about but intimidating as well. I also wonder if the kids are asleep. Coffee Heath Crunch ice cream, here I come!