Jan 19, 2010

A very important date!!

I have unofficial news!! Bobby should be home at the end of NEXT WEEK!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

TEN more days!!

T-E-N!

wow

Little sickies

Sophie and Matthew have a cold, Dr. Mom has diagnosed them with croup, but I have not taken them for a second opinion. They both have fevers and seal coughs, so I am sure their ped would agree with me.

Sophie saw her gastro this morning, all her tests were normal, so after we move we need to get her evaluated by a endocrinologist to make sure there is nothing hormonal going on. If that is normal, I am done testing her. I guess I just don't want to leave any stones unturned, especially if it is something we can fix. I am fairly certain it is just genetic, but I would feel bad if she just needed supplements or something to reach full growth potential and I chose not to investigate it.

Jan 18, 2010

What me, on time?

What a busy day!! This morning my friend Tracie and I took our kids up to Denver to go to the Children's museum. We had tons of fun and then decided to let Austin babysit his brothers and her 7 year old, while the babies and Tracie and I went to Sephora at JC Penny to find me a color match for foundation. While we were leaving Austin called and said "are you on your way home? It's 3:50 and your dentist appointment is at 4:10, right?" Oops! Thankfully they were able to reschedule me for an hour later and I *still* was almost late!!

Jan 15, 2010

Seriously? No. Wait. Are you freaking serious???

Today Bobby asked his boss if he is confident enough with sending us to Ft. Lewis that he would sign a lease if it were him and he got an email back that just said "call me". Oh man, the proverbial "we have to talk"; that is never good news.

To sum it up, seems like the entire department is going to be going through an overhaul soon and they are not sure how this will change things, so they are trying not to move anyone until they have all the kinks worked out. So now we don't know if Ft. Lewis is still on the table, and when we would need to be there. We were planning on being there in early February, but now it is impossible. On a positive note, while they are sorting things out he stays here & works from home, which means he can help me with pre-move purging.

Speaking of pre-move purging, we had a walk-through with Mayflower and we have about 3,000 pounds of stuff to get rid of to get our cost below what the company allows.

I refuse to lose hope, no one says this has to change the statement that we will be needed in Washington state. Purging will be good for us, we have a ton of stuff that has outgrown its usefulness that I just have not had a chance to remove, large bulky things I cannot move on my own. This is positive, really it is, I have to believe it, we just don't know what it means yet.

Jan 13, 2010

Yay, she has a heart, and I have proof!

Sophie saw her cardiologist today because a murmur was detected at an appointment I had for her funny walk. Thankfully, both her walk, and her heart is normal. The cardiologist called it an innocent murmur I think.

While I was there, he asked how tall my husband and I were, and I told him we were both short, me at 5'4" and him 5'6" and he smiled real big and said "well there is why she is so tiny, two chihuahuas can't make a great dane you know".

So there you have it, she is a normal pigeon toed, innocent heart murmured chihuahua, and yes, that diagnosis is official. I hope when I see the gastroenterologist next week, he will agree with the diagnosis.

Jan 11, 2010

Women Vs. Men

This move is teaching me a very valuable lesson on men and women. It seems no matter how stressed I get, or how mad, or sad, or frustrated or any other range of emotion I feel about waiting for confirmation about this move, my husband has appeared to me to be very nonchalant and calm about it. This morning I think I snapped and finally sent him this email.

Hey, I know you are trying to stay on top of this move situation, but I am seriously feeling major stress and I don't know what else I can do. No matter where we go it is going to be very hard for me to find a place for us to live without giving away all our pets and kids and I am just not sure what else to do to avoid getting ulcers. The longer we go without an answer, the more anxiety I feel and I start crying and have panic attacks multiple times a day. Can you think of any way we can communicate to your boss that we really need to have a for sure answer? Every person I have talked to in Olympia has told us they want us to have one full month notice before moving into a house, which means the longer we go without an answer, the longer the 6 of us live in a hotel together. If we end up going to VA, it will probably take even longer to find a place, and we may end up having to board the pets at anywhere from $12-30 per pet, per day.

Heather


About 30 minutes later he called me, and got me to laugh and smile. He told me he had tried calling his boss several times and left him a voice message. When I freaked out on him and told him I wanted him to fly home so I could choke him for not being emotional like I was (this statement was made very light-hearted, and we both knew it). He told me he knew this was hard on me, and he was allowing me to cry and complain and freak out because he knew I needed to. He knew one of us needed to be strong, so he decided to take on that role. So when I freaking out that he was not freaking out, he was being strong because he knew one of us needed to be or we would both be puddles of goo over this.

This made me realize, that when I felt I was carrying this load alone, not only was he helping me carry it, but in addition he was carrying ME! It is times like this that I really appreciate my husband, even if he does things differently than I do, and does not carry his emotions on his sleeves, it does not mean that he does not have emotions, he just expresses them differently than I do. I am glad he allowed me to step back and see things at face value, so I was not sitting here brooding and stressing, feeling like I was slaying the dragon all by myself.

Jan 8, 2010

More on the Car.

I never did update about what happened at the dealership and parts store. I bailed his car out of car jail on Tuesday morning with only a $46 bill, vs. the $90 I was told. I actually just left it there and they removed the dud battery for me, loaded it into my van and I went to the parts store. I showed him the bill and what they said and he took the dud battery, put a new one out in my car for me and apologized for the inconvenience. I decided not to press the issue with getting them to pay for the bill, more than anything I just wanted an apology. The dealership put in the new battery and washed his car up all pretty for me without charging me extra. My service coordinator was so pleasant that I decided to order some parts, and bring the car back for some other things it needs done before we move.

Because I have to arrange for them to shuttle me back and forth to the dealership, I decided tonight I would take it in, this time to fix a couple cosmetic things and repair his remote start & alarm. After the recent battery incident, it sure made me appreciate my dealership. I have always hated finding and trusting new mechanics, because you hear so many horror stories of shady mechanics. The disadvantage of moving so often, is you get to start over at a new city, and have to find all new services. This is why I love the Google Age so much, word of mouth has always been the way I find businesses, but if that is not available, I am all about the review sites. I have never been a fan of flipping through the phone book.

I found this new website today, called RepairPal that is pretty interesting. You can put in information about your car, repair needed, and zipcode and they will not only give you a range to expect the estimate to be, but shops nearby with peer reviews, which would look like this page showing some San Fransisco auto repair shops. Out of curiosity I put in his Civic and pretended it really had needed an alternator and it came up with a very comprehensive report. Not only did it tell me the range of costs I would be expecting for parts & labor, but then it also gives me recommendations of things I make sure are done (i.e. which other tests I make sure they do) and explanations of symptoms and other necessary repairs that may be necessary. Not just that, then maps out shops in my areas with reviews.

The other helpful part of the website is you can enter a specific make, model and year of a vehicle and get reviews, common problems, recalls, etc. So if you wanted to learn more about a 2001 Honda Accord, it would be easy to look up ratings, reviews, recalls, and common mechanical problems. Other neat features are a car encyclopedia, in case you wanted to look up what a timing belt replacement entails; and a section called My Car where you can keep track of your maintenance and repair records, plus get reminders, recall information and service reminders, and best of all it is all FREE!

When we move next month, it is nice knowing I will be able to find a place to take our cars that I can trust, I am extremely loyal to my service center and look forward to finding a place that can take care of all of our car needs, from oil changes, to mechanical repairs.

Jan 7, 2010

The power of positive

Yesterday evening I had writing out a whiny, negative status about the lack of housing I was finding with my pets, and I decided, if I wanted to attract positive, I needed to think positive, so I deleted my whine, and wrote a very positive message Tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow will give us more positive leads on pet friendly homes. We WILL find the perfect home soon. And the government will give us an definite answer soon. The Washington State move is going to go GREAT! Let this become my new affirmation. This all came from a series of phone calls from a large rental agency in Olympia with about 10 homes in our price range, with the numbers of bedrooms we need, who claimed to be "pet friendly" who told us that with our two dogs, and three cats, that they have absolutely no rentals that would allow my number of pets, and told me they imagine no one would.

My mood after this phone call was so low that all I wanted to do was whine and vent and cry, but when I chose to be positive about it and post the positive message, my mood became more positive and immediately I was contacted by a home owner who was willing to consider us, despite our number of pets. Even though he has yet to give me an answer (same with the government, they have yet to give us a 100%), I remain more positive, because if someone is willing to say maybe, someone WILL say yes. This is the far cry from the "no one" I was told, and allowed me to get down in the dumps.

Today, I was emailed by another company, and they gave me a choice of 6 houses, but when I told them about my pets, they told me of a house that was the same price as the other ones, but nearly 1,000 square feet larger where it would be fine for me to have my animals. So now I have one for sure I can look at, and now four houses that are maybes. I am confident that in less than a week we will have our definite answer from his company, as well as have housing secured.

Next time you start feeling down in the dumps, just remember the power of the positive and see how much you can make a difficult situation turn around!

Jan 6, 2010

Only took 5 days...

But Matthew found my keys! They were in the toy bins, in the bin that hold the hotwheels. I guess Sophie was trying to drive the cars huh? And I guess Austin was not forthcoming when I asked him several times if he checked in the toys.

Jan 5, 2010

Oh my aching nerves!

My stomach is a bundle of nerves, I feel like I could puke at any minute. I really do think stress is getting the best of me.

We thought today would be the day we knew where we were going, but that information didn't come. We have roughly 3 1/2 weeks now until he is supposed to be home and we are supposed to be moving. I feel like I am wasting the last few weeks I have in Colorado, instead of preparing to move. I feel like I am being wasteful of my husband's homecoming, because I will still have so much to do.

I did get his car battery replaced though, but not after paying $46 to cover the test at the dealership. Thankfully it was less than the $90 I expected. I ended up not asking the auto part store for the money to cover the bill, it just didn't seem worth the fight, I am already dealing with enough. It was just so nice to have a car that starts without having to jump it that I just decided to let it go.

Jan 4, 2010

All this could have been avoided...

...if you just did what you said you would!!

I mentioned the car problems we are having earlier with the battery/alternator issues. I had been told on the phone by the people who sold me the battery 6 months ago that they would keep my battery overnight, charge it and test it, sending me away with a loaner battery. I get there and they give me a different story, that my alternator is bad, battery is fine, just dead from a bad alternator. I asked for a loaner and they said no because they said my alternator would just kill it, and I need to just get a new alternator. They jump me and send me on my way.

Today I take it to my dealership to get a new alternator. They have be sign the consent form for the $90 test and drive me home. Today I get a message on my machine that they tested the car, the alternator is fine, but the battery won't take a charge because it is a dud.... and now I am LIVID! If the place I bought my battery from had just done what they said and given me a loaner and tested mine, then I would have a new battery, and not had to spend $90 for nothing! Tomorrow I have to go demand a new battery and hope that they don't treat me like I am an idiot again. I really feel like the battery place should pay me $90 for the test, but I have a feeling there will be icicles in hell before that happens.

Jan 3, 2010

The Joys of Toddlerhood

As the mom to a toddler, I feel like my life of cuddling a sweet little baby has been snatched away from me evolved. I now feel my primary duty is no longer as a nurturer, but now as a protector. Just today I was telling a friend how I felt like I spend my entire day saving my daughter from certain death. Just before I typed that I pulled a screw cap out of her mouth, and an alan wrench and nail clippers out of her hands. We are now on day two without any keys to my car, and I have a feeling my 13 year old had a 27 inch toe-headed accomplice. She's like a ferret without organization, she will steal from you, but lacks follow through to stash them away in a specific hidey hole.

She's getting better at entertaining herself, she will walk upstairs by herself and play with Matthew in his room for 10-30 minutes at a time before moving on to her next game, heist, or inadvertent demise. This is bittersweet, as part of me is happy she is able to play independently, while at the same time I worry she won't make it to her second birthday. Now that she conquered her fears about walking, she seems to have no more healthy fears left and is quite the little daredevil.

Her imagination is really starting to blossom too. Not long ago I wondered why we owned so many toys that no one played with, and now I am amazed at how, and how much she plays with them. She imitates so much and it is funny watching her play and realizing that she is imitating normal daily household activities. For instance she will put her purse on her shoulder and then push the shopping cart by her toy box picking out play foods, which she will then transfer into the refrigerator of her toy kitchen. She will also rock her babies and pat their backs, shush them, and coo at them. The toy kitchen has provided countless hours of play for Sophie and Matthew alike, as well as help from Austin and Christopher too from time to time.

I guess the more I look at this time, the more good I see in her growth and maturity. She is really amazing to watch as she grows into a young child. However, I do with, that for once, I could actually eat all of my own food. I feel like I get to only take a bite or two of whatever I have before I have to hand it over to one of the younger two. Yet if I put it in front of them, they won't eat it, or will cry for what I have, even if it is the exact same thing.

Jan 2, 2010

Well bummer

Hubby's car hasn't been starting for months. I figured it was just cold from not being run regularly. Jumped it tonight and ran it all over town for an hour. Took it to the auto supply store for a quick battery check and it showed after all that driving and assuming I was charging the battery, I turned off the car and it was dead. The computer showed my battery was completely dead, despite only being 6 months old. Now we are thinking the alternator is dying, so Monday I get to jump it again and take it to the dealership. Thankfully it only dies when I turn it off, for now at least.

Of course all this would be easier if my teenager hadn't lost my keys while I was out.... that is just my luck, huh?

Jan 1, 2010

New year, new resolutions.

I am not the type to make formal resolutions, but I have really let myself go in the last year. Not in the typical "boy she let herself go", sort of way. In fact I have gotten quite a bit healthier in the last 6 month (she says as she crams caramel corn into her face). More I have let myself go creatively... and I have really let my blog suffer. Seems that once again I have let real life get in the way, and I probably spent a bit too much time on Facebook too.

So the last month has been a whirlwind of emotion. You know the feeling of standing on a rug, then at the last minute having it yanked right out from underneath you? Well, that was my December. For the last 11 months, we have been looking for houses in North Virginia... just to find out that we may be going elsewhere. No big deal, except for... we have no clue where we are going. We won't know for another week... but we have to be there in a month. Yes, a MONTH. Simply put, I am a freaking, freak-out, McFreakerson, mess.

We have also had a ton of health surprises with our little princess. She "failed" her 18 month well-baby checkup so to speak. She got the label of failure to thrive because she is growing too slow. This has earned her a couple referrals to specialists, a long list of lab tests, xrays, and a visit for her strange way of walking yielded a referral to a cardiologist for a heart murmur. On the bright side, December brought me a baby who can FINALLY walk. I had decided when she turned 16 months old that she would crawl off to college; and the tender age of 18 months and one week, she joined the upright world. She took off running, never looking back.

2010 will bring good things to anyone who looks for it. The second month of 2010 will bring home Bobby from Iraq, and new adventures in a new city and state. Thankfully, January should fly by since I will have just 3 weeks to find a place to live, interview and hire moving companies, research schools and neighborhoods in a new location, and all the other little bits and pieces. I am looking forward to the last month of his deployment not dragging, like the 9th month of pregnancy always does. I am really hoping I can keep busy enough that it will seem like no time before he's home.