Monday, July 13, 2009

Moving guest #1

Marshall's Dad came up for a few days this past weekend to help me get ready to move.  He organized and sorted through all of the stuff out in Marshall's man-lair, and got all of it packed up in boxes and tubs- so it is ready to go!  He also unhooked the cable that had been run outside, took down Maddox's sunshine light in her room, and took down the party lights on the patio.  He works fast and we had plenty of time left to just hang out.  Maddox was SO excited that Grandpa was here.  She loved the attention and showed off for him every chance she got.

Maddox is checking out all of the stuff.
Mdx decided she wanted to get into Grandpa's truck.
I offered to help her and she said "self, self" over and over.  You have to forgive me for her hair.  She would NOT sit still, so the pigtails look terrible!
Now what do I do?
I think I do this.....

In this video you can hear what she calls Marshall's Dad--- POO-PA!!!

Mdx showed off her running skills.

Here you can see how perilously close she gets to falling...every few seconds.

Only a few more days in this house and then we are officially Hampton residents!  Tomorrow my parents get here (moving guests #2 & 3).  I don't really want them to see what a disaster this house is, but I can't really avoid that.  Oh well.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day! Careful: fireworks below!

Our sweet girl at the park today!

Independence.  This word means different things to different people.  But there is a group of people to whom it has a much more significant meaning: Military Dependents.  We are labeled this by the military, because of the fact that we have an immediate family member in the service.  However, the word is simply not correct.  Could I possibly survive day to day life if I was truly dependent on him for every little thing?  He is just as dependent on me to be able to continue life as normal without him so that when we ARE together we can enjoy it!  I have almost forgotten my own Social Security number because I can spout his off so quickly whenever I'm doing anything official.  I have to have a Power of Attorney because my "sponsor" is deployed....obviously the military doesn't really know who the head of our household really is (haha...sorry honey!!).  When they deploy our active duty member, or send them on an unaccompanied remote- it almost becomes a joke to constantly refer to me as a "dependent".  Don't get me wrong: I adore my husband and love him with a tremendous amount of respect mixed in there too.  Am I dependent on him.... for some things sure!  But not enough to make that my label.

Here are some things that I, a "dependent", have done on my own:
-managed the daily running of a household, to include: 
*feeding, cleaning, clothing, entertaining, and LOVING an almost 2 year old child
*we have a dog, she is fed, let out, and played with
*shopping with aforementioned child for groceries, clothing, anything...
*mowed the lawn (thanks for the new lawnmower Mike!!), whacked the weeds, grown a garden
*mailed the bills, necessary family birthday/anniv/occasion cards (I know I've missed some, I'm sorry!), and packages
*the car still works and is relatively clean
-managed to keep my JOB through all of the above PLUS:
*whenever aforementioned child is sick, I had to miss work or leave early
*a minor at-work freak out on the day of the Camp Liberty shootings
*did I mention there were budget cuts and I recruited enough kids to double my program and save my own job?
-I've driven over 2000 miles alone with a toddler and sometimes a dog to visit various friends and family, attending weddings, parties and raising money for charity.
-Worked out, ate better, and kept my commitment to Marshall and myself that I would do a better job taking care of myself and staying healthy
-found out we have to move, attended meetings, asked questions, didn't like the answers, researched/found a new place to live, signed a lease, and scheduled moving.

I'm not bragging, and I certainly don't think my situation is unique.  I know some AF wives who do all this with 3 or 4 kids.....that just seems crazy to me.  My point for making the list was because I want people to understand that everything I do, every choice that I make, every day that I wake up- people are dependent on ME.  I don't get the luxury of messing this up.  If I ever act a bit stressed out, read the list above and try to cut me some slack.  :)  I also want to throw out a disclaimer- I am blessed to have the support of my friends and family, and without them my daily life would be very different!

This is a great article shared with me by another military wife, and I want to share it with you all. It gives a great perspective on military INdependents.

The term military dependent has always bothered me. Could you assign a more paradoxical term to identify a group of people? In response, one day when I was particularly bothered, I penned my own declaration.

The Declaration of INdependents

When in the course of military life it becomes necessary for military spouses to dissolve the term that defines them – military dependents – they should declare the causes, which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all military spouses are created equal and are entitled to the term military INdependent.

To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

We actually have our own social security numbers. There’s no reason to constantly refer to us as our “sponsor’s last four”.

We support each other in the absence of active duty spouses and in the presence of war.

We sacrifice our own chosen careers and educations to provide support to our active duty spouses.

We are the ones who really handle the moves. Why, oh why, is it necessary to forbid us to sign the paperwork without a usable power of attorney? You saw us in your offices arranging the moves and shipments on behalf of our absent service members. You KNOW who we are.

We are the ones moving home and hearth back and forth between Hell. Why are we not on the actual orders?

We are raising the next generation of military heroes – the ones left at home now to grow up in the safe, freedom-to-choose land provided by past generations of military heroes and the present one to whom we are all married today.

We, therefore, the representatives of the military spouses of America, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of the community, solemnly publish and declare, that the term “dependent” is hereby abolished in reference to a military spouse. And for the support of this Declaration we mutually pledge to each other that, like the Army, we are “Army Strong”, like the Air Force, we “Aim High”, like the Coast Guard, we are “Always Ready”, like the Navy (go Navy hehe), “Not Self, but Country”, and like any Marine always says, “We leave NO man behind”.

Article found in Military Spouse Magazine….Babette Maxell, author.

Friday, July 3, 2009

SC Trip

We went down to Shaw to visit my friend Tamara and her girls one last time before they pack up and move to Italy!!   They are just about finished with a one year remote tour, which had their husband/Daddy in Korea.  Pretty soon they'll all be reunited for a big European adventure!  Since our visit their orders have been changed to England- very stressful for them, but still a cool place to go!

We took Macy with us, and she was much better behaved than Maddox!!  I don't know what got into her, but Mdx was a royal pain in the rear for a large portion of the trip.  She was not eating what was fixed, she woke up multiple times a night, she was HITTING, and just generally being whiny and not pleasant to be around...especially compared to Tam's girls.  Since we've been home and gotten back into our routine she has returned to her normal sweet self-THANK GOODNESS!  

We got there on a Tuesday, and later on in the afternoon we walked to the Baskin Robbins at the BX for dollar scoop Tuesday.  It was in the mid/high 90s the whole trip, which is why Maddox's face is so red!  **These pictures and videos were taken with my new camera.**
We moved this little table into the dining room so all the girls could eat together.  On the left is Aaralyn, her sister Daylynn, and Mdx.
Tam and the girls eating breakfast.
She LOVED swinging on the swing at the park.

We *tried* to go swimming at their base pool while we were there.  The reason I say tried is because Mdx really just doesn't seem to like the water.  She did not want to go NEAR the baby pool, and when I picked her up and tried to get her in with me she pitched a huge fit.  She was screaming and clawing at me trying to get away, making a was terrible.  We only stayed at the pool for about an hour and she never relaxed.  I tried to take her in the adult pool and she was screaming "Wa-wa, all done!"  and "Mama OUT!" while crying.  It was horrible.  So, you can't tell by this picture, but the pool was a bust.  I guess she's just happy because we were leaving.  At home she's okay in the bathtub, but hates to get her head wet.  I've got to get this kid in swimming lessons.
The next day we went to the Zoo in Columbia and met up with my Aunt Kathy!  She got a few hours off work, which was great because she works right down the street from the Zoo.  Maddox had a fabulous time at the Zoo and that was the best mood she was in all week!  Here are Mdx and Aaralyn sitting on a dino statue.

She would have run around like this all day if we had let her!

The 3 girls sitting on another statue.  Tam and I decided that we may never get a picture of them all looking at the camera.  It's so hard!
She PASSED OUT on the drive back to Shaw.  SNORING like her father!

This last video is so Daddy can see her going down the slide BY HERSELF!!  This is new!

We had a great time and hopefully next time Tam and the girls see Mdx she'll be in a little bit better temperament!  :)  We also can't wait to visit them in England.