Thursday, December 23, 2010

Random Stuff, Christmas Edition

I can't seem to get myself to post on here lately. It's not really a time thing; the island has, if that's even possible, slowed down even more due to the silence on the range. Also, everyone that wanted to and was able to has gotten on a plane for the States. Christmas seems to be the big holiday to escape. We prefer to celebrate it at home, because it's a bit of a complicated holiday to do at someone else's house now that we have kids. New Year's, though, is more fun with other people so I'm glad we are taking the second leave. Also, this should mean (crossing my fingers) that we won't have to fight so many people getting on the plane ourselves. We will see.

So, just a few random thoughts in this post. After being so horribly sick, I finally went running this past weekend after nearly two weeks off. What we had settled into our lungs, and Oliver was actually on antibiotics to help clear up the infection, so I was afraid to run for awhile, thinking it might make it all worse. I was so happy to find I could manage a mile and a half without coughing at all.

I've since gone out again, and nearly stepped on a snake. They have little ones here that often look like sticks when you don't look too closely. I don't believe they are poisonous, but I still had no interest in disturbing its sleep in the middle of the road. So, I took a fly leap mid-stride and managed to clear it. The snake didn't even move.

Going back to the illness, I went to the "mall" yesterday (where most of the places you'd go to get things done, like the post office, pay offices, barber shop, etc. are) to go cash a check. As I was walking away, I passed a couple people who were talking. I heard a woman say she, "wanted to give you a Chirstmas hug, but I've got the bug" to a man. He didn't ask her what she was referring to, but shrugged and reliplied he'd already had it.

I just though it was funny that in a place as small as this, we don't have to ask what kind of bug it is. We just know because it has gone through everyone in some fashion. As Oliver said jokingly to me, curse those range users who come here with their germs!

Actually, this also reminds me of what someone said to us when we first got here. They give you yellow, temporary badges for the first few weeks, which is also the same color visitors get. A guy Oliver works with told him to be sure to get our permanent badges ASAP because the yellow ones marked us as plague carriers. We had a good laugh over it at the time, but now I know exactly what he was talking about!

Now we're two days from Christmas, and it still doesn't feel like it. The complete and utter lack of snow is a telling issue, but more than that is the fact that we are still wearing t shirts and shorts, as I have grown up with many non-white Christmases. We took the boys for a walk around the neighborhood to see the houses that were decked out with lights last night. It made it feel a tad more Christmasy, but still, we didn't even bring jackets. I was glad for my long pants, though.

I remember having the same problem last year. This year, we did manage to go to more of the Christmas stuff they did, like the carnival where they set up booths that looked kind of like shops. There was a "Woodshop" filled with free kits from Home Depot for the kids to pick one and build it right there. There was also a "Bakery" where they could decorate a couple cookies with icing and various decorating choices. There were other things, too, but those were our favorites.

They also did a live nativity, and a short community sing-along after. It made me miss singing; there isn't even a church here to sing at. I really couldn't manage to be in the ward choir when I lived in Washington due to having two very small kids and no husband most Sundays, but I'll have to make time for it when we move back to the States. I do love singing.

Well, that's about it for the moment. I did get my ornament from the Mrs.' ornament swap, so I hope to get my act together and actually post a pic of it, but we will see. Getting my act together doesn't seem to be happening much lately. Merry Christmas (if I don't post again before it)!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reality Check

I went outside today to spend some time taking care of my plants. They've been sorely neglected during this last week of sickness. I haven't done more than throw a little water their way. So, I had some stuff to take care of.

I was dragging the hose out and directing the water where it was needed, trying to avoid getting wet myself, when I had a bit of a reality check over how cold (or not) it really is. Despite my best efforts, some water got on my hands, and I winced, bracing for a very cold intrusion.

Here's the thing, though; the water was warm. Add to that the fact that I was even growing anything at all, and not worried about frost, and it was clear to me that my body is a whole lot more sensitive to this cold than it used to be. My guess is it's in the mid '50s at night, considering the temperature inside is about 60 to 64 in the morning when we get up. This is early fall weather where I grew up.

I remember running outside last year, thinking it was the perfect weather for it. I also didn't think I would have any use for the long yoga pants I used to run in. I think I'll be pulling those out as soon as I'm healthy enough to run again.

Oh, and did I tell you we were taking a trip right after Christmas to the Northeast? While I hope for snow for our boys' sake, and we are strongly considering a ski trip, we are going to be freezing!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Attacked with the Flu...Or so it seems

Ugh, we have been sick, people, so sick! And I've had a very bad attitude about it because we hardly ever get sick. This one, though, was pretty nasty. Four days running, and it's still hanging around. It seems to be all over the base. At one point, about a quarter of the school was out sick. This being such a small school, it was pretty noticeable. One little girl in Wyatt's class actually missed the entire week. He only missed Friday, and that was mostly because we were too sick to take him. Although, he was hit hard later in the day, so it was a good thing we kept him home.

I'm just really grateful that I had a husband around. We've been tag-teaming it, and have mostly been able to keep everyone taken care of. I can't remember the last time that happened.

I can tell I'm on the mend as I actually spent two hours cleaning up the wreck of our house (really, just getting the worst of it done), and actually made a meal that didn't consist of pasta in some form. Hopefully, this week will be much better and we'll be able to catch up on stuff. None of which will include shopping as that has all been done by now. And if it hasn't been bought, it won't be as there's little guarantee we'll get it in time for Christmas. There's a pretty big backlog of mail in Florida, from what I've heard, so now I'm mostly just hoping that the aircraft carrier we got Wyatt, the very last thing to get here, will come in time. We shall see.

Here's hoping this post finds all of you in much better health!

P.S. My suspicions about the flu shot being less than effective have been confirmed. I'm not positive this is the flu, but the symptoms are very much the same. The boys and I did not have shots, but Oliver had to because he's military. He's just as sick as we are. I will continue to follow our policy of not getting shots.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


So, we have discovered recently that one of the downsides to having moved to our much larger trailer is that it doesn't have any heat. I was very grateful last year that we did have heat, as it got chilly at night. For the most part, we only ran it until about 1000, then sometimes switched back to the air conditioner when the sun started beating through our windows (yeah, the weirdness of living in a tropical environment). I am much happier living in the new place, but the lack of heat is a real bummer. A year of living here has made our blood thinner, I think. Plus, Washington was never really that bad; I actually got rid of all my sweaters while living there because it never got cold enough for them.

This morning, I became aware that we were going to have to do something about our missing heat. The thermostat read 66, and our boys were up at 0530, a whole hour earlier than is normal for them. Our room was pretty cold, and we had used an extra blanket on our bed, but our kids tend to kick off their blankets as they sleep. I haven't bought blanket sleepers for them in forever, so I can't really bundle them up like that, either. Oscar and I are actually bundled up on the couch watching cartoons because the house feels chilly. I even turned the oven on in an attempt to take some of the chilliness off.

In some ways, it's a nice change from the extreme heat of summer, but I really think we need something other than the oven to warm up the house. So, I just ordered a space heater. I was afraid it would be hard to find someone to ship one here, but Amazon had a bunch of them to choose from. I picked up an oil circulated one because it's safe enough to use in the boys room without supervision. I hope it works; if it does, I'm getting another one for our room. Then, we can move them to the living area, which is sort of like one big room with a wall in the center. That should be enough to kill the chill in the morning before the sun gets going.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Excuse Me?

So, we took a shopping trip to the States this week. Despite the usual travel hassles, we got most of what we needed to do there done. One of our first stops was Whole Foods, so we'd have time to get our Rubbermaid container packed and shipped off at the post office the next morning. All four of us went in, and things were going well until Wyatt decided he needed to use the bathroom. Oliver took him, leaving me with Oscar who was sitting in the cart.

No problem, right? Well, that was true until we walked over to the spice aisle. Oscar watched me pick out a couple bottles of vanilla extract and apparently decided he would help me out. I glanced over to see him toss a bottle of peppermint extract into the cart. I handed it back to him and told him to return it. He did, but somehow managed to knock something else off the shelf that promptly shattered on the floor. I pulled him back immediately and reprimanded him for it, then looked around for a store employee to tell about the mess.

It was maybe 30 seconds later that I caught sight of a couple people chatting near a couple of swinging doors. I was just about to make my way over to them when a woman swept past me and told them that "someone broke something" and pointed it out. I stayed to be sure it was going to be taken care of, then turned around to see Oliver returning.

I was in the middle of telling him what had happened when the woman who had swept past me earlier walked up and asked if it was my kid that broke the bottle (she'd been standing in the aisle when it happened and clearly knew it was). When I said yes, she proceeded to tell me I should have told someone, and when I said I'd been looking for someone which is why I hadn't walked away, she said, and I quote, "Those people were standing there for ten minutes" (exaggerate much, lady?). Then she said something about how I should have used the experience to teach my kid better behavior, then stormed off when I didn't give her the answer she wanted. (I'm still not sure what she was getting at - I needed to make my three year old clean it up? He already knew he'd done something wrong. I didn't let him think it was perfectly okay to break stuff in stores.)

The whole thing left me a little baffled. I mean, I get that my kid did something he shouldn't, but since when is it some random stranger's job to give me parenting lessons? I cannot see myself getting in someone's face just because I perceive they are not teaching their kids correctly. And, really, what does she know about me or my kids, or even what actually lead to the incident? (We had a discussion with Wyatt the next day about how he needs to not point out every person he sees smoking and inform us they are doing some bad - loudly - as people have the right to their own choices. Oliver pointed out that he didn't want his son growing up into some person that would tell other people in the grocery store how to parent their kids. I thought it was hilarious, but obviously, you had to be there!)

Anyway, all this leads to the real issue I have facing me, one which she had no idea about (ignorance makes us such experts, doesn't it): after a year living on an island with no traffic, a store the size of a Seven Eleven where all the people inside smile at whatever antic my boys do, no real restaurants to eat out at, and almost no experience having to deal with crowds or people they don't know, my boys are a little on the wild side. It's frustrating to me (and this is why I found that whole exchange so upsetting) because they were actually pretty easy to take into public before we moved here. We'd worked a lot with them, teaching them how to behave, and were proud of how we could take them to nearly any place and have a decent time as long as we didn't overstay their ability to keep it together.

Now, though, they have adapted to a completely different lifestyle. What works here doesn't work so well in civilization. This is especially true for Oscar, who barely remembers his time in the States. There's unfortunately not much I can do about it. I can't really train them here to react to situations they aren't exposed to. It's too abstract for them. Mostly we just try to keep them close and head off problems when they arise (Oliver actually ended up taking both boys to sit on a bench outside Whole Foods after that incident with the crazy lady and a more minor one later with Wyatt). It's not perfect, but I don't see what else I can do.

On the plus side, they have adapted to life here very well, and we don't really have any problems here. Hopefully that means that when we move back, we'll have an adjustment period, and then they'll relearn how to act amongst people again. Here's hoping we don't run into any more people who feel the need to lecture others on how to do things. (Can I tell you how much I am dreading doing sacrament meeting again with these two? /shudder)